Millennials are changing the real estate market. Their approach to home buying is very methodical and research-driven, and it is amazing how much their behaviors have influenced today’s real estate market. Home buyers age 36 and younger now make up 34% of the buying market (per the National Association of Realtors).
Here are ten ways millennials are changing real estate.
1. They Know Want They Want
Most millennials know what they want, and do not want to wait for it. Therefore they search for homes that already have the features they are seeking, primarily updated and functional kitchens and bathrooms, open floor plans, home offices, and all the technological upgrades. They also prefer homes that are environmentally friendly and equipped with advancements such as tankless water systems, high efficiently HVAC systems, and solar panels.
2. They Seek Convenience, Not Stature
Millennials will choose a smaller home for the same price, if it allows them to live closer to urban areas and places of work and study. They also want their recreation and entertainment to be close and convenient, and prefer to bike or walk whenever possible. Their ideal setting is a cost-effective place, close to parks, restaurants, farmers’ markets and coffee shops.
3. They Want Technology
Millennials are looking for more than just Internet connections. They want homes with the latest technology in absolutely everything, inside and out. Kitchen appliances with built-in Wi-Fi, heating and cooling controlled on their phones, intelligent music and lighting that adjusts when they enter the room, with one swipe of their fingers. They want solar panels, rainwater collectors, tint adjusting windows, and no-maintenance exterior materials.
4. They Want To Be Heard
Millennials represent over 60% of first time buyers, and over a third of overall home purchases. They are a buying force that sellers need to understand and adapt to. Today’s sellers must not ignore these buyers, and their extensive requirements.
Today, more than ever before, sellers must make all the necessary repairs and improvements before they list their home. This includes making their homes energy efficient and environmentally friendly, and upgrading to smart technology appliances and other features. Millennials do extensive research online, comparing all available options, before they even set foot in the home. The homes that do not meet their demands will be eliminated without ever being viewed in person.
5. They Include Their Parents
Millennials are doing all the research themselves. However, right before making the final decision, they are bringing their parents into the equation. This does tend to cause some disruption, because it is often happening after negotiations on a property have already begun. Suddenly there is another party in the decision-making process, often with different focus and priorities, and it can dramatically change the dynamics.
It generally comes down to economics. It is very common for millennials to be receiving gift money for their down payment. This is not a problem. However it does add another layer to the process that we have not seen as extensively in prior generations. The parents tend to struggle with the price of the home, because they place less value on the upgraded finishes and technology their children seek. The parents opinions can not be ignored, and are just one more aspect of the negotiation we must work through.
6. They Seek Affordable And Modern
Millennials seek completely functional and modern kitchens, designed for both entertaining and cooking. They will bypass a larger bedroom in lieu of the spaces they utilize during waking hours.
They prefer hardwood floors to carpet or tile, like pet conveniences, and love open spaces for easy entertaining. Bathroom are also very important to them. Their perfect home is both affordable and modern, even if that means buying a smaller home.
7. They Seek Stress-Free Environments
Millennials tend to have far less attachment to family heirlooms, especially furniture. They are often very minimalists in their furnishings, and actually prefer to buy an already fully furnished home, they do. Millennials do not want to be consumed with decorating or home make-overs; and, they prefer to spend their time and money on traveling, entertaining, and their favorite hobbies.
They do not want their home to consume time or energy. It should be a stress-free quiet environment. They are very active and their time is precious to them. Home is a place to rest and re-energize.
8. They Are Picky And Careful
Millennials tent to take their time in making their home buying decision. They have very specific ideas, and want the home to be everything they have envisioned. It can take them months to find the perfect property, and they will often make several trips to check and double-check the features they like. They are asking a lot of very good questions about everything related to the home and community. Sellers and their agents must be prepared with quick and accurate answers. Providing the information, in the manor they want and understand it, will result in a fast sale, at a higher price.
9. They Do Their Research Online
Millennials research everything on line first. Research shows that 99% will collect extensive data on line before seeing the home (as opposed to 80% of members of other generations). Therefore it is critical to make sure all the online information is accurate before listing the home. Some counties are notorious for having inaccurate information, and the county tax records are the source of almost all of the information from Zillow, Realtor.com, and all the other on-line sources of information. It is important to make sure all that information is accurate.
10. They Like Pictures
Millennials are very visual, and have very little patience for low quality pictures. It is very important to use a true professional photographer, someone able to manage the lighting and framing of every picture. Drones with aerial shots are also important, showing the topography and exterior details of the home, land, and surrounding area.
It is important that the photos be high quality and accurate representations of the home. There is no faster way to lose credibility with the buyers than to use “creative photography” to disguise certain features of the home or neighborhood.
Every generation has its unique characteristics, and markets must keep up with the evolving tastes. Millennials are the current trendsetters of many consumer goods, and that includes real estate.
They are smart and savvy, and selling to them requires adapting to their approach and style. The result will be sellers having a better home to sell, and the market growing and appreciating in value.