We can stop wondering and worrying about the how’s, why’s, when’s and where for’s about Millennials and the housing industry. Zillow’s most recent Group Report on Consumer Market Trends in 2017 is hot off the presses.
Zillow’s research findings tell us that Millennials, ages 18 – 34 years old, are now 50% of the home buying market and 47% of first-time home buyers. Just like their parents and grandparents before them, Millennials aspire to homeownership. They want a solid financial investment. Less like their parents however, Millennials are more cautious in their approach to home ownership because they grew up during the housing recession and with previously unimagined access to data via digital devices from birth.
Just because Millennials are delaying life milestone norms such as marriage, completing their educations, having children, etc. and are renting well into adulthood does not mean that Millennials are not interested in owning a home. Quite the contrary. Two thirds (66%) of Millennial buyers concurrently rent while looking for a home to buy. And, the homes Millennials want to buy are not homes considered to be “starters.” Millennials are buying larger (median home size is 1,800 square feet) and pricier (median home price is $217,000 rather than $200,00) than traditional or first time buyer “starter homes.”
There is no question that digitally fluent Millennials (9 out of 10) turn to the internet and/or mobile devices (8 out of 10) to help them with their search/buying process. Most use at least three online resources to give them information they want about homes, neighborhoods, shared amenities, schools, etc. and at least 2 out of 3 use online resources to give them information about interest rates, affordability issues and mortgage calculations.
75% of the Millennials who use online resources to begin their search/buying process contact real estate agents. Buying Millennials contact at least two agents and selling Millennials contact at least three agents before they decide who will be their agent of choice.
And how do Millennials decide who will be their agent of choice? Underline or highlight this section, agents…
1. 6 out of 10 Millennials read agent reviews before choosing their agent.
2. Millennials poll their friends, families, colleagues about which agents are the best, the most informed, the most expert, the most responsive, the most reliable, the most trustworthy.
3. Technology does not trump real time conversations for Millennials. 30% prefer talking with agents on the phone and expect agents to call them back within 24 hours once they have contacted the agent. ( The sooner the better here.) 25% prefer meeting the agent in person. Only 16% (1 in 6) prefer texting.
4. When Millennial buyers enlist their agent of choice, they do so earlier in the buying process, shop faster and are very likely (40%) to stay in touch with their agent for referrals to lenders, remodeling professionals, staging ideas, etc.
5. And Millennials are extremely LOYAL to their agents. 55% refer their friends and families and 26% leave online reviews about their agent experiences.
Bottom line…Millennials value agents who are trustworthy and responsive to their needs.