Millennial buyers. If I had a dime for every time a real estate agent grimaced after I told them Nestment's target demographic, I'd be able to become a dreaded millennial buyer myself.
What is it about millennials that frightens so many agents? I believe it comes from a lack of understanding of how to communicate with us. Being both a millennial and a real estate agent, I have put together some tips to help you win over the next millennial client you have.
The single most important thing to keep in mind with millennial clients is the need to act quickly. This means respond to text messages when you receive them, emails within the same business day, and phone calls... just kidding millennials won't call you.
I know what you are thinking. 'I can't be available always. I have a life too.' Although I am all for setting boundaries with clients and blocking off time for family and fun, there needs to be a compromise if you'd like to keep your clients happy. If a client texts you a question during your personal time, absolutely do not ignore it. Instead, text back a quick response keeping them in the loop. A "at dinner with my kids, text you after!" goes further than you think. Just don't flat out ignore the text for hours. After all, how long does it take to text back? 15 seconds.
You're probably not surprised to hear agents are hard to get ahold of. I've had agents take a full business day or two to respond to me about a referral. Needless to say, they didn't get my business. Don't be that agent.
Set expectations and live up to them.
Before founding Nestment, I interviewed upward of thirty millennials about how they would go about buying a house. Here's what I found: no one knows about the process. More than half of them expected they'd pay to have a buyer's agent so instead they'd save money by doing it on their own. Many didn't know that you could negotiate money for repairs so were instead attracted to agents who offered rebates. Bottom line, we live real estate every day. They do not.
Here's where a buyer's consultation comes in. Spend the hour upfront to go over the process with them from start to finish. Explain clearly the things that you the agent are responsible for and the roles that other vendors are. If you don't set these expectations, a millennial will blame you for everything. Trouble scheduling showings because of the listing agent, appraisal problems, stubborn sellers? It will all be your fault. However, if we knew ahead of time that a closing date could get pushed if the lender was slow to act, we'll blame the appropriate person and come to you for advice.
Once you set the expectations, you need to make sure to fulfill them, if not exceed them. We grew up in the land of Yelp, where the customer is always right, and it's completely acceptable to let the world know when you are wronged by a business. This door swings both ways though; if you please us we will scream your praises to the world.
Don't condescend us.
It's important to note that you should be both aware of what you are saying and how you are saying it. We are adults, presumably with jobs, goals, degrees, and the willingness to make a huge financial commitment. Treat us as peers not children.
I recently received an unsolicited, raving email from a millennial Nestment client about the agent we paired him with in Los Angeles. It said, "The best thing about [our agent] is that she teaches us, she doesn't instruct us." His agent makes a conscious effort to empower her buyers with all of the necessary information while never leading her clients to the answer she wants.
This brings us to selling. We hate salespeople. Seriously, hate is a strong word, but yes, we hate them. When I took Keller Williams' BOLD class, I had a visceral reaction to being told to stand up and scream "I'm a great salesperson." I've never seen myself as a salesperson, mainly because I shy away from the necessary self-loathing that would have to come with.
When working with millennial buyers, it's important to make sure you never push them into a house. Give them the facts about each house but avoid using too many adjectives or conclusions about how great the house would be for them.
And never let your need for a paycheck enter the picture. We can smell commission breath a thousand miles away.
You must be up with tech.
We start our search online. We can't remember the world without Google. If you want us to find you, make sure what we find is appealing. With so many services like Placester and Brivity, you really have no excuse.
But the technology doesn't stop there. Don't use fax. Have a social media presence, and get a docusign account.
I hope this tips will help you with your next millennial clients. Follow them and reap the rewards of a satisfied millennial buyer. When we are truly satisfied, we are loyal and big-mouthed. You will be showered with referrals.
Nestment is a matchmaking service that pairs you with a real estate agent you'll actually like. Free to you.
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Caity Salvatore founded Nestment.com when she was sick of hearing her friends complain about their real estate agents. She is out to prove that great agents do exist, and works as a matchmaker between home buyers/sellers and real estate agents. She spends her days interviewing agents and bingeing on Dunkin Donuts.