How can real estate agents help millennials buy a home?
In 2019, millennials (people born between around 1980 and 1999) made up the biggest share of Buyers (37%). This emerging generation of Buyers differs from previous generations in many ways. Real estate agents who know what millennial Buyers want in a home have a distinct advantage. Today, we’ll look at 4 ways you can help millennials buy a home.
- Find millennials move-in-ready homes
- Show millennials strong neighborhoods
- Give millennials the space they want
- Give millennials the tech they want
Let’s look at each of these ideas in detail.
Find millennial Buyers move-in-ready homes
Unlike past generations, millennials tend to have little tolerance for fixer uppers. They don’t have any desire to do big renovations, especially right after they buy the house. Instead, they look for homes that are move-in ready from the outset.
It makes sense that millennials don’t want fixer uppers. Most millennials had their formative years marked by the Great Recession and massive student loan debt. Because of this, many millennials are much more frugal and careful when making large purchases. The idea of committing a large down payment only to have to spend more money to make the house livable is unsavory to most millennial Buyers.
As an agent, you have several opportunities to address these issues.
- If a home looks like it requires renovations, be clear about what those renovations are and what they may look like.
- If you’re a listing agent, make sure the home is tidy and staged properly. Try to keep the yard maintained and looking healthy, as yards are important to millennial Buyers.
- Provide or recommend a home warranty, whether you represent Buyers or Sellers. This can go a long way in assuring that millennial Buyers won’t be scared off by the prospect of sudden systems and appliances breakdowns.
Move-in readiness is the outcome of millennials’ desire for affordability. Down payments are expensive enough. Renovations simply don’t fit into most millennial Buyers’ budgets.
Show millennial Buyers strong neighborhoods
Millennial Buyers crave community. Though many millennials say they prefer metro areas, 47% of millennial homeowners live in the suburbs. This is likely because suburbs are more affordable than metro areas. Because millennials like move-in-ready homes near amenities like community gyms, schools and shops, the suburbs make the most sense for them. When suburban areas have dedicated downtown areas, it can give millennials the metro feel at a price they can afford.
Though millennials will do their own research, you can benefit by accentuating community aspects. There are several ways you can do this.
- Focus on strong school districts, if applicable. Older millennials are especially interested in finding homes in good school districts. One of the reasons they move to the suburbs at all is to assure that any children they have can get a good education.
- Highlight opportunities for millennial Buyers to connect with their neighbors. Community events, access to transit and especially parks and outdoor spaces can give millennials a feeling of community.
- If your millennial clients have pets, show them how the neighborhood is amenable to pets. For younger millennials who own pets but have not started a family, pets are their family. Neighborhoods that have things like dog parks or walking trails nearby can instill a sense of community in those Buyers.
Give millennial Buyers the space they want
One of the most attractive aspects of home ownership for millennials is space. They want larger houses than past generations. The more bedrooms and bathrooms a house has, the better. Perhaps the biggest draw of home ownership is having a yard, even if it’s small. After years of extended renting or living with their parents, millennial Buyers want to be able to spread their wings in their homes.
Though millennials are extremely cost conscious, they also tend to spend more on their first homes. According to Realtor Magazine, 30% of millennials spend $300,000 or more on their first homes. This is much higher than the $150,000–$250,000 average cost for a typical starter home. Their desire for space—for hosting, raising a family and otherwise—is a factor in this.
There are certain aspects of space that millennial Buyers look for in their homes.
- Open floor plans. Millennials prefer open floor plans. They want their kids to be able to run around freely. When they entertain, they want their guests to be able to move fluidly from one place to another. Open floor plans speak to millennial desire for community and connectedness. Knowing this can help you guide millennial Buyers toward the layouts they want. This can save them time and position you as an undeniable expert in their eyes.
- Yard space. Ample yard space is in vogue for millennial Buyers. They want it for their kids, their pets and their gardens. In fact, according to the Colorado Association of Realtors, millennials prefer a good-sized lawn even more than an updated kitchen. A yard of any size is preferable to no lawn at all. Listing agents should encourage Sellers to keep their lawns tidy and green as much as possible.
Give millennial Buyers the tech they want
Millennial Buyers use technology more than any other generation of Buyer. Nonetheless, they still rely on real estate agents to guide them through the home-buying process.
One easy and inexpensive way for Sellers to give millennials the tech they want is by simply switching out standard electrical outlets with USB outlets. This would allow them and their guests to keep their smart devices charged at all times and in any room.
Millennial Buyers also look for smart devices that they can control remotely. Smart thermostats and lower-cost security systems that don’t require monthly subscriptions are attractive to them. Encouraging Sellers to install these devices—or at least give their homes the capacity to house them—can push on-the-fence Buyers into full buying mode.
Additionally, millennials prefer homes that have dedicated specialty rooms. Whether those rooms are dedicated media rooms, exercise rooms or gaming rooms, millennials want those options.
The common thread that ties these wants together is affordability. As a real estate agent, striving for affordability for millennial Buyers is key. One way to provide affordability for millennial Buyers is by providing or recommending a home warranty. Home warranties can reduce the upfront costs for unexpected systems and appliances breakdowns, protecting them when they need it most.
2-10 HBW offers comprehensive systems and appliances home warranties to help protect your clients from unexpected repair and replacement costs. Contact us to learn more.