REALTORS: Dealing With Different Generations of Buyers

To recognize noticeable shifts in the real estate market, whether helping their clients buy a home or sell a home, Realtors need to continually stay abreast of changing real estate trends to know more about their clients’ changing wants and needs.

Dealing with generations of homebuyers

For most of “The Greatest Generation” or “baby boomers, the idea and importance of home ownership was drilled into their heads from a very young age and represented one of the cornerstones of the American Dream. However, the purchasing power of millennials alone constitutes a sea change in the market.

With both generations now effectively vying for the same Memphis homes for sale available on the market at any given time.

The Difference Between “Hipsters” and “Millennials”

Hipsters are often portrayed in film, television, and other media outlets as a feckless group of beard-growing, kombucha-drinking guys dressed for irony while populating your coffee shop with their laptops.

Millennials are simply a group where their only qualification for the age group distinction is their birth year. You can be a rich “hipster” and a “successful millennial.” The lines are truly blurred.

Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

The Rise in Millenial Purchasing Power

For many Realtors, appealing to very disparent age groups competing for the same property is going to present myriad challenges in the future.

While boomers may be looking to downgrade their existing homes now that their children are fully-grown, looking for more walkable neighborhoods now that driving has become more of a chore, millennials are seeking these same $300,000 homes.

Baby Boomer buying a home
Baby Boomer buying a home

Millennials are often traveling for work more than their potentially retired elders. Consequently they, like boomers, are looking for lower maintenance properties. Many boomers no longer wish to mow the lawn of their McMansions and both groups love technology for different reasons.

Many boomers are finding “smart homes” truly make their lives easier, while millennials have grown up with constant technological innovation and can’t see “going backwards.” They are always looking for the newest tech trends and may be more tech savvy than some agents.

A More Informed Buyer

Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and other television channels devoted to the home are, by default, leading to a more educated group of buyers, regardless of their generation. Older buyers quite simply watch more television, especially when retired.

 The popularity and growth of House Hunters International and its other properties, while fun to watch, have also informed viewers in a near-unprecedented manner.

Younger buyers are likely considerably more informed about the cost of renovations and even whether they might to take on the challenge of such work themselves.

A False Sense of Security

Although many that feel “more educated” about the real estate transaction, for many home buyers and sellers, they feel that they know more than they really do. This can cause people to direct their Realtor (based off of television information) to do the wrong thing.

It is an agents job to direct the client, that can become harder when the client believes they know as much as the professional. Realtors go through a ton of education and most successful Realtors are a party to many real estate transactions per year.

The Impact of Social Media and the Internet on Realtors

People are working longer hours, while also driving the growth of social media and other sites. Going out to lunch might involve a salad for a younger buyer and an opportunity to look at Instagram and other social media platforms to discuss properties or to visualize for room improvements.

They don’t want to “waste” a day of work being shown dozens of properties that they have already had a virtual walkthrough of recently. Additionally, on the other side of this coin, is the importance for Realtors to have a strong online presence of their own, especially on Facebook and Instagram.

The traditional walk-throughs are being replaced by a new generation of Realtors who will be asked about “up and coming neighborhoods” as well as neighborhoods which will see home values rising in the short and long term.

Never Forget the Importance of Interest Rates

The expectation that interest rates will continue to trend upwards presents a new set of challenges and objections to Realtors. Know the name of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve and learn how to use their comments to your advantage.  

It’s always helpful to have a basic understanding of economics, which gives a great deal of insight into future markets and how things can change. As they say, “the only constant is change”, so stay on top of your knowledge and try to be as comprehensive as you can in this ever-evolving real estate market.  

For more information about real estate, to buy or sell a home, waterfront properties or for general real estate questions, contact your local trusted Realtor today.

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