Hey gang. Zillow reached out to me and asked if they could do a guest post on my site.

As one who likes collaboration, I said yes, with the understanding that I would review the content to make sure it fit.

What I want to make sure that you glean from the article below is the importance of being relevant to your market. Don’t “do Realtor”. Be a human and look to connect with your target market in human ways they’ll understand. If that’s a stretch for you (as in you’re a Boomer and can’t quite get the social media thing, for example), then don’t do it. Find the avenues that are authentic to who you are.

With that said, enjoy this post from Satinder at Zillow…


Tips for Agents Targeting First-Time Buyers

By Satinder Haer

As millennials become the next wave of home buyers, traditional real estate sales methods may need re-vamping. Currently between, 23- and 34-year-olds are characterized by their deviation from the norms of older generations. Their home buying process is no exception. While you may have tried-and-true selling methods that worked in the past, selling to this generation requires a different approach. To target today’s first-time homebuyers and generate successful sales, you need to understand the millennial lifestyle, their financial situation and ways to attract their business.

Weak demand among first-time buyers led to the common belief that millennials don’t want to buy homes. However, recent numbers suggest otherwise. In a survey, 12.1 percent of the general population expressed interest in purchasing a home this year. Meanwhile, 12.9 percent of millennials responded that they plan to buy this year, indicating that millennials are even more interested in becoming homeowners than the rest of the population. Millennial interest in homeownership is strong, but targeting their business can be a challenge.

Appeal to the Lifestyles of the New-Age Shoppers

Millennials want homes that fit their lifestyles. Today’s typical first-time buyer is 33 years old with just a 40 percent likelihood of being married and has been renting for an average of six years. Comparatively, a 1980s first-time buyer was younger at 30 years old, had a higher than 50 percent chance of being married and rented for merely 4 years. Since the first-time buyers of this decade are slightly older and more likely to be single than married, they may not be seeking traditional single-family homes like their 1980s counterparts. Take the time to understand your millennial buyers’ lifestyles and use that information to guide their searches and sell effectively to the demographic.

Prepare Your First-Time Buyers

Debt is also a key financial factor for many millennials considering homeownership. While the impact of student loan debt on a buyer’s likelihood of homeownership is negligible, it can impact a buyer’s credit score and debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Since many millennials are carrying a high student debt burden, it’s important to explain to your first-time buyers the factors lenders consider when evaluating home loan candidates. Show your buyers how to calculate their DTI and check their credit scores.

Gain Exposure in Front of Modern Shoppers

To actually reach the buyers of today, focus on incorporating technology and social media marketing into the fabric of your real estate business. Millennials live social media-dominated lives; they are more likely to search for homes on their laptops than visit open houses. Focus on online advertising, building a strong website and networking through social media sites to cultivate leads. To give your business a competitive edge, conduct virtual home tours, research the neighborhoods in your market so you can speak to their lifestyles and amenities that may interest them. Ask previous clients to leave you an online review. Today’s first-time buyers value immediate information at their fingertips; situate yourself in front of them.

Target Seasonal Shoppers

Revamp your selling strategy using these tips and capture this season’s buyers. Families with children are often bound to moving and settling down in accordance with the traditional school schedule. Millennials, on the other hand, search for homes in the fall when the competition from families dies down. Focus your new marketing efforts on the communication channels that first-time buyers prioritize, such as videos and social media, and let technology bring you fresh leads before fall comes to a close.