By Patty McNease, VP of Brand Marketing for Homes.com
Move over millennials; there's a new buyer in town.
Generation Z buyers are the youngest group to hit the market. In Part 1, we examined the characteristics of the Generation Z population. Now, we'll look at the best ways to work with this new group of homebuyers. Here are three ways to begin connecting with these younger buyers.
Since this generation is so tech-savvy, it's important that you have a strong online presence. There are a number of ways to make your website and your brand more visible to these consumers who are searching for their first home. Before doing anything else, think about what kind of presence you already have. If you don't have a website or if it hasn't been updated in years, this should be your first step. There are many companies that can help you create a clean, modern site that will entice these younger buyers.
In addition to this, consider what kind of presence you have online. Because there are so many different agents to choose from, use your reputation to set yourself apart from the competition. If you don't monitor your online presence, you should. If you're not asking for reviews or references, you should be doing this as well. Generation Z is all about using technology and doing research before making a commitment. Be sure they're going to find positive things about working with you.
Utilize Social Media
The most used social media sites in this generation are Snapchat and Instagram. While Facebook has been a prominent connection tool in the past, Generation Z sees it more as their parents' social media platform. If you haven't branched out to explore other platforms, now may be the perfect time to do so.
Snapchat and Instagram are ideal social media platforms for real estate as they are both photo-centric. If you would normally send your clients an email or text about a new listing, consider creating a snap instead. Take a quick video of the gorgeous view from the master bedroom or the new Jacuzzi-style tub that was just installed in the master bath and share it on your storyline with a caption like "Just listed! Can you believe this view?" or "Need to relax? Check out this tub!" With Instagram, you can also post key pictures of new listings in carousel form, so viewers can scroll through. In addition to this, you could also do a video walk-through of the listing. This can show Gen Z buyers exactly what they'll see when they walk into the home, or give them a sneak peek if they aren't in the area.
Remember, Generation Z buyers are most interested in agents who will understand them and their needs. Because of this, most want to find an agent who can share their expertise and provide honest advice. Show them that you're this kind of person before you even meet them. One way to do so is by publishing helpful blog posts on topics like "How to Purchase Your First Home" or "Programs to Help First-Time Buyers." Use the experience you already possess and share it with those who need it.
Once you're working with a client, be sure to gently guide them through the whole process, especially when it comes to finances. As an experienced real estate agent, you know that a house costs more than just the listing price; however, most first-time Gen Z buyers are unaware of this. While they may have fallen in love with a property that seems to be within their budget, after property taxes, inspection costs, HOA fees, or other factors, they could learn it's out of their price range. Educate them about all of the steps up front to avoid any heartache later.
While those Generation Z buyers are looking for their future homes, they're going to need an agent. Programs such as Homes.com's City Sponsor Ads allow active buyers searching for a home online to interact with you. By prominently displaying your listings among the first search results in your city, your listings will be in a great position to sell.
Patty McNease is vice president of Brand Marketing for Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.