Smart move. Millennials are the biggest generation in U.S. history, even surpassing baby boomers in numbers. Already, they make up 34 percent of all homebuyers—and as they get older, make more money and start families, that figure will grow. In fact, Census Bureau data projects household formation will average about 1.5 million per year through 2020.
To attract millennial homebuyers to do business with you, it’s important to understand three things: how millennials look for homes, what they want in their homes, and what they want to see on real estate websites.
How Do Millennials Find Homes?
The millennial home search begins online. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), some 93 percent of millennial homebuyers “frequently” use the internet when searching for homes. More than half of millennial homebuyers find the home they ultimately purchase online. NAR also reports:
- 99 percent of millennial homebuyers use online websites to look for homes;
- 86 percent of millennial homebuyers use a mobile website or app in their search process; and
- 58 percent of millennial homebuyers find their home through mobile search.
In short, get the attention of millennial homebuyers with an appealing website that’s equally attractive on desktop and mobile devices.
What Do Millennials Want in a Home?
Millennials want different things than their parents or older siblings want from a home. Here’s what a recent survey found:
Technology: New appliances are the single most important feature millennials look for in a home, cited by 75 percent of respondents. Almost half (47 percent) want solar panels or other energy-storage features, while 38 percent want smart home systems.
Space: Millennials don’t need the biggest lot on the block (less than one-fourth want one acre-plus properties); however, they do like plenty of space inside the home. Sixty-two percent want a big master bedroom, 54 percent want a two-car garage, and 41 percent want a finished basement.
Luxury: Luxury outdoor upgrades such as outdoor Jacuzzis or three-car garages aren’t high on millennials’ priority lists; however, almost half want a luxury kitchen and hardwood or stone flooring.
It’s important to include all details in your listings, but focus first on those that matter most to millennials. Highlighting key features in your listings and using them as keywords on your website will boost your SEO.
What Do Millennials Want to See on Real Estate Websites?
Driving millennial homebuyers to your real estate website is only the first step. You’ve also got to make sure your website contains the content they look for when searching for a home. A whopping 91 percent of millennials surveyed by NAR say photos are the most important feature on a real estate website. Accordingly, make sure your website has plenty of appealing photos of available homes from all possible angles (the more, the better).
Almost as important as photos is detailed property information, cited by 88 percent of millennials. Accordingly, your real estate website must be regularly updated with property data. Once a day is OK, once an hour is better—but having this content update in real-time is ideal.
Finally, neighborhood information is important to nearly half of millennial homebuyers. Creating landing pages for every city, county and neighborhood in your MLS can address this need, as long as the landing pages are filled with market statistics, images of the local area, and local school information. Again—having this content automatically update is key to prospect engagement.
Home, Sweet Home
Taking the time to understand what millennial homebuyers want from a home and how they search for homes can pay off big in attracting millennial homebuying prospects, but how can you capitalize on this information? TORCHx is a great option—their best-in-class websites are designed to attract this group through mobile and SEO-optimized property pages that automatically update with content millennials look for.
Jesse Friedman co-founded TORCHx in 2013 and has built the premium digital marketing platform into a leading solution for real estate brokers and agents. Friedman is a serial entrepreneur with a strong history in real estate marketing and advertising.
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