What millennials want from estate agents
Millennials have arrived.
As big of a generation as the baby boomers are, millennials (those people currently aged between 25-ish and 35-ish) have surpassed them as the largest demographic of home lookers (and home buyers) in the UK.
This means that most estate agents are going to be selling homes to a generation with very different wants and needs to their own - and a generation that communicates more often, and in more different ways, than ever before. Gone are the weekly "touch base" calls to a millennial. They want (and need) a whatsapp before work to check in.
As an agent in 2019 and beyond (you will only be dealing with more and more millennials and beyond as time passes), you need to be aware of what a millennials wants and needs are and how, why and when to communicate what's important to them.
You're going to have the become a millennial agent yourself. Don't immediately start dressing different and getting yourself an Instagram handle (though, maybe do) but do learn to understand a millennial client, talk their language, make them feel comfortable, nurture the relationship and become their trusted advisor - all before the make you any money.
Here's a few suggestions on how:
Use data and analytics (this is a not-so-subtle plug for Homesearch)
Estate agency is a numbers game. But not as you think it. World class agency numbers aren't the calls you make or the people you email. World class agency is about understanding the data available to you and making it relevant and valuable to the person you're speaking to.
While this is true of any client you're speaking with, it is especially true of a millennial.
Millennials like numbers. They like to know where the advice you're giving them is coming from. They want to see market movements, asking-to-agreed prices, demographics of their chosen areas so that when they do make their first big financial and lifestyle decision, they can use great data, provided by a great agent to assure themselves its the right one.
It helps to know your buyers as much as you know your market too. If you’re across Google Analytics, you can even check what your millenial visitors are searching for on your website, where they currently live and their interests. This insight can be recycled directly back into your marketing efforts to attract more millennials.
Which brings us to...
Embrace tech and automate
Three points to make here.
Use a modern CRM. Get yourself a CRM that you can directly text/whatsapp/post to social media from. Better yet, get one that automates the process so you can set up trails and scripts to set-and-forget the minor touch points (you'll still show care and contact outside these, of course).
Get on social media. And by this we don't mean post your instructions or a testimonial. Do your homework! Give value. Don't toot your own horn, use social media has the weapon it can be and deliver crazy insight and analytics about your market to an audience desperate for real information.
Get an autoresponder. Tools like Olivia can't be recommended highly enough. There is a direct relationship between speed of response and level of trust between a millennial customer and any organisation. Make sure if someone enquiries on a property at 9:45pm on a Thursday night while they're on their way back from the pub, they get an answer within a few minutes. This is how you build trust with a millennial. This is how you show them you're different. This is how you show them you care.
People don't like estate agents. At least, they think they don't. That's why "estate agents" rank so lowly on the trusted professions scale.
So how do you fix that? Easy. Don't be one.
Be yourself. Don't be the agent they're expecting to call. Be a human being trying to help another human being. Be the person they go to when they have to know something about the market.
Share your war-stories. Bring context into every conversation. Let your millennials know they aren't alone in their fight. Everyone suffers when they're looking to buy a house. Help them understand they aren't suffering alone, and with your help, it'll be as painless as possible.
So, millennials, eh. They're going to be your buyers for a while and are already your sellers of the future.
Figure them out, your business depends on it.