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With millenials now being the most populous generation inhabiting the planet, we as mortgage professionals face a peculiar challenge in keeping our industry alive. The general idea about millenials, whether or not it's true, is that they aren't really that interested in homeownership. They move around a lot, and change jobs frequently. They aren't interested in "the finer things" like they're parents were. They're economically flexible and not materialistic in the least.
I'm not so sure millenials are so fluid and disinterested in wealth as they are made out to be. I'm not convinced that there is something innate about the new generation that makes them less likely to buy homes. Rather, I think it has more to do with the cards they've been dealt.
Many young people who are at the typical age to become first-time homebuyers are struggling in this economy to find stable work. It's not for lack of desire; it's merely a lack of opportunity. I'm not so sure we need to do much convincing in the value of owning a home. I think that the value speaks to a basic human need for stability and prosperity. What we need to do is help millenials get the jobs they need to feel secure enough to pursue homeownership.
If we can help you people get back to work, we won't need to teach them the value of homeownership; they will learn it all by themselves. If you ask me, I think we as mortgage professionals need to take a more active role in teaching young people the proper skills to thrive in the economy. Bottom line: If there are more jobs, there will be more mortgages. Millenials don't need a change in values; they need a change in opportunities.
David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at [email protected].