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If you think about your future as a mortgage lender, you should be thinking about the generation of Millennials—and thinking about them a lot.
Why? Because a new report says that generation—those born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s—will be known as the “the house-buying generation.”
The report, from Nielsen and the Demand Institute, says Millennials will spend around $2 trillion on home purchases in the next five years. Today, there are only about 13 million Millennial households in the U.S., but by 2018 that number will rise to 22 million.
What’s more, the report says that eight in 10 Millennials say they plan to own their own home someday.
So the question becomes, how do you reach Millennials? Here are a few tips:
1. Think search
When it comes to homebuying, younger buyers almost always start the process by conducting searches on the Internet. Google reports half of all Millennials in the United States visited real estate-related Web sites this summer. Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) will likely be money well spent. And, register your business on local business directories and review sites so you can be found online.
2. Think mobile
So exactly how do Millennials conduct their online searches? Mostly on their mobile devices. In fact, a full 26 percent of younger buyers who ultimately purchased a home, found that home via a mobile device, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Be sure your Web site and all digital communications are viewable on mobile devices.
3. Think testimonials
Millennials don’t trust advertising so they look to more trustworthy sources. In fact, 95 percent reported their friends are the most credible source of information. Take time to get testimonials from clients and use them in all of your communications.
4. Think social
Millennials spend an average 3.2 hours a day on social media, so stay active on these channels and share helpful content that prompts them to engage with you and become an advocate.
5. Think helpful
In the last tip, I mentioned helpful content. For Millennials, this is vital. Millennials are prudent and take more time than other age groups to research all things real estate—often starting their search six months in advance of buying. That means they’re seeking relevant and helpful information. Be sure your communications provide valuable information about the mortgage-lending process. Consider offering borrower guides and mortgage checklists.
6. Think video
If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then a video is worth 2,000 words. Millennials like videos—it’s no wonder YouTube is now the second largest search engine. Google says real estate videos on YouTube were viewed 13 percent more in 2014 than in 2013. Consider how you can market yourself and your services via video.
Let me hear from you. How much have you thought about Millennials as a group? How is your marketing geared toward this generation? What can you start doing to appeal to and capture more Millennials?
Bubba Mills is executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting & Coaching Inc. He may be reached by phone at (800) 957-8353 or visit www.corcorancoaching.com.