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Capturing the Market

Keys to Marketing to Single Millennial Women

Dawn Ryan Headshot
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Dawn Ryan
A single woman homeowner welcoming the viewer into her home.

When it comes to finding lending opportunities in today’s mortgage climate, smart originators leave no stone unturned. They need all the business they can get, and that means appealing to the broadest number of potential homebuyers as possible. 

Yet there is a particular market that no lender or mortgage sales professional should ignore right now – the single woman between the ages of 26 and 41. And with this demographic, traditional marketing methods will not cut the mustard. However, there are ways originators can build long-lasting relationships with this audience if they are willing to think outside the box. 

Grasping the Opportunity

According to the National Association of Realtors, women are second only to married couples as the largest segment of homebuyers. This has been true for the past 40 years, in fact. However, as a customer segment, their numbers have grown while the ratio of married borrowers have actually decreased. 

In 1981, roughly three out of four homebuyers were married couples, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Today, only three out of five are. Meanwhile, in 1981, 11% of buyers were single women and 10% were single men. Today, 19% are single women and 9% are single men—which means you are twice as likely to have a single woman borrower than a single man. 

There are several reasons why lenders are seeing more single women buyers. One of the most obvious is that the marriage rate has been declining for several decades, and that more people are putting off marriage until they have developed a career or achieved some level of financial stability. 

However, family is a motivator for women borrowers. According to NAR, single women who have children or are taking care of siblings or their parents are also more likely to buy a home, so they have a stable place to live. Women are also more likely to sacrifice some of life’s luxuries to purchase a home, such as forgoing entertainment and travel plans. 

Marketing Do’s and Don’ts 

While single women represent a growing segment of homebuyers, lenders and mortgage professionals need to understand that they approach buying and financing a home much differently than men or married couples do. That means mortgage originators need to market to them differently, too. 

For example, when marketing to single women, you cannot rely on a single message—you have to include women from all walks of life. Building cookie-cutter marketing messages based on generalizations about single women or Millennials not only doesn’t work but will likely lead to these borrowers ignoring you altogether. 

You also should not use traditional messaging about the value of homeownership. Since the beginning or time, homeownership looks different through the eyes of different people. Again, the reasons why a single woman buys a home are often completely different than married couples. For example, a woman may choose to buy a home to be close to family members, whereas the married couple is looking to start a family and the single man is looking to build financial wealth. 

Millennials in particular embrace inclusivity more than any previous generation, and truly look at life and their own situation through a very wide and all-encompassing lens. All of this is to say that you should not rely on traditional types of marketing. You need to focus your message not just on the person, but also other aspects, such as the local market or the type of home they want. In general, the greater diversity you have in all aspects of marketing, the better. 

It’s also important to view single women not solely through their role as “homebuyer,” but also as working professionals capable of choosing their own path. Think about the mortgage and real estate ads we’ve all seen, where a Realtor is handing the keys over to a new homebuyer. Too often the Realtor is a man, and while there are certainly many male real estate professionals, this image is not exactly empowering to women, many of whom want to work with other women. 

Getting Your Message Across

When creating your marketing message, think about its significance to your audience. If it’s not relevant to their personal situation, it’s likely to be missed. 

Your messaging needs to be concise, too. In fact, this is applicable to most homebuyers. We are all deluged by an enormous amount of marketing messages daily, so much so that it’s almost impossible to weed through it all to find information that’s truly useful or applicable to our situation. But single women and Millennials particularly appreciate marketing that gets to the point quickly. 

While using multiple channels to reach borrowers is generally a good idea, the most effective and efficient way to market to single women Millennials is through social media and other Internet platforms. Millennials in general also view companies that have a strong online presence and use social media, such as Facebook, more favorably than companies that don’t bother to maximize these channels. That means offering to connect on social media, so they can see what you and your company are all about. 

They also value companies that share their culture and values, and social media is an invaluable tool for originators to point out the things they care about, whether it’s extending homeownership to underserved consumers or giving back to the community. Simply knowing that the lender they choose is in business not just to make money is appealing to this group because they believe life is more than that. 

Younger borrowers and women also want to know that they are valued as a customer. After receiving a lead from a single woman borrower, that lead should be assigned to one person, so the borrower talks to the same person for every interaction. 

Not Just A Sales Focus

While the goal is to sell a loan, making the sale should not be the focus of the relationship with the customer. Instead, the focus should be on offering value and approaching the relationship on the basis of “What can I do for you?” This extends to the types of loan options you’re presenting the borrower, too. You want to always suggest improvements or a superior product that works in their favor. If the borrower is interested in one loan but a better option is available, bring it up. 

Finally, if your borrower “ghosts” you—in other words, you don’t hear from them for a while—follow up with them on social media and ask if they found what they are looking for. Keep in mind that plenty of other originators are competing with you for that customer’s business, and perhaps they did find better financing—or possibly a life or a family situation simply got in the way. Following up with them shows that you care about the relationship and that you want to make sure that customer was able to reach their goals. Relationship building may not always result in a sale, but it does make building a lasting bond much more likely. 

At the end of the day, single women Millennials represent the fastest growing homebuyer segments our industry has ever seen. They deserve our industry’s time and attention, and originators who adjust their marketing to help women reach their goals will find their efforts pay off ten-fold in terms of loyal customers and referrals. No originator can afford to ignore any potential customer. But if they’re looking for growth, the single woman Millennial is where they’ll surely find it.  

This article was originally published in the Mortgage Women Magazine November 2022 issue.
Dawn Ryan Headshot
Dawn Ryan

Dawn Ryan is a senior loan officer with Embrace Home Loans, a top-ranked national mortgage lender She can be reached at [email protected]

Published on
Nov 21, 2022
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