Millennial homebuyers will play a significant role in increasing the homeownership rate this year. In fact, Realtor.com predicts Millennials will soon make up 33% of the housing market. In Lasso’s webinar titled, “How To Market To Millennial Home Buyers”, Group Two Advertising’s Andy Bergren spoke about the importance of this generation and its continued impact on the housing market. The following questions were asked during the presentation:
How can I reach and attract more Millennial homebuyers?
Like every other demographic group, Millennials have their own distinct qualities. But if you think you can generalize this group, you’re mistaken. Millennials are the paradox of consumers. They are the most diverse generation. They have grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations. For example, they’ve endured underemployment and subpar wage growth. (The average Millennial has student debt of $30k.) But having been through this has made them smart with their money, especially doing research before they make a large purchase.
Millennials are digital natives, and masters of digital communication. They’re everywhere on the web, scouring the internet for content, sharing it with their friends, following their favorite brands. Most of them grew up never knowing what the world was like without the internet. They have a different view of the world and how they interact with each other. To them, the world is more open and transparent, which has created a consumer environment of more strategic and educated shoppers.
As a business, it’s vital that you adapt to their needs and take a more open and digital approach. For instance, marketing strategies that worked 10 years ago are not effective to reach this generation. They grew up amidst a dynamic online world that allowed them to view companies in social circles where they can interact with brands and fellow consumers. In order to connect with Millennials, you need to prioritize the values that matter most to them – like authenticity, individualism and brand experience.
What specific strategies should I use to engage them?
Get to the point
This generation rightfully has a notorious reputation for shortened attention spans. They grew up in a world where they could get any answer to any question in a matter of seconds from Google. Don’t tell them you are the best, show them by providing information on all the ways your homes and communities will add to their lives.
Be straightforward – earn their trust
Part of the purchasing experience that will resonate with them most comes down to giving them the resources they need so they’ll see you as their partner. A great example of a strategy to accomplish this is by creating a new home handbook. At Group Two, we create new home handbooks for many of our builders, with the goal of complete transparency to a buyer. A new home handbook is a sales tool that allows you to educate a buyer on what makes you different and complements your sales strategy message. It’s your way of providing them with your strengths and telling them that after they do their research, you feel confident they’ll be back.
Tap into social media networks
This shouldn’t be a surprise. Millennials are the most digitally connected generation ever, and they consume content across multiple online channels. This is why you need to have a multi-platform approach to your marketing. The best way to access this group is build their trust and establish credibility through your social media platforms.
Have a great website
Your website is your ultimate marketing tool… your online model home. It is people’s first impression of you. If they don’t like what they find – or worse can’t even find you at all – then they are immediately ruling you out.
Create a seamless omni-channel buying experience
Winning over the Millennial generation is all about becoming their partner in the home buying process. Another way to do this is by providing them with an omni-channel buying experience. The idea behind this is that for every channel you own, whether it’s online, mobile or in-store, there should be a consistent message. So, whether your customer receives an email, looks at your social page, or walks into your model home, they should be able to tell that they’re communicating with your brand.
The main thing that Millennials care most about is the experience. The path to purchase needs to be made easy for them. They have high standards for their purchasing experience, and when you understand how to connect with them you will win the sale.
Educate and offer expert guidance
Another great tool is education. A large percentage of Millennials are new to home buying, and part of being their partner is giving them educational tools to help them with the process which immediately earns their trust. This includes content on your website, as well as collateral that demonstrates your expertise while further building a relationship with them.
Emphasize investment and attainability. If your communities offer special loan programs like USDA or FHSA loan programs then highlight that, and show them why investing in their future is a valuable opportunity right now. This will help them decide that now is the time to stop throwing away their money.
How can I best attract people to my Facebook page?
If utilized to its full extent, Facebook has the ability to become a large driver of both online and on-site traffic. The best way to attract and grow your online Facebook presence is by:
- Optimizing your page.
- Posting engaging content tailored to your audience. Follow the 80/20 rule where 80% of content is informative and resourceful, and 20% is promotional.
- Advertising to your targeted audience to ensure maximum reach and frequency of your message.
- Sponsoring your posts. The average Facebook organic post may only reach 2-4% of your audience. Ensure delivery by “boosting” your content to reach all of your audience.
- Keeping it fresh. Give users a reason to come back by consistently adding new features, updating cover photos and providing new inspirational content.
- Giving exclusive social media offers.
- Taking advantage of Facebook LIVE. This free tool is reaching an average of 3.2x amount of users than a typical Facebook post.
- Capitalizing on trending topics to help push immediate engagement.
- Giving fans a look behind the scenes at your team and operation.How many posts do you recommend each week for Facebook?
Effective advertising is all about reach and frequency. Social media is no different. Your goal with social media is to connect with followers without driving them away. You should aim for the perfect balance of sharing and listening. At Group Two, we find that posting once per day is an ideal balance in connecting with our audience and not crossing the line into annoying them. The key is not just to post for the sake of posting but to make sure you have relevant and timely information to share with your followers.
How much of your budget should be dedicated to social media advertising?
The best approach in answering this question is first finding out what percentage of your marketing budget you’re currently spending on social media. In recent years, most builders have spent an average of 8-12% of their budget on social media. However, with the overall impact of social media advertising, we are seeing this figure increase. In 2017, we recommend boosting this number to between 13-18%. These figures are, of course, relative to your results. If you are tracking your ROI and seeing an effective return, then logic tells us to increase this percentage to drive more qualified traffic that end up as sales!
Thanks again to Lasso for hosting the “How To Market To Millennial Home Buyers” webinar. If you didn’t get to check it out, click here to watch the full program. If you have any follow up questions on this topic or regarding Group Two services, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Andrew Bergren –
Senior Account Manager