We've all heard the term "millennials", but what exactly constitutes being a "millennial"? There are a lot of variations of the same thought, but pretty much everyone can agree that millennials, or Generation Y, consist of the last generation to be born in the 20th century. Basically everyone born between 1980 and 2000 are millennials. They are the first generation who has had technology at their fingertips since childhood but the last generation who were able to escape reality by sheer imagination. (We're not saying kids today lack imagination, but simply the opportunity for imagination, what with the millions of options they have for entertainment, extracurricular activities, etc.) They are more culturally, socially, and environmentally conscious of the people and things around them. They are far more tolerant yet far more adamant about what they want.
So what does all of this mean to real estate? Considering they are the first generation since the Silent Generation that's expected to be less successful economically than the generation before them, affordability will play a major role in the types of homes they buy. Unwilling to sacrifice details, the size of the homes they buy is the only variable they are willing to alter. The demand for smaller, more affordable homes will increase, but millennials also expect to see energy efficient materials, extensive storage space, and high-end finishes. One of the main demands is actually a laundry room! The National Association of Home Builders found that 55% of millennials would NOT buy a home if it didn't have a separate laundry room.
The types of homes millennials buy isn't the only change we'll see in real estate. The way they buy homes is changing the game completely. For a long time, the telephone was the lifeline of a successful Realtor. Now? Not so much. According to the National Association of Realtors, 50% of millennials search for homes on their phone, but don't actually use the phone to talk. Whether it's a home, a neighborhood, even the agent, they've done their homework. They want to know every detail about a home before they step inside. They also want to know every detail about their Realtor (professionally anyways). They want to read reviews from other clients, they want to see you active on social media, they want to know that they can trust you to give them valuable information at a moment's notice. Did I mention, however, that they don't actually want to talk to you? On the phone at least. Most millennials prefer text or email communication over a phone call, but still value face-to-face contact with an agent.
Moral of the story: Amp up your social media, prep your texting thumb, and find smaller, yet high end new homes. Millennials know what they want, how they want it, and they want it yesterday.