It’s the Millennials – Gen Y (born 1982-2002)- that are going to be key to turning the real estate market around.
And there’s more and more data coming out about their home buying preferences. They may not say it directly – but all the signals are indicating that they need to be sold on both performance and value.
First is a study from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. It confirms almost word-for-word what I’ve been predicting about Gen Y. The report found that 77% of Millennials seek
Essential, purposeful homes equipped with the technological capabilities they have grown accustomed to, as opposed to stereotypical luxury homes preferred by many in their parents’ generation.
This means older, smaller, higher quality and higher performing homes that these homeowners can modify to make their own.
A Millennial blogger commenting on the Better Homes and Gardens research captures the home buying perspective of her generation:
…up the road is a much newer city, where you can get more home for your money. You’re also farther from major highways as well as inconveniently farther from our favorite sushi place.
The National Association of Home Builders found in their recent “What Home Buyers Really Want” report that 30% of first-time home buyers (likely Millennials) select a home based on its location to where they work.
This translates in to a whole new perspective on buying for Millennials. They are not just interested in getting to the closing table. But like a cheap printer that kills you in printer cartridge costs, these buyers are making selections based on the Total Cost of Ownership for a certain address — everything from desired remodeling costs to the utility budget (and opportunities to shrink it) to the cost to get around.
For efficiency contractors, Gen Y represent a ripe market opportunity – personalizing and improving older homes. For Realtors Gen Y is an opportunity to stand out. It’s not just about knowing the properties anymore. It’s about providing tools that enable better choices – and build a very loyal base of referral customers!