“Everywhere you look right now, you’re hearing about millennials and first-time home buyers. But the problem is, there’s a huge misconception about this group – that they want to be renters, that they only want to live in condos,” Edwards said. “And that’s not necessarily true when you look at the surveys they fill out, and more importantly, the homes they have bought. And they are starting to buy homes now; one out of every three homes bought in the last two years was bought by a millennial. There’s this huge wave coming in. A lot of them are just now getting into their early thirties, which is typically when a first-time home buyer buys a home.”
There are simple strategies to market to Gen-Y clients – largely centered around their love of social media.
“This group is so connected they’re called the FOMO generation – ‘Fear of Missing Out,’” Edwards said. “So they’re always on their phones, and they’re on social media all the time.”
And taking advantage of that connectivity is an easy and efficient way to market yourself, he said. One of Edwards’ most effective tips is simply to get a selfie with your clients at a closing.
“Grab their phone and say, ‘Let’s get a picture of this big event’ – and make sure you’re in the picture,” he said. “Then simply ask, ‘Hey, can you just tag me in that?’ And you’ve now been introduced to all their friends and family when they go and post it. The average millennial has over 600 friends on (social media). And 39% of those ‘friends’ they haven’t even met. So there was no way they were going to offer you a referral before that to this person, because they’ve never actually met this person. But now because you’ve been tagged in a photo, they see, ‘Oh, Billy and Susie are buying a home.’ And all of a sudden, you just got introduced to these people.”
More social media tips from MGIC:
- Use Facebook to connect and keep up with past clients. That allows you to keep track of events and milestones that give you an opportunity to reach out to them.
- Make sure you focus your social media efforts on a localized area. MGIC recommends about a 75-mile radius. If you blog, blog about local trends. In other words, make your information as directly applicable to your clients as possible to give them the most value.
- Schedule your content. Think social media takes up too much time? You can write your posts ahead of time and schedule them to come out later in the day. Consider using a scheduling service like Buffer to help you maximize your impact with a minimal time commitment.
Millennials represent a huge segment of the first-time home buyer market, but many loan officers discount them because the perception is that young people would rather rent. Still, that’s not necessarily true, according to Vance Edwards, marketing program director for MGIC.