How Gen-X can work with millennials

by 05 Jun 2015
By Donald Horne

According to first-quarter data from the Pew Research Center, more than 53 million workers are millennials born between 1980 and the early 2000s in the United States alone, while there are less than 53 million Generation X workers born between 1960 and 1980 – a ratio that is reflected in Canada as well. But the issue isn't just a matter of lenders needing to add fresh legs to their rosters. The millennial demographic also represents a future crop of borrowers that lenders have so far found difficult to serve – seeing as the average age of a loan officer has been pegged at 54 years old.

“We've had extensive dialog and concern about the aging workforce population in the industry and the need to bring in younger people to mortgage banking,” says David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Part of that means that we need to bring in a more diverse workforce.”

Back in January of this year, the Mortgage Bankers Association in the U.S. launched a two-week primer on the mortgage industry to prepare college students for internships and entry-level positions at lenders; working with universities and colleges to promote the online course.

And it looks as if the millennial market will only grow stronger, according to Dr. Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.
“Roughly 42 per cent of millennials say they want to buy a home in the next one to five years,” says Humphries, “compared to just 31 per cent of Generation X, and by the end of 2015 millennials will become the largest home-buying age group.”

While millennials may be tech-savvy, they are mostly in the dark when it comes to securing a mortgage – providing mortgage professionals an opportunity to reach out to this group through education.

“Buying a home is an intimating experience,” says Jim Blatt, CEO of Mortgage Returns, a provider of customer relationship management (CRM) software and automated marketing systems for mortgage professionals. “We want to say to them, ‘here’s what to expect when you buy a home’.”

Blatt added that marketing materials should be educational by addressing what they can expect during the home buying process, what they can afford and any concerns millennials may have.