How Ethics and Sustainability Motivate Millennial Homebuyers
With millennials driven by ethical considerations in the workplace, it’s only natural that this mindset extends to home buying decisions, according to Bernard Salt.
The demographer, commentator and author drew a parallel between the work ethic and home buying preferences of Millennials. He noted that this cohort is a unique consumer market, as their work ethic differs significantly from that of baby boomers and, to some extent, Gen Xers.
While older generations focused on their salary packages and generating an income, Millennials only see this as a starting point, or “business as usual,” he said.
“What I think drives millennial behavior are more ethical considerations,” Salt told REB.
“They want to know if the company they work for is ethical or if it offers a sustainable product or service. They want to know if it makes a positive contribution to society.
Mr. Salt surmised that if these factors push Millennials to work, it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest they would also influence home buying decisions.
Not only will they prefer sustainable homes, but they will also question whether their relationship with the realtor was ethical, transparent and fair, he argued.
“I think millennials are very driven by issues of ethics and behavior. They don’t just want jobs that make sense and contribute, they also want real estate that serves their purpose while being sustainable and connected to the local community,” he said.
Mr. Salt’s comments preceded the REB REInnovate Conference in Melbourne in October of this year, where he will uncover the home buying preferences of millennials, how technology and changing consumer behavior have reduced barriers for buyers, and how the values of the post- COVID have changed and what they expect from agents.
Adapt your services to the younger cohort
It is essential that real estate agents adapt their services to the millennial population to take advantage of this opportunity, especially in light of the 2021 census revealing that millennials (25-39 years old) have evened out with babies. boomers (55-74) as the largest generational group in Australia.
Indeed, the two generations each number more than 5.4 million people in the country, with baby boomers outgrowing millennials by just 5,662 people as of August 10, 2021.
Mr Salt said he was confident estate agents were ready to adapt to changing demographics and the needs of their clients, adding that “it’s a matter of survival”.
“If there was ever a life form on the planet that would adapt to a changing customer market, I believe it would be real estate agents, because it’s life or death for them,” said he declared.
“The reason is that if they don’t adapt to meet the needs of their clientele, they simply won’t get a job and they will disappear. Thus, they have developed very good skills to read the market.
“Also, they deal with people every day and are very social people. Realtors need to be comfortable with people and build trust with clients to be successful.
“You have to be quite intuitive to be an agent.”
Continuous technology updates essential
The key to connecting with millennial clientele, Mr. Salt advised, is to ensure that the principles, policies, procedures and values of agency staff align with each other and with the expectations of the agency. community on inclusiveness, diversity, fairness and transparency.
“As a client, you expect to do business with a professional organization that is connected to the community and its values, and aligned with your values. This is the type of agency Millennials (or anyone else for that matter) would want to do business with,” Salt said.
In unison with this, Mr. Salt concluded by saying that being technologically savvy and willing to continually invest and upgrade systems and processes is key to attracting millennial homebuyers.
Comparing it to organizations allocating a research and development budget, Salt urged agencies to allocate resources to regularly upgrade their technology interface.
“I think you need to review your technology and the way you interact with your customers and the market every year,” he recommended.
“Never rest on your laurels in terms of visuals or the quality of the presentation of your offers. Never think you’ll never have to see it again. The reality is that the online world is changing all the time, so you need to keep changing with it.
Bernard Salt will present a session at REB REInnovate in Melbourne on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, on how agents can understand the customer of the future and how COVID-19 has reshaped the way Australians buy property and what they expect agents.
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