How to Connect with Generation X and Y Homebuyers

Jenna Hagle

Do you want to know who will be responsible for pulling us out of the housing slump and getting the nation back on its real estate feet? Generation X and Y. Individuals in these generations, ranging in age from 18 to 43, are the next bright thing on the housing market horizon.

However, these homebuyers have distinct traits and characteristics. If you want to market to them, you had better be aware of their preferences, habits, and preferred method of communication. Read on to learn more about Generations X and Y.

Some Characteristics of the Generations

Individuals in these two generations were molded by the era and the technology-driven world they grew up in. Therefore, more than any other generation in the past, these individuals have unique characteristics no one has dealt with before.

For example, what is the preferred method of communication for Gen X and Gen Y? Text message. What is their second favorite method? Email. These generations view phone calls as an invasion of privacy.

In general, these individuals consider themselves more knowledgeable than their predecessors. They embrace technology and use it as their primary source of obtaining information. Additionally, they will spend the necessary amount of time to research a topic thoroughly.

Gen X and Gen Y Characteristics that Affect Real Estate

Some people claim these youngsters are living a life of entitlement. However, that isn’t the case for everyone. According to a recent study, 71% of participants say homeownership is something they have to earn. They don’t, in fact, feel it is something they deserve.

Likewise, individuals in these generations tend to do whatever is necessary to make the purchase possible.

• 62% were willing to eat out less in an attempt to save money.

• 40% were willing to take on a second job to earn more money.

• 23% were considering moving back in with their parents while saving to buy their own home.

This shows these generations tend to be wise and proactive. They don’t take homeownership lightly; their real estate agents shouldn’t assume they do.

How to Market to Gen X and Gen Y

If you want to connect with individuals in these generations, you had better speak their language. And, their language is most definitely technical.

• Never make a phone call unless the prospective homebuyer has specifically asked you to call.

• Text messages and emails are preferred methods of communication.

• However, these individuals have a tendency to only read the email subject line – so you had better make it a good one!

• Never use a call to action that requires a phone call.

• Embrace the fact they are visual learners – use videos, infographics and photographs.

• Acknowledge they use the internet as their main source of information and will exhaust all research possibilities. Put all the information they could ever need in an online venue. Make it easy for them to get the data they want.

• Interestingly, Generation Y dislikes connecting with Generation X. They prefer to interact with older generations. If you yourself fall into this age range, realize you might have trouble interacting with your fellow Gen X and Gen Y members.

In order to be successful in the real estate industry, you must learn how the different generations can impact business. You need to cater to everyone’s needs. And everyone’s needs are not the same. Find out what matters to Generation X and Generation Y; learn how to meet their needs and the needs of their families. You’ll be extremely glad you did!

Citations: Jason Ryan Dorsey, My Reality Check Bounced 2012

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate study conducted by Wakefield Research