They’re a tough bunch, those Millennials. Most are in their 20’s and 30’s and unlike any generation in that age bracket, they hold a huge chunk of this country’s consumer buying power in their hands. Like over $1 TRILLION DOLLARS worth of chunk. This group of buyers is nothing to sneeze at. If anything, we should seriously be slamming a handkerchief over our mouths and figuring out how to best suppress the sneeze before we lose them, and before it’s too late to capture their loyalty and attention.
How can we best suppress the sneeze? By encouraging Millennials – and their buying power – to engage with our brands. (And yes, even real estate brokerages and agents can brand their services.) While there are many ideas of what it takes to engage the Millennials, we’ve narrowed it down to what we think are the top three.
(By the way, these strategies also apply to those consumers and clients who may not fit into this age bracket, but nevertheless act and think like Millennials. I personally know someone who is a Millennial in a Boomer body.)
Keep the content bite-sized.
Digital media is not designed to be leisurely read like print media, nor is it usually read in the Throne Room. For Millennials especially, content must be something they can snack on, in between or instead of meat-filled full-length articles. Keep content light, but by all means, keep it real.
And because attention spans are shorter than those of the Boomer generation and even Generation X, video clips are going to be the best way to captivate and hold the attention of the Millennial. The average length of a Snap Chat video is 10 seconds; Instagram 15 seconds. Which means, keep it pertinent, keep it entertaining, but most of all, keep it short.
Create a personal connection.
Two-way communication is also important in capturing the loyalty and engagement of Millennials. Things like surveys, sign up to receive free offers, join our mailing list, etc. simply add clutter to the over-crowded, over-stimulated mind of the Millennial. They are looking for something in return. A two-way street of connection.
In real estate, this translates into building a personal relationship of trust. Social media is the foundation to this reciprocal relationship. Blogs help consumers and clients get a feel for your personal tastes, personality, and perspective on current fads, issues, and real estate trends.
Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram, and even LinkedIn help you connect with Millennials in a way they can relate to and are used to interacting. As mentioned above, this is a great place to insert short, pertinent videos. And this is a great place to take the time to create a YouTube account to house these videos you’re making.
And though this may sound counterintuitive to most real estate business models, be everything to everybody. This is what Millennials expect. Be the go-to person for insight and information regarding school districts, neighborhood amenities, best way to score tickets for ACL, happening restaurants, etc. Some of this information can be shared through social media, but sometimes using old-fashioned ways of communication can be effective when used alongside social media.
Become an authentic authority.
More so than other generations, Millennials expect and need authenticity. Creating open and honest lines of communication shows Millennials that your brand is authentic and different for the rest. In real estate, this translates into availability. The good news is that availability doesn’t require unlimited amounts of time like it once did. Millennials are satisfied with quick answers or comments via text, Facebook messenger, or email. Just be sure to respond to questions or concerns in a timely manner.
Making sure your brand stays consistent in its message is another way to create authenticity. This is sometimes a little bit tricky. It’s easy to get confused when weighing brand consistency against the strategy of “Be everything to everybody” that’s used when creating brand personal connection. The point is, you want to be perceived as the expert in your field, the most consistent in your field, and the most relatable in your field.
The best way to encompass all of the above is to know and understand the mindset of the Millennial. After all, they are going to be consumers and homebuyers for a long, long time.
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