Millennials are gradually becoming the most important generational consumer segment, they speak and breath tech and real estate marketers need to explore and embrace the right technology to communicate with them.
Who are millennials?
Millennials or Gen Y —according to Pew Research Center, those born between roughly 1981 and 1997—account for 27% of the global population or about 2 billion people. Currently between 20 and 36 years of age, millennials are in their young adulthood and are fast becoming the world’s most important generational cohort for consumer spending growth, sourcing of employees, and overall economic prospects. They are moving into their prime spending years.
According to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, millennials (buyers 36 years and younger) represent approximately 34% of the largest home-buyer group for the last four years.
Real estate professionals need to adjust their marketing messaging and channels to reach to this burgeoning market.
Why and how are millennials different?
As the group hardest hit by the recent recession, millennials had to delay decisions like having children, forming a household or owning a house. They are budget-conscious and their pre-purchase research process is complex—highly based in comparison and online reviewing.
They think visually. As digital natives, they breathe technology and are immersed in social media.
Millennials don’t want to be pitched to in a traditional way. They consume branded content that informs and entertains and they prefer to participate in a conversation. They value authenticity and transparency, and rely on customer reviews and expect to share their personal experience online.
How to connect with millennials
According to the Real Estate in a Digital Age 2017 NAR report, over 90 percent of real estate firms have websites, and the most common feature on those websites are property listings.
What are other marketing tools and strategies that real estate professionals can use to connect with customers using technology, in the digital space, and in the physical world?
What else can you do using technology?
You probably have already covered the basics. You have a website and you are active in the most important online listing platforms, but what else can you do?
1) Establish your credibility, start a blog
Be a resource, not a sales pitch. According to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends 66% of of millennial buyers are first-time home buyers, and they are looking for guidance.
Add a blog section to your website. Write about informative subjects like the purchase process, mortgage strategies or market trends. Give practical tips on home maintenance and remodeling and also tell the story of that couple that looked for the perfect house for nearly a year, how they decided to come to you, and how you finally helped them find their dream house.
Make sure you allow comments and encourage customer feedback.
For tips on real estate blogging strategy, check Nancy Tallman’s article “Why blogging works in my real estate business”.
3) Embrace transparency, live stream an open house
Gone are the days of faceless organizations with untouchable leadership, this generation craves openness and dialog.
Bring your commitment to transparency and interactive communication to the next level. se your prefered social media platform to livestream an open house and engage with the virtual visitors in a real-time conversation.
Once the open house livestreaming ends, most social media platforms allow you to save it as a video, and add it to your listings multimedia gallery.
4) Offer interactive property experiences, use immersive 3D content
Use immersive, engaging 3D content and set up virtual experiences. Enable your clients to tour a property from anywhere in the world–digitally. Let them explore the property from their own point of interest, though a first person experience.
Creating a virtual reality experience has never been easier. Photogrammetry software like Pix4Dmodel allows you to create photorealistic, interactive 3D models from pictures. In just minutes, you can share or upload your model to a to 3D visualization platforms like Sketchfab and get VR -enabled 3D content. You can then post this content in social media, or publish it on your website as part of your multi-media listing showcase, like in this example real estate website.
“These new technologies offer our customers a higher reach thanks to more innovative and immersive content. VR experiences have been proven to be recorded as a memory (hence emotions are involved) by the human brain, instead of as information.” Yann De Couessin – R&D engineer at XXIICREATIVE
5) Make it physical, use mobile marketing and AR
Last year, Pokemon Go put augmented reality (AR) in the spotlight, and millennials took to the streets. These Pokemon hunters are now looking for houses.
Powered by technologies like GPS location, image recognition, and beacons, mobile proximity marketing delivers highly-contextual information to your prospects’ phones when they are physically close to one of your listings.
Imagine you can send highly-targeted content directly to the mobile device of potential buyers who have installed your home searching app and are in a range of up to 200 meters from one of the properties you are promoting. Then, as they get closer to the property, you guide them, letting them discover more details about the property and the neighborhood.
The main idea is that this technology initiates contact with the home buyer instead of requiring the buyer to perform an action first, and is able to integrate and trigger augmented reality (AR) experiences.
Check out how Realtor.com uses augmented reality in their house hunting app.
Interested in creating interactive property experiences?
Use these new marketing strategies and tools to connect with millennials where they are and offer them highly engaging, meaningful experiences.
With a drone or a handheld camera and Pix4Dmodel you can create 3D models of your listings in just minutes. Take pictures and our software will transform these images into a 3D model you can share, annotate, measure, publish in VR or 3D print.