Millennials used to get blamed for everything. Scroll back a decade through the internet databases, and you will find countless articles decrying the death of this industry or the disruption of that industry, thanks to millennials. And that was before the millennial generation reached their maturity in purchasing power!
Now, millennials are a force to be reckoned with, especially in real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) recent industry-wide analysis, millennials are the largest share of homebuyers in North America. They have surpassed boomers and Gen-Xers to become the dominant influence in real estate.
As readers of this blog know, millennials have high expectations regarding consumerism. We like things that are quick, convenient, consumer-centric, and information-driven. We aren’t just comfortable with digital solutions – we expect them. So as millennials become the dominant force in real estate, the entire industry becomes more tech-enabled, consumer-focused, and efficient.
To illustrate this point, here are a few ways millennial buyers use technology to find their dream homes.
The first step in buying a dream home is to hire the perfect agent. In bygone eras, finding the ideal representative was a matter of luck. A friend or co-worker might recommend a winning real estate agent, but you would only know once the process was underway. By contrast, they could recommend the wrong real estate agent – and you wouldn’t see before it was too late.
This luck-of-the-draw process was primarily due to agent opacity. Before digital tools democratized information access, agents tended to shield their transaction histories, negative reviews, and even commission rates. To beat this, millennials are turning to Nobul, a real estate digital marketplace that uses a proprietary AI algorithm to match consumers with their perfect agent. The disruptive company, founded by real estate expert Regan McGee, leverages transparent data to make decisions.
No more suffering through checked-out, inexperienced, or ulteriorly motivated agents. Millennials can find their dream home with a confident, hard-working professional in their corner.
Online listings are probably the most significant of all the advances in real estate over the past decade. It’s no overstatement to say that they have changed the game entirely.
Before online listing sites, buyers relied on their agents to send physical listings based on some agreed-upon criteria. Necessarily, this analog system meant several dream homes fell through the cracks, never reaching the consumer’s attention.
Now, looking at listings is more akin to online shopping. A millennial buyer can browse one of several listing sites to compare and contrast the totality of listings in their area. They can flip through pictures, read descriptions, book viewings, and research neighborhood stats – and they can do it on their coffee break!
Listing sites aren’t the only way millennials shop for homes. In the same way, millennial consumer might follow their favorite brands or artisans for product updates; many millennial homebuyers follow young agents and brokerages to see first-peek looks at properties hitting the market.
These social media posts often include compelling videos and useful infographics on the property, making them a more engaging way to shop for properties.
Real estate transactions have an earned reputation for being needlessly complex. The process is an intricate patchwork of numerous agreements, forms, and other paperwork. Keeping it together can be challenging unless you’re an administrative wiz.
Nobul (mentioned above) made headlines recently for introducing a revolutionary blockchain-hosted contract management service on their platform. The company offers it as a free service, allowing users to store and keep track of the various agreements in a real estate transaction.
The company hopes the service will help demystify the transaction process, adding efficiency, convenience, and consumer empowerment for first-time buyers.
Millennials have a reputation for being “information thirsty.” They like staying informed, encouraged, and empowered during any buying process – whether a new water bottle or a new car. It stands to reason, then, that they would seek out informational resources when they buy a home, which is the largest transaction most people make in their lives.
Once again, technology is happy to help. Millennials will find various resources online:
- Mortgage comparison tools to see their borrowing options
- Affordability calculators to crunch the numbers and determine the high end of their price range
- Market conditions indicators to decide whether or not they’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market
- Buying guides that walk through the transaction process
- Tips and best practices for bidding, including conditions, etc.
Armed with these resources, a millennial buyer is far more informed than consumers were 50 – or even 20 – years ago.
These are just a few ways millennials use technology to find their dream home. And we didn’t even touch on cryptocurrency, machine learning analytics,
or immersive technology for virtual tours! The real estate industry is undergoing a massive transformation. And millennials are at the forefront.