Are you ready for the new generation of home buyers? Echo boomers – there are 80 million of them with a total of $200 billion annual spending power. With an average gap of 24 years between those buying or selling real estate and those who represent them, will you be able to speak their tech savvy language when they come to you looking for a home? Let’s face it, there is a huge difference between what they call a “digital native” vs. a “digital immigrant”. How do you know if you are one of these immigrants? If you where born before 1970, there is a good chance you are. You know what it is like to use a typewriter, you remember buying your first Motorola brick phone and there is a good chance you saw the fax machine make its way into the office. You are also a professional communicator and you know you have to stay on top of the latest technology and communication methods used by this new crowd. So here are a few tips to get to know Echo Boomers and what they are looking for when it comes to buying a home.
We all know the stats, 9 out of 10 home buyers start their search online. Be found where they are looking! Get your social community set up and treat it like your child. Feed it, dress it up and take it places! Don’t just set up a Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account and let it set there. Create your social community and the Echo Boomers will notice you. Get your homes online! There are plenty of reputable listing sites ready to take your listing and get it sold! No longer does the rule “if you build it they will come” apply but rather “if you put it online, maintain and tweak it they will come”. The search starts online, will they find you?
With 94% of echo boomers using their cell phones to surf the web and send email a smartphone will keep you in the game! Loose the dumb phone and use your new iPhone to your advantage. You can send emails, text messages, photos, videos and connect with all of these new social networking sites at the touch of a fingertip. If you don’t have a smartphone, stop reading this blog, go get one and then we can talk (or maybe text?)
Get your texting fingers primed and ready. Don’t be surprised if an Echo Boomer asks you to “text” them the details on a home or listing. 80% say their cell phone is their “lifeline” and would rather text than talk. Be ready to respond to a text in a timely manner which means no more chicken pecking! I know that for some of you this really chaps your hide. You might call your pubescent teenager on the phone that you pay for, leave them a message asking them where they are and the text you back “What do you want mom?” Well, this new generation is more responsive and comfortable using their thumbs instead of their mouth. It doesn’t make it right, but it “is what it is”.Their punishment will be oversized thumbs and an early onset of carpel tunnel syndrome. So who has the last laugh?
Echo Boomers are used to getting responses at the speed of light. When they email you, call you, text you, Facebook you they expect a response and quickly. Don Tapscott says it right in his book Grown up Digital the “Net Gen” has a “need for speed”.They have no idea what it is like to wait around, this is an immediate gratification generation.
A simple Google of “Echo Boomer” will give you a laundry list of what experts, writers, TV personalities and your next door neighbor has to say about the up and coming generation. Know what your buyers are looking for and facilitate their needs. A study done by NAHB and Better Homes and Gardens shows some impressive statistics about what Generation Y is looking for in a home:
- 65% of new home buyers wanting a porch
- 91% want an energy efficient home
- 71% want a home office or media space
Echo Boomers are adults now, not kids, and they want to be taken seriously and given the BEST customer service you have to give! Let’s face it, this generation has high expectations of what this world should be like (i.e. their first home) and who better to make that happen for them than you? No need to be discouraged because they want a trusted adviser, you actually have the competitive edge over your Echo boomer counter parts but you must be able to talk their language.
What are your thoughts?