by Kevin Lapp
on Saturday, May 5th, 2018 at 2:48pm.
About a decade ago, a new force began to awaken in the housing market. Media was abuzz with how the up-and-coming millennial generation was going to change the future of real estate. Fast forward 10 years, and change it they did. This generation has eclipsed the buyer market, representing 35% of home purchases. Considering the fact that millennials (born 1980-2000) comprise the largest living generation, with the youngest just finishing high school now, this momentum is not going to slow down any time soon.
Millennials have had a bigger impact on real estate than just sheer numbers. The influencing factors for their generation are influencing the market as well, the most pervasive of course being on-line technology. Previous generations sought out technology and used it as a tool. For Generation Y, it is woven throughout most of their daily activities and it influences their expectations, resulting in a completely different relationship with the world and their home. Connectivity, functionality, accessibility, speed, efficiency, and choice; these are expectations that run throughout the millennial matrix, from ordering lunch to buying a pair of socks to saying hello to a friend. The same expectations apply when it comes to house-hunting.
Here are 9 millennial must-haves every home seller should be prepared for:
1. They want to do their house-hunting online
Millennials are not forming their first impression of a home when they walk through the door for a tour. They have already done it online well in advance. They want to research their choices ahead of time to look at pictures, see videos, compare similar properties, find a favourite coffee shop, and they want friends and family to give them feedback before they step out of the door. Lack-luster presentation and information will result in a shortage of interest from young buyers. If you’re looking to sell, be sure to scrutinize potential Realtors’® online and social media presence carefully.
2. They want to know about a home’s connectivity
More than any other generation before them, millennials like to be connected at all times; many rely on internet access at home for their jobs and most rely on it for day-to-day communications. If you are marketing a property outside of an urban area, internet accessibility could be a deciding factor.
3. They want to visualize their technology spaces
While smart phones and tablets have made couches the new home theatre, office and communications centre, millennials still like to have a dedicated space for specialized technology use. Formal family dining areas fall way below video gaming spaces on the millennial hierarchy of needs.
4. Millennials are looking for a “now” home not a “forever” home
For this generation, home is no longer “where the heart is,” it’s more like a home base. This is not a generation that feels the need to settle down and establish roots…at least not yet. They are conditioned to approach big life goals as having a starting point from where they will “level up” once they have acquired the resources to do so. As a result, unless it’s a fixer-upper flip-and-sell project, the more move-in ready the home is, the more millennials you’re likely to attract.
5. They’re measuring return on investment
This is a generation of frugal and savvy investors. They do not want to load themselves down with the debt that haunts previous generations. Younger buyers are looking for affordable housing in up-and-coming neighbourhoods or homes that need strategic improvements where this investment can help them to reach the next level.
6. Walkability is Important
Cars and gas are expensive and traffic congestion is at an all-time high. Millennials want to walk, bike or transit their way around as much as possible. Young families want to be close to schools, parks, libraries and indoor play areas. Quick access to a niche coffee shop or multicultural food choices may take priority. Sell the neighbourhood by giving the inside track on where the best sushi, curry or latte can be found nearby.
7. Less maintenance equals higher appeal
Unless it is a targeted effort to improve the overall value or functionality of the house, millennials do not want to waste their time on repairs or maintenance. This is a generation that is used to high efficiency. If things do not work well, they are replaced with something that does. Carpets and complicated landscaping are frivolous details that require too much care; they are not real selling features for this bunch.
8. They want open, multifunctional spaces
This is a generation that loves to multitask, and expects their living space to do the same. They will choose functionality over formality, and prefer to assign multiple jobs to an open space, over dedicated single-purpose rooms with more overall square footage. Wasted space is particularly frowned upon…doorways and walls just get in the way.
9. They want a healthy home with a small carbon footprint
Millennials are far more in tune with their health than preceding generations. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy planet are values that have saturated this generation since their birth. Any features that support either can be strong selling points. Be armed with information, because these buyers care about what materials were used in the home, where they came from, if the labourers were paid fair wages.