RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2013

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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{Industry Advisor} Are You Conversant with Millennial Culture? Why leveraging social media to reach out and build a relationship is critical to future success and stability. by Denessa Munsterman N umbering 105 million, Millennials are larger than the baby boomer generation, and 20 percent bigger than the Gen X population. And Millennials are aging into home buying. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), among buyers under 32 years of age, 79 percent are frst-timers. While all generations use the Internet as the frst step in the home-buying process, younger generations typically purchase through the Internet, making it imperative that your marketing strategies include the Millennial generation. In fact, the way in which the Millennial generation approaches milestones in their lives can often seem foreign and unintuitive to older generations. Not only do Millennials rely on their peers when making decisions, they leverage their social networks for help with that decision-making. So when choosing an agent, young buyers rely on referrals from their personal networks, while emphasizing honesty and trustworthiness as qualities they want in their agent, according to NAR's 2013 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report. How are you going to capture that business? Do your agents know how to leverage social media to attract this up-and-coming generation? You and your agents can do both by committing to a comprehensive social media strategy. Your social strategy should be focused on providing personalized service, insight and guidance to these frst-time buyers. The good news is that the evolv- ing technologies the Millennial generation relies on—Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube (or Vimeo), Facebook, Vine and Tumblr—are perfectly suited to real estate marketing. All of these social media channels offer real estate professionals the perfect stage for marketing their services, educating consumers and, ultimately, building life-long relationships. Eighty-four percent of Millennials are social media users, and the networks they use evolve and change. It's important to keep track of these trends so you know where to fnd them. It's also important to continually educate yourself on the nature of these emerging social media channels—they all have their own unique online cultures; how the Instagram community interacts is different than the communities of Facebook or Pinterest. While the technology you incorporate into your daily business routine should ultimately make you more effcient while increasing mobility and improving productivity, the sheer amount of available social media strategies can often leave you and your agents foundering. Keep in mind what these new technologies should do: help sell more homes. Hopefully, they help sell more homes and create happy consumers. Social media should not supplant real life interactions; it should be used instead to support them. The trick is to craft guidelines for your business that use social media to generate new clients. Then, be sure your agents connect with those relationships offine as well as online. Millennials are inclined to active participation with the brands that attract their attention—passive marketing does not interest them. Ultimately, you want to create an emotional connection. Social media helps create and nurture relationships so that prospective clients consider your company frst and foremost when they're ready to make a commitment to buy or sell property. RE Denessa Munsterman is VP Marketing and Communications for PCMS. For more information, please visit www.pcmsconsulting.com. RISMedia's REAL ESTATE August 2013 47

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