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This excerpt was featured in the May/June 2017 issue of Austin REALTOR®. Read the full article here.

How to successfully market to each generation

The generation gap doesn’t have to muddle your business growth. Knowing how to reach segments by age can help you better market yourself and your listings to connect with and convert customers into clients. With data from the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Report and the National Association of Home Builders, you’ll learn each generations’ wants and needs when searching for a home, current home buying trends for each group, and what works and what doesn’t when marketing to them. Hit the nail on the head when it comes to marketing and you’ll see a great return on investment.

SILENT GENERATION
71 TO 91 YEARS OLD

At a Glance

  • The Silent Generation represents the smallest share of buyers at 8%.
  • Buyers are likely to have already retired or have scaled back their work demands so they have the lowest median household incomes.
  • In 2016, they purchased a home to be closer to family and friends, the desire for a smaller home, and for retirement.
  • Least likely to compromise on their home purchase.
  • 24% purchased senior-related housing and tend to purchase the newest homes.

Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do use selective traditional marketing for this group.
  • Do market open houses. This group ranks high in visiting them.
  • Do ask them the types of communication they prefer.
  • Don’t market to their kids. They want to be part of the decision.
  • Don’t text or email them. A phone call is always best.
  • Don’t assume they’re looking for senior housing.   

BABY BOOMERS
52 TO 70 YEARS OLD   

At a Glance

  • The NAR report divides this group into younger Boomers (ages 52-61) and older Boomers (ages 62-70).
  • Younger Boomers have higher median household incomes and are more likely to have a multi-generational home (where they are both parents and caretakers for their aging parents).
  • Older Boomers are considering retirement and typically move a median distance of 25 miles—the longest distance of all buyers.

Marketing Do's and Don'ts

  • Do include Facebook as part of your outreach. Facebook tends to have a better response with the young Baby Boomers as they are active and engaged when it comes to sharing information online and attending events.
  • Do consider them as an audience for your website. Although Gen Xers and Millennials are known for using the internet to find their home, Baby Boomers are most likely to find an agent as a result of an online home search.
  • Don’t forget to add a personal touch. Despite being comfortable with technology, Baby Boomers still appreciate personal notes and phone calls.
  • Don’t get too pushy. Later Boomers are turned off if they feel they are being pushed into choosing a REALTOR® or property. There is such a thing as too early or too late for a business call.

GENERATION X
36 TO 51 YEARS OLD 

At a Glance

  • Gen Xers are the second-largest group of buyers today, representing 28% of purchases in 2016, according to the NAR study. In Texas, however, ages 35-44 represent the largest group of homebuyers at 24% compared to 20% for ages under 35, which means GEN Xers are THE target consumer in the Lone Star State.
  • Gen X buyers posted the highest median household income at $106,600 and have the highest median priced homes with the largest median square footage and number of bedrooms.
  • Gen Xers are in their peak earning years, most likely to be married, and have children under the age of 18 in their home.
  • In Texas, the median age of homebuyers is 46 years old.

Marketing Do’s and Don’ts 

  • Do use professional photos to market properties. This group was in the 90th percentile for valuing photos on an agent’s website.
  • Do take advantage of Facebook ads to segment demographics and post virtual tours.
  • Do consider using property comps and market stats as part of advertising.
  • Don’t use fluff or jargon in your marketing efforts.
  • Don’t assume Gen Xers haven’t done their homework.
  • Don’t underestimate referrals with this group.

MILLENNIALS
35 AND YOUNGER 

At a Glance

  • Millennials are the largest living generation in the United States, with 75.4 million people aged 19-35.
  • They are currently the largest share of home buyers at 34%.
  • 66% of these buyers are also first-time home buyers.
  • 49% of buyers 35 years and younger have children under the age of 18 in their home, 66 % are married couples, and 13% are unmarried couples (the largest share of all generations).
  • In Texas, the median age of first-time homebuyers is 35 years old, up from 32 in 2016.

Marketing Do's and Don'ts

  • Do promote MLS apps to millennials, especially one like goMLS Austin that enables sending listings via text.
  • Do get creative with content marketing. Post things to do in Austin for prospective clients and home maintenance topics for millennial homeowners.
  • Do read up on SEO, hashtags, and trending social media channels.
  • Don’t let your social channels control you. Select a few and see which ones resonate with your customers and clients.

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