Demographics By The Numbers
The Baby Boomers, the great demographic wave of people born between 1946 and 1964 totaled 77 million people. Following them was the cohort dubbed Generation X, people born between the mid 1960’s and early 1980’s. The size of both of these demographic groups are eclipsed by the Millennials.
The Millennials, born between the early 1980’s and 2000, total 82 million people in the United States alone. Coming in fast right after the Millennials is Generation Z, people born at the turn of the century and rapidly coming of age today.
Since 2007 the number of young people between the ages of 15 and 34 living at home has grown dramatically. In addition, the number of unmarried couples has grown and the birthrate has dropped. These trends will not last as the economy continues to improve. The inevitable outcome over the next few years is that household formation will explode. We want to be ready to help these people rent, buy, and sell houses.
ROOST Real Estate Co. was founded by a baby boomer with the help of a marketing and branding expert born in 1978. Together we worked to create a brand that would resonate with young and old alike. Truth be told however, our goal was to build a brand that appealed first and foremost to Millennials and Generation Z.
What Do The Young Home Buyers Of Today Want?
So what does a young person want today when it comes to buying or renting a place of their own? To answer that question we need to understand the shared experiences of these two groups. There are a few distinctions between the life experiences of Millennials and members of Generation Z, but there are far more similarities.
Millennials started life before cell phones and the internet became ubiquitous. Generation Z never experienced a world in which they were not fully interconnected. The Millennials, like my two daughters, grew up watching VHS tapes of Disney classics. Children today watch Disney movies downloaded to a tablet.
Millennials watched 9/11 happen in real time while Generation Z has only known the aftermath. The Millennials personally experienced the devastating effects of the great recession, while the younger cohort of Generation Z bore witness as their families struggled. For both groups, economic struggle has left a lasting impression.
Based on my personal research and experience, what young people today really want is a collaborative experience. The last thing they want is to be told what to do, but they do not want to make a mistake either. They want to be delighted and at the center of every experience.
They are obviously tech savvy, but in ways foreign to older people like myself. Everything in their life has to work like an app on their smart phone. They value seamless and smooth experiences that ‘just work’.
In terms of purchasing, they value transparency in pricing and they have little desire to barter. They have no taste for an extended negotiation process. Young people today will not tolerate pricing that is vague, aggressive sales techniques, or an absence of technology. They expect every experience to be like shopping with Amazon Prime, clear, easy, dependable and hassle-free.
This explains the popularity of Zillow and their Zestimates. It also explains why over-pricing a home because ‘everyone wants to negotiate’ is not the optimum strategy for positioning a piece of property on the market anymore. Young people want information, they want to know the ‘why’ of a situation, and they expect to be empowered.
What Initially Look Like Obstacles Are Tremendous Opportunities
All of these obstacles to connecting with these cohorts in reality are tremendous opportunities for the real estate firm of today and tomorrow. We as agents and brokers have to adapt or die. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average age of a Realtor is 53 years old. We truly have a generation gap in our industry that we must bridge.
In the immortal words of one of the greatest baby boomers who ever lived, Bob Dylan, “The times they are a changin’.”
Our tag line for ROOST Real Estate Co, is “For the way you want to live today.” We strive to create a warm and welcoming environment whether virtually or in person. Our goal from the start was to create a brand that would follow a person from the time they rent their first apartment, to their first home purchase, subsequent home purchases and investments, and finally their retirement villa on the beach.
Smart, Passionate, Approachable, and Supportive are the key attributes of the ROOST Real Estate Co. brand. Our mission is to simplify the complexities of renting, buying, and investing in real estate. We are approachable, informative, and generally more relaxed in our approach to collaborating with our clients. We help our clients eliminate dangers, capture opportunities, and maximize their strengths.
Our clients are from all walks of life and economic backgrounds. We strive to provide each and every one with a positive brand experience that brings them, and their friends and family, back time and time again. We value transparency, authenticity, and collaboration, just as our target clients do. We don’t hide our cards. We don’t play it cool. We aspire to be understood and accessible. We want our clients to feel safe and armed with the information they need to make informed decisions about their real estate needs.