Here’s an Open Letter to the Real Estate Industry as we know it.
Hey Mr. Real Estate Industry,
Oh…Hi there, YES it’s me again. That annoying Millennial, but please don’t call me that. I…like others are over the term, we’ve heard it for years now and can assure you we understand what other generations think of us. As much as others like to say that we are entitled, soft, lazy or spoiled. There are some who give us a bad name, but that’s not me. I’m here to talk to you the REALTOR and the Real Estate Industry about what I would like from you. This is a different take on what some of us think in regards to how you should market to me.
Let’s start here and as full disclosure I myself am a Realtor but I’d like you to know that I’m separating myself from that for the moment. I’m going to talk to you as a Millennial and how you may want to run my business. It’s been really successful for me so far.
Recently I was a first time home buyer, which means I’ve spent nearly a decade digging myself and my Wife out from under a mountain of debt. I’ve established myself in a career that I love, and now it was time for us to finally take the step that our parents and grandparents took when they were much, much younger than us; we finally bought a house.
Think about this for a second, these days everything we buy is instant. If we need a new pair of socks? Amazon will have them here tomorrow. Need a ride? Well in most cities, there is an Uber around the corner or Car2go, ZipCar and Modo. Maybe I want to know which country has the best valued flights. My phone can tell me instantly. If I want to watch my favorite TV show, hello Netflix. When was the last time I bought a DVD? I can’t tell you cause it’s been that long. My life is built around efficiency and convenience. Keep in mind that most of us can’t even remember a time before we had cell phones permanently within arms reach.
Here’s some things to keep in mind.
- Finding a trusted Realtor is difficult. Your face on a billboard or a bus bench won’t help.
I grew up seeing around 400 ads a day, but now I’m used to being bombarded with at least 3,000. I don’t read the newspaper, forget about your banner ads, and even on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll need to have some compelling content for me to take the time to click on your ad and see what you have to offer.
How can a realtor earn my trust? The answer is transparency. If I look at your Facebook page, I want some human element to it. Instead I see only your listings and I sold this or there’s an open house to that. I get it….you are a realtor but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell some stories of your life. What makes you tick and where are your favourite spots to go? Let me see you grind and your daily venture through the business. That’s what I want to see both as a Realtor and as a Millennial.
- Make your personal brand a lot more personal.
Instagram a story about the traffic you got stuck in, the run you went on this morning, or a picture of your pet. Invite your prospects into your life, or at least a version of it. Show me that cool coffee shop around the corner from one of your listings, or post a picture of a beautiful park where I could take my family on a walk after dinner some night. Tell us about that couple that looked for the perfect house for a year and finally found one they like. Show us the city and neighborhoods that you are selling.
Marketing isn’t about blasting out a message anymore, it’s about building thousands of personal, one-on-one relationships with your target audience.
- Relationships is what being a great Realtor is all about, right?
The destination hasn’t changed, the goal is to buy a home.
Buying a home is not just super terrifying. It’s the biggest purchase I’ve ever considered making and I don’t want to screw it up. I do want a realtor to help me through this complex process and to make sure I don’t get ripped off. But just like the rest of the products and services I use, I expect transparency and flexibility on a level that might make you a little uncomfortable. Millennials thrive on consuming every second of the day. Just look at everyone that’s waiting in line at the coffee shop, they are checking sports scores, adding a story to Instagram, and checking up on Facebook.
So as we end and my rant is over. Let’s start the conversation as things are changing in the industry. I feel that you owe it to yourself and everyone else out there. Go and be you and let us see you in your day-to-day.
Let’s Talk Again Soon!
Millennials (but seriously, don’t call us that)