Are Millennials buying houses, or aren’t they?
For some time the word on the street has been that Millennials aren’t buying houses because they’re worried about other forms of debt, like student loans and credit card debt. But, according to AppFolio, that trend may be changing:
It’s beginning to look like enticing 25- to 34-year olds into purchasing their first home won’t be easy. According to CoreLogic, homeownership rates for this group pale in comparison to the 1980’s rates for the same age bracket. In 1980, slightly more than 50% owned, or were buying, their homes. In 2012, just over a third (38%) of Millennials owned homes.
Delving into the data shows that Millennials are still thinking about homeownership, in fact, 50% think they’ll buy in the next two years.
That’s not what multifamily property managers want to hear, but this news only means we must work even harder to market to Millennials to both retain their business but also to attract new young-adult tenants.
How do you reach Millennials?
A recent Pew Research Center poll indicates that if you want to reach Millennials, you’ll need to do so via social media.
The percentage of online adults who use social networking sites has steadily risen. As of January 2014, 74% of all online adults use social networking sites. For adults ages 18-29, 89% of them use social networking sites. For adults ages 30-49, 82% of them do. For adults ages 50-64, 65% of them do, and for adults ages 65+, 49% of them use social networking sites. For more detailed information, refer to our social networking fact sheet.
What Millennials expect from you on Social Media
Increasingly, Millennials not only expect the businesses they patronize to have a strong social media presence, but they expect you to have a presence on multiple social media platforms and for a human to respond to them quickly when they comment on your social media sites. Though, important-to-know, the report also indicates that just because your residents and prospective tenants expect you to be online doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll follow your accounts.
We recommend reviewing HubSpot’s report, “The Social Lifecycle: New Consumer insights on using social media to improve your marketing, sales, and service,” to learn more about what your residents expect from you via social media. Note: The colorful “takeaways” on this post are from the report.
The SocialMediaExaminer.com summarizes HubSpot’s report with these tips:
- You should be on Facebook and at least two additional social media sites
- Customers expect you to provide actual support via social media
- Customers aren’t not interested in sales-related posts or pitches
One tip they didn’t point out: When it comes to business or sales, people would prefer you stick to email.
What does this mean for you, the Property Manager?
As cited in the SocialMediaExaminer.com article, today’s customer expects you to use social media to explain who you are, your vision for your brand, and what your company is all about on an emotional level. A 2014 Gallup Poll indicates that it’s this emotional connection that helps you retain and attract residents. The subheading to the group’s report says it all: “Wary consumers will give more money to the businesses they feel emotionally connected to, while ignoring others.”
That means that to be successful with the Millennial market, and with other age groups, you need to foster an emotional connection. One way to do that, as the evidence shows, is to maintain an active social media presence for your property where you have the opportunity to humanize your brand (your property and its role in the community) and to be a helpful neighbor.
Not sure where to start? Ask your PCRE Asset Manager about social media training opportunities. As we’ve said before, we’re in this together.