Are Realtors Being Sold “A Bill of Goods” About Millennial Home Buyers?

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Are millennials that much different a home buyer?

Every generation lives through, and inspires, change. While personal values may remain a constant across generations, the tools and information available to help make decisions changes with the times.

The mere access to information, generally speaking, does not make people smarter. They need to know which information sources to trust as they wind their way through life.

Millennials have lived their whole lives with technology at their fingertips, but does that make them more independent of needing helpful advice and a knowledgeable professional by their side?

Certainly not.

Does technology replace the important aspects of a realtor’s value or does it enhance it?

I would suggest that technology enhances the capabilities of a realtor’s efforts when used appropriately and that, with the same tools available for millennials to use in their home search, expectations are higher that the realtor’s knowledge is more comprehensive about neighbourhoods, local services and the general liveability of any particular home in any specific area of the city.

In the auto sales industry the buying cycle has been shortened through consumer’s use of technology to research and select the vehicle of their choice. 15 years ago the car sales cycle was 4 to 8 trips to two or three dealerships that had the vehicle(s) a person was searching for. Now they start online and when ready to make the purchase, head to the dealership they know has their choice in stock, greatly shortening the sales cycle.

The available tools for today’s home buyers far exceed any basic MLS listing requiring realtors to enhance and exhibit their knowledge in a variety of channels to make themselves the search result that will shorten the home buyer’s sales cycle.

It’s very easy to find out everything a home buyer would want to know about a neighbourhood including transit, schools, neighbourhood shopping and entertainment venues, and even crime rates can be found online.

Niche and neighbourhood expertise is what millennials want to find their realtor capable of, just as any other buyer does. This is no different from home sales of 30 years ago. The real difference is that anyone with basic online search skills can find the information and millennials are just savvier at expecting to find that information online and deciding if the source is reliable.

It’s up to the realtor to package the information in a way that provides real value to their client, to understand how to position themselves online to be found and to be the real estate professional that exceeds expectations.

“Change is the only constant in life” – Heraclitus.

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