Generally speaking, every generation has a different idea of what attributes make up a dream home. For example, baby boomers often rank state-of-the-art kitchens, hobby rooms, fireplaces and swimming pools high on their list of must-haves. Their idea of a home is one that acts as a private retreat or a place where they can comfortably nest as they approach their golden years. Generation Xers tend to look for places where they can raise a family. They often know a lot about contemporary design and want a casual home that helps them stay organized while raising kids.
The Tech Generation wants modern social hubs. They are interested in homes brimming with the latest in technology, like built-in network technology or high-end appliances. Because many tech-savvy people work from home, they are also interested in large offices or large airy living rooms where they can comfortably work. Show a techie a home with a large garden and family room and you may lose a customer. You must design a strategy that is tailored for the Tech Generation when focusing on this target market for your real estate business.
How to Market to the Tech Generation
The Tech Generation did not grow up reading the classifieds. In fact, Craigslist is probably the closest they’ve gotten to property listings. Print advertisements, billboards or print newsletters will have little effect if you are marketing to this generation. According to Brian Capossela, broker for Cap Equity Realty, “Techies spend a substantial amount of time online, so that’s the best place to connect with them. They’re also numbers driven, analytical, and want to see that the investment they’re about to make is a good one. They’re rational, not instinctual.”
Techies respond to clear marketing campaigns. Campaigns that thoughtfully engage customers work best. They don’t want pushy marketing tactics. They’ll do their research, look at pictures, visit the property and figure out if it’s worth their investment. Because property listings are just a couple of clicks away, they’ll do a lot of comparison-shopping. The biggest challenge is creating an online presence that they will see. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube should be staples in your marketing campaign. According to Mary Peck, the associate broker and co-owner for Discover Arizona Real Estate, “You’ll find the tech generation on social media. If you aren’t Tweeting and Facebooking, you won’t be working with the Tech Generation.”
The branding for your real estate business must showcase your expertise in the properties that they find desirable. Likewise, you’ll also have to up the ante with the way that you communicate with this target market.
Communication With the Tech Generation
The Tech Generation considers emailing and texting to be normal forms of communication. Unlike many from the baby boomer generation, they do not put meeting face-to-face with people at a high importance when finding a home. “Techies have limited time, and move at a fast pace, so you don’t want to waste any time with them. This group also expects more instant communication, such as text messages. They’re extremely comfortable and responsive with email, whereas older buyers prefer to meet in person. Techies also tend toward using agents who can provide mobile accessible services, such as a mobile-friendly website, or the use of web signatures,” says Brian Capossela. Investing in a smartphone isn’t a bad idea. In fact, you must be able to have access to your email, take pictures, post on Facebook and text customers at a drop of a hat. The Tech Generation has come to expect this lightening speed response time.
What types of properties are techies interested in? “If the home has technology features like built-in network wiring, smart controllers for heating and air, iPad compatibility to control lighting, heating and air, and a security system, those amenities would absolutely be showcased. Techies are also very interested in luxury amenities like professional grade appliances, natural stone countertops, and building amenities if it’s a condo,” says Brian Capossela. The Tech Generation is also looking for:
- Homes near public transportation.
- Properties that are funky or have a lot of personality.
- Shining examples of architectural periods such as the Victorian era.
- Homes close to cafes, restaurants, clubs, bookstores and other social amenities.
When targeting the Tech Generation, you must get into their mindset. Sticking to old marketing tactics won’t help your real estate business. This generation wants to connect to something authentic and important as much as any other generation, but the way they engage with everyday life is different.