Things are Changing…
As we finally turn a corner here in the Valley with forecasted temperatures dropping to the 80’s, our beloved Snowbirds and vacationers are starting to trickle in. Transport trucks are delivering precious cars to their owners, flowers are being planted in their vacant summer pots, windows are being freed of monsoon dust and our residents are thinking ahead to holiday planning. This is what it’s like to live in a vacation destination. While the rest of the country braces for snow and ice, we are coming out of our summer shells.
For those of us in the real estate business, this time of year gives us the desire to reflect on our own industry and do some freshening up ourselves, making certain we are ahead of the curve, and giving our clients the best we can give. We need to WATCH and LISTEN. We need to be INNOVATIVE. We need to be thinking about who we are marketing to and how. What are people looking for in their next home, where do they want to live and most importantly, HOW are they moving forward?
My Cashman Partners colleague Karen Nychay shared a very interesting tidbit from her Millennial son on a train…
I’m sitting on the train on the way to the office and the 65+ year-olds are reading the newspaper. The 55+ year-olds are working on their laptop computers. The 45+ year-olds are tapping on their iPads. Under 45s? They are reading the news and checking emails on their smartphones.
What does this mean to us as Realtors? It means that photos, videos, and listing copy must ALL be optimized for mobile viewing. We are moving to a mobile world and frankly are already there. With a very high percentage of our prospective clients in the the Millennial demographic along with Generations X, Y, and Z looking to make moves to buy or sell property, we can no longer afford to be in the dinosaur age. The Next Generation can do anything on their smart phones. (For a very interesting and detailed description of the real age breakouts for our demographics, check out this detailed post from socialmarketing.org.)
In the Wall Street Journal this week, two headlines on the same page caught my eye: “Builder Takes Aim at First-Time Buyers” and “Young People on The Hunt for Homes”. According to the latter, first time home buyers are making up over half of the prospective 2017 home buyers overall, this up over the 33% from last year. (Source: Wall Street Journal, 10/19/16)
Specifically in our market, we are seeing younger individuals, couples and families with means. We must market to this very important part of our population by making our clients’ homes easy to find, perfectly positioned with photography and video, and of course mobile friendly. If we are representing buyers, we must use the technology to be the experts and source the right homes for them using all of the tools in our grasp. We don’t have to be young to sell in a youthful way and appeal to the younger generations. We just need to embrace technology and be ahead of the curve.
I truly believe that in the midst of this shift, we have to maintain an important balance between technology and personal service. Cashman Partners is constantly working to perfect this, making sure we are serving the needs of our clients in any age group. When it comes to negotiating and closing those listings, our industry remains a relationship business. Our goal is to marry the two and to REINVENT REAL ESTATE.