The housing market has always seen the ebb and flow of trends, most of which come and go quickly and have no long-standing impacts on the real estate industry on the whole. To the surprise of many, the millennial buyer boom has taken the real estate market by storm, and experts are already predicting that their buying habits and trends will change the game forever.
Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2004 (and sometimes referred to as Generation Y), are really big spenders, accounting for roughly $600 million dollars in annual spending.
Not only are millennials big-time spenders, but they also know that they control a tremendous share of the real estate market. And they are using that leverage to make some demands.
Millennials are all about digital technology, open communication, and communal design. Countless companies have redesigned their office spaces to accommodate the wave of millennials workers, who currently occupy more than 55 million positions in the workforce. Wide-open spaces have beat out the cubicle, telecommuting is on the rise, and electronic communications like Slack have taken over face-to-face meetings.
These types of changes that millennials expect to encounter in their search for their first homes. Communal meeting spaces in apartment buildings, open space floor plans, and flexible space designs are critical features that architects, developers, and builders have already begun incorporating into their plans.
So how can the average seller alter their home to become attractive to millennials?
First, everything that the millennial does is done digitally. 85% of millennials report not being more than a foot away from their phone around the clock. If you want to attract millennials to your home, your home needs to be available digitally. Digital walkthroughs, videos, and online virtual presentations will go a long way considering that 94% of millennials use the internet to find their dream home.
With the millennial’s ability and desire to telecommute for work, it should be no surprise that a home with an office will draw in millennials. One in five people in the workforce work from home, and the need for a home office is quickly becoming a must-have and not an option. By taking a space, even a small one, and turning it into a dedicated home office complete with full connectivity and as much natural light as possible, you can win the favor of the millennial market.
Homes need to be energy efficient to be considered viable for millennials. This is the generation that demands eco-friendly everything, and that includes appliances, alternative power, double-glazed windows, and other energy-saving home features like LED lighting.
Open concept floor plans are a huge draw for millennials who are forgoing the formality of individually-purposed rooms for the luxury of multipurpose rooms which flow from one to another. The communal vibe and openness of flowing rooms allow for millennials to entertain and work in the same space without ever having to change or miss a thing.
The National Association of Realtors reported that buyers are requesting additional storage space like laundry rooms. In fact, more than 90% of them consider small, extra rooms like laundry rooms to be “crucial” parts of a home.
If you are interested in grabbing the millennials’ attention when listing your home, you should consider upgrading your home to meet their expectations. Though their tastes may seem extravagant, the millennials will be bringing big bucks into the housing market for years to come. Investing a few dollars now can pay off handsomely when the millennials come knocking, ready to make you an offer.