Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Millennials Buyers Are Changing Modular Housing

Millennials are entering the housing market in greater numbers and they're approaching it in a much different way than previous generations of home buyers.

Millennials are defined as people born between 1982 and 1997, and they are the largest and most influential age group of U.S. Consumers. They were born into a world already using information technology and have never known life without it.

Their cell phones are their connection with each other, commerce and for acquiring information.

They are new college graduates with their first career-related jobs. They are first time homeowners and parents of young children.

They are dedicated to their cell phones and technology plays a huge role in home buying. According to a 2017 report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 99% of millennials search online to get information about homes and home buying. They were also around twice as likely to use their mobile device in their home buying search than older Baby Boomers, with 58%.

They search through neighborhoods for listed homes, look for home builders, apply for mortgages and for some they even find rentals, fill out the application, pay the first month’s rent and security deposit on their cell phone without ever actually seeing the unit or visiting the neighborhood. They have already checked the crime rate for the area and looked up sex offenders living in the area. They’ve also found a restaurant that has delivery. And they do all this in mere minutes while sitting at their desk at work.

Every business owner in the world should take note that Millennials are highly educated, tech-savvy, and civic-oriented. They want what they want and will simply ignore houses and builders that don’t meet their needs. The sad part is you may never have a chance with them because they Googled you and you probably didn’t make the cut.

Having technology at their fingertips 24 hours a day, Millennials expect immediate gratification and feedback. They don’t expect instant replies to their messages but they do expect one within a very short period of time. They live with their phone somewhere nearby 24 hours a day. Many of them put their phones in Ziplock bags while in the shower. They’re ready to instantly text you back so don’t make them wait very long.

Here are some traits that most Millennials share that modular builders can use:

They are very creative problem solvers. They use a combination of skills honed from years of using information on their phones. If one approach to a problem doesn’t yield the solution they immediately move onto another one. Modular Builder: Show solutions on your website about energy savings, sustainable building materials and give them informational videos. Show them solutions on your website.

They are high energy people. They can’t sit in one place for very long. Their brains are always looking and searching for new information. Modular Builder: Throw away your static old website look. Add new photos, interviews with young home buyers and show new green and sustainable products every week. They may think you are the only one that build their new home.

They don’t like rules and regulations. Remember when your small children always asked “why?” Well, you’re about to hear that “why” again. Modular Builder: Don’t simply say no to a request. They’ve probably already found the answer somewhere and they want it. Saying no outright will probably get you on their “this guy doesn’t know anything” list. Ask them to share where they found it and begin a dialogue about it.

They want regular feedback. Next time you see a Millennial with a phone count how many times they check it. If it isn’t at least twice a minute it simply means their battery is low. Modular Builder: If you are lucky enough to build a home for a Millennial don’t forget to text them at least once a day. Getting a text from “their builder” gives them a hit of dopamine allowing them to feel happy that you contacted them. It isn’t as much what you text it’s that you texted. You need to adapt to this demand for communication. You’ll find 90% of them communicate via text, 94% use email and another 36% chat through instant messaging.

They love building relationships. Even though most of them are phone ‘friends’ they look at them as real relationships just like we thought of penpals in foreign countries as real relationships. Modular Builder: Encourage a relationship with them but don’t try to fake it. They can spot that in a New York minute.

Millennials want to break stereotypes. They think different than you and want what they want in a new home. They may have seen a tiny house that caught their attention while searching for new homes and want that look in a new home but not necessarily the size. They and their friends want to be different but not really different from each other. Modular Builder: It doesn’t take much to break a stereotype. Talking with them will allow you to guide them to something you can actually build and still give them a feeling of building a unique home.

They will question the status-quo and challenge your building process. And they will do complete turnarounds on the spot. Modular Builder: Don’t ignore their questions about how you build homes. Yes, it is a challenge to build for a Millennial but you have to remember if you can’t do it there is probably a Millennial builder out there that will.

The Millennial new home buyer is here to stay. My only hope is 30 years from now they will be the new modular home builders and the next generation of new home buyers (who haven’t even been born yet) will drive them crazy like they do to Boomer new home builders.

A Modcoach article.

1 comment:

Sonnenbrille said...

I would say all new modular home buyers and even some builders fall into the "people who dont like rules and regulations" for different reasons. Faceboook, HGTV renovation shows and other social media make ALL home buyers think they know everything about what they want for their house and how its going to go, which makes them think anything you say contrary to what they think wrong or misguided by "old ways". It requires showing a detailed explanation of how it is and not that it just "IS" this way. Older builders and often new modular home builders fall into this "people who dont like rules and regulations" too since they are soo used to doing things a certain way we will get "you cant be right! Ive been doing this for 40 years! you dont know what you're talking about". Which we will have to follow up with a code reference or licensed engineer's remark.

Some things may have started with the "millennial" generation but it has bled into many of the other generations as well. I often get younger people that stick to emails but older people that would rather "text" me an answer so its not stuck to really one generation anymore.