Mortgage professionals are always seeking out the right demographic on which to focus their marketing efforts. So, there is little wonder why more loan officers and realtors are now looking to millennials for new business. This generation offers enormous potential for signing new clients, as the core demographic comes of age with regard to their career, families, and future financial goals.
With a majority of millennials well into their careers, they now turn their focus to building a family and laying down roots within their chosen community. The demographic now represents the largest group of potential homebuyers in the nation.
It sounds strange, but the question is how do you reach them? Millennials grew up in the age of technology. They entered their teens during the tech boom of the 1990s. They most likely don’t remember not having the Internet available to them, and they may be the most technically diverse population in America. Marketing to this group is an entirely different endeavor.
What Distinguishes Millennials?
The millennial generation consists of people born between 1977 and 1995, and it now encompasses more than 80 million individuals ranging in age from their early 20s to late 30s. Nearly 50 percent of all jobs in the United States are held by this demographic, and that number is likely to increase by double digits in the coming decade. While more than one-third of this group holds a degree, they may also carry a heavy debt burden from their college years. Besides racking up student loan debt, millennials like their creature comforts, and most hold other debt, such as auto loans and credit cards.
Growing Up in the Age of the Internet
Millennials not only grew up surrounded by technology, but they embraced it. For many millennials, their education evolved from written books to online studies. They were immersed in the tech realm by necessity but quickly learned to succeed in today’s workplace, they needed to understand and master technology. They communicate faster and more efficiently than the previous generation, and rest assured, they are ready to take on the next big innovation.
Millennials may be the most socially aware generation. With 24/7 news cycles and a constant stream of new app or social media platforms introduced, this demographic is immersed in national and global events. However, they shun typical marketing efforts. They are a savvy bunch and understand the difference between clickbait and informative content. With so much information at their fingertips, their comprehension level is high, but the tolerance for exhaustive marketing pieces is small. They value the amount of content they have access to but primarily focus on only that content that relates to them.
What Millennials Want from Their Mortgage Company
Trustworthiness-Millennials look to build trust with whoever they do business. So, pursuing trust with millennial clients from the beginning is paramount to a continuing relationship. Upfront honesty and sincerity, truthfulness in the process, and finishing what you begin, will help lock up a customer for life.
Online Presence-Millennials do everything online. They work online, they shop online, and they pretty much live online. Being connected 24/7 provides them instant access to colleagues, friends, and news. Why should mort- gages be any different? A mortgage company with a strong online presence and brand, coupled with online processing and customer service, will earn the respect and future business of millennials.
Peer Support- Based on the popularity of Yelp and online reviewers, millennials value the input of their peers on all types of services and products, and mortgages are no different. When the time comes to purchase a property with a mortgage, this demographic will research, review recommendations, and ask a friend. A mortgage company with strong performance reviews will rise in rank.
Social Consciousness-Growing up in the era of 9/11 and beginning their careers during the recession, millennials have a keen awareness of how small actions can affect world events. They seek out and do business with companies that have a social conscience. Mortgage companies that give back to society rise to the top of the list.
Exceptional Communication- Raised on technology that allows people to communicate with nearly anyone instantly, millennials want to talk with their mortgage lender regularly. More than communication, they want to be involved in the process. Providing up-to-date and accurate information is key to building trust.
How to Make Your Marketing Work
We have explored how millennials think and act, and what they want in a mortgage lender. Now, let’s break down how to develop a strategic marketing plan that works.
Introduction-With millennials, it is all about getting to know someone. Use your social media presence to not only promote your business and products but also to introduce yourself to prospective clients. Tell them about your company and the real people behind the brand. Explain why you are the right mortgage professional for all of their needs, and why you uniquely understand their financial plan and how you can play a part in ensuring their reach it.
Online Presentation-Today’s social media platforms and an endless supply of virtual marketing resources pro- vide companies an opportunity to market to thousands in the blink of an eye. Also, in our data-driven world, there is a wealth of information for the asking. Targeting your marketing with accurate demographic data that includes education, income, financial wherewithal, and the market history of potential clients can help focus your online energy toward this group. Getting a reaction from your posts, building a strong online presence, and following up with the millennial generation through online, speed-of-light mechanisms will help drive more new business faster and more consistently than with traditional forms of
Education-Although a majority of millennials are college educated, some may not have insight into the benefits of owning a home, as well as the responsibilities that come with that obligation. By developing marketing pieces that spotlight insightful information and then sharing this information with thoughtful and enthusiastic copy, you will engage your audience and deliver enthusiasm with a call to action.
Brand Creation-Use the information you have learned about millennials to build a brand around what is important to them. Homeownership is a big step, and they want to work with knowledgeable, trustworthy, and tech-savvy individuals to help guide them through the process.
Follow Through-You created the marketing plan, hit the social networks, and broadcast your message to the world. Now, it is time to live that message. Be familiar, be consistent, and follow through on your promises. Building that initial trust was key to earning millennial business, but living up to your commitments and proving your dedication to your client’s best interest will earn you their loyalty.
Millennials will become one of the largest real estate buying demographics over the next decade, but marketing to the group presents its challenges. While millennials are near the top of wage earners for their age group, they also carry too much debt. In a housing market that is near or at the peak of all-time highs, designing a mortgage solution around current obligations could be a delicate endeavor.
However, millennials present a tremendous opportunity to capture a major portion of the future home-buying market, while building the type of loyalty that only comes around once in a generation.