I was shocked to the core by a recent article. It was about the influence of Millennials on the property market and a comment under the article said that Millennials are all in their student digs eating pizza, so we shouldn’t be worried about them.
Clearly this was not written by someone who understands that some of the Millennials are already as old as 37. Many of them are already embedded in the property market and are on their second and third moves – and some of them already have buy-to-let properties.
Being slow to recognise the changing demographics around us leaves us vulnerable to being overtaken by those that grasp it and cater for it.
Age layering affects consumption of service, possibly more so now than ever before. Historically, services were delivered by the supplier in their own unique way. You pretty much got what you were given – and then technology came along.
Not only did what could be delivered change, but how it was delivered changed. There was a power shift as the consumer was able to choose how they wanted to be serviced. There has been a service evolution.
Let’s look at those Millennials again. Born between 1980 and 2000, they have a completely different way of consuming service than previous generations.
Many of my generation still go to the take-away to collect an order. Sometimes they still go to the outlet to place the order and then sit and wait for it to be cooked. A Millennial just orders it on their phone and it comes to them. The take-away part of a take-away has been taken away. Millennials don’t shop, they order online. If they have ever been in a bank it’s only to show photo ID. Mostly they only order things from suppliers that have been positively reviewed by their online peers.
Millenials’ expectations of how they consume services does not include having to go to a physical location or even speak with anyone. To a Millennial service has to come to them, allow them to interact with it in the way they want to and only perhaps at the very end of the transaction might they have to speak with someone.
All of this is why Purple Bricks has been able to get a foothold in the property market. They are providing service via their websites using tools that Millennials like and expect to see, that they can use how, when and where they want. Backing that service up with massive social proof with all those TrustPilot reviews.
And it gets worse. The older generation of tomorrow is the Millennial generation of today.
There is an old marketing adage that says you have to be where the eyeballs are. The reader who commented that Millennials are in student digs doesn’t know who their customers are, or where they are looking.
Dismiss them at your peril, embrace them to survive.
This means it’s essential that your web site is 100% responsive and works on all devices in all orientations. That it allows visitors to book valuations and viewings online and gives them confirmation automatically.
You need to provide Virtual Accompanied Viewings where you can provide remote walkthroughs of full 360° tours of multiple properties without leaving your desk.
Your site needs to allow applicants to log in at their own convenience and control their search parameters and receive automated email alerts of suitable instructions coming on the market.
Vendors and landlords want to be able to log in and see viewing feedback, visitor data, marketing activity statistics – if your website doesn’t provide this data, you’re not just missing an opportunity, you’re out-of-date.
Nature abhors a vacuum and if you are not filling it with Millennial-friendly service points sure as eggs are eggs someone else will!
Mike Smithson runs The Property Jungle and his company have delivered over 1600 beautiful websites for Estate Agents across the UK.