darren-nolander-trendspotting-millennials-featuredThe beginning of a new year always brings a recap of the year prior and a forecast of the year ahead. The housing market is no different. While there are many, many trends we could spotlight, the one demographic that seems to wield a good amount of influence among first-time homebuyers is Millennials. This will likely continue to be the case as these generally well-educated 20- and 30-somethings continue to move up the job ladder, raking in more dough in the process.

This is a group Dana Bull, real estate agent, coach and Zillow columnist, has been following closely for these very reasons. Bull culled all her data and emerged with five significant trends that should be on the radar of anyone working with these younger first-time homebuyers.

These trends include:

  1. Upsizing

This seems counterintuitive, considering many Millennials will gladly forego extra space to live out their college and first couple of post-grad years in a bustling (but expensive) downtown urban core. Zillow consumer trends points out, however, that Millennials are much more likely to skip the traditional starter home and jump right into the meaty, spacious, higher-priced inventory.

  1. Multifamily Millennials Want Perks

Whether they’re buying a condo or renting an apartment, Millennials favor the resort-style amenities that used to only be found in elite high rises and retirement communities. This will likely bolster condo sales in many of the nation’s major metros. These pads are also expensive, however, which may price out a good deal of the market, motivating them to buy single-family homes rather than throw their money away on rent.

  1. Online is Where It’s At

No surprise here. The majority of Millennials find their real estate agents and search for homes online. This is why it’s more important than ever to make sure your social media pages and online presence are clean, organized and easy to find.

  1. Marketing Matters

Another no-brainer that may warrant a reminder: first impressions matter. A lot. A whopping 58 percent of Millennials surveyed by Zillow said a representative’s professional headshot played a role in their hiring decision. This once again drives home the point that your appearance – both online and in the office (including your desk and workspace) – goes a long way.

  1. Don’t Forget About Gen Z

The term “Millennial” has been such a buzzword for so long that it’s easy to forget they’re no longer the youngest generation of homebuyers. That title belongs to Generation Z, which was born between 1995 and 2010. Though the oldest of this cohort is only 23, that can be a ripe age for homebuying in many states as first jobs are obtained and college is in the rearview mirror. I’ll admit, this demographic isn’t likely to make up the bulk of your clients, but you can’t plan for the future if you’re not following the trends, as Bull herself can tell you.

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