Three Ways to Market Your Listings to the Most Active Buyers

By February 3, 2016 Blog No Comments
top ways to reach home buyers

Know your audience: it’s the cardinal rule of marketing. That holds true whether you’re marketing cars, or clothes – or listings. These days, a lot of marketing chatter is focused on Millennials. But there’s another group of home buyers that’s just as important: Boomers.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, Millennials and Boomers are neck-and-neck for the title of Most Active Home Buyer. Millennials account for 32% of buyers, while Boomers account for 31%. That’s good news if you’re trying to market a listing to either audience – but if you want to do it effectively, you need to tailor your marketing to fit the generation. Here are three ways to do just that.

Tailor Your Personal Brand

Marketing starts at the beginning of the buying process, when home buyers are looking for an agent to guide their search. NAR found that Boomers tend to move longer distances – an average of 30 miles, compared to less than 10 for Millennials – and therefore tend to prize agents with local knowledge.

There are several ways to market to this need. On your website and on social media, post educational, community-oriented content such as community video and photos of local amenities. Share info about local events to show that you’re plugged into the community. And put together a video bio that highlights your qualifications as a local expert, especially if you’ve been in the area a long time.

When possible, Boomers also tend to choose agents they’ve worked with before. So if you’ve got Boomers in your contact list, keep in touch with them. Although Boomers use the Internet to help them find a home or agent, they prefer analog methods of contact. So pick up the phone or send a greeting card to wish them a happy birthday, give holiday greetings, or (again) share local knowledge.

According to the NAR report, Millennial home buyers look for something different in an agent. Since so many of them are inexperienced home buyers, they want trustworthy agents who will help them understand the home-buying process.

To market to this need, post explainer articles and videos on your website and social media. Focus on fun, informative content, and keep it short. If you don’t have the time to produce something yourself, it’s fine to curate. Suggested topics: determining must-have home features vs. want-to-have features, budgeting for homeownership, navigating the mortgage application process, and what to expect from a home inspection.

Match the Tone and Listing to the Home Buyer

Boomers and Millennials have different reasons for buying, and they look for different types of homes. Since Millennials are usually first-time home buyers, they tend to buy for emotional reasons and to purchase lower-priced properties. So if you want to market to Millennials, focus on emotion-driven reasons for owning a home: fulfilling the American Dream, building a family, belonging to a community (Zillow’s “Homecoming” TV spot is the perfect example). If you use Facebook advertising, target this age group with ads for affordable listings, such as smaller historic homes or fixer-uppers.

Boomers usually buy for more practical reasons, such as downsizing or retirement. Because of their stage of life, they also tend to favor lower-maintenance properties. Engage them with a focus on efficient living: easy ways to downsize possessions, clever storage hacks, getting exactly what they want out of their homes and life. NAR says that condos, new construction, and homes in full-service communities will be the most appealing type of listing for this group.

Use the Right Social Network

Social media is a notorious time and money suck, but you can maximize efficiency by tailoring your activity to the audience. According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook is hugely popular with all age groups – yes, even Boomers – so make sure you have a strong presence there. Put together a quality business page and maintain it by posting at least several times a week (daily is better). But don’t just post listings – share content that’s also informative and entertaining.

If you’re targeting Boomers, Pinterest is the second-most-popular age group for this demographic, with a 27% audience share. Other networks, such as Twitter and Instagram, barely get a nod. But keep an eye on them: usage is growing among older cohorts.

To really reach Millennial home buyers, you need to be active across all major networks. Facebook is still their favorite choice, but Instagram makes a strong second-place showing. This is incredibly convenient for you, since the two networks are linked – you can now build one ad campaign and have it run on both platforms. Twitter and Pinterest aren’t far behind. Each network has its own set of conventions, so don’t cross-post reflexively. Make sure you tailor your content if you want to re-use it.

Do you have helpful tips for tailoring your marketing to specific age groups? Share them in the comments!

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