Engaging Gen Y Focus on the Coffee

A new breed of buyer is about to walk through your door – or more likely, to find you online, or even send you a text message! But are you ready for them? John Percudani gives his opinion.

When you put two and two together, if the buyer is different, then the same old methods are not likely to attract them.

Generation Y have a very different take on the great Australian dream. Like generations of Australians before them they value and expect home ownership, but it is not necessarily the four by two on a quarter acre block they are after. Gen Y don’t buy homes to live in for forty years, they buy homes that suit them then and there and they will almost certainly live in many more homes than their grandparents ever did. Yes Gen Y want things quickly, they don’t care to wait. They also see property as a commodity, they don’t get attached and let it define them. When it no longer suits, they pick up and move on, no sentimentality here.

We can talk all day about the ups and downs of this new home buying generation, but the fact of the matter is we, as real estate professionals, need to embrace the needs of this new home buyer because they are our future. Gen Y has been very active in the market thanks to the increased grants, and their different ideas around the great Australian dream also means they purchase very differently.

When you put two and two together, if the buyer is different, then the same old methods are not likely to attract them. Agencies need to adapt to this new generation of buyer, because before long they are going to push through as the largest market segment and to not understand them is to get caught with your pants down.

Of course much of this change will revolve around the use of technology. Gen Ys grew up in an age of massive change in the ways we communicate and they are completely comfortable with doing almost anything online. So yes, that is one area agents need to keep an eye on. However, they are also looking for different things in a home or property. Many Gen Ys value compact, convenient living and they possess a strong desire to be connected socially. So when you are marketing a property to this market you need to find their currency and the fact a home is close to good schools is nowhere near as relevant as being close to a good coffee shop.

The majority of buyers today are not Gen Y, but they are on the way. Getting in touch before hand is going to ensure your business is prepared for this change of guard.

This isn’t really anything new for our industry, adapting is simply part of life in real estate. Our industry is one that ebbs and flows, no two years are ever the same. If it is not technology and the buyer changing, it is interest rates, the economic climate and consumer confidence. Realmark have been in the business for more than twenty years now and I am certain that if we hadn’t embraced market changes over the years and adapted accordingly, we would not still be here.

So back to those Gen Ys. I don’t think there is any need to fear them or condemn them for their different views on life, it is simply about being prepared. When the next generation begins to creep into the market place we are going to have to adapt all over again to their needs. The generation trailing Gen Ys are likely to be a completely different breed. They are coming of age in a very tough economic climate and their thoughts around having and not having may be very different from the Ys, a majority of which have known nothing but good times and prosperity until now.

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John Percudani

John Percudani is the Managing Director of Realmark.