New Generation of Homebuyers Is Changing the Real Estate Game

May 22, 2015 | By

A new generation of homebuyers is entering the market, and the way they shop for homes is a real break from the past.

Mobile apps and websites for finding properties are in. Newspaper listings are out. Real estate agents are keeping in touch with clients through texts and emails.

Does this evolution towards an always-on and connected home-buying process mean some old school real estate professionals are in trouble?

A recent U.S. News & World Report article lists 10 ways Millennials are changing real estate.

Included in the list is that young homebuyers typically find homes they want agents to show them, instead of relying on agents to recommend properties. This aligns with what Chris Mastrangelo, a broker with Habitation Realty in Houston, experiences with younger homebuyers.

“They’re much more Internet savvy, and they always want to find homes on their own,” Mastrangelo says.

Along with technology, is age difference impacting home buying? After all, the National Association of Realtors® reports the median age of real estate agents is 56, well above the 18-34 age range of the Millennial generation.

A Bloomberg Business article makes the case that real estate pros are fretting over how to make happy homebuyers out of younger clients.

But the age of a real estate agent was the least of Washington, D.C. residents Shavanna Miller’s and Aaron Smith’s concerns when they chose an agent to help in their home search.

“Having someone who understands the trends in the different neighborhoods that are up and coming is important to us,” Miller says.

In fact, the engaged couple chose not to work with some younger real estate agents they interviewed because those agents didn’t seem to be as knowledgeable about local neighborhoods.

Architect and first-time homebuyer Jonathan Blair says a real estate professional’s ability to understand his needs, not the agent’s age, was what helped him choose an agent.

“I’m a bit of a unique candidate in what I’m looking for,” Blair, who wants to buy a property he can renovate, says.

Maybe young homebuyers aren’t selecting agents based on age, but does an agent need to be tech savvy in order to serve today’s clients?

Not necessarily, say Smith, Blair, and Miller. While all listed email as their preferred method of communication, what matters most is the time it takes an agent to respond, not the method.

Smith says the ability to “respond quickly, whether through email, or text, or a phone call is a definite plus” in choosing a real estate agent.

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