In 2015, millennials represented 32% of the home buyers in 2015, the largest generational market, as they accounted for 68% of the first time home buyers’ market. The average buyer is 33 years old. However, according to realtor.org, the typical realtor is about 57 years old with some college education. Here are some more stats regarding this generation:
- There are about 79 million millennials in the U.S.
- Their purchasing power is about $170 billion per year.
- Millennials will comprise half of the U.S. workforce by 2030.
- 31 percent of millennials say they earn enough money to lead the kind of life they want.
With the growing number and sheer force of millennials in the market, the life of your business depends on adapting to the changing needs, desires and preferences of the millennial generation.
And while many older agents and brokers have done a great job keeping up with technology and the changing tide of the industry, bringing members of this younger generation into your team will be a rewarding investment.
It’s time to focus on recruiting millennials and here are some tips to help you achieve that.
1. Connect With Them Offline
Real estate is still, first and foremost, a face-to-face business. Although it seems like millennials spend most of their time with their faces buried in their smartphones, they still value real time and real relationships. Also, if this person will be representing you and your company, shouldn’t you invest in getting to know them personally? Here are some ideas to meet qualified potential hires in-person:
- Join a local young professionals network. If you don’t have one in your area, start one! However, if you feel like you may not be “age appropriate” to join this group yourself, find someone in your office who is young at heart to be your representative.
- Join a local sales group. They are familiar with working on commission.
- Look to recruit from complementary industries, such as insurance, finance, title, mortgage, escrow, etc.
Millennials who share certain common characteristics are more open to a career in real estate. Take this into consideration while you are meeting and networking with millennials in your area.
- They have some existing knowledge of the industry. They have some kind of connection, whether that’s through a family member who is in real estate or they worked a similar field (ie. escrow, mortgage).
- They have worked on commission before and know what to expect.
- They know a real estate agent who is their age.
2. Embrace Technology
If you’re not up-to-date with the latest technology, you’ll have a difficult time convincing younger agents to work for you. Access to innovative technology tools helps attract millennials. But simply having snazzy technology isn’t enough. They want to know if you understand the impact of implementing these technologies in driving business success.
Another tip is to leverage social media, as this is where millennials spend a good chunk of their time. So why not post job ads where they’re already looking? Then get your agents to share your posting. This is a good way to reach out to your agents’ sphere of friends. Assuming that you like and trust the agents already on your team, reaching into their network will help you find hires who can be vouched for. Also, if the new hire is a bust, that will be on the agent!
3. Leverage Their Peers and Friends
Don’t just offer recruiting referral bonuses to your agents. If you’ve hired someone they referred, Let them take a more active role by placing that new hire under their wing. By letting your agents provide training and guidance to someone else, you are providing them valuable leadership and growth experience as well.
Be involved and physically present in the eyes of those you want to recruit. Provide “social proof” to the Gen X world by getting your younger agents to sit in on panels and attend events and mixers.
Millennials also love videos. Share video interviews and testimonials from agents in your office on why they enjoy working there. Remember–it has to be authentic–not like you’re forcing your agents to say good things. Another way to show potential recruits the awesomeness of your office is with a fun “day in the life” video.
4. Focus On Retention and Not Just Recruiting
Recruiting doesn’t stop once someone joins your office. Retention is an ongoing process that is an important part of recruiting. According to Forbes.com, “Ninety-one percent of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years.”
The primary reason that agents leave an office is because they felt that their broker didn’t appreciate them. They say that the broker stopped communicating with them once they joined their office. Stay involved. Provide training and guidance. Keep asking yourself, “how can I improve the lives of my team members?” Some ideas shared were through reward programs, training and coaching, community involvement, mentorship, and regular communication with your agents.
Focus on the training that you will offer them, the tools that will help them to get to the next level, and the mentorship you can offer. Be a broker or team leader who is actively investing into your team, so that others want to be a part of that team.
5. Great Culture and a Greater Purpose
A recent survey by inc.com showed that only 28.9% of millennials are engaged at their jobs. Millennials have a great desire to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want their work and their action to mean something, to impact the world. Show them how they can be changing the lives of families and individuals by connecting the dots for clients and helping them find their perfect homes. What is your company’s purpose, or mission statement?
Greater Purpose: 4 Ways to Help Clients Make Confident Real Estate Decisions
Millennials place great value on building the lifestyle they want. Quality of life is the most important thing, and their careers must support that. You’ve heard about work-life balance, but what millennials are searching for is work-life integration. While a good mission statement will fuel millennials to be passionate about their career, if you haven’t built a culture that appeals to them, don’t be surprised if they walk out the door.
Culture is defined by more than just trendy perks, and it is not a “set it and forget it” deal. Investing in your company culture will motivate your agents to work harder, accomplish more, and find ways to go the extra mile.