Millennials…often referred to as lazy, spoiled and young. But when I see a millennial, I see someone who is tech-savvy, hip, fun and adventurous. One of my millennial agents, Zack Wilson, embodies the positive aspects of being part of the largest demographic in US history: he’s a ball of energy, always up for a good time and a serial entrepreneur (he’s also Matthew McConaughey’s doppelganger so yay, eye candy). What unites millennials is their optimism and positivity about their futures. This demographic is already impacting the housing market and analysts predict their influence and purchasing power is increasing. In order to connect with this fun, optimistic and tech-savvy demographic, you need to learn about them, what they want, and how to market with them.

Introducing…the most powerful demographic EVER….the MILLENNIALs:

Millennials, also called echo-boomers, Gen Y and digital natives, were born between 1977-1995. US Census Bureau puts this demographic at approximately 80+million. Which is about 25% of the US Population. These digital natives are highly educated, make $68k medium income, 21% are married and represent 1 in 5 same sex couples.

Millennials heart technology. When asked if they’d rather give up their sense of smell than their technology, 53% of them said their smell!  Shocking!  Source

By 2025, it’s estimated that upwards of 65% of homes sales will be by the Millennial generation.

Impacted by the recession. 37% of 18-29 year olds are unemployed or out of the workforce, according to the US Census.  Despite this, they’re optimistic and positive about their future.

As the economic health of the country strengthens, the millennials will flood the housing market. I anticipate 2015 and 2016 to be insane for purchases by this demographic. So, you really need to ask your self what they want:

Millennials want a sense of community. Many of them grew up in divorced households and spent time living with two separate families. This demographic values family and it is important for them to be involved. Since they are digital natives, they value home automation, green and energy efficiency, they like areas with an urban feel where they can be involved in the community, walk and bike to a trendy dive bar, grab a beer and walk home. Experiences are valuable to millennials and they tend to spend more money eating out and attending events.

We must learn to market with Millennials, not to them. They are tired of the hype, distrust the gimmicks and want straightforward information. They want you to be authentic and be connected to a cause. 37% of Millennials will  pay more for a service that supports a cause. A good example is Tom’s shoes.  Just recently I gave away 3 pairs of Tom’s shoes because they never fit; more importantly, I bought 3 pairs of Tom’s shoes, knowing they didn’t fit, because I believe in their cause: buy a pair, give a pair. I wanted the shoes to work out, but the blisters on my feet got together and told me the Tom’s have got to go. But this illustrates a valid point: Millennials will buy something that supports a cause.

Social media marketing is an absolute must when you market with Millennials. The term ROI, or return on investment, was once the litmus test on whether your marketing campaign worked. But now, we need to shift from that and lean toward ROE, return on engagement. Engagement is critical to reach this diverse group of individuals. You need to be omnipresent and with multiple silos in order to have sustainable growth. Do you currently have a Youtube page, a stand alone blog, a website for MLS searching, a mobile ap? Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Vine. Your internet empowered consumer expects to see your presence there and will relate and see you as the expert. Unfortunately, being on all these sites isn’t enough for you to attract Millennial clientele. You see, we must also engage with them on what it is they want.

Don’t be afraid of edgy content: Millennials want you to be real. They’re annoyed and tired of all the fakeness in the real world and they just want to be themselves and have you be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. If your business card shows you in a suite and you meet a Millennial and you’re wearing jeans and dress shirt, you’re already going to breed mistrust. Just be you. If you’re a suit guy/gal, then rock it; if you’re more of an Aloha Realtor like my fabulous uncle Lee Pasko, then rock it! One of my fav quotes, Be YOU, the world will adjust.

In order to promote engagement, consider offering promotions: Maybe you offer a free Nest to anyone who buys a home with you. You word it like this: At JK Realty, we think home automation is cool. Buying a home is one of the largest investments you’ll ever make and you deserve to be able to change your thermostat from your smartphone. JK Realty is giving away a free Nest to every buyer who purchases a home with one of our real estate agents.

For more information on Marketing With Millennials, view my prezi slide show at: