Millennials are starting to move owning a home off the back burner, as it gets easier for younger adults to secure a job and hopefully rejuvenate the housing market. But marketing and lending to millennials brings a new set of nuances.
Currently, Generation Y is pouring its money into education.
“The rise of educational achievement has been occurring steadily and started well before the Great Recession began in 2007. Educational attainment is theoretically an investment in future income earning capability, so the fact that Millennials are more educated than prior generations should prove beneficial for their ability to become homeowners in the long term,” a CoreLogic report said.
But when they do start to dabble in the idea of buying a home, Kelly Booth, mortgage unit director at Velocify, outlined 5 ways to bring millennials/first time homebuyers into the mortgage process.
Follow Up Fast
Our research clearly indicates that speed has the biggest impact on converting borrower leads. In fact, following up with an interested borrower within 30 minutes can boost a lender’s conversion rate by 60% or more. On the other hand, your chances of converting an interested borrower fall dramatically after the first several minutes, and are almost nil after an hour or more. Don’t wait.
Coach your loan officers not to give up on leads so quickly when they don’t get immediate results. Most mortgage companies give up after one or two attempts to contact a lead. However, we researched the follow-up practices of our customers and found that lead conversion gains do not start to taper off until about six attempts. Keep trying.
Don’t Text Too Soon
Text messaging can be an effective communication tool with new, younger homebuyers. In fact, our research indicates it can help improve conversion rates by more than 100%. But texting in business is an earned privilege—loan officers must first ask for permission before texting a prospect. In fact, those who fail to do so cut their probability of making a connection by 39.2%.
Have an Online Plan
A recent Fannie Mae study found more than 50% of all borrowers currently find their lenders online, and that figure is growing every year. Lenders need a strong, multifaceted online strategy that begins with a good SEO optimized website that drives potential borrowers to a call to action page to capture information about the borrowers and convert these conversations into sales. Other elements that can complement your web presence include social media (consider joining / engaging in popular groups and forums), blogs, nurture email effort, online advertising and more. The goal with all these efforts is to drive brand awareness, engagement and conversions, so make sure all your content does at least one of these things every time.
Be the Perfect Partner
Real estate referrals remain a key source of generating business. The key to winning more of these relationships is to outperform and out-service your competitors. Use tools that help you connect, communicate and follow-up effectively with real estate agents (as well as escrow officers and other third parties) so they share your name with other agents as someone they need to work with.