Millennials often get a bad name, but we are nonetheless the future of our economy. According to Accenture, Millennial purchasing power is at an all-time high of $600 billion per year, with an expected growth to $1.4 trillion annually by 2020. So why are companies paying little attention to such a huge market? Millennials have a branding issue.
While our generation is often called lazy or entitled, dwelling on Millennial stereotypes does not increase market share.
If you want to get my business, you must face the reality of today’s shift in market dynamics.
In the national MBA conference, the audience repeatedly heard that today’s market is changing, and it’s driven by Millennials and multicultural segments. 2016 President, Bill Emerson, stated, “Demographic trends are a real opportunity, but could only make it more difficult if we don't see real change.”
When it comes to the impact on your bottom line, does it really matter that the next generation is getting in the drivers seat?
As a Millennial and industry consultant, my answer is an emphatic YES.
Here are six Millennial stereotypes that explain how changes in consumer behavior impact the survival of your business and changes you should make to capture the opportunity.
1. Millennials are entitled.
Millennials are demanding change in customer service and employment practices.
If companies don’t meet market demands for a more convenient, better service experience, we will find (or create) something better. Your customers were not happy with the service experience of cab companies, so we are pushing them out with car-sharing services like Uber.
Solution: To compete in today’s crowded marketplace, you have to prove you’re the best by ensuring quality customer service experience and expertise from your first interactions.
2. Millennials are lazy.
With every purchasing decision, we have a lot of options to choose from. If you use outdated technology and processes, I’ll probably choose someone else.
The reality is that if you had the choice between fresh donuts delivered to your door and driving to the donut shop for the same price, you’re going to choose delivery. We are just aware of our convenient options.
Solution: Make the purchasing process as efficient and convenient as possible.
3. Millennials are always on their phones.
I admit it. I sleep with my phone. It tracks my sleep patterns!
Millennials spend countless hours looking at customer reviews and assessing our options to ensure we choose the best with every purchase and don’t miss out on something better.
When I want to buy something as small as a coffee pot, I review my options online and make a decision, which may or may not include the nearest store. I won’t walk into the nearest Target and buy the coffee pot that’s on sale, and I certainly won’t walk into the nearest mortgage company.
Solution: Develop positive customer reviews on social media such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook.
4. Millennials don’t respect authority.
Truth is, I don’t care how long you’ve been in the business. There are many incompetent “veteran” sales people and professionals with outdated information.
We are a generation of consumers who don’t trust the professionals just for their title. In the complicated world of mortgage, it can feel like you’re hiding something from us. To develop trust with Millennials, start with transparency.
Solution: Provide expert information from the first contact with your prospect, developing a relationship as a “guide” in the Millennial’s process.
5. Millennials just want to have fun.
What’s wrong with a little fun?
Sitting at the closing table is still easily one of the top five most memorable moments of my life. After working hard to save for a down payment, going through the qualification process, and understanding what in the world that even meant, I was ready to celebrate.
Solution: Take advantage of my celebratory vulnerability and seal the deal for future referrals. If you join me in that moment, you forever remain memorable.
6. Millennials think they know better.
The fact is, when I decide to make a purchase, I expect to be as knowledgeable (if not more so) than my salesman. And I’m usually right because I do my research.
Millennials want to know as much information as possible from the beginning of any purchasing decision. We may not understand it, but that gives you to the opportunity to be our guide and another resource (in addition to Google). A recent Mortgage Coach call referenced this exact phenomenon by using the required TIP conversation as a competitive advantage. I asked them for specific edits in this video to articulate my point.
Solution: Provide all the details and information available to empower us as responsible consumers, and come alongside us as we journey through the process.
According to a recent Mortgage Master survey, 93% of Millennials want to buy a home in the near future. The question is not whether we will buy homes, whether we will have kids or if we will buy our grandparents’ houses in the suburbs. The question is whether you will have a thriving business well into the future.
By following the solutions to appealing to Millennial homebuyers, you will increase the likelihood of referrals, positive customer reviews and loyal customers.