For the third year in a row, millennials comprise the highest share of homebuyers in the U.S.1 As millennials continue to enter young adulthood and flood the housing market, New American Funding is dedicated to making sure its Loan Officers know exactly how they can best appeal to and work with this very unique generation.
New American Funding is here to serve the needs of its borrowers, and right now, many of those borrowers are millennials. We understand that when it comes to the mortgage loan process, millennials have varying preferences in how they select a lender as well as how they want to communicate with that lender. It is vital that Loan Officers shift their marketing and customer service strategies when working with this tech-savvy, inquisitive generation.
There are many steps Loan Officers can take to make millennials excited about working with them:
1. Educate, Educate, Educate
Millennials are the most educated generation in history. As a whole, they don’t like jumping into things they don’t understand, especially when they have grown up in a world where any information they seek is just a click away. Millennial homebuyers want to be informed, and Loan Officers who take the time to educate potential borrowers on the mortgage loan process are going to come out on top.
The best way to educate millennials is through online content. Millennials live for their screens, and whenever they have a question about something, they are going to Google it. These homebuyers are likely to become loyal to the lending brands they find online – particularly those that provide helpful guidance through articles, videos and how-tos before they have even become customers. Increase your focus on Search Engine Optimization and other digital marketing techniques so when millennials Google questions about mortgages, your page is the first thing they find.
Once potential customers have been turned into actual customers, make sure to continuously update them on every aspect of the process and walk them through anything they do not understand. Keep them in the know, and they will keep wanting to work with you.
2. Build a Social Media Presence
If you aren’t on social media, you’re already falling behind. Places like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest are where you’ll find millennials, who are out there searching for brands that will engage them. The more channels you join, the more customers you will reach. Just make sure you research the best way to leverage each social channel, as each one requires distinct marketing and engagement tactics.
Engagement is the key word here. Social media is not the place to obsessively advertise your products and services. Millennials are turned off by direct advertisements and become more loyal to brands that make them feel like they are part of a conversation. Social media is a place to offer more educational content and spark discussions about various industry-related topics. Loan Officers who establish themselves as engaging thought leaders on social media will appear trustworthy and like they truly care about these homebuyers’ needs, not only about getting their business. This marketing technique will attract more millennial customers.
Because millennials came of age during the economic recession and witnessed their parents’ immense financial struggles, many are wary of the home buying process and have difficulty trusting Loan Officers.2 These kinds of engagement tactics will encourage millennials to trust you. Transparency and warmth are keys. Millennials want to feel like they are interacting with human beings rather than faceless businesses.
“Loan Officers should give borrowers the option to electronically sign documents.”
3. Invest in New Technology
Efficiency is a millennial buzzword. If they can’t complete easy loan application tasks online, they may decide to find a lender who will allow them to do so. The more steps millennials can complete online, the happier they will be. Whenever possible, Loan Officers should give borrowers the option to electronically sign documents. Even more, they should be able to access a web portal that allows them to fill out their entire application online. If you want to improve your online services even more, offer online tools that help millennials calculate various costs based on their wants and needs.3
Millennials grew up with the Internet, so in their eyes these kinds of services are not extras. They are simply an expectation.
4. Text Them
Texting may feel unprofessional to someone in an older generation, but it is millennials’ preferred method of communication. They will appreciate Loan Officers sending them a quick text when the information they need to provide is not substantial enough to necessitate a phone call. To millennials, texting is actually good customer service.
Millennials are a force in real estate, and at New American Funding, we are prepared to meet their needs.
1 National Association of Realtors 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report