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Ask The Expert: More Thoughts on Connecting with Younger Buyers

In a previous column, I addressed a question by Walter from New York about becoming relevant to younger homebuyers. I have some more insights to share. But first, as a reminder, here is Walter's question: "I keep reading about the importance of millennials in the market. I have been a loan officer and sometimes producing manager for almost 30 years. I am well beyond the age of a Millennial and so are most of the real estate agents I serve. And now we have the Generation X coming into the market. How can I become relevant to these younger homebuyers?" 

HershmanDave: We have spoken about reaching millennials, technology and the goal of hiring more millennials into the residential finance industry. When discussing the recruitment of millennials, we also pointed out that millennials are purchasing homes later in life versus earlier generations. Since the purchase and financing of a home has always been an entry point into the industry, this presents a conundrum. Millennials are more likely to have "found" their career by the time they purchase a home. Thus, they are less susceptible to a change.

The secret to overcoming this issue is education. Unless you are a son or daughter of someone in this industry, you are not likely to be going to college with the thought of entering the residential finance field. There are no curriculums to even introduce you to the possibilities. Therefore, it is up to us to educate younger generations as to how great this industry is.

Where else can you make great money, influence the most important investment decision a person can make in a lifetime, and have so much freedom doing so? These types of outreach should be aimed at those in college. But we should not be limited to colleges. We should be participating in job fairs, educating recruiters and more. Wandering into the industry is not the best way to attract talent.

And let’s not forget that Generation Z is already becoming a factor in the real estate market. There are over 70 million millennials in the United States, and they have come of age, with recent stats showing they are comprising almost 50% of home buyers. The impact of Generation Z has the potential to be just about as large—with over 60 million.

The oldest Generation Z'ers are approximately 25 years old. At that point, millennials had not made a dent in the housing market. Generation Z is already registering on the scale. Why? Remember that Millennials came of age in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and tediously slow recovery of the real estate market. At that time, headlines read : “Renting will be better than owning for the next decade.”

Boy were they wrong. Generation Z is coming of age when real estate is hot, and they want to jump in as quickly as possible. They are also in the earlier stages of their careers, so they would be easier to attract than Millennials were when they got interested in real estate. By that later age, most millennials had already established their career. Generation Z has the potential to the “The Real Estate Generation.”

Dave Hershman is Senior VP of Sales of Weichert Financial and the top author in the mortgage industry. Dave has published seven books, as well as hundreds of articles and is the founder of the OriginationPro Marketing System and Mortgage School – the online choice for expert mortgage learning and marketing content. His site is www.OriginationPro.com and he can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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