Marketing to Millennial Homeowners
In the past, homeowners would heed more traditional forms of marketing. But millennials like to “be in charge” of the buying process by doing their research online first.
Millennials are loosely defined as the generation born in the early 1980s and the twenty years following. For our purposes, we could define this generation as the Twenty-First Century Homeowner. These are the people to whom contractors are selling their services both now, and in the future.
These are the families buying new homes; these are the young people remodeling apartments. For the next few decades, contractors will be marketing to this generation.
What, then, is the best way to reach them? What do we need to know about this group of people that make up the largest living population in the United States?
Here are five descriptions of a millennial homeowner in the 21st century. This is not an exclusive or exhaustive list, but it should be helpful in knowing how to take the first step in getting client leads from a millennial audience.
21st Century Homeowners Think Smartphone First
Today we have apps for everything. Apps help us sleep. Apps help us eat. We have apps to help us stay healthy. According to a recent Google study, 87% percent of people have their smartphone at their side day and night, and 91% percent turn to their phone for ideas in the middle of a task.
How does this relate to the millennial homeowner? Well, if they’re interested in a new home project, you can be sure that they will go to their smartphone first to find solutions.
To reach them, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly; you should be able to easily navigate it on any phone. Your contact information should be easily accessible; update your information in Google so that a quick search will take them directly to your phone number.
If you can’t be reached online, there’s a good possibility you will never get the business of a millennial.
21st Century Homeowners Research First Before Hiring
Millennials have the entire world of information at their fingertips. Because it is not difficult to find the best available, there is no excuse to settle for less in any area of life. Before committing to a contractor, they will research, read reviews, and check multiple options before picking up the phone to make the initial contact.
In the past, homeowners would heed more traditional forms of marketing, or hire someone based strictly on a referral from someone. But millennials like to “be in charge” of the buying process. They like to do their research first, and then when they are confident they have the right contractor, they will pick up the phone and hire them.
This is why it’s so important that your online presence is positioned in such a way to answer their questions with quality content, and establish trust through reviews and testimonials.
It’s not an option to have an online presence now. Millennials expect it. Give them what they want. Help them do their research. They will appreciate it, and it will help establish you as a 21st century contractor.
21st Century Homeowners Want it Now
Instant gratification is an ingrained human desire, but with the rise of internet technology in daily life (think smartphones), millennials are the first generation to actually mostly attain it. Your website, content, and everything you display online must be quick. It must to be quick to load and swift to answer the potential customer’s questions. On your website, display information as clearly and concisely as possible, to avoid readers jumping from page to page.
In an additional Google survey, 70% of people surveyed said they would switch to a different site if the current site takes too long to load. That is how twenty-first century homeowners think. Instant information is critical, not only today, but even more so in the future. In fact, because of statistics like these, Google has changed their search engine to rank websites higher on the first page based on how fast a website loads. See how important this is?
If a potential client reaches out to you from your website, reply as soon as possible. This will build trust between you and keep them from looking elsewhere while they wait.
21st Century Homeowners Won’t Put Up With B.S.
Perhaps the most defining feature of the current generation is their desire to create a culture of authenticity. What they see should be what they get. What you say should be what you mean. What you say they’ll get, should be what they get.
As a rule, traditional advertising in the form of radio and television ads or billboards is not viewed as trustworthy sources by a millennial. It feels much to corporation and money based. They are much more attracted to peer reviews or one-on-one interaction with a product or service.
As a contractor, advertise your services honestly. Do not attempt to get more customers by selling a service you are not capable of performing well.
Include a frequently asked questions page on your website full of candid information about your service, company, employees, and experience. Focus your advertising power on getting positive reviews from satisfied customers.
Those peer-reviews will be the ticket to attracting millennial clients.
21st Century Homeowners Want to Have Fun
Millennials want an experience. TV shows like Fixer-Upper, House Hunter, and the Property Brothers portray home building and renovation, not just as a service, but as a pleasant, family-inclusive experience.
This kind of cultural attitude shift from needing merely an opinion on a finished product, to an involvement on the developing process means you may need to shift your client relationship tactics, especially once you’ve signed a contract.
There are tons of apps on the market that allow contractor and client to share information, photos, timelines or critiques with each other. With most, you can even sign contracts digitally. In a smartphone-savvy culture, this makes business easier, and maybe even more fun.
Promote your company’s brand on hats and t-shirts. Post pictures on Instagram and Facebook of your clients helping you out on their own remodel job.
Social media interaction with clients will foster your relationships with them and also help your marketing. While this kind of client involvement may seem overwhelming, just focus on doing your job well and enjoying the process.
To successfully market to the 21st century homeowner, the millennial, ensure that all your online information is easy to access, concise, and swift. Encourage customers to leave reviews and spread the word about your work. Market only the services you can sell and do well.
Remember, ultimately, to work hard and enjoy the experience.
More on Building Business
Five Reasons to Build Your Online Presence – This article explores some of the reasons why its important, in this day and age, to invest time and energy into building your online presence.
Four Steps To A Five-Star Online Reputation – A contractor or builder needs a solid online reputation in this modern age. These four steps will help you with the process.
Building Business – The foundation for your bottom line.
Please forgive this curmudgeon in his late forties, but does this apply if you're a small operation? Does it make sense to hire someone to develop and maintain a web presence to cater to people who have been sold the idea that one can double-click a bathroom and see it completed in 30 minutes? What? Do it myself? When do I do the work? It IS possible to spread yourself too thin, complicate your operation and see no benefit in the end. I love my clients, and they send me more clients. Some have even tried a well advertised contractor vetting site only to be disappointed. Of course they don't know that contractors buy their presence on the site and pad their own reviews. I guess if you're a big outfit and know how to charge extra to cater to the web-dependent, it makes sense. But if you have to do the work, you know there's little time left for much else. I am not interested in giving the little time remaining to prop up the facade created by and for TV and internet.
I told you I was curmudgeony! Is that a real word?