New Homes and Marketing To Change With Millennial Generation

millennialhomeWhen the housing market turns around, there are many changes on the horizon for new homes in Chicago and nationally.  It is difficult to tell exactly when that will occur as many experts disagree, but they all agree that the next generation of new homes will be smaller, more energy efficient, higher in density and create less maintenance for the homeowner.  Charles Shinn, a home building industry expert, recently wrote on giving reasons why this will be the case.
Why will the new stock of housing change so?  There are many reasons but perhaps the most powerful is the effect of time.  As Shinn points out, the last 40 years or so have been dominated by the baby boomers in their life cycle changes and influence on housing products.  They are now faced with the prospect of being ‘over-housed’ in a home when they’re looking to downsize.  Being ‘over-housed’ creates a burden indeed but until prices on their homes stabilize, they generally have the financials to stay put and postpone until the comfort (or reality) of their living situation creates the overwhelming need to down-size move.
This latest housing cycle is likely to create an even deeper change in customer preference due to its projected length in recession.   When the housing-tide turns (and it will), the next group ready to purchase with the greatest earning power and need to buy boomer homes is the Generation X buyer.  Problem is that X-er’s are only proportioned 2 to every 3 baby boomers in the American population.   Theoretically then, demand will weaken the traditional existing housing stock.   Never fear as the Millennial generation right behind the X’-er’s are beginning to enter the housing market and are-as a population demographic-larger than the baby boom generation.
generationybuyerIn an industry faced with a set of seemingly insurmountable challenges, selling and marketing to Millennials will prove to be the toughest yet.  The bottom line with Millennials is that if your not on the internet, social media sites and blogging to your prospects, your chances of serving this demographic is slim.  So much so that your marketing dollars should focus on internet marketing more than anything else.  Need proof?  Take a look at your local newspaper, or better yet find a twenty-something reading one.  These buyers grew up with technology and expect nothing less than 24-hour information availability that is cutting edge.  Builders must take heed if they plan on capturing the largest generation of home buyers to arrive in the coming decade.
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