Ever notice Generation X real estate clients aren’t getting much attention? I recently read yet another real estate blog post urging agents to chase after Millennials (are there many who AREN’T currently doing that?).
Although the post was written in the past month, the writer decided to repeat the oft-quoted NAR stat that Millennials make up 36 percent of the buyer pool, thus making them the largest homebuying demographic.
NAR breaks down generations into age groups that no real demographer uses. For instance, they claim that Millennials are age 37 and younger.
It is commonly agreed that Millennials are age 23 to 41 (born 1977 to 1995), so many of the buyers they are lumping into the Millennial pool are members of Gen X and Gen Z (believe it or not, 100,000 members of the latter cohort own homes).
Kinda blows a hole in the whole “Millennials are the largest group of buyers” claim, doesn’t it?
If you are choosing a demographic niche by the number of them buying homes, go after baby boomers. They make up more than one-third of homebuyers.
Close behind, however, at 26 percent (remember, that’s NAR’s statistic and the actual number is most likely larger), is Gen X (born 1965 to 1976), a generation well-worth pursuing.
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1. They’re a forgotten group of consumers
Millennials and boomers are the darlings of the real estate industry and those between them, in Gen X, are largely forgotten. And, not just by the real estate industry. You’ll have to strain your brain to come up with any product or service who pursues this 65-million strong cohort.
And, they get it.
Which is why they are loyal to businesses and services who appreciate them and, yes, cater to them.
The biggest bonus to their status as the neglected middle child is that you’ll encounter less competition from other agents if you decide to hotly pursue their business.
2. They aren’t as labor-intensive as Millennials
One nickname for members of Generation X is “latchkey kids.” Children of either single parents or working parents, they were the first generation of late to go home to an empty house after school.
This experience partially shaped the group’s personal identity, making them ferociously independent.
Generation X real estate clients don’t need a lot of hand-holding
You won’t have to counsel them on the home buying process, how to get a mortgage, what every little thing in the process is all about.
Sure, you may need to walk through the sale of their home, but they aren’t real estate newbies, so the entire process of working with them is far less labor intensive than working with Millennials.
Hey, your time is worth money. Gen Xers help you save both.
3. They buy the biggest homes
The aforementioned writer uses claims that it’s Millennials who buy the biggest home and bases that claim on a survey of buyer preferences. Naturally they PREFER a home with a “minimum of 2,500 square feet or more.” I prefer a home with a couple of acres of land for horses and lots and lots of dogs.
But, I can’t afford it.
And Millennials can’t afford a 2,500 square-foot home in most of America’s housing markets. According to a recent study by Royal LePage, the average Millennial can only afford a home with 788 square feet of living space.
Aspirations: meet reality
Generation X real estate clients, however, not only want and need larger homes, they can most certainly afford them. Which brings us to our next reason that you should consider pursuing members of this generation.
4. Generation X real estate clients make a boat-load of money
Since the media loves to tout NAR statistics, let’s go back to their latest generational study. Gen Xers, they claim, are “in their peak earning years,” and their “incomes are the highest among all generations of buyer types.”
The average income of a member of this cohort is $104,700, according to NAR. Furthermore, “they purchase the highest median-priced homes of all other buyers.”
Want a bigger commission check? Even if your Gen X client is a first-time buyer, your check will most likely be bigger working with them, than with any other generation.
But, most of them aren’t first-timers. Which brings us to reason number five.
5. You’ll possibly get two deals out of a Gen X client
The median age of a home seller is 45, putting them squarely in Gen X, the “largest share of home sellers,” according to NAR.
So, if you pick up a Gen X homebuyer, the chances are pretty good that you’ll also sell their current home – two deals from one client.
How to reach Gen X homebuyers and sellers
Family is numero uno with this generation so gear your content, both on social media and your website and blog, to catch their attention. Here are a few ideas:
- Anything that speaks to them about work-life balance. It’s a big concern with Gen Xers.
- Caring for aging parents.
- Locally-oriented family stuff, such as best places to take kids on a hot summer day, best park for family picnics, where kids can eat free in your town.
- Any topic that advises them on how to protect and grow their money.
- DIY home improvement ideas.
- Neighborhood information, especially if that neighborhood is a master-planned community with lots of family-style amenities.
Work in references that appeal to this cohort’s strong sense of nostalgia. They aren’t known as the “MTV Generation” for nothing, so popular song lyrics and movie references sprinkled throughout your content will make them feel like you’re addressing only them.
We love the way this healthcare company directs its ad to Gen X.
Finally, ensure that your testimonials page shines.
“Xers won’t purchase a product until they’ve researched it thoroughly, which is why they make extensive use of search engines, online reviews, and social media networks before making a purchase,” according to the experts at SalesFloor.
The best places to reach Generation X real estate clients is in their home with direct mail (if Amazon.com is using direct mail to target Gen X, shouldn’t you?), or online through email and on Facebook (by far, the generation’s favorite social media platform) and open houses.
Yes, open houses
While half of all buyers visited an open house, 63% of Gen x visited one, according to NAR.
Finally, target that direct mail we mentioned earlier to homeowners with a 10-year tenure: “Gen X sellers’ median tenure in their previous home was 10 years,” according to Troy McMullen at Forbes.com.
If you need listings, Generation X real estate clients are a great resource. Trust us.
Owner & Operator,
The Elite Group
Largest Home Inspection Company in North America
Best Selling Author “Secrets Of Top Producing Real Estate Agents: And How To Duplicate Their Success.”