The Great Age Divide: How the young and the older buy real estate differently and what marketers need to know about it
Fifty-one percent of 25-34 year olds say they don't want to work with a real estate broker when buying a home and prefer getting their house hunting information from marketing materials, renderings and websites, according to a survey by Neoscape, Inc. The sentiment is even stronger among 18-24 year olds, 81 percent of whom say they do not want to work with a broker, whereas only 38 percent of people over 55 years old did not want to work with a broker.
Mobile apps are also ascendant among the young and affluent:
55 percent of those under 34 years old find a mobile app more influential than a broker, whereas only 14 percent of people over 55 use mobile apps.
Nearly a quarter of people who make more than $100,000 use mobile apps.
"While technology is changing how we shop for almost anything today, we were surprised by how quickly sentiment is changing about the traditional home buying process, and it's clear that the real estate industry needs to shift how it markets property – especially to first-time homebuyers, who are increasingly urban, savvier and more independent than ever. Brokers especially need to harness technology to remain relevant with the younger demographic," said Rodrigo Lopez, chief creative officer, Neoscape.
Meanwhile, when asked what most influenced their decision when they bought a home within the last year, 85 percent of buyers of all ages said property websites, followed by word of mouth at 77 percent. Brokers and mobile apps tied for influence at 62 percent, which is why brokers need to use mobile apps differently for different age groups and income levels.
Age is not the only factor that determines a buyer's willingness to rely on a broker. Income plays a big role, as well. The more a buyer earns, the more likely they are to work with a broker. Among the affluent who earn more than $100,000:
64 percent reported using a broker
72 percent rank a broker as their most used resource when looking for a new home
The survey also showed that data becomes increasingly important for those at the higher end of the income spectrum; the heart doesn't always win out in the end:
94 percent use property websites to gather data when deciding to purchase a new home
60 percent say they think with their head over their heart
Of those who think with their heart over their head, almost half of them (46%) make less than $50,000