In most industries it is currently the Generation X consumer, who are 31 to 45 years old, who have the buying power, but it is the younger generation or Millennials (consumers under the age of 30 years old) who will be the future buying power and backbone of all markets going forward. The millennial generation is currently filling schools, universities and entry-level jobs around the country; however this will soon change as they grow financially.
Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, says that there are already areas in and around the country where consumers under the age of 30 years old already represent the highest percentage of recent home buyers. “While Generation X accounts for around 18.74 million South Africans, the Millennials account for approximately 28.4 million people. This means that this up-and-coming generation will have a massive impact on the property market and will demand attention. Those who are looking to sell their property in the future will more than likely encounter a buyer from this generation, so it might be worthwhile to research what it is that this demographic of buyer is looking for,” says Goslett.
According to research concluded by real estate agents in the US, many of the younger generation buyers are looking for a place where they can socialise and interact with other people, while still having a space that offers them privacy when they want it. Goslett notes that based on this information, there a few things that sellers can do to make their homes appeal more to millennial buyers:
Highlight social areas in the home: as socialising is a top priority for younger buyers, the more a home is conductive to entertaining, the more likely they will be attracted to the property. A great example of this is adding a small bar area, or simply adding a table and shelving to a cupboard that is near a living room and using it as a bar. Drinks can be served from it during show days to highlight the feature. Place a braai out on the balcony or outside area, even it is a small one. While it may seem insignificant to older generation buyers, to a young first-time buyer who has never owned one before, it will represent a passage into adulthood and a great excuse to have friends over.
While space to entertain at home is important, millennials also enjoy socialising outside of home and meeting friends at local establishments. Homes that are near to amenities and entertainment facilities with be highly sought after. “Sellers should focus on highlighting places such as local bars, popular restaurants and coffee shops that offer free WiFi,” says Goslett.
Emphasise the preferred amenities: technology is a very important to the millennial generation, so sellers should take time to research elements such as internet connectivity in the area, along with cellphone coverage. If connectivity or cellphone signal is not ideal, a signal booster should remedy the issue and become a selling point.
Many millennials are looking for space in the home where they can store their gadgets and electronic items. If the property does not currently have one, building a storage cupboard over an electrical outlet will provide the ideal designated charging station and gadget storage unit.
Show off the home’s storage space: transport can sometimes be an issue for millennial buyers as they find their feet financially, with many now opting use public transport systems where they are available or bicycles. As a result, many are faced the problem of where to store their bike if they do not have access to a garage. A solution to this problem is a wall mount where a bike can hang vertically in a space that would otherwise remain unused.
“As more and more of the millennial generation gain access to finance and enter the property market, the more important it will be for sellers to stage their properties and make them as appealing as possible to this demographic of buyer. Knowing the buyer and what they are looking for will give sellers an edge in the market,” Goslett concludes.
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