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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   September 2010

Get Hip to Generation Y

The world's most technologically advanced consumers deserve marketing attention

Generation Y consists of the most technologically savvy consumers in history. Many people who comprise this group have similar tastes and consumption patterns.

As Generation Y enters the homebuying market, mortgage brokers should learn these traits and market their businesses appropriately.

Although it's difficult to pin down an exact range of birth years defining Generation Y, the group consists loosely of people born in the final two decades of the 20th century. Depending on who you count, the group has about 60 million to 75 million members. Members of Generation Y accounted for a collective income of about $1.4 trillion in 2008, which could grow to roughly $2.3 trillion in 2013, according to a Javelin Strategy & Research report.

The oldest members of Generation Y, now in their early 30s, represent an important segment of today's homebuyers. Many of these consumers have achieved financial independence but also can count on downpayment and other assistance from financially secure parents.

Because of this, brokers should pay careful attention to this generation and consider the options for marketing to its members. As you do, you should realize some key traits and expectations.

Technological demands

Many members of Generation Y don't respond to traditional marketing strategies. They expect to engage advertising and marketing offers online and feel comfortable conducting financial transactions online. They also demand interactive online services, such as automatic bill-paying.

Moreover, many members of Generation Y want to participate in and lead conversations. Often, these interactions take place on mobile devices such as smart phones, and group members often respond favorably to promotions received via text message.

Brokers who can deliver information and services immediately and with convenience -- and those who leverage social-networking services such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare effectively -- can position themselves to win over these consumers.

Green means good

Members of Generation Y believe in managing their finances electronically for convenience and security. They also like doing it for the environment. Their comfort with online processing makes them good candidates for electronic mortgages, digital data storage and online bill-paying.

Many are loyal to companies that support and maintain sustainable practices. When it comes to homeownership, these buyers often place a premium on homes built sustainably and in walkable neighborhoods.

In turn, brokers should develop relationships with builders, real estate agents and others who focus on green building and who operate in neighborhoods where access to amenities doesn't require a car.

Reaching out

If you're not already pursuing these consumers, a few tips can help you:

  • Open a social-networking site dedicated to loan origination. Populate the site with daily tips and be vigilant about keeping the site current and interacting with users.
  • Start collecting mobile-phone numbers. Ask prospects to opt in to receive text messages containing mortgage tips, special offers, interest-rate trends and more.
  • Move toward sustainability and advertise efforts that make your company greener.

Mortgage brokers who take time to realize this generation's desires and who market to its members appropriately can tap an emerging economic engine. 


 


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