The San Marino Real Estate Report, as seen weekly in the San Marino Tribune
This week I will conclude my series on how an understanding of generational differences can be helpful in the residential real estate process. In a society that is progressing so quickly, driven by dramatic technological advances, there are sweeping differences in the way each generation views the world. These differences affect every decision an individual makes, including the purchase of a home. My goal is to help San Marino “Baby Boomers” better understand what is important to the next generation of home buyers, in an effort to head off problems and optimize the sales process.
The youngest set of home-buying Americans, “Generation Y” is a powerful and large group with birth dates between 1982 and 1994. Also known as “Millenials,” these individuals were raised with technology and cannot imagine a world without cell phones, laptop computers, or the internet. With the ability to retrieve data or contact an individual in seconds from their cell phone, members of “Generation Y” are used to getting information immediately.
“Millenials” were raised by parents who attended to their needs, ensured that they had the best schooling possible, and scheduled their downtime with a wide assortment of extra-curricular activities. With this extra nurturing, members of “Generation Y” are quite extraordinary but also continue to lean on their parents for advice and guidance into their adult years.
Members of this age group have watched their parents struggle financially and viewed in HD color the carnage associated with the Columbine High School shooting and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. These events have left them questioning their own future and given them a passion for social responsibility. They do not have the same corporate loyalty as their “Baby Boomer” parents and seek to balance their professional life with an active and satisfying personal life.
“Baby Boomers” should consider the following when dealing with members of “Generation Y:”
- This age group loves the use of technology in the home and find value in anything automated. An example is a high-tech thermostat, called a “Nest.” This small round gadget mounts on the wall, can be monitored from any location by an app on their iPhone, and will automatically change the temperature by adapting to the homeowner’s habits. They are not hugely expensive, are easy to use, and would definitely speak to this younger generation. When replacing items in your home, opt for the high-tech option.
- Members of “Generation Y” are very keyed into the importance of new mechanical systems in our older San Marino homes. They will likely have deep concern over any knob and tube wiring, asbestos ducting, or galvanized plumbing. Investing in systems upgrades will reap rewards with these younger buyers.
- Realize that the parents of “Generation Y” buyers have a great deal of influence over their decisions. Even if a “Generation Y” buyer can afford the house without borrowing any money from their parents, getting the parental stamp of approval will likely be extremely important. Encouraging the buyer to bring everyone through the house prior to writing an offer is the best practice. Nothing is worse than accepting an offer and then realizing that a parent or other decision maker does not like the house. Once you get your house into escrow, you want it to stay there.
- “Generation Y” individuals tend to be socially responsible and find importance in saving energy. Dual-paned windows, effective insulation, LED lighting, and energy efficient appliances are all big draws for their age group. These are items of importance to them, and because they are busy with work and fun, they prefer to have a house already equipped with everything they want.
Some may say this list points to a keen sense of entitlement, but a study of generational differences requires us to refrain from judgement. Instead, study what they like and consider whether to embark on a few projects prior to putting your home on the market. With the right improvements and great staging, a home will truly shine for those “Generation Y” buyers and should yield great financial benefits at the time of sale.
For information about real estate in Pasadena, San Marino’s next door neighbor, go to Everything’s Coming Up Roses