By Julie Staley, Keller Williams Ballantyne-Area Realtor
Age is a tricky subject. As someone born and raised in the South, I knew it was considered impolite to ask an elder about his or her age. But, when discussing the current real estate market, age is one of the FIRST topics we must address.
Millennials are defined as the generation born between 1981-1996. They have surpassed Baby Boomers and Gen X as the largest living generation on the planet. They are also entering their peak spending season when it comes to real estate, so advertising to this audience has never been more important.
Millennials are the first generation raised on the Internet, and companies have taken great lengths to capture their attention online. Real estate is no exception to this digital marketing approach. Gone are the days of solely relying on MLS to spread the word regarding properties for sale. Wise real estate agents are posting both their listings and their buyers’ needs on their business Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat accounts.
Garnering a digital audience is the challenging part for any agent. On top of so many other hats we wear – listing homes, showing homes, meeting with appraisers/inspectors, attending closings – we cannot lose sight of the power of social media advertising in our job descriptions. While posts about current listings, open house announcements and model home tours are expected on any agent’s Instagram feed, it’s the voice of the agent behind the daily stories that truly attracts a loyal online audience. I have the highest engagement numbers on my Old South Homes Instagram account when I am posting behind-the-scenes moments like following an inspector around a dingy crawl space, delivering boxes to my clients who are busy packing, or celebrating at the closing table alongside my clients.
Millennials want to work with agents (and companies) that they like, know and trust. It takes time and repeated behavior for an online audience to develop loyalty to a particular real estate agent. So, as an agent, staying current on my Instagram account is just as important as searching MLS for new listings. Even if it’s just a simple interest rate update or quick video tour of one of my listings, my voice can be heard on my social media accounts every singe day. I also encourage engagement by offering virtual Q & A sessions with my audience, posting polls for my audience to vote on future content they want to see and personally answering any direct messages I receive. I give my audience a peek into who I am as a person as well as my daily responsibilities as a busy agent.
Then, when that family of 4 becomes a family of 5 and has outgrown their current floor plan, this potential client’s mind jumps to the real estate agent who has captured (and held) their attention for weeks or even years beforehand. They want to work with the agent they have counted on already to educate, inform (and sometimes entertain) them online. As millennials continue flexing their purchasing power in the real estate market, may we as savvy agents keep showing up to greet them – online.
Julie Staley has lived in the Weddington/Waxhaw area of south Charlotte for nearly 20 years. Pre-Covid, she was an entrepreneur operating the largest wedding photography studio in Charlotte for over a decade. When the events industry shut down during the pandemic, she decided to make the professional shift to real estate. In 2021, Julie was Runner Up Rookie of the Year at Keller Williams Connected with nearly $6M in sales her first year. She now works at Keller Williams Ballantyne-Area and focuses heavily on buyers and sellers in the Weddington/Waxhaw area. To contact Julie, email [email protected], call 704.287.7923, or follow her on Instagram at @old_south_homes.