Technology is changing how we do things but, more important, it’s changing how we think, and understanding those changes is key to succeeding with the up-and-coming millennial generation, says Kit Yarrow, author of The New Consumer Mind.
To succeed with millennials, you need to understand how they use technology, how to validate their sense of individualism, and respond to their dominant emotions, she said.
Millennials, the oldest of whom are 34 years old, have grown up with technology, and it’s scarcely external to them. Rather, it’s part of who they are. So, think of ways to deploy technology in innovative ways. Scatter iPads around the house you’re showing and run little videos on them that showcase some aspect of the house they otherwise wouldn’t see. For example, when Yarrow sold her California house, she ran a short video showing the layer of fog that often descends over her backyard. Without that video, consumers at her open house would never have experienced what that looks like.
What’s more, keep your communications in sync with how technology has changed the way people process information. It’s better to use images, actions, and impressions rather than words. Don’t say you’re an expert; take actions that show you’re an expert, such as by sharing a how-to video.
Millennials are used to getting information on their own, but they also know they need help with complicated transactions like a home purchase. The best way to help them is to be a resource for them. That means being there to provide assistance so they feel empowered. Don’t try to tell them what to do and present yourself as the all-knowing expert.
For all their tech savviness and sense of individualism, millennials are insecure in a way that older generations aren’t and wary of others. Their preoccupation with technology has made them more uncomfortable in face-to-face interaction than previous generations, but they still long for that connectedness. So, by being an engaged and empathetic partner to them, you help them feel connected while reducing their insecurity and addressing their wariness.
Bottom line: Empower your younger customers by letting them do the work that they want to do in their home search, and be there as a resource who helps remove hurdles standing in their way. Be an engaged, caring partner who listens to them and uses your experience to help them succeed. And be tech savvy, because to them, that means you’re smart and efficient.