Where did all of the first time home buyers go? Actually, that question started to be a big one around 2008, right in the heat of the housing and mortgage crash. There were plenty of reasons:
- Disenchantment with the American Dream of homeownership.
- Seeing their friends and relatives losing their homes.
- Stagnant wages and poor graduate employment expectations.
Now the bigger question is when are the first time home buyers coming back? The happy answer is that it is beginning now and will be gaining ground through 2018 and beyond. The new question is “Is it time to market to first-time homebuyers again?” The answer is a major YES.
Step #1: Make a Plan
Don’t just jump in and definitely don’t just drag out old first-time buyer marketing plans and reuse them. Come up with a new plan that takes into account the past 8 years of housing market history. Think about the attitudes they’re entering the buying market with. More than that, take into account the fears they may have.
Tip #1: If You Don't Know, Ask
You can start asking your millennial generation potential buyers what they want and what bothers them about buying a home. Some statistics can help as well. In a 2016 NAR survey, 35% of buyers were first time home buyers with a median age of 32. 51% of all buyers found their home on the Internet. For all buyers, 90% typically financed 90% of the purchase price.
Worrying about having the required down payment, as well as whether they’ll make the right choice or end up taking a hit on home value is high on the list of many. Come up with a list of what they want and what they fear and it’s the best way to move forward.
Step #2: Conform Your Website to Your List
No, you don’t have to go through and change all of your content or do major updates. However, you do need to think about how you can add or adapt content to appeal to this resurgence of first-time homebuyers.
Tip #2: Create a New Navigation Destination
If you already have a prominent navigation tab and destination just for first-time buyers, then just adapt as necessary. If not, create one. Then fill it with the type of content that meets their wants and fears.
- Lots of mortgage information to find the right deal and down payment.
- New statistics showing a recovery of the housing market and increasing home values.
- Great IDX Search function; remember the 51% from above.
- Bring search and transaction process up to date, including new regulations.
Get your website ready to provide the information and answers they need.
Step #3: Recalibrate Your Lead Generation
Content isn’t the only thing you need to adapt. Some of your calls-to-action or lead generation offerings will not be up to the new task. You’ll need to go through them as well to determine what works as-is or what needs changing.
Tip #3: Create Up-To-Date Offerings
Look at the special reports, data and statistics and other offerings and the calls-to-action to make them fit your new content and the needs of your first-time homebuyers. Make sure they know that your new offerings and content have been updated to today’s market conditions.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be far ahead of the competition. Make the most of that lead.