Young homebuyers want tech-savvy, astute and attentive estate agents who are able to handle their complex requirements via a range of technological solutions according to a new report produced by mio.
The company, which offers agents an automated sales progression service, says current first time buyers may require more support from agents than they may feel appropriate for other customers, adopting a more consultancy-like hands-on approach instead.
Citing a number of sources in its 18-page research document, mio says first time buyers are now ‘back’ with a vengeance - their numbers are at a 12 year high having risen by 92 per cent since 2008.
But that good news creates a challenge for agents who “must be savvy and adapt their approach to boost customer satisfaction rates and generate valuable word-of-mouth recommendations from this group of budding homeowners.
For example, mio advises agents to “be well-versed in government schemes [such as Help To Buy] as they could play a large part in the process of selling to young homebuyers. This will not only help the young buyer’s understanding but aid in their own sales completions … Be prepared to explain this scheme to your young homebuyers to mitigate any frustration with unexpected complications. Providing a calm, reassuring and knowledgeable voice on the topic is a great way to win the trust and favour of your younger buyers and get them on side.”
On the more overtly PropTech side, mio suggests agents keep younger customers informed with chat messaging and milestone reminders, and through notifications on smartphones rather than more traditional telephone calls or email.
mio’s research taps into the English Housing Survey, which shows that the average age of first time buyers is 33, which may be significantly older than even some agents might expect. “What’s more, 29 per cent of first-time buyers are couples with dependent children, which serves to dispel the myth that first-timers are immature and inexperienced” it says.
Of those young buyers who make it onto the property ladder, 40 per cent have household incomes in the top fifth of their age group, meaning agents will be most-likely be dealing with high-income professionals when working with first-time buyers.
“Agents can excel by adopting a consultancy-led approach and providing practical hands-on support to guide them through the process. This approach, coupled with technology … can help agents to manage expectations and provide a superior customer experience that’s in line with young homebuyers’ expectations” it says.