Home shopping is different for every generation. Different age groups share common characteristics. We see trends with how they search for a home, what they look for and even what they are willing to pay. So how well do you know your potential customers?
Right now, there are currently four active generations of home buyers. Defining each group in detail is the key to understanding their specific home shopping habits.
Dismiss the stereotypes and learn to tailor experiences to the characteristics of each group in a way that bridges gaps and makes sales.
Silent Generation (born 1910-1944)
There are two groups of home shoppers in this generation. The first group knows who they are, what they want based on physical limitations and they will ask for it specifically. They prefer an open discussion about things like split floor plans, counter height and grab bars in the restrooms.
Of the second group, many of them still work. They prefer homes that have a location value based on their hobbies and extracurricular activities.
The Silent Generation is characterized as:
- Two groups
- Often have physical limitations
- Value convenience and location
- Want to be informed
- Lowest income group
- May or may not still work
Baby Boomers (born 1945-1964)
Also known as “Generation Jones” or the “Rock and Roll Generation,” Baby Boomers have access to more disposable income, so they aren’t necessarily bargain hunters. Baby Boomers value convenience above all else. They shop online regularly, but prefer the personal engagement of in-store purchases.
Digital channel experiences and social web features with clientele apps appeal to this generation. Baby Boomers often look to sales associates for buying suggestions based on their perceived expertise. This group expects great customer service, energy efficiency and low maintenance properties.
Baby Boomers are characterized as:
- Most still working full time, nearing retirement
- Technology capable and curious
- Concerned with investment potential
- Account for 57% of vacation home ownership
- Own 58% of rental properties in the US
- 47% own two or more properties
Generation X (born 1965-1980)
Generation X are sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Millennials (1981-1997). While they have been repeatedly overlooked by marketers, this group has the highest income of all. They represent 25 percent of the population and a staggering 31 percent of total US household income.
Generation X are conservative shoppers who are skeptical of marketing tactics and do extensive research before purchasing. Their buying journey begins online and can be easily dissuaded with poor reviews. A personable and authentic brand image is important to this group, who value practicality above all else.
Generation X would rather have a home office than an extra bedroom and they don’t see the sense in formal dining rooms. They want plenty of counter space, easy internet access and a large yard. This group will make efficient use of every room, but the rooms can’t be pre-defined.
Generation X is a group known for:
- Value practicality
- Independence and the affinity to buy early
- Prefer plenty of choices
- Will pay extra for things they need
- Want flexible home designs
Millennials (born 1981-1997)
Millennials, also known as “Gen Y,” are currently the largest group of home buyers. They view shopping as a social event that should be shared with friends and family, even when making large purchases.
Millennials are omnivorous in their point-of-sale demands. They will make purchases in-store, but they demand the convenience of omnichannel accessibility.
An integrated experience is important to them and they expect their customer data to transition effortlessly from their smartphone, to the laptop and even to the brick-and-mortar location.
Social media is highly regarded by this group. They seek out genuine consumer reviews before purchasing. They are strongly influenced by social media posts and user generated content. Millennials lead busy lives and shop both online and offline.
Know Millennials as those who:
- Make a home purchase on average by 26 years old
- Value technology and location
- Conduct digital research
- View in-store purchases as a social event
- Soon to be dominant home buying segment
Coming Soon Generation (Born 1995-2004)
Generation Z, or Gen Now, can’t remember a time before the internet. Technology drives this tech-savvy group. They use a plethora of online resources to help them make the most informed purchasing decisions.
Although the research and purchasing decision is often a digital experience, this generation enjoys planning an excursion with others to complete their purchase. However, they will delay gratification to get a better deal or newer products.
This group is likely to seek out brand representatives to voice comments and concerns in the digital realm. Up to 40 percent of these unofficial brand ambassadors consistently post online reviews.
Know Generation Z as:
- Informed and educated
- Viewing shopping as a social enterprise
- Consistently posting online reviews
- Prioritizing technology and a communal in-store atmosphere
- Influencing purchasing decisions of other groups
Even though this generation is not actively buying homes, they are the consumers of the future, so keep them top of mind.
To learn more about connecting with your home shoppers, generating leads or growing your brand presence in the home builder market, contact BDX today.