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How to Market a Traditional Home to Gen Y Buyers

The Generation Y buyers are entering home-buying age and what they want in “Home Sweet Home” may surprise you. Learning to help your home selling clients appeal to this young demographic will open up opportunities to sell a house that might otherwise languish on the market alongside a dozen similar homes in comparable neighborhoods. Marketing to the Gen Y demographic means you need to rethink traditional real estate marketing methods and your client will have to rethink staging and may need to change the traditional staging of rooms in their home.

Who Are Gen Y Buyers?

Generation Y buyers are also known as the Millennial Generation. These individuals were born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. Also known as “Generation Me” this new breed of buyers are known for their rejection of social conventions, They have been told they were special while growing up – leading to confidence and tolerance, but also a good dose of narcissism and a sense of entitlement as compared to other generational subsets.

How to Stage the House

Generation Y buyers are not looking for, nor do they want, traditional housing. These buyers are less likely to have or want children and those who do want fewer children, usually at a later age.  Home offices and home theatres are selling points for this group. Extra bedrooms for children are not. Stage extra bedrooms as private home office spaces for telecommuting and describe them as such in your real estate listing materials.

The kitchen should have eat-in options such as a kitchen bar with stools or a small table in a breakfast nook or freestanding in the kitchen proper. These young buyers tend to cook less, eat out more and have little use for rooms such as a formal dining room. That space would be far more effectively staged as a home office, media room or unique use room.

A house with a family room and a formal living room should stage the larger of these two as a home theatre or a media room. Finished basements or finished attic areas would also become more attractive to Gen Y buyers if they are staged as home theatre spaces.

Stress the unique. These buyers have strong sense of individuality and they want their homes to reflect that, so play up any features of the house that aren’t “run-of-the-mill.” Consider creating unusual spaces through staging to add character to vanilla listings.

Online ALL the Time

Internet capability is not just a selling point for this group; it’s a requirement. If the house you are selling has access to fiber optics, a T-1 connection ,or can access the high-speed wireless and cellular networks, it will be more likely to appeal to this group.

Appliances and features that are linked to their online lifestyle will appeal to this generation. Think about “smart” appliances (like refrigerators), remote access systems (security cameras) and the ability to customize zones in the home for comfort and savings (remote access and programmable “smart” thermostats).

Low maintenance is something these buyers will seek. They are less likely to be “do it yourself” types and will be less attracted to homes requiring any “fixer-upper” skills. Advertising low maintenance in your real estate marketing will help attract these buyers.

What You Need to Know to Market To Them

These Gen Y buyers are more concerned with personal wealth and less concerned with politics and the environment than their predecessors. They are also extremely comfortable with and dependent upon digital media. They expect and rely on constant access to communication through social and other technology-based media.

If you want to capture their attention, be sure your listing has an online presence with expanded information. Using a postcard or traditional advertising should be augmented with a QR code, a URL or another quick way to access the listing information online with expanded photos, descriptions and a virtual showcase of unique features that will make this house their home. A bland online listing will not impress these tech-savvy buyers.

In your real estate marketing materials, talk about the financial benefits of home ownership and the prestige of owning a home they can personalize to their own lifestyle. Help these Gen Y buyers see that the home you are selling is as special as they are!



Angela Allen has been writing about real estate topics online for over 14 years. Today she shares her  knowledge to help real estate agents improve their approaches to traditional real estate marketing with regular blog posts on


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One Comment

  1. I love the article. The points brought out here are right on. I am amazed by how many Gen Y buyers are stating that they have $20k, $40k or more stashed in the bank. At first glance these first time home buyers may scream risk, but in many ways they have lived through the housing crisis and have recognized and are now avoiding the pitfalls.

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