What Single Women Homebuyers Want and How to Deliver
If you liked it then you should’ve made a down payment. Turns out all the single ladies are doing just that.
As the National Association of Realtors reported in January 2016, single women have become one of the largest demographics looking to purchase a home — second only to married couples. Interestingly, single women are collectively buying roughly twice as many homes as their unmarried male counterparts.
It makes sense, simply because more single women than ever before are in a position to purchase a home; many are delaying marriage and children in order to focus on their career, their finances, and their independence. In the scheme of things, that leaves little time to worry about roommates and rent checks, and makes the idea of owning a home even more enticing.
Updater’s Marketing Director, Jenna Weinerman, made the empowering, confusing, and life-changing decision to purchase her own space in Manhattan at just 28 years old. Her desire to be rid of roommates and have a stake in New York City coincided with low interest rates, and the timing felt right.
As a young professional in the real estate and moving industry, Jenna had an idea of what the home-buying process would be... or so she thought. “There’s a lot that goes into a real estate transaction. There are a lot of moving pieces. From being in the industry, I had a pretty good idea that this was going to be complicated,” she says. “I think it was actually worse than I expected.”
As more and more single women tackle the home-buying process, it's becoming increasingly important for brokerages and real estate agents to learn how to best appeal to this demographic. Here are some of Jenna's top tips as to how realtors can do so.
Understand the demographic
Many single women homebuyers are looking for the same things: safe neighborhoods, big cities, and easy commutes. It’s important to consider what this demographic needs and wants before you begin helping them find a place of their own. Perhaps even more so than specific amenities, it's involvement in the process that millennial women want. “Generally, if you’re in your 20s or 30s and you are buying a home, you’re some sort of type-A single woman," Jenna says. "There’s something you’re doing right that got you to be able to achieve this, so I imagine that you're also the type of person who would want to be a part of the home-buying process. You work so hard for your money, and you want to know what it’s being spent on.” Inclusion, therefore, is paramount.
Get to know your clients individually
While members of the same demographic may have certain things in common, everyone is different. Each of your clients will undoubtedly have her own unique preferences. For example, she might know exactly what she wants her home to look like or have strong feelings about certain locations. It’s important to respect the fact that, on several of these factors, your buyer's mind may already be made up. That being said, you’re the expert, equipped with insights into the industry. Chances are great that you may know what your clients are looking for, even before they do.
The best way to marry your client’s dream home visions with your industry expertise is to maintain a sense of transparency. Establish a clear understanding of what your clients are willing to compromise on, as well as their non-negotiables. Additionally, be upfront about what they need to know and break down complex processes throughout the process. By eliminating the element of surprise, you’ll be able to establish a strong sense of trust between you and your client and, ultimately, help them find their home.
Be a helping hand
More than anything, Jenna wanted a realtor who would guide her through the home-buying process. “I was really hoping that someone would hold my hand and be my guide. I really didn’t want to have to work myself through the process. I wanted someone to tell me what to do and tell me what I needed to know — everything I needed to know — upfront.” As a realtor, you know better than anyone that buying a home can be an intimidating process; don’t let your clients feel like they’re in it alone. Purchasing a home is an emotional and highly personal experience, and should be treated as such. Help your clients make buying their first home feel less like a business transaction and more like a life event.
Implement smart marketing
One of the things that was most frustrating for Jenna was the lack of technological resources throughout her home-buying experience. “I was shocked by the lack of technology in the transaction itself,” she said. “Coming from a real estate tech company, I surround myself with tools to help agents be better and be more efficient. So I was extremely frustrated by the fact that I see what great companies are doing in this industry and I see all the progress and innovation, and yet it’s not being implemented.”
Incorporating technological solutions is an easy way to give this demographic of homebuyers what they want: a clear, easy, and tech-savvy moving process. By partnering with Updater, you can provide your clients with a simple app for moving that will allow them to seamlessly forward their mail, connect utilities, hook up their home services, and much more.
I'm an Updater intern who helps the Marketing and Success teams create digital content and keep our clients happy. I wake up early on purpose, drink too much tea, and always use the Oxford comma.