If the only visitor to an open house is the cat from next door, then the real estate agent needs a new social media and marketing approach.
That was part of the advice Millennial real estate agent Wes Pinkston of Los Angeles gave to thousands of real estate executives, agents and entrepreneurs last week at Inman Connect in San Francisco. His comment drew laughs … and nodding heads.
Pinkston and a fellow Millennial, Tucson native Eric Simon, started the website “The Broke Agent — The Funniest Real Estate Comedy Blog in the World.”
The duo also offered the real estate industry attendees these insights into their generation:
- Millennials have short attentions spans but are highly educated.
- The huge group of young adults is internet savvy, and social media is how they engage.
- To catch Millennials’ attention real estate websites and social media posts must have a new angle, catchy title, shocking photo or funny message, something they call “real estate porn” without the naked photos.
- Real estate agents must always be honest because Millennials are skeptical of almost everything.
“We grew up with the internet and had all types of advertising rammed down our throats,” said Pinkston, who grew up in Mesa. “We need a unique angle to get our attention.”
He said real estate agents who post inspirational or motivational quotes with photos of a kite flying on Instagram won’t attract Millennials.
And Millennials will drive the housing market during the next decade, whether they buy or rent.
Even though too many in this group, ranging in age from 18 to 34, haven’t been able to buy because of student-loan debt and a lack of savings, research from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies shows Millennials will create 2.7 million new households in the next 10 years.
The real estate industry’s attention is honed in on Millennials.
“There are a lot of myths about Millennials,” Katie Maxwell, vice president of Intero Real Estate Services in Houston, told the crowd.
She hinted one myth might be that the group actually likes to be called Millennials.
Jon Wegman, a Millennial who recently purchased a California home, was part of Maxwell’s panel and told the crowd there’s a misconception that his generation is entitled.
“We are a feedback generation,” he said. “ I want a Realtor who stays connected.”
Simon and Pinkston agree and created The Broke Agent to stay connected by sharing their humor about real estate, mostly with other Millennials.
Posts on the site include a blog with photos called “If Kanye West was a Realtor,” lists like “The Ultimate Open House Playlist” and “Six Crazy Requests from Sellers” as well as clever, snarky tweets.
The site is only six months old and already has 22,000 followers on Twitter. A few of the site’s recent tweets:
“The commission on this lease will be less than the amount of gas I have spent going to and from showings.”
And “if I took care of my apartment like I do my listing, I may still have a girlfriend.”