Living in a fast-paced, mobile world means everyone is on their smart phones – be it for professional or personal use. This is forcing brands to adopt new business models to include using mobile technology and digital marketing tools such as social media. This has become especially relevant in the real estate industry as consumers are looking for faster, easier and better ways to shop and sell homes. As a leader in international luxury real estate, Engel & Völkers is onboarding this trend but wants to better understand its clientele’s habits, likes and dislikes.
Engel & Völkers recently released the results of an original study, “Meet HENRY: Influencing the Next Generation of Wealth”, analyzing high earning millennials’ definition of luxury, key factors influencing their purchasing decisions and how brands, specifically real estate professionals, can reach them. HENRY stands for High Earning Not Rich Yet – a niche demographic of millennials and Gen X who have a household income of more than $100,000 with high earning potentials.
“With HENRYs poised to become the next generation of wealth, luxury brands must start planning as to how they will service this distinctive demographic,” said Anthony Hitt, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas. “HENRYs define luxury in terms of quality, and they make purchasing decisions based on brand reputation and word of mouth. As such, authenticity has never been more important, and real estate agents should position themselves as trusted advisors and sources of insider information before, during and after the transaction. These consumers are going to seek out agents they feel are knowledgeable and trustworthy — and ones that they can relate to or even aspire to on certain levels.”
Unsurprisingly, social media influencers are extremely valuable when aiming to reach HENRYs. With the fast consumption of social media around the world, people are looking at their phones and computers first for recommendations and reviews before making purchases. Topic experts online are the most followed category of influencers among HENRYS (65%) – surpassing celebrities – with more than half of survey respondents having reported depending on influencers for new products and ideas. Furthermore, 80% of HENRYs said they would consider hiring an influencer for specific expertise.
As owner and broker of record for Engel & Völkers Toronto Central, Anita Springate-Renaud takes on the role of a business strategist elevating her marketing and operations using digital tools: going paperless and using social media to communicate with clients.
“Social media is a must in order to move forward in connecting with today’s millennial consumer. We’re able to better connect with their interests and it also helps us research their preferences, likes and dislikes when it comes to real estate.”
At her office, Anita is constantly pushing her team to move towards using mediums like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. By putting aside time to communicate with users online, Anita is building up a following for herself as well as giving exposure to what her shop does. Authenticity is key. She makes sure to treat her social media like a lifestyle magazine, blending in her day-to-day happenings with real estate. Her advice? Don’t just focus on promoting properties to the general consumer. Show personality and let people see the real you. Communicate to your target audience and tailor messaging to reflect their tastes. This will help build relationships with those that matter most to your brand.
The results? Anita has successfully established herself as an expert who not only understands the national real estate landscape but also the mindsets of tech-savvy millennials. She credits social media for boosting her reach and teaching her new tools of the trade, as well as joining Engel & Völkers.
Anita now swears by a mobile approach when it comes being a top broker and running her own brokerages. The top three benefits include efficiency, simplicity and speed. Anita and her team in Toronto have gone paperless and often close deals on the road, communicating with clients by phone and viewing homes with the ability to stay connected to her peers at all times. Since adapting to this approach, Anita has more time go back to the office to build relationships with her team and offer services to other brokers.
People prioritize the importance of connectivity. They expect the mobile approach with tools like docu-sign and now prefers to be connected with realtors remotely from the comfort of their own spaces. With the way the industry is moving, I foresee the continuation of more tech integrated into our future business strategies.