Who are Gen Y and What Do They Want from Me?

iStock_000009167703XSmallLet’s talk about Generation Y.

They’re not Baby Boomers, folks born in the post-World War II baby boom, many of them now nearing retirement age. They’re not Gen X, those born between 1961 and 1981, famous for bringing flannel into the mainstream. They’re Gen Y. Also known as Millenials. Also known as the now-young adults born after 1982.

But you may know them better as: your next clients.

The oldest members of Generation Y will turn 30 next year. A year that is heavy with significance for most of us. It’s the year we enter a new decade, leaving the wild and crazy 20s behind to officially become “a real adult.” It’s also a time when many people start thinking about their career, their personal life and their future in much more serious ways. One of those ways includes buying a first house.

The features that members of Gen Y value when purchasing a home differ greatly from Baby Boomers and even Generation X.

  • They’re much more interested in walkability and urban living
  • They’re not interested in high maintenance lawns, pools, huge bedrooms, or any of the other luxury features that have traditionally been so desirable to earlier generations of buyers
  • They value spaces to entertain and host friends in their homes

But knowing what they’re looking for in a home isn’t good enough. Gen Y prefers to communicate with their REALTOR® differently than previous generations. They value speed of communication, often preferring the lightning quick speed of a text directly to their phone over a sluggish email message or – even worse – a voice message. And when they arrive at a showing, they will have already done their homework online by fully researching the property.

Gen Y is just one of the many diverse groups we get to interact with as REALTORS®. Part of the fun of our job is meeting people from all walks of life and then connecting them with their dream home. We get to interact with many different personalities, nationalities, age, occupations and religions.

Each of these groups has their own unique needs and REALTORS® sometimes walk a delicate line balancing housing trends with the personal desires of their clients. REALTOR.org stays on top of these trends, bringing you the latest housing news and demographic information, as well as commentary from our experts.

Your membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® offers you access to the tools you need to understand the rapidly shifting demographics of your client base. We have a wealth of information available on the site, so take a look around and let us know what you think.

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