Keeping it Real with Millennial Clients

NSDCAR REALTOR® member Jovani Ruiz, an Escondido resident, grew up in Valley Center and graduated from Valley Center High School (class of 2004). The 32-year-old serves as a co-chair with Jackie Camacho of NSDCAR’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) group. The NSDCAR YPN group focuses on connecting and engaging the next generation of REALTORS® with the tools and encouragement they need to succeed. Jovani began his career in real estate sales after graduating from San Diego State University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing. He is currently with Windermere Homes & Estates in Escondido. Jovani serves a wide variety of clients and many of them are millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000. Many of his clients are first-time homebuyers. Jovani recently shared his thoughts about serving millennial clients in his real estate practice.

Myths about millennial clients

Some people think homeownership is not a big deal to many millennials, but nothing could be further from the truth. Millennials want to share in the American dream of homeownership. Millennials have not turned their backs on homeownership. They know that buying a home is crucial to financial wealth and stability. The American dream is alive in their hearts. They want to make it a reality. But, their vision may be clouded by misinformation. They may need education about the home buying process. They want to dialogue and learn how to make homeownership possible.

What’s preventing millennials from homeownership

Besides low inventory and affordability concerns, some millennial buyers delay or avoid homeownership over debt concerns. They worry about carrying a lot of debt. But, that doesn’t mean all millennials have student debt because many do not. Many of them are not overburdened at all with student debt. Not everyone has gone to a four-year university. Some have attended vocational schools or they work in fields that do not require a master’s degree.

What’s important to millennial buyers

Millennial buyers want transparency and honesty. They want to work with a REALTOR® who is real and authentic. That’s why I post on Facebook about my wife’s hair salon or our son’s school activities in addition to posts about real estate. I also post about my role as assistant soccer coach at Valley Center High School. Because of social media, many of my clients already know something about me before they reach out to contact me in person They have checked me out and they feel like they already know me. Last year, I closed about a dozen deals with millennials who first found me on Facebook. Millennials also want someone who is patient. Some milennials have waited a long time to buy a home so they can be very deliberate and take their time to make up their mind. They don’t want to be rushed. They don’t know how to get started and need help.

What millennials need from real estate professionals

Sometimes, they don’t need an agent to help them find a home because they’ve already found their favorite home after searching on the Internet. What they need is a real estate expert who will serve as their advisor and help guide them through the transaction process. They also need an expert to correctly set the timeline and manage their expectations. Being a resource to your millennial clients will grow your relationship and can result in second-time clients and referrals in the future.

Why I like to work with millennial clients

Since many of them are tech savvy, millennials are comfortable with electronic signatures and apps that help with the homebuying process. It helps makes things go faster, simplier and more convenient. They’re used to ordering meals and rides instantly on a smartphone app. Also, they’re excited about experiencing the whole homebuying transaction process. Plus, they already have a good idea of what they’re looking for. Some place a higher priority on whether the backyard is big enough for their dog. Others want their home to be energy efficient. Still, others are concerned about proximity to coffee shops, grocery stores and retailers.

What is YPN?

YPN is a dynamic entry point for real estate professionals striving to become more successful in their careers and gain leadership experience. It’s a platform for REALTORS® to volunteer, network and learn more about the real estate industry, as well as fundraise and make a positive difference in our communities. By belonging to a network of peers who face similar issues, we like to bounce ideas off each another and provide support to each other. We share and discover new ideas together. It’s a peer networking opportunity unlike any other because we engage, educate and elevate.

Why I like our NSDCAR YPN group

At YPN, we focus on connecting and engaging the next generation of REALTORS® with the tools and encouragement they need to succeed. We facilitate opportunities for leadership through education, networking, events, technology and social media, and professional development. It’s about collaboration and working together. We are committed to working together to increase business and leadership opportunities and foster relationships for the future. YPN members seize the responsibility for shaping the direction of our Association and the real estate industry as a whole. We are career-minded real estate professionals who want to stay abreast of the latest tools and resources. Our values are leadership, involvement, advocacy and professionalism.

“Millennial buyers want transparency and honesty.”