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Why all the fuss about Millennials?  

Everywhere you turn the news is Millennial this and Millennial that.  Why is that? 
What makes them such an important factor to you and the housing recovery? 

What is it that makes them so newsworthy? 

This is written by a non-Millennial for other non-Millennials hopefully in a language and manner you will understand. It isn’t another aggrandizing article about Millennials, it’s straight talk from the viewpoint of a Realtor/Builder/Lender to help you better understand how to work with the Millennial generation more effectively.

If you’re a Millennial reading this you may think I’m a little harsh in places.  Let me assure you I’m not trying to be harsh or judgmental, I’m only trying to use language and terms other non-Millennials can relate to which will make them understand you better so they can help you better.

Non Millennials if you’ll be honest, you’re probably a bit clueless about the importance of the Millennials and who they are, I know I was.

To begin they are as large as the Baby Boomer Generation - who knew!  This means they have the potential to have a huge impact on the economy for decades, but so far they’ve been a big fat zero.

I’m sure you’ve seen that commercial where a couple of 30 something guys are in a bar saying “I’m never going to get married” and the next scene shows them at the altar.

They go on saying I’m never going to have kids, drive a minivan or buy a house in the ‘burbs and of course the next scene always shows them doing just that.  So yeah, Millennials are that, only more resistive to the next stage of life than you’re used to.  Previous generations, by even a couple of years, expected to get a job, get married, buy a house and have kids, but Millennials are very late coming to the adult table and don’t have the same expectations.

So the first thing newsworthy about them is they are the first generation EVER to be MIA (missing in action) from the economy, real estate included, at their age. In other words they haven’t really begun spending yet! 

Once the Millennial dam breaks, and most say that will be this year, they promise to be the largest component in all portions of the economy, but especially real estate for decades to come.

After the dam breaks Millennials will be a HUGE portion of Housing for the first few years until they are up to normal ownership & spending levels - so much so that if you did nothing but concentrate on Millennials you could probably make a fortune.  Hmmmm . . .

Once their participation reaches normal levels they should still drive a lot of the economy just as the Baby Boomers did.  Presently with the Millennial component of sales missing it’s throwing everyone’s numbers (your income) & the recovery off.

But wait, who exactly are these Millennials? 

I know that until I started doing research into them I wasn’t exactly sure who were Millennials.  I knew it was bound to have something to do with the year 2000, right?  But since teenagers sure aren’t a big part of any real estate transactions I knew of I wasn’t sure how the year 2000 could be a the defining moment.

Millennials are the people born between 1980 & 2000. 

(And those born after 2000 are called Generation Z)

Looking at why Millennials are MIA will give you great insights into how to attract them and how to work with them when you do encounter them. 

The first thing is that studies show they react fundamentally different to real estate than anyone else you’ve ever encountered because they have a completely different perspective, which will become more clear to you as you read on.

Here are some interesting statistics about the Millennials that will give you your first clues into a Millennial’s perspective.

When asked the question “Generally speaking can most people be trusted?” 81% said NO!
Baby Boomers used to say not to trust people over 30 but the Millennials don’t trust anyone who’s not a Millennial and maybe not even then, unless they are close friends.

88% say they don’t make a major decision without discussing it with others.

84% said social opinions influence their purchase decisions.

87% say their smartphone never leaves their person, even in the bathroom or bedroom.

73% will check their social media sites either in bed or within 5 minutes of getting up.

Online is their purchase method of choice with over 80% buying most of their products, even a lot of their groceries & household supplies online.  (Amazon Prime don’t ya know.) 

39% make over half their online purchases from their smart phone.

Millennials have a higher unemployment rate than any other generational group.
15% of Millennials are unemployed (and that doesn’t count those that are still in college)

62% make less than $50,000

They have an average student loan debt of $29,000 with many having loans running into the 6 figures.

40% are overwhelmed by their debt

47% spend at least half of their monthly income paying off debts.

Only 26% are married

54% are more likely to make impulse purchases than any other generation

Very few have bought a home or have even thought of buying a home.

“So what you’re telling me is that they are just first time homebuyers, right?” 

Not exactly - they are the Ultimate first time homebuyer!

Millennials are often tech savvy but knowledge & life experience poor (link) for people of their chronological age, when compared to all other generations.  This causes you to misjudge their abilities, give them credit for knowledge they haven’t had time to experience and consequently you mishandle them. 

They really are the ULTIMATE first time homebuyer and different than all other first timers you’ve dealt with.

And as you are going to see as you read on, this will be a common thread that underlies most of the potential issues of successfully working with them.

Not only have Millennials never bought a home, but they have no background in buying a home because none of their friends has ever bought a home either. 

Remember 88% don’t buy without talking to their friends first and 84% also have to check on their social media before making a purchase, so peer approval is a very big factor.

Unfortunately they don’t have any peers who’ve actually bought a home they can share experiences with & learn from. 

Add into this the fact that the media has brainwashed them into thinking people automatically lose money when they buy a home and . . . well you can see where I’m going.

Keep in mind that they’ve never heard a positive word about home buying from the news during their formative years so of course they haven’t started buying yet and approach homebuying with more than a little trepidation.

A recent study found the overwhelming reason most people buy a home isn’t shelter.  It’s as a simple as - IT’S MINE!!!!  But Millennials haven’t been into owning much of anything else to date either.

Millennials have been and will continue to be resistive to homeownership because the media has made them believe a house is a boat anchor around their neck.

Mostly they will be buying because of some variation of they’ve outgrown all the rental situations they know of and they have no choice if they want more.  They have a very negative way of looking at housing so buying is their last choice.

They are going to buy a home for reasons you’ve never heard of before and have not planned for.  Which means you are going to have to look in totally different places to discover their rationale for buying so that you will know how to help them meet those needs.  

A big no-no, DON’T LAUGH when you find out why they’ve finally decided to buy! Even if it sounds trivial it makes perfect sense to them.

Your old outdated way of thinking of housing as a HOME &/or home ownership being just about the only way normal people can accrue wealth won’t resonate with them. That’s not to say you are wrong, it just isn’t how they think about housing.

Like I said before, the studies say that one of the bigger disconnects between you and them is that you are going to try to deal with them based upon their chronological age rather than their life experiences age so you won’t be communicating at their mental level. 

You’ll end up talking above them which is the same thing as talking in a foreign language.  Your terms and assumptions will confuse them, and I don’t just mean the real estate terminology.  They’ll feel like you think they’re dumb & don’t know anything so they’ll feel you are talking down to them.

Millennials aren’t Dumb, they are just Ignorant about housing.  There’s a big difference between the two. Dumb can’t learn, but Ignorant just means they haven’t been exposed to the knowledge yet.

Remember 81% don’t trust what anyone tells them.  In things to do with real estate that’s especially true because they have read nothing, talked to no one, & had no experiences that would lead them to trust or believe you. Additionally you’re going to be telling them things that run counter to everything they “know” or have ever heard about housing & houses. You’ll have to find another way or other words to us than your norm to reach them.

Even once lots of Millennials have bought and there’s some peer to peer action, their thought processes will still be different than yours due to some fundamental differences in the world they were brought up in.

Probably the most important factor is that the economy during their formative years was worse than in any previous generation’s since the Great Depression.  They have no clue that the recent economic issues are an abnormality in the overall scheme of things.  Why should it get better?  It’s never been better as far as they know. 

Remember normal is what is happening or has happened to you.  So their normal is different than ours. 

While our normal is more far reaching, who is to say that will be the norm in the future with the government spending and taxing like they are. And even if it is, it will be a while before Millennials can adopt that as their new normal.

They are the first digital natives, which means their whole life they have had computers and the internet. While that gives them a subtle difference in attitude towards technology, but that’s not the main difference between them and other generations. Their normal is more influenced by the economy, recent technology advances, fundamental lifestyle changes, media changes & media options, and their media choices. These are the things that have been totally different than in your or any other generation. 

Heretofore each next generation has just been a souped up version of the previous one.  More of the same but a little better, but this is the first generation that will probably have it worse than their parents.

The bottom line is if you just treat them and work with them like you do with everyone else you’ll lose them.


I can hear you now saying “But I’ve worked with some Millennials and they’ve been no different than anyone else.”  Ahh, but have you?

Statistically the ones you’ve worked with to date have been the anomalies. They are only the tip of the iceberg of the bulk of the real Millennials. 

The real Millennials haven’t entered the market yet.

Here’s a statistic that will interest you.  93% of people aged 18-34 fully intend to buy a home, but only about 6% already own. See what I mean about the ones you’ve worked with so far being only the tip of the iceberg?

I’ll bet most of the Millennials you’ve worked with so far have been blue collar Millennials. They would react more “normally” (to us) because they entered the real world in the usual way and time frame. They also got married and had kids and became “responsible adults” on the “normal” time line.  But that’s not the bulk of what’s coming.

I believe it will help you understand and work with them better if you think of them as the Peter Pan generation rather than Millennials as that more aptly represents a concept you’ll understand and will help you better understand how to work with them.

Just like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys they haven’t really grown up - yet. Do you realize that 1/3 of them still live at home!  Can you believe that? 

At age 30 one third of them are still living at home and the only time they’ve lived away from home is college which means they haven’t experienced much of life yet.

The other 2/3 have only lived away from home a very short time and probably in some sort of safe apartment environment with their friends/roomies, not in a rent home all on their own. So the bottom line is that Millennials react & have values much younger than their chronological years.

Here’s another fundamental difference between them and your other customers, as the knowledge & life experience poor  link showed you, most Peter Pans wouldn’t read this article, it’s too long.  Actually anything longer than 2 paragraphs is too long for most of them. Remember Peter kidnapped Wendy so they’d have someone to read them stories. 

I’m not trying to be negative in any way when I recite any of these facts, I’m just trying to coach facts into words you Non-Millennials will understand. 

The hallmark of the Millennials is that a huge percentage of them aren’t readers at all because they didn’t grow up with books. They grew up with the internet and smart phones with small screens - they read the headlines and the first paragraph of a story.  This means you have to really distill your information down and put all the important information in the first few lines. It also means they have the wrong impression about a lot of things and this is what will really trip you up. 


Stop for a moment & think back on it, when did you “grow up”?

If you were like most people you paid zero attention to the details of the world at large when you were in high school and college except what was required of you in school because it didn’t really matter to you.

If you’ll be honest with yourself, you didn’t really begin to grow up until you gained responsibilities by getting married and starting to have kids, so why should you expect anyone else to be any different?

Well guess what?  Most of the Millennials haven’t got married yet, don’t intend to get married soon, and have started having kids waaay late in life so what would you expect that to do to their responsible adult quotient?

At this time only about 22% of Peter Pans are married. 
The median marriage age for Peter Pans is 30 whereas in the 1970’s it was 23. 

Children are an even bigger change.  Up until sometime after the year 2000 most people had their first child in their early 20’s and their 2nd by the age 25. 

The Peter Pans aren’t having their first children until after the age of 30!

70% say they intend to get married someday
and 74% say they want to have children someday.
The key word in those statistics is - Someday.

I can’t say this often enough, while they may look like adults on the outside you’ve got to remember that they are high school age or maybe young college age inside when it comes to most real world things - especially real estate.

All the Peter Pans know for sure is that there’s been some sort of housing issues for as long as they can remember.

Most Millennials are Renters, and I don’t just mean with houses.  The percentage of older Millennials renting homes has risen 8% in the past 8 years. Not risen TO 8% - 8% more have decided to rent rather than buy.  They are going in the wrong direction - or are they?  

Not really, an increase in rentals means a decrease in the amount who live at home which is a very good first step. 

In the latest Homeownership & Vacancy Survey, the Census Bureau estimated that
household formation surged to 1.7 million in 2014, from 400,000 the previous year.

It’s not just housing because Millennials have also been reluctant to buy items such as cars, music & luxury goods, hence the drain on the economy.   But recently they have begun to rent and also to buy which is why many think this will be the year the Millennials begin to enter the real world, but if not in 2015 then surely early 2016.


Of course there will be some teething pains we have to work around and things you’ll have to learn when they begin buying. 

When it comes time to buy, unlike your other buyers, they are going to buy;

Area 1st,

Neighborhood 2nd,

& House last. 

By Area I mean clubs, shopping, restaurants, baby sitters, schools, friends and multiple other intangibles. You will have to dig to find the most important elements.  You are going to find that Millennials are stuck much deeper into their comfort ruts than most.

Something else to factor in is that when it comes to housing Peter Pans are clueless about many things that are very simple and basic to you & I. 

It’s always hard for Realtors/Builders/Lenders to remember not to use industry jargon, but in this case “jargon” is going to include many non-real estate concepts and words that you feel are basic and everyone knows.

Remember they’ve lived in a very insular world so some things we take for granted may not register with them.  The simplest things will trip you up so you have to learn to take nothing for granted and ask lots of questions.

Let me give you several real life examples culled from many Realtor & Builder experiences.

Most Millennials have never thought about or had the ability to spruce up or remodel a house/apartment after they moved in. They had to find a dwelling space that already fit their color schemes or life style.

Other than furniture, pictures and a curtain or two, fixing up or remodeling has never been a factor or even an option for them.  Which means Builders have the edge with Peter Pans over Realtors with their “used” homes.


Peter Pans will be looking for a house to be perfect for their needs & in move in condition
because they’ve never had the ability to change things in a dwelling.


Because they have no background in fixing a house up they’ll have no idea how much decorating costs nor will they understand how simple or hard some repairs will be. This will get in the way of them seeing the potential in a less than perfect home, which, let’s face it, is almost every home on the market.

They’ve had landlords their whole lives so they won’t even think about their ability to paint, change colors, carpet, add on or spruce up.  So if you don’t point out the fact they have that option and that it’s simple and fun, they are liable to just keep looking till they find that house with the perfect decorating that fits their taste and has never been lived in.


This means Builders with their shiny new homes have an edge when it comes to selling to Peter Pans.  Builders who offer Smart Home features have a particular fascination to this generation. 


I’ve had to send several Peter Pan couples to Lowes so they could see how many options they had with carpet, paint, etc. & for them to discover how much things really cost.  Because they think things cost much more than they really do.

Keep in mind that probably their only previous experience with remodeling or working on a home has come from TV or the movies. 

How do both comedy and reality shows, present someone fixing up a house?  The movie “The Money Pit” comes to mind.

Home remodeling & redecorating is always presented as a comedy of errors that’s much, much harder, more expensive and takes so much more time than the homeowner imagined.

So of course they think they have to buy a home that doesn’t need anything!

One couple I was working with kept passing on homes the Realtor was showing them mostly because the carpet was worn or ugly.  The Realtor was getting frustrated because she was showing them houses exactly like they said they wanted but they’d turn their noses up at them. 

Once I took the couple to Lowes and showed them their carpet options & costs the couple realized they had choices. They finally realized that carpet and other fix up items wasn’t going to be cost or time prohibitive and was actually going to be a lot of fun. 

It was fun watching them walk through the store with a different set of eyeballs and begin looking at all the cool things they could do to their new HOME, not house.  It really was like watching a kid in a candy store.

They bought the very next home they saw.  So yes, the Lender is an integral portion of successfully working with Millennials.

So why was I taking them to Lowes instead of the Realtor?  The Realtor never knew why the couple couldn’t settle on a home because they wouldn’t really talk to her.  The Realtor thought she was talking to them, but she didn't believe in texting and her normal method of talking to them was perceived as “talking down” to them (their words). They would talk/text to me and I would interpret & ultimately helped her make the sale. 


Peter Pans don’t understand that Realtors can show them Builder’s homes
so that’s one more thing you’ll have to be sure to explain to them.


So if they haven’t thought about what they can do inside a home it follows they won’t truly understand bigger things like what size home they need.  They’ve only lived in places for 6 months to a year at a time.  Planning ahead 3-5-30 years simply won’t compute.

You’ve probably seen articles about Tiny Homes and thought that while they were cute, they weren’t practical long term.  But guess what - they fascinate Millennials because they don’t understand the need for a little growing room. A common issue will probably be having to talk them UP in size to prepare for a family, kids growing up and all the other reasons that make people move.

They will not understand the time energy and money involved with selling a home when they outgrow it so they will usually want to undersize thinking it will be no big deal to sell and move.

Remember they’ve always rented so they will be thinking it will be just a matter of a week or two to upsize when they need to. There’s just so much of life they haven’t experienced yet.


Utility bills could also be a shocker to them as well.


They may have never paid for utility bills anytime in their whole life and therefore may not have mentally budgeted for them at all.  They won’t have a clue the difference in utility bills between an all electric home vs. one with gas: the cost differential between a new home and an older home or the energy efficiency of a home compared to an apartment. 

They are going to be surprised at how much cheaper a home’s utility bills
are than their old, very inefficient apartment. 

Sometimes that’s all that’s holding them back from moving because they extrapolate utility bills that are $1,000 a month or more based upon multiplying their apartment bills by 2 or 3 to try to figure out what utility bills would run on a house that’s 2-3 times bigger than their apartment.


Another thing I’ve found they have not paid any attention to is homeowners insurance.


They’ve had renters insurance of course, or have they?  If they have had renters insurance it’s always been optional, but now it’s not. 

Many will go into a housing transaction thinking they can add insurance later when they can afford it and they’ll never have thought about it being a required part of the house payment.  Which is one reason why they misuse the online loan calculators & why it is absolutely critical you get them with us before you spend a lot of time showing homes they can’t afford.

At FINANCIER$ we’ll help you out by introducing them to this concept, and many others, plus we’ll help them shop for insurance and educate them on some of the basic insurance coverages.  Not only can we make your job easier, but we’ve found we can usually save them a ton of money over their initial quotes.

Which leads us to the fact that homeowners insurance costs so much more than renters insurance - of course it also covers more, but they’ve never had to worry about insuring the structure itself till now.  This means that even if they’ve included insurance in their plans & budgets any numbers they’ve come up with will be way low.

By now it should be obvious that you need to find a lender who understands the Millennials & who will share in the educational duties.  There are just some things that make more sense when they come from us.  We’ll support you and help you understand where the your particular Millennial needs more help or explanations.


Peter Pans may say they don’t want to move for 30-60 days,
but they’re thinking they’ve got 25 to 40 of those days to look for and find a home.

Remember all they’ve ever done is lived in dorms, rented apartments and maybe shared a home with roomies. In the past when it was time to move it only took them a few days and then they moved over the next weekend, so they don’t realize that sometimes just working the sales contract can take as long as moving did when they were renting.


Here’s another frustrating aspect of working with the Peter Pans. They will have all the statistics but have no reference points to have a clue to understand what they mean or how to use them.

I don’t mean to keep belaboring this point, but the studies show that their lack of involvement or limited involvement in a wide variety of life experiences leaves them reacting like much younger individuals and that is what trips you up when dealing with them. They are just now beginning to “grow up”. 


It is what it is, so get used to it.


You’re going to have to explain some of what you’ll feel are the most basic concepts. And you’ll need to use different examples than you’d use with an old person of 35-40 since Peter Pans have no common ground with you on certain things.  It’s almost as if you grew up on different planets.

Let me give you a couple of examples of how foreign some of these concepts may be to them in a way that I hope might resonate with you and help you realize how far you may have to go to find some common ground. 

Have you ever eaten foreign foods? I mean really foreign foods!   Something that’s nothing like what you’ve grown up eating. 

Through my new daughter-in-law I’ve been exposed to many new Chinese foods.  Some of them simply do not compute.  There is nothing in my past that could prepare me for the taste, texture or even the thought of why in the world you’d want to eat that. 

Just like some of the food can’t be explained in a way that I’ll understand is analogous to explaining the complexities of housing to Millennials.

How do you explain the color Prazurpleen to someone who’s never seen it?  It’s very hard to explain anything without using examples that require common experience or knowledge.  What if you don’t have any common experiences or knowledge about what you are trying to explain?

They say that if we ever discover alien life, initially they won’t learn our language and we won’t learn theirs.  We’ll develop a new language to help bridge the gap because both languages are based upon concepts that are too foreign to the other.  Millennials are the aliens. 


If you are going to be successful working with Millennials
YOU are going to have to learn to develop a new language. 


As I said before these are the ULTIMATE first time homebuyers.  You have been used to working with people who have been at least minimally prepared for home buying by sharing experiences with their friends. Odds are you bought your first home because all your friends did and you’d talked about it incessantly for months.  That’s how it has always happened in the past.

For quite a while most of the Millennials won’t have any friends who have bought and therefore you have got to be prepared to start at ground zero.  For their first housing transaction they will be kids regardless of how old chronologically they are. 

It’s going to take some careful education to bring them up to speed, but here’s the rub.  Because they don’t have a clue there’s a need for any education  (C’mon you knew it all when you were young too!)  they’ll probably just want to look at houses.  Because they are digital natives this means it is imperative you have a step by step informative website or Facebook page.

Realtors here’s a suggestion, at the first meeting give them a blank contract and explain a couple of the bigger points and then let them take the contract home to read.  This way they will approach you to ask questions about the rest of the contract which will open the door to the fact that this is complicated and you are the one that can help steer them through this without them making any misteaks, I mean mistakes.

My experience has been Millennials do understand the need to be prequalified for a mortgage, but they think it’s simpler than it really is and they’ll feel they’ve already done it because they used the online calculators.  (Digital natives remember)

Unfortunately because they have no idea of the complexities and what some of the terms mean or cost, they will have used the calculators incorrectly.  This means that unless they’ve actually sat down with a loan officer in person you need to keep in ming that any sales price or qualifying numbers they give you will likely be far wrong.  If nothing else remember they’ve never had to pay taxes or insurance in a payment and don’t know what numbers to enter or maybe even that they have to enter those numbers.

Once again this is where we come in. It will be imperative that you send your Millennials to us before you’ve spent a lot of time with them so that we can help you with that part of the education process. 

For instance, just telling them about escrow accounts isn’t enough, they will need to see one worked up right in front of their eyes so they can see how the numbers were arrived at and see much an escrow account is. 


BTW Zillow-Trulia is a God to them. 
Was that a collective groan I heard out there?


Another thing to remember is that you’ll probably have to interact with them in a different manner. 

I’ll warn you that, strange as it seems, a phone call or in person won’t be their preferred method of contact.  Other customers love it when you give them the personal attention, but usually not these guys.

They’ve never known a life without full access to computers. Computers have never been the next big thing or limited in any way.  They’ve had easy access to computers & the internet everywhere they’ve gone for their whole life, sometimes literally from their cradle.  They’ve been able to research and compare anything they’ve ever wanted to buy.  Unfortunately housing and mortgages don’t lend themselves to that level of shopping.

Smart phones aren’t anything new to them or special in any way like it is to you.  To them it does just what a phone is supposed to do.  Smartphones are as ubiquitous to them as pen & paper was to you.

Which means it ain’t real till they’ve got it in a text

Not an email! 

Not a phone call! 

Not even a personal meeting! 

EVERYTHING that has ever mattered to them or has been
“real” has come in the form of a text so just get used to it. 

Statistics show 82% get ALL their important information from texting or IM (instant messaging).

38% use social media for all their important information.

34% depend solely upon social media recommendations.  So tell me once again how much you hate Facebook & Twitter.

They’d much rather buy online, but you and I both know real estate & mortgages aren’t industries that lend themselves well to online purchasing because there’s simply just too much information & too many variables that need to be taken into consideration.  They’ll have trouble with that concept.

Brand names mean less to them than social media recommendations.  63% will purchase their non-favorite brand if it’s on sale (brand names don’t have the attraction to them that they do to other generations)

In other words they value price over quality, but that could just be their young mental & income age.  When you were younger you cared less for value until you had the money to be able to afford quality.   This is something to be taken into consideration when choosing houses to show them.

Because they’ve spent so many years in college they have less money to spend (and more student loan bills) than have most people of their same age in the past. They have a limited work history so haven’t been able to work themselves very far up the ladder.  So getting the highest quality home in the absolute best area of town won’t be at the top of their list.


They get their news from Comedy shows! 

Let that sink in for a second.

That along ought to tell you that they have a skewed view of how the world works.


Earlier I mentioned that the number of older Millennials who had become renters instead of Buyers had gone up from 52% to 60% in the past 8 years.  Why do you supposed that is?  Think about it, everything they’ve heard during that time period about real estate has been doom & gloom.  This means purchasing a home isn’t high on their list.

They’ve never seen the normal side of real estate and therefore approach real estate with more trepidation.  Their reasons for wanting a home won’t be the same as for most of your other customers. They aren’t expecting to make money on a home, they are only looking for expediency.  In other words buying a home right now fits a perceived need.  They may actually expect to lose money on a house just like they do on a car.

They won’t understand that owning a home is historically the key to building wealth.  So this is something you & I will need to introduce to them as well as explaining how atypical the past few years have been.

Here’s something else to think about:

Up until sometime in the 1990s college students made limited use of student loans. Students worked (which meant they had contact with the real world and gained some real world skills) and paid for a major portion of their college education.  Other generations also didn’t make college a lifestyle that went on for 10 years unless it was important for their career path.


Peter Pans were the first Student loan welfare generation   


Student loans were cheap and so easy the money felt like it was free.  So they used the free money for nights out, cars, clothes, food - everything(!) without any attempts to economize.  They’ve got student loan debts like only Doctors and Lawyers had in years past. Many owe a hundred thousand dollars or more - and that’s just for a Liberal Arts Bachelor degree.  College was their refuge and it was free (or at least seemed so) so they stayed there till they had no choice but to leave.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York  Director of Research, James McAndrews said,“Between 2004 and 2014, the total student debt in the U.S. tripled from $364 billion in 2004 to $1.16 trillion in 2014”.

So student debt can be a factor, but we can usually work with the student debt and we know how to get most of the erroneous student loan lates that pop up due to Deferments off their credit reports and we can help them get their credit scores back up where they belong.



Millennials are forecasted to be a driving force in housing in 2015, with the majority of them being first-time homeowners.

Roughly 42% of Millennials say they want to buy a home in the next one to five years, compared to just 31% of Generation X, and by the end of 2015 it is likely Millennials will become the largest home-buying age group.

Peter Pans still mostly think it takes 10-20% down to buy a home.  This is another reason they are out of the home buying market, they are still saving.  This means any advertisement or contact that promotes the availability of lower down payment loans or lower move in costs will be money well spent.

They might be marginally aware of such things as closing costs, but not how much they cost & most have no idea there’s even such a thing as Prepaids.  

Two out of every three millennials planning to be homebuyers don’t know what
closing costs are, according to a survey by ClosingCorp.”

They can’t even imagine that closing costs run in the thousands of dollars.  Nothing they’ve ever bought has ever had closing costs like real estate.  So their idea of 10-20% down usually means they think that’s all the money they are going to need. That part shouldn’t be a huge deal to you because we’ve been dealing with that for decades with first time homebuyers.


If you are the first person to work with them expect to do 2 transactions. 


The first transaction will be a trial run and will be their education.  Odds are they will get almost to the end, maybe even down to writing a contract, and then they will back out when the enormity of the details hit them.  So when your Peter Pan backs out don’t give up on them to try to cut your losses, just consider that part of the cost of doing business with them.  Persevere and the next sale will come much easier and should stick.

No matter what you say or how you say it, they won’t pay attention to the “minor” details like utility costs, closing costs, monthly payments, amount of time needed to get a contract accepted or time get to the closing table, etc. until it directly affects them.  And this is one reason so many back out of their first contract.

They’ve simply never run into anything like a real estate transaction in their lives, and odds are none of their friends have either because most of their generation still has never bought a home, so no one has any first hand knowledge to share.

On the second transaction they will usually begin listening because it’s been proven to them that there’s a lot to this.

They will appear to do their homework with all kinds of statistics but will refuse to use their eyes.  For instance I had a customer that “knew” where all the good schools were, but ended up not buying a house because there was always an apartment complex near the school and of course everyone knows that welfare recipients live in apartments.

Of course they were moving out of an apartment themselves and of course because they didn’t buy a home they ended up living in an apartment complex with all those “undesirables”. Go figure! 

Why was it OK to bring up their kid while living in an apartment with all those undesirables, but not OK to buy a house with an apartment feeding into the school?


They are more into (pseudo) fitness than other generations so show them homes that are near or have access to health food stores, healthy restaurants, jogging trails, health clubs, gyms or anything else deemed healthy. 

Builders are you listening?  If you’ve got a strip park so they can run their dogs you are golden.

I said “(pseudo) fitness” because they are more into the idea of healthy rather than things that really are healthy. Trendy things catch their eyes like sparkly things catch the eye of a raven and that can create issues you aren’t used to seeing with your other customers.

This goes back to their lack of real world experience which means they are more easily taken advantage of by unscrupulous fads, sales people, etc.  Once again they are like high schoolers with money.  Wouldn’t you have been dangerous if you’d had money in high school? I know I would have been!! 

This means they might be burdened with debts or tax write offs you’re not used to seeing which could affect how much home they can afford.  They are more likely to have bought a timeshare & if they’ve owned a home before they might have debts for siding and new windows.  They also could have negative income showing on their tax returns from failed quasi-business attempts which lowers their qualifying income.

Millennials are more likely to have been taken in by the Multi Level Marketing Scams, I mean Schemes than any other age group. They’ve been into essential oils, jewelry, special make up, special weight loss programs, special vitamins, holistic or special this and special that, because everything is special in these scams.

In case you didn’t know it, a MLM is set up to make their money from the gullible. They make their money from the people buying-in rather than from the few sales that might be generated from their new “distributors”.  The poor economy has caused thousands of new MLM companies to be formed.  MLM companies are the flies on the corpse of the economy. 

People get so excited and pumped up about all the money they think they are going to make that they literally hock everything they’ve got to get in. We’ve seen people with almost $100,000 in operating expense write offs on their tax returns.  Unfortunately that negative income comes directly out of the income they need to qualify for their home loan and they aren’t going to tell you about the write offs because they don’t realize it’s important.

MLM secondary income participation is extremely common with the Millennials and therefore it is one of those questions you are just going to have to learn to ask about early on which means seeing a tax return will be absolutely crucial as it can change everything!

I’ve had far fewer Millennials with no negative income from a MLM company or other endeavor than those I’ve had with unusual tax write offs so seeing a tax return is vital.

Millennials are less likely to smoke than any other generation (hallelujah!). But that means homes where people smoke will be much more difficult to sell to them.



The Millennial generation is the largest in US history and as they reach their prime working & spending years, their impact on the economy is going to be HUGE.

Millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. That’s given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents.

They have been slower to marry and move out on their own, and have shown different attitudes to ownership.

They’re also the first generation of digital natives, and their affinity for technology helps shape how they shop. They have always had instant access to price comparisons, product information and peer reviews.

Finally, they are dedicated to wellness, devoting time and money to exercising and eating right. Their active lifestyle influences trends in everything from food and drink to fashion.

These are just some of the trends that will shape the new Millennial economy.

This study is a distillation of over 100 articles, a Seminar by the North Texas Commission, industry seminars, extensive internet research, my own personal experience and many of our customer’s experiences.  Most of the statistics came from Goldman Sachs & the North Texas Commission.