What if there were potential home improvement customers that you could have access to that wanted to own older homes and that were ready to spend money to fix those homes up?
I don’t know about you, but when I ran a home improvement company I’d commit a lot of time, effort and resources to understanding and pursuing a group like that.
Millennials (or Gen Y, or Gen We, as they have also been called) are the least likely to expect their next home to be newly built and the most likely to say that their next home will be one they can fix up. Right up our wheelhouse, right?
A while back we talked about generational buying habits when it comes to home improvements. During that conversation, we learned several things about the Millennial generation…
- Of the main three generations that we service today (Millennial, Gen X and Boomers), Millennials represent the largest population of any group.
- They are the most active in doing a home improvement project within the last year.
- Millennials spend more money on these types of projects than any other generation.
These three facts by themselves indicate why Millennials should be important to home improvement marketers.
Let’s spend some time during our visit today understanding this groups issues, concerns and strategies. Then we'll discuss the best ways to market and sell home improvement products and services to Millennials.
Millennials Top Concerns, Issues and Strategies When It Comes To Home Improvement Projects
- Cost—Just like every other generation, their number one stated concern is the cost of the project. However, they aren’t afraid to spend to get what they want done right.
- How to information—These folks do the most research of all age groups and love to understand how their project is going to progress.
- Style and appearance very important—This group loves to personalize.
- Internet—As you can imagine, this group has the highest use of the Internet as the main source of information gathering when researching a home improvement project. Being in the right place at the right time to capture the attention of this group of potential buyers is paramount.
- Referrals from friends and families—As independent as this group is, they strongly rely on the word of others when exploring the various possibilities when it comes to home improvement projects.
Big Box Users
Interestingly, Millennials are the largest single generational group when it comes to using the in-home installation services of a Lowe’s, Home Depot or Sears.
Best Ways To Market and Sell Home Improvements To Millennials
So, what can we glean from this information that will help us position and sell our home improvement products and services to Millennial homeowners?
- Highlight the difference between cost and value—This generation is as concerned about cost as everyone else. But, they’re proving that they don’t mind spending money required to do the job right.
- It would make sense, with this particular group, to make sure to go through all costs associated with completing the job.
- Highlight processes or parts that are essential to superior performance, and the extra cost to you of using them.
- Look for opportunities to prove better ROI’s.
- Proving longevity of performance is another key here.
- Figure out where they hang out and give them how-to information—Giving detailed how to information often makes what might be otherwise a DIY type of homeowner make the choice to talk to a professional.
- Because this is the most digital generation of all and highly visual, if you haven’t already started a robust video marketing program, now’s the time to start.
- Don’t forget all the forms of social media that this group uses.
- Live streaming a particular interesting installation on Facebook would fascinate a Millennial in the market for a home improvement project.
- Focus on appearance and style—However this customer finds you, whether it’s online or in person at your showroom, show off your options. Options are emotional purchases and having them can help to swing a Millennials decision to your solution.
- Emphasize appearance differences in your products and your competitors, understanding that the “all of these look the same” mindset does exist.
- Feature options that allow them to “customize” and “personalize” your product.
- While reiterating the longevity of performance point from above, ask them “If you’re only going to do this once, shouldn’t you have exactly what you want?”
- Emphasize digital marketing in your attempts to reach this group—Millennials, as you may expect, are the most digitally savvy generation. Your perceived level of digital competence could mean the difference in a quick dismissal of your online marketing efforts or a further look.
- If your website is more than five years old, it’s time for an update.
- Millennials spend almost a whole day per week on their mobile phones. Make sure that website redesign you are doing includes making your site responsive so it looks right on all screen sizes.
- If you are handling your digital marketing ventures in-house, definitely consider hiring a Millennial to help with these efforts.
- Referrals are still important—Word of mouth works with this group, and, because they are so social, may be even more important than for older groups that may use their experience and intuition a bit more.
- The most successful home improvement marketers are working to cultivating reviews on social media and authoritative review sites.
- Already done some work for Millennials? Work hard for a reference and make sure you and your team are using those references with other Millennial customers.
- Do you have a solid, unique in-house referral reward program.
- Why they use Big Boxes—As the generation with the highest level of usage with Big Box in-home installation services, Millennials must see something that we aren’t yet giving them.
- Take a look at what some of the Big Boxes are doing when it comes to marketing home improvement products and services to Millennials and see what might translate to your marketing and sales efforts.
- Highlight installation and how what you do is different from a Big Box installation service.
- Discuss why, if applicable, a Big Box sells a different product on an in-home visit than they offer in store.
- Some of a Millennials preference here may be due to name recognition, so make sure to highlight your years in business and point them to your great online reviews.
While the members of the tail end of the Millennial generation are still relatively young, this group, for three straight years, represents the largest group of recent home buyers. Are you thinking about how to best market home improvements to Millennials?