Millennials, the new generation of property owners


Millennials are often referred to as “generation rent”. There’s an ongoing perception that they’ve given up on the idea of home ownership, spending all their money on turmeric lattes and smashed avocado toast, but a new global survey of 13,000 millennials contradicts those myths.

Nearly 90% of the surveyed New Zealand millennials who don't already own a home, plan to buy one in the future. Compared to the 60% global average, Kiwi millenials are more ambitious than we’ve been lead to believe.

Recent research shows that 92% of millennial buyers and 90% of millennial sellers used a real estate agent*. New Zealand's millennial population are shaping up to be one of the largest group of homebuyers and sellers right on Trade Me Property, at over 24% of our online audience**.

Did you know that 46% of buyers and sellers in the next 2 years will be millennials?^

It goes without saying that if you want to target one of the largest property audiences, you need to be present where they are, so understanding this generation will be key to success for many real estate agencies over the next few years.

What are you doing to build and maintain relationships with NZ’s largest segment of homebuyers?


This generation is more likely than any other to use the internet to search for a home and follow trends in real estate news. Recent research showed that over 89% of millennials had used their mobile phone to access the internet over a seven day period, with 84% using a desktop^^. Technology and online marketing play a large role in the property buying and selling process, and unlike their predecessors, young buyers have the online resource to educate and assist them through the various stages of home buying.   

Millennials use multiple online resources when entering the property market, and reach out to more real estate agents than any other generation, contacting at least two when buying and three when selling.

The online presence of your brand and listings is essential to your success when targeting millennial buyers and sellers.  

Build relationships

Millennials like to build genuine relationships with their real estate agent. At first, they’re unlikely to readily trust your marketing efforts as they’re used to being marketed to with little genuine connection behind it  – so, how do you earn that trust?

Simply being there with timely and helpful information is a good start. Share relevant content with your audience through your online and email marketing efforts. You could send them information on making an offer on a property or how the auction process works. If they’ve attended an open home, make sure you send through feedback straight away. Don’t make them follow up themselves, they want information and answers at their fingertips.

Foster communication

Younger millennials are likely to place importance on how well you communicate via email or text message, whereas older buyers place higher importance on a phone call. We’re not saying to forget about the phone, rather keep in mind that your prospect may have different preferences in terms of communication. Ask them how they like to be contacted, and and be sure to send them valuable content.  

Location and lifestyle

Lifestyle is important to millennial buyers. They gravitate toward large cities for job opportunities and to be close to family and friends. One of the key issues for many millennial homebuyers in this current market will be housing affordability in their desired location. Today, the most common sacrifice millennials are willing to make is moving to a more affordable location outside the city. As a real estate agent, be sure to emphasise what the local area has to offer, whether it’s great schools, cafes and restaurants or the short commute to the city. 

Potential for capital growth

Many millennials buyers that don’t want to move away from the city many are choosing to buy a property to invest in while they rent a home in a more desirable location of their choosing. The possibilities are greater for this type of buyer – it means they can find good investments anywhere in the country. Millennial investors are likely to look for low-maintenance properties that have a good balance between capital growth potential and positive cash flow.

Green friendly features

Millennials are an environmentally conscious generation and will appreciate a home with ‘green’ features like solar panels, rainwater tanks, double-glazing and energy efficient appliances. These types of features are appealing not only because they can help the buyer live a more sustainable lifestyle, but they can also provide long-term savings.

Millennials are becoming the new generation of property owners. As a real estate agent you should be aware of the characteristics of the millennial generation, understand what attracts them, and acknowledge what their preferred style of communication is. The best thing you can do is build a relationship of trust with your millennial clients – you’ll be rewarded with not only their business, but often referrals.


* Inman/TD Bank research 2017
** National Association of Realtors 2017 report 
^ Google Analytics for Trade Me Property, March 2018
^^Nielsen  Connected Consumer Report, March 2017