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How to remove the pain of home closing for Millennial buyers

Pictured: Katie Smith, Executive Director of Sales​, Mini Peiris, Chief Marketing Officer, Julie Shroyer, Managing Director​
Pictured: Katie Smith, Executive Director of Sales​, Mini Peiris, Chief Marketing Officer, Julie Shroyer, Managing Director​

Pictured: Katie Smith, Executive Director of Sales​, Mini Peiris, Chief Marketing Officer, Julie Shroyer, Managing Director

Millennials that were slow to make the transition from renting to owning a home are making up for lost time. 

This demographic has become a powerful force in the home buying market. The 66 million Millennials in the U.S. now range in age between 24 and 42, which puts them firmly in that “sweet spot” for homebuyers. In fact, Millennials are expected to form 25 million new households by 2025.

Whether they are shopping for a first home, upgrade or relocation, Millennials are the fastest growing group of homebuyers. According to the National Association of REALTORS, Millennials represent 43 percent of all homebuyers. “Millennials are a critical audience to win based on their buying power, and the secret to winning them over starts with understanding them better,” says Katie Smith, executive director of field excellence at Doma, a title & escrow company.

Meeting Millennials where they live – online

Millennials grew up in the Internet age, and they are accustomed to seamless, on-demand digital experiences. They use smartphones to order everything from a mocha latte to furniture, and increasingly, they are relying on mobile apps for a variety of important transactions, such as banking, financial planning and managing their healthcare. 

Millennials not only want the convenience of being able to transact at any time and from anywhere, they want that real-time result. “This is not a generation that knows what it’s like to actually drive to a Blockbuster in order to rent a movie and battle for the last copy of that latest release. They are used to clicking a button from the coziness of their couch and PJs to stream that movie instantly,” says Mini Peiris, Doma’s chief marketing officer. Millennials bring those same expectations with them when it comes to that home-buying and home-closing experience, she adds. 

This generation also demands transparency into transactions and instant communication. When they place that Amazon order, they receive that immediate order confirmation text or email, and they expect notifications every step of the way from when the time it leaves the warehouse to when it arrives on their doorstep.

Last, but certainly not least, is social media. This is where Millennials live. It is critical for real estate professionals to be familiar with and comfortable navigating the Big Four social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and LinkedIn – so that they can engage and connect with those potential clients, notes Doma Managing Director Julie Shroyer.

Streamlining the closing experience

Serving the Millennial customer requires delivering information and an overall experience that is fast, convenient and frictionless. 

Education: Many Millennials are first-time buyers. As such, it is important to explain the escrow process and answer questions. For example, not everyone knows what an easement is or why it’s important. Doma has easy-to-use guides to walk clients through important parts of the closing process, like title prelims and signing. These guides, along with consistent updates from Doma throughout the process, help  agents  build confidence and trust with their clients. “Being transparent and focusing on educating clients at every step of the process goes a long way to building trust with millennials and that will keep them coming back to you for any and all future transactions as well,” says Shroyer.

Technology: Real estate professionals need to be able to engage digitally with clients and leverage technology tools to provide a better experience. Doma has patented machine intelligence that can return title prelims within minutes rather than days as is the norm with most title companies. “That quick turnaround allows the real estate professional to review the document with their client more quickly,” says Smith. Doma also provides proactive notifications and on-demand digital access that gives the homebuyer visibility and a sense of control into the entire transaction, she adds.

Flexibility: When it comes to the closing, flexibility is the key. Millennials don’t necessarily want to be stuck in a small room at a specifically scheduled day and time. They want options. Some prefer to be fully in person so someone is there to walk them through page by page and answer questions, whereas others might prefer to be fully remote with a remote online notary (RON) from the comfort of their home – or a hybrid of the two. Doma helps agents accommodate the right closing option for their clients early in the process, and ensures that documents are sent to all parties with as much review time as possible so that millennial homebuyers feel prepared and comfortable on one of the most important days of their lives – closing day. 

Any realtor knows that between that euphoric moment when your offer is accepted to the celebration on move-in day, there can be a lot of pain points in between. Frankly, title and escrow can be a tedious and frustrating part of the closing process. However, it doesn’t have to be, notes Shroyer. Real estate professionals can help to bridge the gap. “Your clients look to you as the informed expert guiding them through the entire home-buying process,” she says. “Working with title and escrow partners who can help you create a differentiated experience leaves a lasting positive impression that helps to generate referrals and repeat business.”

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