Monday night, Labor Day 2011. I should be relaxing, watching TV, eating some left over burgers or hotdogs and finishing off another cold beer. But I’m not. I’m trying [to no avail] to get my iPad away from Alejandro “Hondro”, my 2 year old son as he is single handidly responsible for at least 50 views of the latest dancing, rapping Hamster – Kia Soul Commercial – on YouTube.
I remember the days when I had to wait for my favorite show to come on, once a week. I also remember when missing a show meant asking someone else what happened. No DVR, No iPad, No YouTube. Many real estate professionals are aware that Google is the #1 search engine in the world, what often comes as a shock though is that YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. YouTube is not just a video channel, it represents a cultural shift in the way we seek information.
Did you already guess who Kia’s commercials are targeting? Yep, Echo Boomers. It’s fantastic marketing. I love the Kia Soul commercials, the first one I saw with the Hamsters was marketing the 2010 Kia Soul featuring Black Sheep. This “here we go yo…here we go” immediately took be back to a certain house party in high school [ah memories]. I am not in the market for a Kia, at 37 and married with 2 kids I am not their ideal client.
Kia represents a new breed of company that knows exactly who their target market is and how to reach them. I did not see the first hamster commercial with Black Sheep nor the second that my son has now racked up 60 views on – on TV, I saw it on YouTube. This is where Kia’s ideal client congregates.
As a real estate agent, you and Kia have something in common. I know – I know, you are wondering what an American real estate agent could possibly have in common with a Korean car company and at first glance you would probably miss it. Marketing To The Echo Boomer Generation. I first became familiar with the Echo Boomers, also known as Mellennials during a 60 minutes special on the Echo Boomers buying power and the fortune 100 companies that are scrambling to not just recruit them but retain them.
Everyone from GE to Google, Apple to Microsoft are all targeting this generation. Their business and livlihood, like your livlihood in real estate or even title depends on getting found by the generation Kia and others are targeting on YouTube. The Echo Boomers. Born between 1982 and 1995 the Echo Boomers are 80 Million strong and represent 25% of the US population. Also known as Generation Next, Generation Y and Mellennials the Echo Boomer generations buying power is estimated to be over $2 Billion annually and growing. Some facts about the Echo Boomer:
- They love TECHNOLOGY
- More likely to be COLLEGE EDUCATED than previous generations
- Less likely to practice MARRIAGE than other generations
- Less likely to practice RELIGION than other generations
- Value TIME over MONEY
- Value FRIENDSHIP over WORK
- More likely to TEXT than CALL
- Over 60% of Echo Boomers voted for Obama in last election
- Favor MORE GOVERNMENT
- They are more likely to RENT or LIVE WITH PARENTS than BUY
- They value buying smaller cars and smaller homes
The Echo Boomer generation represents a significant challenge to not just real estate agents, but a real estate industry that often insists on doing business as usual. This is because the Echo Boomer Generation do not respond well to traditional real estate marketing methods. To leverage traditional marketing lines [TV, Radio, Direct Mail, Print Magazines, Billboards etc] to reach the Echo Boomers would be like advertising in the middle of the desert with no freeways around – they won’t see it. This is because Echo Boomers get most of their information via the Internet, peers and social networks.
A recent study shows 90% of Echo Boomers 18 and over have internet access, 75% of Echo Boomers use some form of social network and 40% of Echo Boomers don’t have a landline phone. They have cell phones but they are more likely to use them to text than actually pick up your cold call or even return a warm one. Echo Boomers prefer to socialize via social networks than traditional face to face methods.
From a business perspective this news can be confusing, it also means that slow to adapt brands, companies and yes – real estate agents that fail to market well or “reach” the Echo Boomers, will easily fall to the ones that do. It’s never been easier to reach the Echo Boomer, you just need to understand their language. This is where the challenge begins in the real estate space for real estate agents, real estate brokerages, title companies and title reps that fail to “shift” not just their mentality but their real estate marketing to echo boomers. You can reach Echo Boomers with the Internet if you know how to get found online when they have a need for your products or services.
Instead of direct mail, cold calls, print magazines [tools of the traditional real estate agent, broker or company] etc – the language of the Echo Boomer is the Internet, Social Networking, YouTube and peer recommendations.
For many REALTORS®, a large part of your real estate business in the future will rely on you crafting unique, dynamic, engaging and valuable messages for the Echo Boomer generation to find, this is where I can help. Please fill out the form below to start learning how to speak the language of the Echo Boomer before your competition does.