You may have heard over the last few years that video is the next big thing in marketing a home. We also started hearing more last year about virtual reality (VR) and its added value for interactions and increased session time. But if you really look at the landscape of how many agents are using video or VR to market their listings it is still quite small. However, that will start to change as more millennials begin to enter the prime age to buy a home.
First let’s take a look at the key audience which will drive greater demand for video and VR. Millennials already make up 42% of the home buyers in the market and that will continue to grow. Currently, the median age of a home buyer is 41 which the top tier of the Millennial generation will start to hit in 2022. So as the Millennial generation hits the median age of home buyers they will make up a larger percentage of home buyers.
Further, if we focus in on first-time home buyers the average age is 34 years old (right in the sweet spot for Millennials, ages 23-38). Millennials already makeup 61% of first-time home buyers. So why does this matter?
Well, Millennials grew up during the explosion of the internet and use online resources for everything, from researching a home to learning how to cook a brisket (my how to video to come later…). Most important, this generation is heavily engaged with digital video and when it comes to virtual reality they are twice as likely to buy a VR headset.
This shows up in Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018 with 45% of Millennial and Gen Z (Gen Z buyers are marginal at this point) buyers finding a video extremely or very important in their decision to buy. This number will also likely grow as more video and VR offerings are introduced to the market.
And in case you have not already been made aware of the effectiveness of video marketing here is some quick facts.
Additionally, VR marketing also has high potential, in one study it showed that it was 1.5 to 18 times more effective than traditional marketing. There was also 8 times higher brand recall with VR marketing.
Thus, as Millennials begin to drive a larger portion of home purchases now and over the next few decades combined with high demand for their time and attention, we need to meet their needs. We will have to move forward to where and how Millennials want to engage, video and VR. The time is now.