Leadership

Debut Generational Study Helps Realtor Group Better Serve Members

By / Jul 24, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Surveys tracking generational trends are all the rage right now. The National Association of Realtors is the latest group to attempt to solve the millennial mystery within its industry.

How hot are generational studies right now? They’ve dominated the top-read-articles lists over the past few months on these pages, and we’re starting to catch on. Do a quick search for ‘generation’ up top and you’ll see what we mean.

Now, the National Association of Realtors is jumping on the bandwagon with its inaugural “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends” survey, released earlier this month. It uses the same data that NAR collected for its annual “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers” but breaks it down by generation rather than household makeup (single male, married couple, etc.). The profile survey involves roughly 100,000 mailed questionnaires and garners an 8 to 10 percent response rate each year.

“We had a lot of demand this year for more and more generational data,” said Jessica Lautz, manager of member and consumer survey research at NAR. “We don’t know as much about the new generation coming up as everyone knows about the baby boomers. We don’t know what they’re going to be doing in the marketplace, and since they’re going to be such a huge purchaser of housing, there’s a demand to know more.”

NAR discovered that millennials are more confident than any other age group that their recent home purchase was a good financial investment. While eight out of 10 recent homebuyers of all ages considered the purchase a good investment, the number was even higher (85 percent) among millennials.

“There’s a lot of conflicting news out there about Gen Y and whether they’re going to be home purchasers or a renter generation,” Lautz said. “That statistic speaks to who those homebuyers are. They are so overwhelmingly optimistic, and they want to buy homes.”

Data that looks at generational home-buying trends will benefit several different member segments that NAR serves, Lautz said.

“We have a group of instructors training realtors on becoming professionals who are using the data in part of their training,” she said. “Then our senior citizen and Gen Y groups are using it to become more educated on their segments so they can better serve their clients.”

For organizations that have yet to dive into generational data, Lautz said to just go for it.

“It’s good to know who your consumers or members are,” she said. “If you can get a better grasp on what their mindset is and maybe what their needs are, you can work to better serve them.”

Has your association looked into generational trends in your industry? Share your story in the comments.

Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. More »

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