As society morphs into a more multicultural (and younger) melting pot, how will you connect with buyers who have different backgrounds, traditions, and needs?
Expect to get more and more Millennial Generation and multicultural clients coming to us for homebuying assistance. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 7 percent of homebuyers this year were Hispanic/Latino, 5 percent Asian/Pacific Islander and 4 percent African-American. In the Census Bureau’s homeownership report for Q3 2016, the homeownership rate for Asian/Pacific Islander households was at 55.6 percent, 47 percent for Hispanic, and 41.3 percent for African-American households.
What Does That Mean for You?
It means you need to be prepared to work with people who think and act differently than you do, people with different priorities and needs, and that you need to keep an open mind — and heart. For many cultures, and generally for Millennials of any culture, emotion leads when making big decisions, and logic follows.
So How Do You Relate to Multicultural and Millennial Clients?
Especially when working with clients of different ethnicities or ages than our own, it is critical to build trust and offer transparency throughout the process.
- Be prepared to provide information ASAP. Millennials are wired for instant gratification in all things, and their homebuying experience is no exception.
- Explain your role in the homebuying process. Don’t assume your clients already know! There’s no reason a newcomer from a foreign country or a first-time buyer would understand the nuances of our commission-based system, so explain to them exactly how the process works. This includes letting them know how you get paid!
- The more informed your clients are, the more they will trust your guidance and advice.Provide as many details as possible about the homes, neighborhoods, schools and amenities available. Charts and graphs can help to bridge a gap of understanding.
- Provide clear and fact-filled takeaways. Often big decisions are made by an entire family together. The client you meet initially often needs to take home information to share with other people who may have a stake in the homebuying process.
- Study up on cultural beliefs that may impact your transactions. Did you know that the number four is considered unlucky by some cultures? That in other countries a signed contract doesn’t necessarily mean the deal is really done? Do you know which cultures typically keep their money at home, rather than in a bank, and therefore may not want to share exactly how much they have for their downpayment? Being open to these differences and having some understanding of them will help you keep your cool and overcome challenges while still respecting your clients’ traditions and needs.
- Show who you are. By opening up about your family, friends, and traditions, you can encourage trust from your clients. Millennials of any culture often base their choice of sales rep in any industry on whether they like the person.
Staying on top of your game in an ever-changing world is challenging, sure. But when you are willing to learn about other cultures and the needs, traditions, and desires they bring to the table, you’ll continue to succeed and grow your business.