Tips to tap into multi-gen families for success

— Weichert Franchise

Since the pandemic, real estate has made some notable, perhaps even seismic shifts. From these changes, we’re seeing new trends. One that is gaining popularity is the growing demographic of multi-generation real estate customers. 

According to the National Association of Realtors®(NAR), “Multi-generational home buying is a way for families to care for one another, support one another, and often buy a home that may have been previously out of reach. Multi-generational buying may be a home where families live in the same home with elderly parents, children who have boomeranged back home, or other extended family members. While this is not a new concept of living, it is one which has gained recent popularity.”

Here are a few tips and considerations from the Weichert® team about this emerging trend.

The statistics

NAR reported for these facts and figures about multi-generational home buying:

  • Multi-generational buying is back near an all-time high at 14%
  • Top reasons for first-time buyers to purchase a multi-generational home are wanting a larger home multiple incomes could afford together (28%) and cost savings (28%)
  • Top reasons for repeat buyers are caretaking of aging parents (23%) and children/relatives over 18 years old moved back in (19%) 
  • Among generations, it is most common for Gen Xers (born between 1965-1979) to purchase a multi-generational home

Why the trend?

As NAR reports, the two biggest drivers of this trend are higher costs and higher mortgage rates, making it especially challenging for first-time buyers. Add this to a competitive market where many homes are still selling over the asking price, and you’ve got yourself a bit of a trifecta.

Another factor is that the mega-segment of the Baby Boomers is entering into retirement. What will they do? In addition, many children are boomeranging back home. How will parents and adult children co-live? How will things like working from home and childcare influence their decisions? Time will tell.

“Many adults right now are in that ‘sandwich generation’ where they are caring for aging parents as well as raising children or taking care of young adult offspring who can’t afford to move out on their own,” says Marketing Artfully

Multi-generational home buying can be a smart approach for these customers and these times.

Understanding the multi-gen home buyer

Like every other sale you’ve completed to date, multi-generation sales are all about finding the best match for your customer’s needs. As you see the influx of multi-generation real estate flooding the market, be mindful of who they are as a segment and how they’re different. This will help you to identify their best homes as well as market to them in ways that truly resonate with their needs.

Here’s what they may be looking for:

  • Extra space
  • Flexible space
  • Room to shift and grow
  • Separate suites or units
  • Separate entrances
  • Disability upgrades
  • Options to stairs

As you scope out properties, keep an eye out for space in a big-picture, fluid way. Think about the potential for privacy and separation while maintaining continuity “under one roof.” For example, a barn on the property can become an in-law suite. An extra room on the first floor can easily transition from a playroom to an office to a guest room. A basement with high ceilings can offer an abundance of extra living space. A second kitchen, or even partial kitchen, can offer greater autonomy to a family member. 

Being an expert in multi-gen home sales

With multi-generation real estate customers popping up more and more, be sure you do your research. Here are some questions to consider from New Home Source Professional:

  • Are there zoning and building codes in the neighborhood? 
  • Can a two-unit building become single-family again? 
  • Can a one-unit building become multi-generational? 
  • What upgrades are available with the floor plan?

Remember, what serves your customers today may change in the future, so ask a lot of questions. Help them think about their short- and potential long-term plans. Host a meeting with all the generations involved in the purchase to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Don’t shy away from involving the entire household in the discussion even before you start their search. 

And be a great, empathetic listener. Multi-generational home sales can come with all kinds of emotions from the various parties involved. You can provide expertise to help your customers navigate the nuances of multi-generational homeownership, from the appropriate financing options to finding a home that works for many life stages. 

In summary

Multi-generational buyers are a real niche these days. As you plunge into this growing segment, make sure you have the support and resources you need to remain ahead of the competition. Weichert is here to help. Reach out for more information on other ways we can help you navigate the current real estate market.

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