It’s not just the mortgage industry that is learning that today’s consumers are not the same as past generations. Their aspirations are changing, and everything else along with them. Millennials are becoming the movers and shakers across all industries, making their mark in electronics, automotive, soft drink, vacation and recreation and a host of other industries. They are currently the largest active generation in the country and are the lead consumers for almost anything that is on offer. Housing is no different.
Viewed through this objective lens, it should not be surprising that traditional advertising strategies used by the mortgage industry are falling flat. Millennials aren’t interested in commoditized conversations; they are a highly connected generation that has access to far more information than was available to any generation that preceded them. This makes it much more difficult for mortgage companies to differentiate themselves.
They use their online resources to seek out information from online sources they trust, usually ones that the industry does not control. Then, they share that information with their peers, spreading negative information about a lender faster than a wildfire and far more difficult to control.
“In today’s digitally fragmented and social-media-dominated world, traditional forms of advertising—driving awareness through push advertising—are becoming less effective, and more and more consumer brands are turning to influencers as important network intermediaries to leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Influencers are individual consumers who maintain large numbers of followers that seek to interact with the influencers’ unique content on a regular basis.”
Another way in which this new generation is different from its parents and grandparents is in the non-offering-related requirements it imposes on the companies its members choose to patronize. This requires companies that want to do business with them to build their product-development and marketing initiatives around the values that Millennials care about. There are already a number of examples of companies in our industry who are doing just that.
Finally, only those companies that are willing to meet these new borrowers when and where they are will have any chance of winning their business. There is now no question that these borrowers are mobile and lenders that want their business will have to be mobile, too.
Greve, Goetz. (2018) Customer Relationship Management to Influencer Relationship Management.
Baxter, D., Baxter, D., & Baxter, D. (2017). Is the housing industry ready for this next generation of homebuyers?.ValueInsured – Down Payment Protection for the modern homebuyer.