California Home Sellers: Understand Who You're Selling To

By Home Bay

Posted on April 7th, 2017

When you sell a home, you have to know what your target market wants. Especially when you’re selling in a diverse market that spans several different generations. Keep reading to learn how to speak to potential buyers in a way that will get them interested in your California home.


Know Your Generations:

While you may have an idea of what families are looking for – versus single professionals or retirees, it’s important to recognize that each generation has its own specific needs and interests.

Each generation is typically drawn to certain areas or amenities within communities. And while some characteristics and needs overlap from one group to the next, knowing the particulars of each will give you a distinct advantage as you work to promote your listing. Especially if you have a specific type of buyer in mind.

There are currently four generations of adults:

  • Silent Generation - born in 1945 or earlier
  • Baby Boomers - born between 1946-1964
  • Generation X - born between 1965-1976
  • Millennials - born between 1977-1995

The population of California is 36,434,140 (as of 2017). Of that:

  • Millennials make up about 26%
    • 13% male
    • 13% female
  • Generation X comprises about 46%
    • 22% male
    • 25% female
  • Baby Boomers make up about 18%
    • 9% male
    • 9% female
  • The Silent Generation comprises about 8%
    • 3% male
    • 5% female

How do you reach different generations?

Researchers have identified three key trends that define and shape a generation: economics, technology, and parenting. When you keep these three elements in mind as you reach out to home shoppers, you will tap into the lifeblood of the generation and speak to their needs and concerns.

Each generation has certain influencers and values that can help guide you in reaching them. Let’s take a look.

  • Silent Generation:

    • Age:
      72 or older
    • Influencers:
      World War II, Korean War, and The Great Depression. They have endured difficult times that were often followed by prosperity.
    • Values:
      Strong work ethic and ardent focus on family.

    When communicating with this generation:
    Remember they can be slow to warm up to you; take time to build trust. They value good manners and respect for their age (sir, ma’am). Technology may not be a primary method of communication, so be prepared to opt for phone calls over emails.

  • Baby Boomers:

    • 55 to 73
    • Influencers:
      Civil Rights Movement, Cold War, Vietnam War. These post-war babies grew up to be the “hippies” in the 1970s.
    • Values:
      Personal gratification and more carefree spending habits.

    When communicating with this generation:
    This group is moving into retirement, so their priorities are shifting from a work-life balance to one that is geared more toward stability and a high quality of life as they reap the rewards of years of hard work. Keep your focus on results and recognize their hard work for their family.

  • Generation X:

    • Age:
      41 to 54
    • Influencers:
      Single parents, energy crisis, moms go to work/dual income families. They were the “latchkey kids” who grew up taking care of themselves at an early age.
    • Values:
      Very job-oriented, but seek work-life balance.

    When communicating with this generation:
    Present facts and talk straight. Be direct but don’t hound them; give them breathing room as they make their decisions, but be available to answer questions. The more immediate the action, the better.

  • Millennials:

    • Age:
      22 to 40
    • Influencers:
      Technology, terrorist attacks (9/11), government conspiracies, digital media. This was a very sheltered generation for the most part. They have a strong drive to right the wrongs of the world.
    • Values:
      Avid consumers, extremely competitive, enjoy immediate gratification.

    When communicating with this generation:
    Maintain a positive, upbeat attitude, and use as much technology as you can. Be respectful and positive, letting your humor shine through.

The benefits of understanding demographics:

Marketing your home to a specific group of buyers is a powerful way to generate interest in your listing. For example, if you know your home is in an up-and-coming neighborhood, perfect for first-time buyers – target your marketing to millennials. If you are in a quiet community near a golf course with an age group that skews older, talk about things that will appeal to baby boomers in your listing description.

If you use the details listed above to help create your listing marketing materials, you’re much more likely to have a smooth home sale.

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Posted in Listing Description, Marketing Your Home