Last July NAR mailed out a 122 question survey to 148,011 recent home buyers. They got 8,767 back - that's almost a 6% response rate. Not bad. I really hope that "mailed out" is a generic term, and that there weren't actually 139,244 paper surveys that went straight to recycling. Please tell me it was at least a mix of paper and digital, or I'm going to be suspecting the results from the very beginning.
The survey page, with bullet-ridden summary slides and a meatier PDF, are here:
There's more than enough to chew on here for multiple blog posts.
How would you expect home-buying to break out among Gen X, Y, Boomers and the Silent Generation?
NAR's data says this:
- Gen Y - 31%
- Gen X - 30%
- Younger Boomers - 16%
- Older Boomers - 14%
- Silent - 9%
In other words, it's a three-horse race - Y, X and Boomers. If it was sent via paper survey, I'd multiply the Gen Y figures - to get ANY returns on a paper survey from Gen Y is nothing short of amazing.
Gen Y are digital natives, with a personal computer somewhere in their childhood. 72% of them, according to Forrester, own a smartphone. They buy more apps than their Millennial younger sibs. Forrester says they have more disposable income. (As a parent of teenagers, I disagree. Mine are perfectly happy to dispose of my income; what they lack for their own app purchases is a credit card.)
Those top-line numbers practically scream "content marketing" to me. Sure enough, Exhibit 3-1 on Page 39 - "First Step Taken During The Home Buying Process":
- Looked online for properties for sale 42%
- Contacted a real estate agent 17% (esp. Boomers)
- Looked online for information about the home buying process 14%
- Drove by homes/neighborhoods 7%
Look at your web site, social media and marketing. How much attention are you paying to #3? (Can you really differentiate in #1? Aside from a great photo, what can you do about #2?)
More on this study. Darn interesting. Too bad they share the data in little Excel tables only.