Will the Real Millennial Please stand up?

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At least twice a week I read articles or blogs that contain an economic or housing article about millennials.  I almost never see anything good in these articles unless it is written by a millennial. (Disclaimer: I am a millennial but I’ll let you judge the temperament of this article.)

It seems that millennials are constantly bashed for there work ethics, lack of wisdom, or inability to grow the economy, and their lack of financial stability. I constantly wonder where these facts or ideas originate and if the people behind this madness actually know any millennials personally. Therefore, I’ve taken it upon myself to expose the real millennial.

As a real estate agent in a prime market I’ve witnessed many millennials who are in the position to purchase a home. On the other hand, there are just as many who have to wait a while before buying a home due to financial or credit issues. Three out of four of my clients last year were millennials. These clients were professionals, parents, business owners, college graduates, philanthropists, world travelers, penny-wise, and anything else that you could categorize a human being under.

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Most millennials experienced the Great Recession, just like everyone else, and it created a sense of financial independence for some. The economic downturn occurred as most of us were graduating from college or high school and transitioning into the real world. Therefore our trust in financial systems are minimal. The millennial clients I’ve had usually demand that their monthly mortgage payment be under a certain amount. This is their first request and if the wish is not granted then they are not interested. This precaution could be a result of fear that there will be another economic crisis or it could be the actions of a responsible adult.

Another esoteric myth that I constantly see about millennials is that they are drawn to urban living areas. Of course the city life is fun and compelling but millennials are not requesting to live downtown just because its party life there. Again millennials are just like you. They live near their jobs, or their parents, or even their children’s school. I’ve never had a client call me and say, “I want to live near the bars and museums.” Of course not, unless they actually work at these places and want to do something as mundane as have a short commute.

I offer a first time home buyers workshop in the Charlotte area once a month. This type of workshop attracts millennials, as they are usually first time home buyers and they lack knowledge on this topic due to inexperience. The millennials are generally interested in this type of setting, an educational workshop that can benefit them. Non-millennials may not have the right perspective of millennials because they do not know how to appeal to them. So here’s my key advice, go where they are and offer them something valuable that can benefit them or their families. Then maybe you will see the real millennial stand up!

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