Making Gen Y Buy: To Get Millennials To Sign, You Have To Woo Them Online

Published August 3, 2012 by Joanna England

This completely renovated townhome with an awesome deck at 4419 Holland Avenue would be the perfect home for a Generation Y buyer.

“Listing online leaves lasting impressions,” recited Bryan Crawford. He’s a young but knowledgeable agent with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s. He and his wife, Amanda, know how to get the attention of Dallas’ newest generation of homebuyers.

Generation Y, which stretches from the late ’70s through the ’80s, are often serial renters who are more likely to look online for their first home than anywhere else. So, how do you make homeownership more attractive than renting?

First, says Crawford, sellers should stage their homes, because, with Generation Y, you can’t sacrifice the first impression. He advises clients to spruce their homes up, even if they have a limited budget.

“We tell sellers the best way to spend their money,” Crawford adds, “because staging makes homes look better and sell faster.”

Hiring a photographer helps, too. The Crawfords hire only the best for their listings, such as photographers that find their work in Architectural Digest!

Beyond that, it’s mostly personal taste. Millennials want fewer formals and better functioning living and kitchen areas. They want things to feel new, and they don’t want to do any repairs. They’re drawn to certain areas, too, Briggs Freeman’s Sam Sawyer said. Uptown is popular, as well as the M Streets, Devonshire, Oak Cliff, and the White Rock Lake area.

“They’re looking for things they didn’t have when they were living in an apartment,” Crawford said. That includes lawns and outdoor spaces, as well as covered parking.

According to Sawyer, Generation Y is looking for amenities and community. ”It seems like people are getting away from buying a bigger house and commuting,” he said.

Still, renting remains attractive to much of Generation Y thanks to an uncertain job market. Sawyer said some of his friends prefer to rent because they don’t know if they’ll move to New York, or Washington, D.C., or even back to the nest with their parents.

What they may not realize is that homeownership doesn’t have to cost a whole lot. For instance, some Gen Y-ers may spend between $1,000 and $1,500 a month to live in a prime location like downtown, West Village, Uptown, and Knox-Henderson.

In Lake Highlands and Lakewood, a 2,000-square-foot house can cost the same as their monthly rent payment, plus or minus $200.

“And there are no neighbors banging on the walls, no loud parties, and you have a parking spot, too,” Crawford said.

Sounds perfect to me!

— Daily Local Real Estate Dish By Dallas Real Estate Insider — Candy Evans at