Millennials can afford homes, they just don’t want to be homeowners. But why? In one word the answer is “freedom”.
Mortgage is Latin for death grip and Millennials know it. Although home ownership offers a lot of benefits such as equity and tax deductions Millennials see homes as an anchor and they don’t want to be anchored to any one area or job.
Homeownership rates recently hit 48-year lows, with most commentators arguing that such a trend doesn’t bode well for the American economy, but they aren’t taking into account “why?”. First, there is the cost of starter homes in cities like Boston, New York and San Francisco. Those costs can be astronomical for someone who just starting down the path of their career.
However, what I have heard is that Millennials don’t want to be chained to one job or one location. They see the risks of home ownership having lived through one of the worst home price crashes in history.
What does this mean for marketers?
If you think Millennials are in love with your brand you better wake up and smell the coffee. Like housing they don’t want to be anchored to one brand and will drop you like a heavy rock if you disappoint them. Their expectations of what marketing is and should be is also changing. They don’t like mobile ads or ads in social media and they aren’t following your brand on social media unless they have a complaint.
Finally the argument that Millennials are lazy and self-centered is BS. They have seen how corporate America has treated them and their parents and don’t want any part of it. To them it’s about a job that has meaning and a company that takes interest in them.