Millennials have specific ways they find a service professional, at least real estate agents and doctors.
According to the just released 2016 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, 46 percent of millennial buyers used word-of-mouth referrals to select their agent — compared to just 32 percent of those 61 and older.
And then there’s this. According to a recent survey by Nuance, millennials are more likely than baby boomers to crowdsource their choice of physician, both online and in-person with friends. Fifty-four percent of young millennials (aged 18 to 24) say they search online for health information and rely on online physician ratings before seeing a doctor.
If logic follows, this younger group will also be inclined to rely on reviews as a way to vet the agent that they select. So does that mean reviews trump production? Because it’s not easy to source an agent’s production numbers by Googling.
All they have right now are the ratings and review sites which are scattershot at best. There isn’t one complete or fully transparent compilation for consumers to get the full picture about an agent. Buyers and sellers are only going to do one review per deal, and it’s tough to get them to post to all the site options.
The second piece to this, and more important, is millennials are savvy when it comes to rating sites. They have a stronger nose for sniffing out bogus when they see it. For example, doing a quick check on Zillow for a specific California zip code and clicking on a few agents who rose to the top, the reviews were glowing. Millennials won’t buy that.
So how will this shake out and what should you do? Review sites like Zillow, Yelp, Angie’s List, RealSatisfied and others will continue to exist and get traffic. You should be where people search. Should you pay? Only you can decide whether it’s worth it and in your budget to pay to be on these sites.
The point is to make sure you are on sites that are trusted to have the good, bad and the ugly. Of course, you don’t want too many bad and ugly, and you should respond (if allowed) to negative and positive reviews in a transparent fashion.
Just understand that real estate agent ratings and reviews are out of the bag so make the most of your positive reviews and embrace the sites that are transparent and interactive.