The best digital platforms for millennial marketing in real estate

A list of social media icons
A list of social media icons

The best digital platforms for millennial marketing in real estate

Millennials, the generation that has mastered the art of swiping left and right, hold the key to your real estate success. According to Lightstone data, millennials currently make up to 40% of all property purchasers. Now between 27-42 years old, they’re moving out, building careers, starting families, and even looking towards retirement. We’re “shook” (as they would say) but in a good way as tech-savvy millennials can be reached on digital platforms they value. Prop Data polled local property practitioners to find out which ones they are turning to, with added advice from experts.

Unpacking the poll results

In May 2023, Prop Data polled property practitioners to pinpoint their favourite digital platforms for millennial marketing. The results found:

34% say it’s Instagram.
27.8% say it’s Facebook.
22.2% say it’s TikTok. 
10.4% say it’s WhatsApp.
2.1% say it’s Twitter.
2.1% say it’s YouTube.
1.4% say it's Pinterest.

“Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are the go-to social media platforms for this generation,” says Lesley Saunders, Head of Marketing at Broll Auctions and Sales. “It’s unsurprising that practitioners are primarily embracing them. Millennials are known for using a combination for connecting with family, friends, and even businesses.” 

Also, commenting on the results, André Kleynhans, Managing Director/Principal at Fine Home Platinum, says as the top choice, Instagram’s “visually focused nature and popularity among younger demographics make it an attractive platform for showcasing properties and engaging with millennial audiences.” However, he says the results also show practitioners are seeing the potential in other platforms.

André Kleynhans

“Despite the rise of newer platforms, Facebook remains a strong contender. While Facebook's user base has diversified over the years, it continues to be popular among millennials, making it a viable option for property marketing. The results also speak to TikTok's growing influence, with its appealing short-form video content. Rounding off the top four, property practitioners are seeing the potential in using WhatsApp's features, such as group chats and direct messaging, to connect with and communicate property information to millennial audiences.”

Saunders believes practitioners should continue to embrace platforms millennials use and learn to engage them in a way they appreciate. “The inherent digital fluency and unwavering appetite for social interaction of millennials create many opportunities for real estate companies to connect using thoughtful content that is not purely sales driven. The social media landscape has been undoubtedly shaped by millennials and this impacts the sales landscape which relies on digital marketing and research to remain engaged and in touch with this dominant market.”

Invest in Instagram’s visual storytelling

According to Saunders, the key to successful millennial marketing on social media (in fact to any generation on or off social media) is understanding their preferences, values, and behaviours and curating your content around these.

“Millennials are drawn to authentic, visually appealing content. Instagram is perfect for creating visually captivating stories about properties, showcasing unique features, and sharing behind-the-scenes insights. High-quality photos and videos, along with compelling captions, help create an emotional connection with millennial audiences.

“Partnering with influential social media personalities or micro-influencers who have a substantial millennial following can significantly boost your reach and engagement. By collaborating with influencers who align with your target audience's interests, real estate practitioners can tap into established trust and credibility, effectively promoting your listings or services,” she says.

Fuel your growth with Facebook marketing

Saunders highlights Facebook being the largest social media network and the undeniable power of using this platform. She says marketing and content are no longer a one-hat-fits-all solution and campaigns and strategies need to be tailored to the specific audience you are wanting to reach.

“Facebook is Broll Auctions and Sales’ preferred platform for doing just this with its robust targeting options which allow us to reach specific millennial demographics based on location, interests, and behaviours. The bottom line here is that you can easily and effectively ensure your marketing messages reach the right people, increasing the chances of generating quality leads and conversions.

“Millennials appreciate a sense of community and value interactive experiences as does Meta itself with the algorithms rewarding engaging community-focused content. Creating Facebook groups or communities that hone in on specific real estate niches or locations helps build trust and engagement while building a loyal following. Companies can share relevant content, answer questions, and facilitate discussions to establish themselves as authorities in the field.

“Quick and convenient communication is a must for millennials and Facebook Messenger and chatbots enhance the customer service experience. Chatbots can now provide instant responses to common enquiries, schedule property viewings, or provide personalised recommendations based on individual preferences.

Lesley Saunders“Facebook events is another powerful tool that marketers can use to attract and engage with the millennial customer. You can promote open houses, real estate seminars, or informational webinars specifically tailored to millennials on anything property related. This approach generally works best if you are giving free advice or providing answers to questions they may have about the real estate market. For instance, “First-time buyers — all you need to know” — would resonate with this age group as they are the majority of buyers in this pool worldwide,” she adds.

Tune into TikTok’s trending content

This is an interesting platform that prior to the pandemic was considered a purely Gen Z platform and then lockdown opened the world and its various age groups to TikTok, says Saunders. She believes it is a highly interactive platform, and practitioners should actively engage with their audience by responding to comments, participating in duets, and following relevant accounts.

“A top tip for TikTok strategies includes using trends. This is an incredibly fast-paced platform and what’s in and trending today is more often than not discarded and done tomorrow. It takes a lot of energy and focus to be on top of the many things that are going on in the TikTok space but, the good news is you can recycle this content for your Instagram page quite successfully we’ve found.

“Similarly, hashtags play a crucial role in TikTok's discoverability. Marketers should research and incorporate popular real estate-related hashtags that resonate with millennial viewers, as well as create their own branded hashtags, which help track engagement and encourage user-generated content.

“And on the topic of user-generated content within companies, TikTok provides an excellent real-life view into your organisation, its people and its values — something that is very important to the millennial market,” she says. 

Win clients over with WhatsApp’s targeted messaging

Saunders highlights WhatsApp as a tool out of Meta’s stable that is valuable for reaching and connecting with millennials. 

“You can personalise messaging, provide customer support, and share multimedia content like photos and videos of properties. Exclusive offers and incentives can be broadcast, and reviews can be collected and shared to build trust. 

“Again, integration with chatbots can streamline communication and automation, while broadcast lists and groups allow for targeted messaging. WhatsApp is a great option for adding to the customer journey and nurturing process,” she points out.

Add these digital platforms to your marketing

As the real estate industry evolves, success lies in adapting to the preferences and habits of an ever-changing real estate market. Armed with insights from experienced property practitioners, you can create a strategy that resonates with millennials and deliver great results. From Instagram's visual allure to Facebook's engagement ability, TikTok's creative magic to WhatsApp's personalised touch, each platform offers a unique opportunity to captivate, engage, and convert this dynamic demographic.