"Millennials Should NOT Buy Homes"

As featured in Inman News

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a social media conference with some of the most brilliant minds in social media. I heard some jaw-dropping insights. But there was one talk that had me floored:
"It will take forever to save 20%, which most of us don't have especially considering our student loans. By the time we save 20%, years will have gone by and we could have invested that money elsewhere. Millennials should not buy homes but use that money for other investments," said the social media influencer matter-of-factly as a handful of us lounged around after the conference sessions.


This was misinformation on several levels that I had to correct.  Unfortunately, I could tell this was not his first time using his influence to paint an inaccurate view of real estate but I could tell it would be his last.  I had to clue him (and the group) in on what we r
eal estate professionals know -- that there are many viable options for one's downpayment monies for a home. There are loan, downpayment and grant programs available and not just for the low income:

Hello, Doctor's Programs (that lends millions for no downpayment) like at Fidelity Bank.
Howdy, up to 10% matching for approved homebuyers with Unison.
Why hi there, 100% closing costs paid by builders like Kerley Family Homes.
How do you do, no downpayment options for qualified PhDs, accountants and financial analysts with lenders like Waterstone Mortgage.
Welcome to the party conventional, FHA, VA, USDA and other loans that only require a small (no, in some cases) downpayment. 

It's a Myth that Homeownership is Out of Reach; Let's Change the Narrative

But who cares what real estate professionals know IF it is quietly kept to ourselves. You already know, "The squeaky wheel is what gets the oil". We must squeak, ya'll! This is why in social media workshops I get on my "soapbox" that WE, real estate professionals, must be on social media AND we must be advocates (a.k.a. influencers) for housing.

We must change the narratives that say:

"Home ownership is out of reach"
"Buying a home robs your savings"
"I can't buy a home with student loans"

And whatever else is being spoken outside the earshot of trusted real estate professionals.

Often, in social media workshops, I hear from agents attending that they are done with social media.  They are over seeing pictures of the OOTD (outfit of the day), what someone just ate or whatever other perfectly angled and staged photo is on display as reality.  Yet, I encourage all that we must remain and become active on social media to make sure homeownership has an advocate... us.  

We must tell the heartwarming and triumphant stories of homebuying clients achieving what is still an American Dream for many (with their consent of course).  We are first-hand eyewitnesses.  We are first RE responders with a story to tell (again with consent).  We must share the programs that make homeownership feasible.  

In every class after I have gotten on my "soapbox", there is a moment of silence accompanied by smiles and smirks as attendees start to ponder how many programs could benefit homebuyers (if those buyers only knew) and the power of using social media to get the word out.  Here in Georgia, for example, we have roughly 66 programs that again are not limited to only low-income buyers.  That could translate into just one post a week for well over a year (for those of you that have been racking your brain about what content to post online).

Imagine the good and goodwill that would be created just by us being true champions of the best that the real estate industry has to offer would-be buyers?

Yes, if you start sharing these wonderful programs that most consumers are completely unaware and the real-life success stories of your clients using them, you will generate leads.  That is a necessary byproduct so that you stay in business!  Beyond an individual agent's success, however, is the big picture -- that by standing up for our industry in a space where there is growing, misinformed apathy, we become the lifeblood that energizes and keeps our human connections and stories at the center of real estate (not just automation and humanless transactions).

I am all about doing #BusinessGrowthChallenges so here's one for those of you that want to join me in this type of homeownership advocacy:

Post at least once a week on your social media accounts about a different beneficial program that can help real estate buyers buy and/or sellers sell.

That's it.  It sounds easy and is easy yet it will make an enormous impact on both your personal business and our real estate community at large.  Every time I share one of these great programs, the agents I work with are floored by the number of leads that result (I have generated hundreds from just a few of the posts I have down on my IG Stories (see examples here)).  It's a win for you and it's a win for our industry so let's do this!

Sound off - I would love to hear from you!  Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or by visiting LearnWithDrLee.com.  

Want more of the best practices of our nation's top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality and, the classic, 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Or, get your "training on" with these on-demand classes.  Here's to your success! #LearnWithDrLee
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