“Here we are now. Entertain us.”
Smells like Kurt Cobain pretty much captured the millennial mindset with his lyric. And it is this mindset that continues to drive millennials’ decision-making when buying homes today.
Millennials (folks born between 1980s and 2000s) grew up in a fast-moving world driven by searching for a sense of identity, instant gratification, and multi-functionality. They hate being bored and they crave being engaged. When they visit a house that you’re going to stage, they don’t want to be just impressed, they want to be “mind-blown.”
So, when they walk through a home’s staging, they want to imagine a work-life balance that includes entertainment and family zones, home offices, and opportunities for self-expression. In this article, we’re going to help you stage in a way that resonates with millennials.
But Wait, Should You Even Stage Homes for Millennials?
It’s not uncommon to hear stagers think this generation isn’t buying homes right now. They don’t have that kind of purchasing power yet.
Those stagers are wrong.
Surveys show that 1 in every 3 home buyers is a millennial and there are over 12 million Americans in this age group earning six-figure salaries. So not only are they highly interested in buying homes but many actively seek luxury homes. The market is growing.
Plus, 2 out of every 3 people buying a house for the first time are millennials. So that’s even more reason to stage for them. First-time buyers need your incredible staging skills to visualize and understand a new house’s potential better. Those who have bought homes before may not need such assistance. Millennials need you.
7 Home Staging Tips to Attract Millennial Home Buyers
So, let’s deliver. Here are CasaOne’s tips on home staging for millennial buyers:
1. Promote Eco-Friendliness with Green Staging
Millennials are not only more socially conscious than their predecessors but they’re also willing to pay more (at least 9% more) for long-term convenience and sustainable homes.
Think energy efficiency, for example. According to a 2015 study by the NAHB, 88% of the people named energy efficiency as a top priority when buying homes. This is hardly surprising because large, wasteful electricity bills can make anyone feel miserable, and millennials would appreciate homes that can cut down on both financial and environmental costs in the long-run.
So stage with energy-efficient fixtures like smart thermostats and LED lights. Work with the owner to see if you can install solar panels, triple-pane insulated windows, and rainwater harvesting systems. Millennials just love the idea of owning an efficient and environmentally-friendly home and this will drive the price up.
Staging with natural materials like wood, jute, or bamboo, or upcycled decor can also inspire happy thoughts. Skip the plastic or bouquets of flowers and place potted plants and terrariums instead. It’s extra work but so worth it.
2. Automate “Wow”s with Smart Staging
Millennials consider wifi connectivity almost as important as food. (Sometimes more). They grew up watching technology evolve in front of their eyes. And they like paying more for future-friendly solutions.
So it was no surprise when a study showed that 86% of millennials are willing to pay 20% more for a smart home.
Millennials live in a connected world. They can get almost anything they need by tapping their smartphones, and very soon, by speaking to them. They would simply love a home that comes with smart capabilities like keyless entry systems, voice assistants, light controls, USB outlets, smart televisions, and Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled appliances.
They will also respond to durability and self-maintaining features because millennials would love to avoid repairs and maintenance hassles. Imagine them walking into a staged home and seeing that little Roomba buzzing by, doing its thing.
3. Encourage Work-Life Balance
A growing number of millennials choose the self-employed lifestyle.
Freelancing, consulting, and solo entrepreneurship is on the rise. So, including a home office in your staging is a must.
But even if they had full-time jobs in startups or large corporations, millennials still get more work-from-home opportunities today and would appreciate a good home office.
Having said that, the home you stage must promote a healthy work-life balance by allowing free flow of traffic between the home office and the other rooms of the house.
These other rooms should also highlight versatility.
For example, because millennials like to explore their passions and try to balance work with family, friends, and personal “me-time,” stage homes that show these possibilities. The home office could be used for self-expression and hobbies. The living room is perfect for both large social gatherings and private streaming marathons. The bedroom could also be a place for late-night movies. The bathtub is a DIY spa.
4. Inspire Independent and Healthy Living
47% of millennials believe owning a home makes them feel responsible and more like an adult. And part of their “adulting” process includes learning how to live healthy, independent lives.
Now, some may think millennials live on ramen noodles and kung pao takeout. But with the explosion of diet fads, avocado recipes, and meal-prep manias, it’s clear that millennials are aching to live more healthily than they do now. Fast-paced lives leave no time to take care of themselves.
But they sooo want to.
While some home stagers try to match millennials’ current ways of living, successful stagers want to match millennials’ dreams of an independent, healthy, keeping-it-together destiny.
And so, if they see a home that you staged in a way that inspires them to live healthier, both physically and mentally, they’re almost guaranteed to make a bigger offer.
So how do you do that?
Stage gorgeous kitchens that are incredibly practical and inviting, and begging to be used.
Make room (tastefully, of course) for gym equipment or yoga mats. Consider going the extra mile by subtly placing trending books or magazines on living better in the bookshelves. Have a fully stocked bathtub caddy tray they can’t wait to dive into.
5. Amplify Curb Appeal
When a potential buyer sees the house’s front for the first time, that first impression goes a long way. According to Jill Waage (who was Editor of Better Homes and Gardens), 3 out of every 4 millennials want a relaxing outdoor space.
So give that.
Put some effort into creating incredible porch, patio, and balcony spaces with the right outdoor furniture. Make sure decks, fences, and gardens are well-maintained.
The bottom line is to make the face of the house worthy of Instagram, and the inside worthy of a magazine cover.
6. Furnish with Millennials in Mind
To make the inside worthy of high offers, you must obviously think about the kind of furniture that millennials like. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you:
Research shows that millennials like neither all-modern nor all-traditional furniture, but prefer a tasteful mix of both. It also shows that these people like seeing hardwood floors so avoid distracting oriental rugs and get rid of wall-to-wall carpeting.
The reason for this is that millennials like homes to feel more open. Ask the homeowner if it’s okay to knock down any walls to make the place feel bigger, particularly one between the kitchen and the dining area, and allow traffic to move freely.
Speaking of open spaces, stick to minimal furniture. When millennials view homes, they’re more interested in the selling points of the house. So hero the fireplaces, moldings, views from the window, and smart-home capabilities.
Millennials place importance on their own interests and sense of identity, which means that you need to go minimal and depersonalize even more than you usually do to allow potential buyers to imagine themselves living there. Make room for areas of self-expression, stick to neutral colors, and rethink the throw blankets on the couch.
And lastly, go pet friendly. Millennials love the idea of having pets a lot earlier than families, and the little things that indicate the pet-friendly nature of the house could go a long way.
7. Make it Ready-to-Move
Millennials like taking homes at face value. They’re more likely to buy the house if they love the furniture and intend to buy that as well. This is why installing smart-home capabilities will also make a huge difference.
So make the home appear ready-to-move, and be prepared to offer the furniture for sale.
This is where we come in.
By providing home furniture on rent for home stagers and white-glove delivery including assembly and post-sale pickup, CasaOne can help you stage homes that woo millennial buyers and push higher offers.
But the great thing about renting from us is that any time a buyer decides to purchase the staged furniture, you earn rewards that you can use the next time you rent from us.
It’s literally a win-win-win.
Always remember that it’s important to think about what millennials want when you’re staging and not retreat to your comfort zone of outdated furniture and generation-X-friendly (or worse, baby boomer-style) layouts.
Try something new.
And stage a living space that resonates with your millennial audience’s dreams the best. Get started now by exploring CasaOne’s home furniture rentals for stagers. You got this!