'Echo boomers' keeping real estate agents on their toes
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
‘Echo boomers’ keeping real estate agents on their toes.
Published 01 August 2010 02:40 AM
Andrea and Brett Stiger had a busy spring. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin. They got married and went on their honeymoon. He accepted a job as a Dr Pepper brand manager. And they bought a 2,700-square-foot house in the Dallas M Streets for under $400,000.To demographers the Stigers are ‘echo boomers,’ those in their 20s and early 30s who are children of baby boomers. Echo boomers are important to Realtors and homebuilders because there are so many of them and they are beginning to buy their first homes.
But some real estate agents say working with an echo boomer is very different than selling homes to their parents.
“We started looking [for a house] in January and February,” Andrea Stiger says. “We set up a portal to get our daily e-mails on price changes and new houses on the market.”
She laughed when asked if her parents set up an Internet portal when buying a home.
But it is not just being more technologically savvy that makes younger buyers different from their parents, say two Realtors, Lisa Besserer with Briggs-Freeman Real Estate Brokerage and Jennifer Friedman with Virginia Cook Realtors.
Friedman, who helped the Stigers buy their home, says the younger buyers “want results quickly. They judge a house by its photos and decide if they want to see it. They are more emotionally attached to the house they choose.” And they are not patient. “They want it and they want it now,” she says.
Besserer agrees. Younger buyers do their homework and more. They are as knowledgeable about properties as many agents, she says. “They watch the computer like a hawk. When a new house comes on the market, they text me immediately, asking ‘Can we see this house in an hour?'”
“You have to be on your toes. They have so much energy,” Besserer says. She showed one couple 50 homes before they settled on one. Friedman showed the Stigers 20 or 30 properties.
In a recent analysis for homebuilders, Residential Strategies concluded that “Over the next 10 years, nearly 40 percent of the state’s population will be members of the echo boom generation.”
Projections in advance of the 2010 census are that there are 80 million echo boomers, about one-third of the U.S. population, and they invest about $170 billion in real estate each year.
Many baby boomer parents are encouraging their children to buy a home now to take advantage of the lower home prices and mortgage rates. And to make it possible, some parents are providing the down payment.
“The parents are encouraging them to buy a house bigger than they need now or would be able to buy on their own because they know that prices and interest rates are lower than they are likely to be in the future,” Besserer says.
Friedman feels that she has an advantage over many other Realtors in working with the echo boomers. Because she is in her 30s, she is nearly the same age. And Besserer’s ace in the hole is her daughter Bonnie, who is an echo boomer.