Stephen Lewis: HomematchX Gears Real Estate to Reach Millennials and Gen Z
It's no secret that we are all currently living through the age of advanced technology. It's accessible and easy to navigate making it relevant and appealing to the current generation of Millennials and Gen Z -- because let's be honest, we all love convenience. You can do anything online from shoe shopping, learning how to knit, and planning an entire trip at the touch of your fingertips all while hiking your favorite trail.
The ease of buying and selling a home should follow this similar structure. HomeMatchX is a company that uses online resources and technology to help home buyers, home sellers, and real estate professionals see the value of virtual reality and social networking when finding or selling a home. (Think online dating, but for finding the perfect estate.) HMX is the only real estate platform that maps sellers and buyers' journeys and then virtually communicates until an offer is made through the site.
Millennials and Gen Z's have a spending power of $143 billion and will account for about 40% of global consumers in 2020, so real estate must research how to tap into this market.
We got the chance to talk with the CEO and Founder of HomematchX, Stephen Lewis, and ask him a few questions about the platform and its role in the future of Real Estate.
Q: Why is a platform like HomematchX beneficial for Millennials and Gen Z?
A: Generation Z is moving fast and breaking the molds of society with purchasing real estate at a young age, while Millennial homebuyers are in their peak age of home buying, which is between the ages of 35 to 44. Generation Z is expected to surpass Millennial homebuyers in the next decade. Now is the most important time to talk real estate with Gen Z in the conversation.
Video communication has become more important due to the pandemic, which will soon be the norm in real estate. Our platform gives Millennial and Gen Z buyers an online presence to become better prepared for a successful outcome. With one-on-one video chats and live streaming home tours, you can save both time and money when home shopping. With this generation, having direct access to an online presence is key. Millennials were first to use Facebook and now Gen Z is even more open to trying things in an unconventional way -- like buying real estate without having to see it in person.
Q: Do you believe that Millennials and Gen Z's spending power will be significant in the real estate market?
A: Yes. There is a housing inventory shortage due to the previous housing market crash in 2007, but now things are getting back to normal and confidence is very high. However, there is still a housing shortage because no one expected the home buying industry to bounce back so quickly. Millennials and Gen Z's are predicted to have very high spending power in the U.S. -- 73 million for Millennials and 78 million for Gen Z -- this means higher consumption, higher wages, and greater housing demand.
Q: Were there any specific features on the platform created with Millennials and Gen Z in mind?
A: I recently spoke with a Stanford graduate who is a Millennial and getting ready to intern at Google as an engineer. My question was, “Do you need to walk into a home before you purchase it, or do you think you can make a decision by watching a digital home tour?” Her immediate response was “no, I don't need to physically be there” -- that’s when I knew we were up to something.
Our platform is visual-heavy with the attention span of Millennials and Gen Z's decreasing and the demand for user-friendly platforms increasing. HMX focuses on bringing convenience to finding the right match for both buyers and sellers through this foundation. And because these generations are more likely to spend money on things that really resonate with them and their vision, a lot of the platform's features are likely to be favored among them. The buyer can share their profile image of themselves, family or their pet, expected time to purchase, home preference details, video of their home buying purpose, and images of their home buyer dream board.
In terms of closing the deal, HMX has an 'Offer' feature that helps buyers present an offer to the seller through the platform. Once the seller accepts the offer you have 24 hours to present a written offer on a residential purchase agreement. Now there is a way to shorten the process for real estate agents and home buyers.
Q: With social media influencers becoming millionaires before the age of 20, how can HomeMatchX help real estate agents target the younger generations and those to come?
A: The real estate industry must advance with the climate around them. If digital home selling is becoming a thing, then real estate agents should be quick to adjust. If audiences with a higher spending power on homes are very active on Instagram, then real estate agents must create an account and start digitally marketing themselves. This could go on to include setting up profiles on new platforms like HomematchX or creating their own to solve a problem consumers may have.
There is a ton of information on the internet about buying and selling a home, but nothing is better than picking up the phone and connecting with your trusted advisor; the real estate agent. Homematchx helps real estate agents showcase their expected buyers and sellers coming to the market in advance. When a real estate agent represents a buyer or seller on Homematchx, you are their direct connection to a 100% match. HMX is the only platform where you can like a home, get a streaming home tour, and write an offer all in the same day without leaving your couch.
Q: What do you hope the future generations will do with a platform like HomematchX?
A: This platform has the ability to allow buyers and sellers to negotiate on their own terms and let real estate agents manage the transaction. You will never have to open the door to the home before you purchase it. I hope this platform grows into a resource for all things real estate from buying, selling, renting, and new construction. We want to be the reason real estate has turned completely digital from just getting started to closing on the transaction.