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Inside the Market / Market Trends

Real estate agents seek to attract Generation Y buyers

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Professionals in the real estate sector are looking to attract younger buyers with digitally innovative methods. From virtual home staging to 360° interior models, the sector is looking to adapt to property prospectors from what has been dubbed “Generation Y,” young buyers in their 20s and 30s who have grown up using the internet.

Hervé Parent, author of a book on real estate marketing and organizer of the Real Estate and New Technology (RENT) fair — which takes place in Paris in November each year — believes that the real estate profession is “not techie enough,” and lags behind its customers, who are more digitally experienced, expect high levels of responsiveness and will not act until they have collected as much information on a property as possible.

However, real estate agencies are increasingly seeking to upgrade the presentation of their property portfolio in order to broaden its appeal and include the younger, more tech-savvy generations. Arnaud Viallaneix, director of marketing and communications for Foncia, explains the real estate network’s desire to “incorporate new technologies into their work, without driving up agency fees.”

Viallaneix states: “We want to attract Generation Y, members of which are less likely to visit real estate agencies in person unnecessarily and often favor remote services. They comprise 25% of the French population and it is clear that these new buyers do not buy as previous generations did.” He adds that “new technologies are finally ready” and their “prices have dropped dramatically,” making this the time to make them available to the general public.

An increasing number of agencies now strive to highlight a property’s qualities in an innovative way. For Foncia in particular, these innovations include a number of tools such as a partnership with Myphotoagency, a collaborative platform where professional photographers across France work with various agencies to deliver skilled pictures of properties on offer.

Indeed, Le Monde reports that users spend 40% of their online property search time viewing an ad’s photos.

Moreover, some agencies are currently developing new tools to allow web users to imagine themselves in their prospective new homes… remotely. Virtual home staging, 3D models and 360° images of a property’s interior are just some of the innovative digital tools available to Foncia clients who subscribe to an exclusive contract.

The agency is reportedly also working on a system for evaluating the costs of renovating and redecorating a property in accordance to what is shown in the virtual home staging model.

According to Viallaneix, the benefits of digital innovation include drawing more viewers to online ads and reducing a property’s selling time.

Henry Buzy-Cazaux, head of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IMSI) believes that while some real estate professionals are still reluctant to jump aboard the digital train, innovation and adapting to clients’ needs is an integral part of the job.

Photo credit: Pixabay / Janeb13

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