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If you work with first-time homebuyers, chances are you’re going to be working with millennials. Understanding the characteristics, desires and limitations of this generation is the first step to achieving success with millennial real estate clients. Here are six things you need to know about the millennial generation:

1. Millennials are numerous.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are currently about 83.1 million millennials, which represents over one-­fourth of the nation’s population. The number of millennials surpassed the number of baby boomers around 2010.

2. Millennials are diverse.
The most recent estimates of diversity were completed in July of 2014. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 44.2 percent of millennials identified themselves as minorities: 19 percent Hispanic, 14 percent African American, 5 percent Asian, and 3 percent mixed race or other.

3. Millennials have unfavorable debt-to-income ratios.
The average millennial owes around $36,000 in debt (U.S. Census). The average student owes around $12,700 in credit­ card and other types of debt (Newsweek). This makes purchasing property a difficult endeavor for millennials.

4. Millennials are educated.
One­-third of older millennials (currently in their 30s) have earned at least a four­-year college degree, making them the best­ educated group of young adults in United States history (Pew Research Center).

5. Millennials are delaying marriage and children.
Just 26 percent of millennials in the United States are married, compared with 36 percent of Generation X, 48 percent of baby boomers and 65 percent of the Silent Generation at the same age. According to Pew Research Center, 33 percent have put off marriage or having a baby due to the recession.

6. Millennials rely heavily on technology.
More than 85 percent of millennials in the United States own smartphones, and 65 percent of millennials say that losing their phone or computer would have a greater negative impact on their daily routine than losing their car. Fifty-seven percent of millennials also said that they would change financial advisors for a tech setting.

Millennial Home-Buying Trends and Preferences
Although millennials are burdened with debt, they have high aspirations. Millennial homebuyers want spaces that are efficient in terms of use and energy. They are not interested in large, ornate homes in the suburbs, but would rather be in something small, flexible, personalized and close to restaurants, shops and recreational space. When it comes to real estate agents, they are looking for top-notch customer service first and foremost. They also expect to be able to communicate with you via text, email and social media.

Yazir Phelps is the chief marketing officer at Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Phelps has over 18 years of experience in marketing fueling growth at Fortune 500 organizations and over five years of experience working directly with real estate professionals. Her extensive background in generating demand for products and services encompasses crucial strategies to a successful career in the field. To learn more, please visit