The process of buying a home has been rapidly changing over the years and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the entire real estate industry to change more rapidly than before. Office meetings have been replaced by video chat, traditional open houses turned into virtual open houses, and digital signatures have become much more common when allowed. However, it’s not just the processes around buying and selling a home that are changing.
The demographics of homebuyers have also made a noticeable shift in recent years as younger generations are filling the space left behind by Gen-X and Boomers who have settled into their forever homes or are looking to downsize in retirement. In fact, Millennials now make up the largest group of homebuyers. It’s the generation after Millennials, Gen-Z, that is really starting to make people in the real estate industry take notice. Recent statistics suggest Gen-Z buyers now make up 2% of the homebuyers in the market today.
While they are a small slice of the pie today, Gen-Z homebuyers are just getting started. Just like with Millennials before them, it won’t be long until Gen-Z is a very real force in real estate. That’s why it’s important for industry professionals to recognize the demographic shift that is happening before them and prepare to serve the generation that may soon become their largest base of clients.
Who are Gen-Z Homebuyers?
There is always some debate about generations and the labels people apply to them. The generally accepted window to be considered Gen-Z is anyone born between 1997 and 2012. This means that the oldest members of Gen-Z are 24 years old. That is a unique age where people can be in wildly different stages of their lives. Some may still be in college while others have started their careers and are looking to begin putting down roots in a home that they can call their own.
Gen-Z has grown up in a very different world than what the generations before them experienced. While Millennials were the first generation to grow up alongside the internet, Gen-Z was the first generation to be born into homes where it was more common than not to have a home computer. It was around the turn of the millennium when more than 50% of homes had a computer and, just 10 years after that, 8 out of 10 homes had a home computer.
Computer ownership seems like a funny statistic to talk about today as most homes have more than one internet connected device. However, it’s important to understand when considering Gen-Z homebuyers, their experiences, and how that may form their expectations of what they want from a closing process as they buy their first homes.
Digital Processes Meet the Human Experience
Real estate will always be an industry built on person-to-person relationships. Regardless of what generation an attorney, realtor, or lender is working with, people want to work with professionals that can offer a personalized experience. It’s just that the ways that those relationships are developed and maintained will change over time.
Gen-Z homebuyers are accustomed to digital experiences. From their point of view, digital experiences are not a burden but, rather, a preference. Attorneys working with this generation, and the real estate industry as a whole, need to understand this very important fact. We could rattle off countless statistics about the shift occurring in real estate. For example, most people now begin their home search online. Some homebuyers even say they would buy a home based solely on online photos. This is why that personalized, person-to-person service must adapt to the digital preferences of new generations of homebuyers.
The closing process is beginning to adapt to these wishes. A digital closing is almost completely possible from beginning to end with just the final signature required in ink. As technology advances and regulations catch up, it’s very possible that a digital signature will be satisfactory in order to complete a home purchase. Most importantly, Janus Title is ready and waiting to ensure that this digital shift is smooth and seamless for the professionals we serve.
The Janus Title Difference
Even before COVID-19 and the many changes the real estate industry was forced to quickly adapt, Janus Title was an industry leader in bringing technology to the traditional real estate closing process. With the exclusive Qualia Connect platform, Janus Title enables real estate attorneys to complete a nearly full digital closing experience with their clients. Everything needed to offer this type of service is built right into the easy-to-use centralized platform.
Every aspect of an e-closing experience is managed in one place. All interested parties can be included to monitor and communicate as the closing process progresses. Milestone updates, document sharing, and secure messaging are offered directly through the Qualia Connect platform and can be accessed from any connected device including a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Need to schedule a meeting? Book everyone into a calendar event with built-in video chat to efficiently plan touchpoints.
Later in the closing process, digital signatures can be requested and captured without having to leave the platform. Ultimately, Janus Title is able to provide that efficient, digital closing experience that no other title company in the region is able to match. Not only does this meet the needs of Gen-Z homebuyers, it’s a competitive advantage for real estate attorneys looking to tap into the next generation of buyers and investors.
Combine all of that with the Janus Turnaround, which promises the fastest delivery of title insurance in Chicago, and the result is a platform built on the best technology and backed by some of the most experienced professionals in the real estate industry.
See the Difference for Yourself
This is just the beginning of a massive generational shift in real estate. Janus Title is uniquely positioned to help real estate attorneys adapt their business in order to meet the needs and expectations of Gen-Z homebuyers.
To see the difference that Janus Title and the Qualia Connect platform can make for your business, contact Janus Title today.