20 Sep, 2017 Why The Property Industry Needs To Become An Educator 20 September 2017 Martin Oates Commercial Director The average age of a first time buyer in the UK, depending on location, is anywhere between 27 and 34 years old. Like their parents when they first bought a house, it’s likely to be a daunting prospect to them. What’s a mortgage? Should we go capital or interest only? What’s stamp duty? Is the house any good? Does that boiler need replacing? What does the energy rating mean? What’s leasehold? Should we buy a new build? Lots and lots of questions. Their parents would likely have had the same questions (although they probably wouldn’t be trying to find out what the local broadband speed was…). There is one key difference though – their parents had a font of knowledge to go to… “Dad”. When they were buying it was likely that Dad (or Mum!) knew all the answers to those big questions about buying a house. Not only were some of the questions easier to answer, their parents were likely from a trade background or at least had significant DIY knowledge but, also, their generation knew that asking someone was how you found things out. Skip forward 30-40 years and the new generation have a new problem. Their parents are less likely to have a trade background so they can’t always offer sound advice on boilers, electrics or dry rot. The advancement of certain areas due to tech (smart homes and even internet connections) will mean their parents won’t know the answers and the complexity of mortgages, part exchanges and help to buy schemes put even the most financially conscious people into sweats. There’s also the opinion that this younger generation can only talk via mobile phone screens and asking someone face to face is out of the question! And therefore, for these very reasons, we believe that it is up to the property industry to become an educator. Home builders and estate agents need to use their web and social media outlets to fill the void of knowledge. They have the expertise, the understanding and ability to decipher trade jargon. By using their digital presence to reach out and offer this advice they can help the first time buyers on their journey and make the whole process a lot less scary – it’s just remembering that whilst their websites primarily will be a conversion tool, they also need to have vast amounts of informative content. No one’s going to buy a house from them based on just a pretty picture. But this isn’t just a one sided arrangement. There is a benefit to the house builders and estate agents too. Firstly, if you look at the blog we wrote on how digital is changing purchasing homes, you’ll see how we commented on the dozens of touch points a buyer has with a seller – by increasing the content and becoming more informative, you immediately make your digital footprint more useful and engaging for these numerous interactions. Also, don’t forget that in the world of search, content is king. If your educational pieces about the help to buy loan or what a mortgage is are found by a buyer in need, you could just be the company they turn to when they’re ready to buy.