Across the board, the majority of Americans – 86% according to a recent Harris poll for the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) – say it’s important to have a living landscape and grass around their living spaces. But for Realtors®, understanding how various generations view and value the family lawn can be the difference between closing the sale and having a potential buyer walk away.
Here are some tips for selling the family yard to each generational group.
- Boomers (1946-1964):
You may think Baby Boomers are all about downsizing, but not necessarily. Research by Demand Institute found that as many as 46% of Boomer buyers were looking for larger, more expensive homes than they currently own. A bigger home likely means a bigger yard (and a bigger commission for you!). Boomers are looking for connectedness – an emotional bonding – to their home. Focus on helping them see themselves enjoying life with their children and grandchildren in the outdoor living room. Additionally, Boomers are concerned about health and vitality, so you can talk about the health benefits of spending time in the family yard – from improved memory to lower stress and better heart health, just to name a few.
- Gen X (1965-1976):
This group is in their peak earning years and have the highest median income of all age groups, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. Gen Xers are also the most likely to purchase a multi-generational home. They are Earth-loving, conscientious foodies who appreciate getting their hands dirty outside and in their kitchens. Sell the backyard as a place to cultivate sustainability by growing a garden. Also, focus on the many environmental benefits of the living landscape, which reduces heat (and heating bills), captures and filters rainwater, reduces dust and particulate matter, produces oxygen, absorbs carbon, and more. You can find even more environmental benefits by reviewing the Living Landscapes Fact Book.
- Millennials/Gen Y (1977-1995):
Millennials make up the largest share of home buyers, according to the NAR research. Millennials are also pet owners who see animals as friends and pets as family. The backyard is an easy sell for this group who needs the space to accommodate their pets and growing families. Research shows kids and pets are happier and healthier when they have access to green space. Help your Gen Y buyer envision the potential for a pet paradise in the backyard. For instance, contrary to popular belief, sturdy grass species can take the pounding and activity of an active pup. Natural grass is also cooler and less irritating to sensitive paws and little feet than artificial turf. Plants placed close together help designate areas that are off-limits to the dog.
- Gen Z (1996-Present):
Gen Z, which is just starting to enter the real estate market, has an affinity for technology and diversity. An activist generation, they value individuality and experiences over objects. A survey by Homes.com indicates that the majority of Gen Zers (86%) want to own rather than to rent, and they want to buy a home before they turn 30. Reporting higher levels of stress and anxiety than other generations, focusing on the well-being benefits of the family yard is a good tactic with this group. Additionally, when selling the yard to Gen Zers you can tout the rise in robotic outdoor power equipment (think of a Roomba for your grass) that can be monitored and managed on a smartphone.
- Boomers (1946-1964):
Familiarize yourself with additional health and well-being stats by reviewing OPEI’s Living Landscapes Fact Book, and check out www.SaveLivingLandscapes.com for more information.