In a recent American survey, 63% of millennials stated they regret buying homes. Despite home ownership being something many millennials strive towards (and often spend years saving for) more than half report buyer’s remorse about their home purchase, with unforeseen costs being one of the main reasons. This got me thinking about the same audience in the UK – what can brands here do to prevent the same kind of regret setting in?
Millennials are famously a generation of renters. With home ownership requiring large deposits, unachievable to many, it’s predicted a third of UK millennials will rent until retirement, leaving two thirds to achieve homeownership. So what may leave them feeling regretful? As a generation, so used to the idea of renting, have millennials become too reliant on landlords fixing (and paying for) broken oven fuses and bathroom ventilation fans? Home ownership comes with all sorts of extra costs which often derive from surprise maintenance requirements and upkeep mishaps.
Knowing this, is there something brands can do to provide added value to prevent or help remorseful buyers? How can brands be the saviour that prevent buyers from feeling regret or resentment towards unexpected maintenance costs? Research shows that more than half of all home purchases in the UK are made by first-time buyers. So intuitively, it feels the biggest opportunity here is for brands to support first-time homeowners who have had little experience of unexpected costs, finding the right fuse for their oven or fixing extractor fans… Is there more brands can do to make new home buyers feel protected, or at least supported during a time that often triggers remorse? Brands who assist (or ease the process) in times of regret-fuelled stress or confusion could likely benefit from higher brand affinity, customer trust and loyalty.
For example, it has been argued that subscription-based services that provide customers with convenient and effortless maintenance support could be a way of brands providing added value and support to confused or inexperienced customers. A monthly bill makes payment easier to plan for or digest and works as a kind of insurance for the customer.
What can your brand do to provide added value to first time buyers and remorseful homeowners? To find out more about Cogent’s research into homemovers, click here.