Whether it’s thanks to the Coutts account of mum and dad or homemade fortunes from IT whizzery, some of today’s wealthiest buyers are also some of the youngest.
Welcome to the millionaire millennials, whose collective spending power in the US alone is $600billion a year, set to rise to $1.4 trillion by 2020, according to the accounting firm Accenture. Naturally every property developer and agent wants a piece of that pie – and since being creative is part of the millennial DNA, they are having to come up with some inventive ways to get Generation Y on side.
No one under 30 trawls through agents’ websites to find a property, but they do identify with Instagram. “This is where millennials are getting inspiration and, best of all, social media channels allow things to trend and go viral,” says Magnum Real Estate’s president Ben Shaoul, who is using Instagram to market his developments 196 Orchard in the Lower East Side, with apartments from $1.075m-$4.495m, and CODA in the Gramercy district, where prices range from $1.1m-$2.2m.
Films are another ploy. Never mind the tedious matters of floorplans and community fees: CODA’s series of short films are all about selling the lifestyle. If you’re looking for a one-bedder, you’ll be the sort who wants to jump on the bed in your pants while swigging from a bottle of champagne. “There is no greater means of communicating that energy than in film, and short snapshots offer a quick and understandable tool that proves effective for people who like to consume information fast,” says Melissa Ziweslin of The Corcoran Group, who are marketing CODA’s apartments.
196 Orchard has gone for a different tack. Where once proximity to Starbucks piqued interest and property prices, it’s all about Equinox – America’s swankiest gym chain – for today’s fitness-focused millennials, so there’s a branch in the building. “Fitness and health is the new cultural zeitgeist and Equinox is the Starbucks of the fitness industry. People can’t get enough of it and price doesn’t seem to be an issue,” says Shaoul.