At a time when home ownership is the lowest it has been in around 50 years, it is important to figure out where potential growth can come from for your real estate business. The demographic to watch and focus on is most certainly the Hispanic demographic.
According to the 2016 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report, Hispanic homeownership rates have been increasing for the past two consecutive years whereas the overall national rates have been declining. Hispanics are earning more money, are becoming better educated, and are forming households at a faster pace than any other demographic in the country. As more and more Hispanics enter their prime home-buying years, this rate of homeownership should continue to increase.
As a realtor wanting to focus on attracting Hispanic homebuyers, what can you do?
- Market your brand with this demographic in mind, but be sure to avoid Hispanic stereotyping in your advertising or messaging. Instead, tailor your message to speak to their wants, needs, and values without including an insensitive stereotype.
- Translate your listings and other searchable information. Work with an agency to have a professional translation team translate your listings into Spanish to appeal to Hispanic buyers. Not only will a translated listing be more likely to come up in a search result if your potential client is using search terms in Spanish, but buyers will also feel more confident about the property and their decision to purchase through you. Make sure you don’t try to run translations through any automated tools like Google Translate or similar. Doing so will turn up results that are often laughable to your customers and will not bode well for your business or an accurate understanding.
- Look to add a Spanish-speaking agent to your agency’s team. Approximately 7% of real estate agents in the United States are Hispanic. However, 25% of Hispanic buyers say they would prefer to work with a real estate agent who can assist them in Spanish. As the Hispanic home-buying market continues to grow in the coming years, this disparity will become more and more obvious, especially if your agency does not have someone who is able to communicate with this group in their preferred language.
- If you do not have a Spanish-speaking agent available, you could utilize the services of an on-site interpreter to show homes and have meetings with clients, or you might consider telephonic interpreting as an option for these contacts. Even if you do not speak Spanish, knowing that an interpreter is available will make Hispanic buyers feel more at ease with you if Spanish is their preferred language.
Hispanics are typically a very brand-loyal consumer base. Once you effectively engage with this group and begin to grow your Hispanic client base, it is essential that you do everything in your power to make their experience a positive one. If not, negative word-of-mouth and online feedback could hinder your agency’s ability to build a relationship with this demographic in the coming years.