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Why do millennials matter?

Part of my foray into brand journalism has been honing the skill of speaking in the voice of another. Part of my job includes ghostwriting an economic and finance blog for one of Movement's executives. While the topics can be intricate, there are occasions when they answer specific questions and come with clear calls to action. This story originally published on the Movement Blog on Aug. 25, 2017.
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Love it or hate it, you surely can’t deny it: millennials are all the rage.

Advertisers love them. Companies want them. The on-demand economy was created because of them. And there doesn’t seem to be a single publication that gets tired of writing about them.

But why do they matter so much? The answer: millennials have buying power. A lot of it.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, millennials — the largest generation in history — are poised to become an influential force in the housing market, changing everything from the style of homes constructed to the mortgage application process. But it’s not just housing that’s going to experience a groundswell of attention from this digitally-savvy cohort.

Every industry will.

In a report that casts millennials as the “global guardians of capital,” researchers with UBS, a global investment firm, estimate that by 2024 global millennial wealth will stand at $24 trillion, about one-and-a-half times the size of the U.S. economy in 2015.

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Plus, the oldest millennials are preparing to enter their peak income, investment and spending years as they climb the career ladder, form families and begin to settle down (millennials were 42 percent of homebuyers last year, according to Zillow). They’re paying down student debt, moving away from home and starting their own businesses or taking higher-paying jobs. Like their parents before them, they’re heading for the suburbs and buying sports utility vehicles to accommodate their growing families. And although wage growth remains sluggish overall, millennials are coming of age at a time when the economy is recovering and consumer confidence is on the rise.

Millennial tastes and preferences are fueling the economy. So, instead of lamenting how times have changed, it behooves us to get to know this generation and how they do business.

It’s true that millennials crave convenience, multi-channel delivery options and transparency from the brands they trust. But what some purported experts fail to understand is that millennials are not more narcissistic or obsessed with technology than other generations, according to UBS.

In its report, UBS suggests that human behavior, such as the desire to stay current on the latest news or the need for convenient transportation, hasn’t changed. It’s just the mode of delivery that looks and feels different.

Millennials may be driving the demand for digital but those expectations are now evident among all age groups. The habits and behaviors of millennials are influencing the habits and behaviors of other generations flush with cash: baby boomers and Generation X’ers.

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How does this relate to housing? Just consider Movement. Our brand is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of a millennial audience and the generations taking cues from it. We make the mortgage process less of a hassle and more accessible.

If you’re a loan officer looking to close deals with this burgeoning demographic, make sure your prospective borrowers know about the Easy App. Help them understand that they can apply for a mortgage from the comfort of their living rooms, and that they don’t have to go it alone to finance a down payment.

Your efforts won’t just help you land millennial clients but it will make you appealing to other borrowers looking for the same level of service.