By Shelley Sakala

From approximately 1980-2005, the largest generation in history was born: Millennials. There are 80 million of them – and now they’re buying homes. If you’re wondering how that’s possible, remember that someone born in 1982 turns 35 this year. That’s well into the zone of marriage, starting a family and buying a house. Like every generation, Millennials have their own unique styles, tastes and interests that may not align with those of previous generations. Their grandparents are Baby Boomers and their parents are Generation X. It’s a long way from Perry Como to Katy Perry.

The customer is changing, but we’ve still got homes to sell. That’s why it’s critical for anyone selling a home to update his or her approach. There’s no shortage of info about getting into the minds of the Millennials, but here are three critical things sellers (and their Realtors) can do to help get homes sold.

1. Make sure the house is listed on a responsive website
Responsive means the website can adapt to any screen size, including the screen of a smart phone. Why is this important? Because 92 percent of Millennials are walking around with a smartphone – and many don’t even own a laptop or desktop computer. If they can’t see your house on their iPhones, you’re toast.

2. Be prepared to do business via text
The overwhelming majority of Millennials prefer to communicate by texting. This doesn’t mean you should go crazy with the emojis but at least be comfortable with bite-sized messages and quick responses. Want to offend a Millennial? Call ‘em. Want to really upset them? Leave a voicemail.

3. Feature what’s important to them, not to you
Recent studies of Millennials show they place a higher priority on solar panels and pet-friendly properties than on traditional selling points like good school districts and quiet cul-de-sacs. It has made us rethink they way we present a home online. A photo of a cute, happy, thriving pet bounding across the backyard lawn is not only enticing, but sometimes even a deal-sealer.

To quote Baby Boomer favorite Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a changin.’”

Shelley Sakala is a HomeSmart Realtor with The Sakala Group.