There’s a group of consumers coming to the forefront other than Millennials that are growing in buying power and advancing to the forefront of marketing minds. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, while still bearing the ‘Millennial’ tag, has it’s own unique concerns and ambitions when it comes to home buying. A recent survey done by Better Homes and Gardens along with the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP) was the first of it’s kind, having over 1,700 respondents of LGBT potential home buyers and sellers. The majority of the LGBT community believes that buying a home is a good investment and a future aspiration. In honor of June, LGBT pride month, I thought I’d share some findings of this groundbreaking survey.
All age groups, including the Millennial and LGBT consumer segments, believe homeownership as a worthwhile investment and desired goal. However, the motivations for home buying differs between the LGBT and non-LGBT communities. Non-LGBT motivations include personal finance goals as paramount to buying a first home, specifically saving for the down-payment. Priority among the LGBT community to buying a first home is moving to a better city or neighborhood. This finding is underpinned by a primary concern for safety.
The top concerns for LGBT respondents were safety and discrimination. Moving to a neighborhood that was progressive, had low crime and in a state with anti-discrimination laws, were ideal preferences for home buying. Further, discrimination was a factor in LGBT concerns when it comes to all aspects of the housing market. From property management companies to home sellers, agents to neighbors, the high ratio of concern took surveyors by surprise. The NAGLREP seeks to remedy these concerns by continuing their work in supporting progressive legislation and advocacy. They have created a public online database of LGBT-friendly real estate professionals. This concern presents a new opportunity to educate the real estate industry when it comes to providing great customer service and an excellent home buying experience for LGBT buyers.
Another factor that will potentially effect the market is the Supreme Court decision on LGBT marriage. Historically home buying is increased by achieving social equality as it helps members of that group feel more protected and confident in their investment.
As we achieve these milestones, the LGBT community still remains a huge buying power (around $840 billion) and growing. This is just the beginning of refining market knowledge for LGBT consumers. These findings are just the beginning, opening up a meaningful dialogue for real estate professionals to be proactive in creating a tailored experience for LGBT buyers. I am a strong believer of equality. It shouldn’t matter whether you are black, white, gay or straight - all deserve to be treated equality and more importantly feel safe in their homes.