This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Chelsey Keenan of Group Two joins Greg and Kevin to discuss the benefits of utilizing the talents, skills, and abilities of millennials in marketing and how home builders can market more successfully to a younger generation of buyers.
Home builders need to do more in their marketing efforts to appeal to younger buyers. Chelsey explains, “I don't think we're doing enough. I mean, we are doing all of this marketing too, and a lot of builders come at us and say, yeah, our millennial first-time home buyer is going to be a young family moving in. And I say, how old are they gonna be? And they're like, oh yeah, 26, 27. What? You think at 26, 27, the majority of millennials are settling down and getting married and starting a family? We're not. I mean, it's been proven that we are now one of the largest demographics that is coming into the home buying industry, but we are getting married later. We are settling down later. We are having kids later.”
Young home buyers look very different than they did in earlier generations. Chelsey says, “There's still this traditional mindset of that first-time home buyer is a young family with a young baby and they're young professionals and they're coming into the market. There was a report, one of the largest growing home buyer demographics is first-time home buyers, single females.”
The bottom line is home builders should rethink traditional marketing methods and strategies with millennials and younger generations. Chelsey’s advice is, “So, I think just our industry, breaking down the stereotype and breaking down the taboo and breaking down this stigma and having more fun with it is the first step in reaching this demographic who can't afford the homes yet.”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how millennials are shaping and changing digital marketing.
About the Guest:
Chelsey Keenan is the Digital Marketing Director at Group Two, a full-service advertising agency for homebuilders across the country. Apart from overseeing and developing digital marketing media strategies for builders, Chelsey is a high-energy public speaker with experience as a presenter at The International Builders’ Show, Builder 20 group meetings, NAHB AMC 2019, and more. She was selected as one of the finalists for the NAHB Young Professional Award in 2019, and was selected to Professional Builder’s 40 Under 40 in 2020!
Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hello everybody, and welcome to today's episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse.
Greg Bray: And we're excited today to welcome the show, Chelsey Keenan. Chelsey is the Director of Digital Marketing at Group Two Advertising. Welcome, Chelsey. Thanks for joining us today.
Chelsey Keenan: Hi, thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be on a podcast that is not Building Perspective and that I'm not introducing everyone in a weird way. So, thank you for having me.
Greg Bray: Well, you're a podcast expert, and [00:01:00] you guys do a great job with Building Perspectives. So, we invite everybody to check that out too, once we're done here. Hey, maybe we'll have to have a cross-episode release or something like that.
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah.
Greg Bray: There we go, but Chelsey, for those who haven't listened to that podcast and don't know you yet, why don't you give us that quick introduction and help us get to know you better?
Chelsey Keenan: Sure. So, I am, like Greg said, the Digital Marketing Director at Group Two Advertising. We're an advertising agency that advertises solely for new home builders across the country if you've never heard of us before. I oversee our social media, SCM, and SEO divisions of the agency. I've been at Group Two for eight years now. I started as an intern, which is really, really wild to look back on, but I started as an intern and really fell in love with the industry. So, I've been here learning from everyone and learning from everyone at Group Two for so long, and I'm excited to be in a place where I get to spread my knowledge as well. So, it's really exciting to be [00:02:00] here.
Kevin Weitzel: What? Did you start when you were 12?
Chelsey Keenan: Started out of the womb.
Kevin Weitzel: So young.
Chelsey Keenan: No. I started as an intern, going into my senior year of college in 2014.
Kevin Weitzel: Nice. So, as you well know, you've heard some of our episodes, and that's the business side of you. Our listening audience needs to know something personal about Chelsey that they'll only learn about on this podcast. What do you got?
Chelsey Keenan: Something personal about me. So many personal things and I'm a really open book so this is really hard, but I have a really big fascination with behavioral training for dogs. I rescued a very reactive dog about a year and a half ago, and I have worked really hard in training him and learning signals for reactivity.
And so, I've actually tied it in in a weird way to some of my marketing presentations. Like, how to attract people and how to give [00:03:00] people what they want the same way you attract a dog and give a dog what they want. So, yeah, if you ever wanna talk about dogs, I'm all here for it.
Kevin Weitzel: Do you ever roll up a newspaper when somebody's pitching something, like usually our sales monkey like myself, and just snap him on the nose and go, hey, shush. Stop talking. Listen. Active, listen.
Chelsey Keenan: No, no.
Kevin Weitzel: No? Doesn't worry like that?
Chelsey Keenan: No. Positive reinforcement. Always.
Kevin Weitzel: Oh, okay. Okay. Just checking.
Greg Bray: She'll give you a treat, Kevin.
Chelsey Keenan: I'll give you a treat for the idea, but then when you don't talk, we'll give you more treats. That's why my dog never barks during meetings.
Kevin Weitzel: So, you know, today we're really talking about something pretty fun, and, and it's something that we haven't really addressed much on our podcast so much, which is this whole elusive millennial.
Chelsey Keenan: Ah, the elusive millennial.
Kevin Weitzel: The elusive, and I use the word elusive for a reason. I really do value and respect, not only you but Molly Elkman. She's really stepped forward in the fact [00:04:00] that she understands that you have to speak the language of not only your audience, but also leverage and utilize the people that can talk to that audience. Sometimes it's not just the same old tried and true, what we've done forever. I'm actually really excited that we're gonna be chatting about this today.
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah. As a millennial, as a younger millennial too, I love talking about and overcoming stereotypes of my generation.
Kevin Weitzel: Stereotypes. So, are we talking like that they want huge paychecks, but don't want to actually work.
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah.
Kevin Weitzel: And they want to work like two days a week, and have uh, you know, all their benefits and.
Chelsey Keenan: Yep.
Kevin Weitzel: And, you know, work in flip-flops and beach clothes all the time. Is that what you're talking about?
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah, I think that's the big stereotype because we have social media now. I mean, when you're on social media, you see social media influencers and those are the only people that are out there, and so everyone has this perception that every single millennial is a social media influencer, and that's just not true because I tried that [00:05:00] route and it didn't happen.
Greg Bray: We need to caveat and be fair, Kevin, that you and I are not millennials, and as old Gen X, over the hill becoming people may have perpetuated some of those stereotypes from time to time. and we just want to know that we apologize in advance. If we do that today, in some way.
Chelsey Keenan: I accept your apology. You know, you have me on here. So, you're taking one step forward in acknowledging and accepting, and learning.
Greg Bray: Yeah, that's right. It's the first step.
Kevin Weitzel: It's the first step. The first step is admitting that there is a problem.
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah. Admitting.
Greg Bray: Well, we want to start out, I guess, talking a little bit more about getting millennials into the marketing team, into digital marketing in general. How that works because Chelsea, that's something like Kevin mentioned, that Group Two's done a good job with, and you're part of building that team now. Is there something different about hiring and recruiting millennials compared to [00:06:00] somebody else?
Chelsey Keenan: Absolutely is something different. At Group Two, we just went through a really big hiring phase and a lot of our hires are, I actually kind of think they're gen Z if I'm not mistaken. They are fresh out of college, but they have such a drive to learn and to ask questions. I think a lot of people look at that as annoying and pushy in millennials and in gen Z, but if you take the time to answer those questions.
Like even through the interview process, there were a lot of questions that they were asking about benefits and the job and the day-to-day and everything that it entails, and I remember even when I was interviewing in college for internships, I was just happy to get one. Even the generation below me, gen Z, even a couple of millennials below me, they have spent their entire life with social media. [00:07:00] I've spent the majority of my life with the internet, but I didn't get social media really until later in high school.
This incoming workforce, they have had the internet at their fingertips before they could even speak, and so they have been trained to ask all of these questions and take in all of this knowledge. While older generations may look at it as ungrateful, and just be grateful that you're here interviewing. Don't ask all these questions and have us go into more depth about what you'll be doing, and what the expectations are, and what exactly your day-to-day tasks are going to be.
They're asking these questions because every single other thing in their lives they've had all of the details because it was right on the internet at their fingertips. It wasn't just the textbook that they were given in school. It wasn't just what their teacher told them in front of the classroom. They were able to go and look it up on their own and find out more information about it.
You have to be prepared, as a company, for all of [00:08:00] those incoming questions and for everything they may be asking you because it is, it's a lot more detailed process that they want to know. They also have their parents chirping in their ears at a rate that older generations did not have. They have their parents saying, ask them this, ask them this, ask them this, and so you have to take that into account that maybe it's not necessarily just coming from them doing their research. It's coming from their overprotective, overbearing parents wanting the best for them.
Kevin Weitzel: Chelsey are you pointing at me when you're saying that?
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah, I did point down, but.
Kevin Weitzel: I've got two college kids right now that I, my son literally just got a job and he makes what I make and it's almost disappointing but I'm also very happy for him. I'm not an angry dad, but I did. I was like, did you ask these questions? Did you do this? Did you, and I did the exact same thing you're talking about.
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah.
Kevin Weitzel: Overbearing. Am I overbearing?
Chelsey Keenan: No, I mean, I have those parents too, and I think it's wonderful. I wouldn't have gotten to where I am today without them teaching me the questions that [00:09:00] I need to ask, but they did not have that. Their parents, my parents' parents, were not hounding on them to ask the questions. They were hounding on them to just accept the job and get the job, whatever it is. It's very different, and I think a lot of people tend to forget how close these generations actually are. From millennials to our parents, we are just one generation away from the internet and having the internet or not having the internet during leaving college and getting a job for the first time.
Greg Bray: No, it is actually pretty amazing how young the internet still is, and especially internet in your pocket. We had internet for a few years before the iPhone showed up and then it was only a few more years before everybody had one, and so internet in your pocket is really not been around very long.
Kevin Weitzel: This newest generation that they're coming out of college right now, they've had nothing but internet in their pocket.
Chelsey Keenan: Right, right.
Kevin Weitzel: Their entire life. It's [00:10:00] crazy.
Chelsey Keenan: That's what I'm saying, even I haven't had that. It is moving so quickly. The advancements in technology and having internet and having resources to so many different variables within the job force and within kind of coming of your own within the job industry. I sometimes think older generations just can't handle all of the knowledge that we could have, or how easily we can access it.
Greg Bray: So, before we're done, Chelsea, we're gonna have to define where you put older generations, just so we're clear on the current audience present, but that said, the idea that we've got to be ready for some of these questions cause they're used to having all the information. I think that's a great insight.
How do we deal though with the issue that because of that sometimes, my perception, they get stuck when there isn't an answer, where it's not a simple search to figure out how to do things, and maybe you've got to invent it yourself or just [00:11:00] define or whatever? And marketing has a lot of that, where there isn't a right or wrong way to go about it, but we've gotta make a choice. We have to do the best we can. So, do you see some of that in the teamwork coming up from time to time?
Chelsey Keenan: Definitely. If my team listens to this, they're gonna laugh because I've told this story to them, but I have felt so lucky my entire life to have people around me that push critical thinking skills on me. My mom's a kindergarten teacher and from a very young age, she teaches this to her kindergartners too, and I always tell this story.
She gives her kindergartners a cupcake, and she did this to me too. They stare at the cupcake and there's the rapper on the cupcake and they say, oh, can you open this for me? She says, okay, you're on a deserted island. You want the cupcake. What do you do? They have to sit there and they have to learn how to unwrap the wrapping paper from the cupcake in order to eat it.
That is development of critical thinking skills, and my parents have instilled that in [00:12:00] me from a very young age. I also had a really fantastic professor in college who, if there was a question that we would ask that she knew we could figure it out on our own, she would just stare at me. I was like, oh, oh man, okay. I can do this on my own. I can figure this out. I can get to the answer, and so I have spent a lot of time training my team on critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills is something that surprisingly, not a lot of people have regardless of what generation you are in, but for some reason, people expect it so much more out of gen Z and millennials to have these critical thinking skills without anyone teaching it to them.
So, I think it is on the part of the manager. It's on the part of us to introduce critical thinking skills, introduce how to come to an answer on your own, how to use the [00:13:00] resources that you have to come up with something new and develop something new, and I always joke if someone asks me a question. I say I don't know, I have the same Google you have.
It forces people to rethink. Okay. Let me look at all of my resources before I go to ask her that question. My team has come to me and said, I tried this, I tried this, I tried this. I still cannot find an answer. Let's work on the answer, and I'm like, fantastic. That's what I love because when you do find it out on your own, then it is so much more fulfilling and so much more rewarding.
There's so many people out there that need to learn critical thinking skills, but I think that is one main lesson in the workforce, regardless of what age you are, that you need to try and work on and learn as quickly as you can to overcome that problem.
Kevin Weitzel: Let's talk about company culture because there's no secret that the home building industry, there's some exceptions, but a lot of the home building industry has been [00:14:00] doing it the same way, the same crime, the same bat channel, over and over again, month after month, year after year, even decade after decade.
So, what can a company do to change, or to morph their culture, to be more inclusive of millennial new hires cause the baby boomers are dying? So, they're eventually gonna have to hire these kids anyway. It's just the nature of the beast. With this new technology, there's people, even in my generation, that don't understand the function. I get how the new technology works, but I don't know how it's done.
So, I have to depend on the nerds, if you will, to make it happen. So, what would you suggest to a company that is listening, that maybe they could make their company more inclusive to a millennial? How could a manager better deal with them, and/or how could they change their compensation packages or if they need to, to make that a better workplace for millennials?
Chelsey Keenan: There's a lot that falls on the root of trust. This stems a lot from Group Two. I mean, Molly, as our owner, has put so much [00:15:00] trust in me. She could have hired anyone that's older than me, and blatantly honest about my age. I'm 29 years old. I'll be 30 in November. Very excited for my thirties, but she has put so much trust in me and a lot of other millennials within our company to use the knowledge that we have and grow the company, and I think it really comes from upper management. The trust has to come from upper management to create an environment and create a culture of trust because all millennials want is like a circle of trust. They want to feel inside of that.
I mean, again, we grew up with social media where, if we saw things on social media, if we saw other friends hanging out on social media without you, it doesn't feel great, and before social media, you didn't have to worry about that. You didn't know [00:16:00] about that. So, I think that a lot of us have struggled with finding that inner circle that we trust. You could say a lot of us have trust issues, but I do think that having an open relationship as a manager, and this has stemmed into gen Z too.
Again, a lot of the team that I manage that is much younger than I am. We have a very open relationship. That's not just working, it's personal too. I ask them how their weekends were. I want them to trust and respect me as a person before they trust and respect me as a worker, because that's how you're gonna get the best work out of people, and that's how you're going to get people to feel comfortable enough to raise their hand and offer their opinions is if they trust you. If they don't trust you, again, it's like seeing that other circle of friends hang out on social media on the stories, they feel outside of it.[00:17:00] They want to be in that circle. They want to be in that personal trust circle. So, you have to be able foster that kind of connection with them.
A lot of times, I tangibly do this. I check in on my employees and make sure they're having a good day, are they having a hard day. I mean, a lot of stuff has happened very recently around the world, and I make sure to tell them if you need a minute, if you need some mental health breaks, let me know. I am here for you to work with you in whatever way possible to make sure you are feeling best. They know that like I'm not just there for them if they have a work question, I'm there for them. If they have a personal question as well, and it makes the working relationship that much better.
Greg Bray: This is Greg from Blue Tangerine, and I just wanted to tell you how excited we are about our upcoming event, The [00:18:00] Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit. It's coming up September 21st and 22nd in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, this is an event that you do not want to miss. We're gonna be talking about websites, SEO, analytics reports, how to use social media influencers more, how to improve your online reviews, how to really do everything you need to do to start selling homes online.
Again, The Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit on September 21st and 22nd in Phoenix, Arizona. Go to buildermarketingsummit.com. Click register. Please be sure to join us at The Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit.
Kevin Weitzel: I'm gonna assume that you don't have the vernacular, "Suck it up, Buttercup. Get back to work."
Chelsey Keenan: Uh, no.
Kevin Weitzel: It was rhetorical. I know you don't say that. Let me ask you this, whether it's inside or outside of your industry, do you have any companies that you see as doing it right, and we obviously know Group Two is doing it right? Greg and I both have great relationships with Group Two, and we know you guys are doing it right, but do you have any other [00:19:00] examples of companies that are doing it right?
Chelsey Keenan: Well, I can't know, a hundred percent for sure, because I think the only way to know for sure is to be inside of it. I mean, you can see as much as you see on social media, on the internet, on websites, but again, that's all a little bit of a narrative from them. From the people that I've met within the industry and the people that I've talked to, I know CBH Homes has an incredible culture within their company. They have a very extensive hiring process and they also have very clear-cut expectations within their hiring process. Which I think is another part of having a great culture is bringing on the right people, but you have to set expectations to bring on the right people.
Again, I don't work for CBH, but what I've seen and from when I've interacted with their employees at the Builder Show, they have a really good culture. They too hire a lot of young people. They hire a lot of [00:20:00] young people. They put a lot of trust in their younger employees. I always see them kind of running around the Builder Show, doing so much social media and having so much fun, and they all...
Kevin Weitzel: I'll tell you what you don't see.
Chelsey Keenan: yeah.
Kevin Weitzel: I can't confirm or deny this, but I think they have a room where if you are not positive, that Rhonda will take you and beat you in that room. just slap you silly, you know, say she'll slap the positivity right back into you. No, I'm just kidding.
Chelsey Keenan: They have a great company culture too, in that they reach out to people outside of their company too. I know Rhonda sent us little necklaces with keys and hearts and a nice little inspirational message. They just do a really good job of following their company culture, not only within their company but externally as well to their partners and their friends.
I think that's why they do really well in home building too. I would say CBH. Look to them. I just saw, they had like a huge company get-together, and they're really large, but they [00:21:00] were all in red and I was like, what is this? I've never seen anything like it in my life.
Greg Bray: So, Chelsea, as we try to grow that trust with the team, are there any specific actions that you take beyond just checking in and saying, how are you doing that, that you feel like, okay, I'm doing this because I want to grow trust within the team?
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah, that's a really good question. So, at Group Two, especially since being remote, we used to all be in the office and since the pandemic, we've all been remote. We have started a lot of different ways to form bonds across departments or with our own departments, and one way that we do this is we create these topic rooms throughout the week.
They're different times, different days, just smack random in the middle. They're about general topics, whether it's true crime series or sports, or we did one on [00:22:00] passions, passions outside of work. Anyone can submit any topic and anyone can join. It's totally optional, but you take time out of your working day to talk to your coworkers about their hobbies and about things that interest them, and you're getting to know them on a different level. So that it's not the candid, hey, how was your weekend questions?
Then you can get to learn more about them because when you're not in the office, you lose all of that hallway chit-chat that used to create that rapport to grow the trust and to foster relationships. We don't have that anymore. So, you have to force a way into it without having awkward Zoom happy hours. So, now we have these topic rooms and everyone loves them, and I have learned so much about, even people that I've worked at Group Two with for eight years.
I've learned gardening tips, and I even joined rooms that [00:23:00] I'm not necessarily totally interested in just to learn more about the people who are interested in those topics. I mean, if you want to have a good company culture, if you want to connect with your millennial and gen Z and younger generation employees, you have to put in the effort to get to know them in order to gain their trust and learn what they’re capable of.
Kevin Weitzel: The millennials embrace the micro homes, the tiny homes, and a lot of them do that out of necessity, just because the incomes don't match the radical explosion of prices in some markets. You know, in, in some markets it's double what it was even three or four years ago.
So, what could home builders do, or what are home builders doing, that you're seeing, that they're addressing because we could ignore the working class core. You know, the Walmart workers, and nothing against them, but, you know, they're not who we're selling homes to. They are going to be renters if they stay in that class and that job factor forever.
The working [00:24:00] class, middle class, they're being priced out of a lot of markets. How are millennials dealing with that? And in our home builders adapting the product? Cause we had, at least, Greg, correct me if I'm wrong, we've had at least a half a dozen podcast guests that, uh, have stated that they built products specifically for millennials, but they weren't getting millennials either that could qualify or that had the money down. So, they wound up selling them to active adult. I mean, at least half of dozen that have said that that was a problem, and that was mostly off-mic, but still.
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah. This is so interesting because I don't think that the industry is doing a good job at marketing to us. I think there is a huge gap. I actually submitted a talk with two other industry friends for next year's Builder Show that is exactly this topic on how we are missing the mark on marketing to this demographic and understanding this demographic and where we're coming from as home buyers.
Now, we're switching the topic from, okay, how do you get them as [00:25:00] employees and how do you connect with them as employees and how do you connect with them as home buyers? I don't think we're doing enough. I mean, we are doing all of this marketing too, and a lot of builders come at us and say, yeah, our millennial first-time home buyer is going to be a young family moving in.
And I say, how old are they gonna be? And they're like, oh yeah, 26, 27. What? You think at 26, 27, the majority of millennials are settling down and getting married and starting a family? We're not. I mean, it's been proven that we are now one of the largest demographics that is coming into the home buying industry, but we are getting married later. We are settling down later. We are having kids later.
Kevin Weitzel: Or not,
Chelsey Keenan: Or not. Not at all. Yeah, totally right. There's still this traditional mindset of that first-time home buyer is a young family with a young baby and they're young professionals and they're coming into [00:26:00] the market. There was a report, one of the largest growing home buyer demographics is first-time home buyers, single females.
Kevin Weitzel: Whoa. Hey, Greg, don't tell Tina, but I need this list of all these single females. No, I'm just kidding. My girlfriend would kill me. She'd kill me. Anyway.
Chelsey Keenan: But they are growing at a very high rate and I mean, it's me. I'm talking from experience right now. I was telling you guys earlier, I moved back into my parents' house because I want to buy a home desperately, but I can't afford it. When I was renting, I couldn't afford to put away for a down payment.
I think that is where we're missing the mark the most is that these first-time buyers, especially if they're single, they may be able to afford the mortgage and afford to buy the home, what we can't afford, what we don't have the savings for is this down payment.
We used to do so much of like, [00:27:00] $10,000 in closing costs and this amount of money in closing costs. We used to use so many of those incentives. They have gone out the door, but I know, now I'm looking for homes. I was like, oh, that $10,000 would help me drastically in closing costs in order to buy a home, but it's gone.
Kevin Weitzel: And not to give much of your business, but I mean, you're in the greater Philadelphia market, right?
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah.
Kevin Weitzel: So, in the Philadelphia market, that's not a huge growing market. So, that's still a relatively affordable market.
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah. It is definitely an affordable market in comparison to the rest of the country.
No, I couldn't even touch that with like a 25-foot pole.
Kevin Weitzel: And, you know, and not to specify any income, but, you know, we could safely assume, gimme a range of what a working graphic artist or a, you know, somebody worked at a Group Two, what's a general range of a, maybe not a first-time employee, but maybe five years in. What could somebody make in range?
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah. I would probably say like 75 to a hundred thousand dollars a year, which is higher than the [00:28:00] average, higher than the median income.
Kevin Weitzel: So, it's 75K. That's higher than the average income, but at 75K you might struggle if depending on what you have for a down payment or how much you have in savings, or how much you're paying in rent. Cause another problem right now, but you might even struggle coming up with enough money, and that 75 is nothing to snuff at.
Chelsey Keenan: Yeah. Right.
Greg Bray: Chelsey, on the good news front, I think six to 12 months from now, you may see some of those closing costs. Incentives become very common again.
Chelsey Keenan: I think so. My parents are by no means pushing me out. So, I think once that comes around, they'll be like, no, no, no, don't listen. It's okay, but I look on Zillow every single day and I'm not even looking in Philadelphia. I'm looking in the suburbs like outside of Philly, suburban Montgomery County, and cost of living is even less there than in Philly proper. Still not great for me.
Greg Bray: So, if anybody listening has a good home for Chelsey. Please reach out [00:29:00] cause she's shopping. Well, beyond just not quite having the young professional with family kind of viewpoint. Are there any other mistakes in marketing messages to millennials that you've seen?
Chelsey Keenan: Well, I think overall there is this big taboo about moving back in with your parents to save. Again, everyone expects us to be ready and be on our own. I don't know, maybe it'd be funny to do like a first-time buyer and parents' little event get-together. Like, let's not skirt around. Let's not beat around the bush. We are depending on our parents to help us, and this is totally okay in other cultures for grown adults to live with their parents until they're married. That's the norm.
It's only in America that it's looked down upon or frowned upon. I mean, every time I say I live with my parents, I feel like I have to justify it and say, it's because I'm saving for a house, it's because I can't afford rent anymore, I need the backyard for my dog. Why is it such [00:30:00] a taboo? Why should I feel like I'm going to be judged if I walk into a sales model, or if I walk into a meeting with my parents who know so much more about this than I do? I am a single female, single young female looking for a house and I don't want to come into a meeting and think that people can take advantage of me and try and sell me differently than they would anybody else walking into that house.
Yeah, I would like to bring along my parents who know a lot more than that, but why do I have this feeling that I'm going to be judged? It's because I've been told my entire life that you should move out after college and be on your own and be independent. So, I think just our industry, breaking down the stereotype and breaking down the taboo and breaking down this stigma and having more fun with it is the first step in reaching this demographic [00:31:00] who can't afford the homes yet.
Kevin Weitzel: Well, I can address part of that, and part of that is just our cultural thing of the late boomers and all of gen X. I'm guilty of this myself is that you look down on your peers as if they are losers if they don't get out of the house. I've been on mine own since my freshman year in high school.
So, trust me, I was out. Gone. Freshman year in high school, I bought my own travel trailer. I had a full-time job, well, full-time while going to school. Then after that, because I was basically broke as joke, I went in the Marine Corps, and that's what a lot of people do because they want to not be seen as, yeah, I still live with my mom. But honestly, generational living, like you say, is only looked down upon in the United States.
The rest of the world, it's very commonplace. If we did, maybe we changed some of the designs, and, I know that Greg has addressed this in the past about are we looking at the design factor of homes or are we still building the same old single-family house that's meant to raise kids then boot them on out.
Chelsey Keenan: We have a builder out in Washington, New Tradition Homes, and they came out with an entire floor plan set [00:32:00] that is multi-generational living and it's great. It's wonderful, but I think it'd be funny to break it down and kind of say, not just think of multi-generational living as your parents moving back in with you, your children can move back in with you too.
I'm rewatching parenthood right now and like laughing at all of the funny aspects of it, cause it was created so long ago, but she moves back in with her parents and I'm like, oh wow. I can relate to this now.
Greg Bray: Well, Chelsea, we want to be mindful of your time cause you've been very generous with this today. So just a couple of last questions here. As you look ahead, what types of opportunities are you watching or looking for that you think the industry as a whole should be paying attention to?
Chelsey Keenan: I've been a part of this industry for about eight years now. I've been going to the Builder Show for about seven. I've been speaking at the Builder Show for about seven years, and I joined the young professionals’ group from NAHB and it's a fantastic group, but I'm looking [00:33:00] for my age, not 40 under 40. I'm looking for under 30. I'm looking for the 30-year-olds in the industry that have that next voice because right now I feel like, it's not like it's only me, but I'm like, where is everybody else?
And then I just went to PCBC and got to see Brett Goin. He started a company called Hammer, which was really cool. He does Builders of Insta that Instagram, and he is my age and he got up and spoke about social media influencing and growing your brand on social media, and he was so incredible and so well spoken. I was thinking like, why hasn't this guy spoken at Tech Bites? Why doesn't he have a platform? He has his own podcast.
I'm looking for, I guess, other builder other companies, other industry partners, and friends to give under 30-year-olds the voice that I have been lucky enough to [00:34:00] have been trusted with by Molly. So, if you're out there and you have under 30-year-olds that have great ideas, push them to get on a podcast, or submit for Tech Bites, or do a little talk at the Builders Show, or get connected with me. I would love to talk just to more people my age and see where their brains are at in the industry cause I have felt a little lonely.
Greg Bray: Well, Chelsey, do you have any last pieces of advice that you didn't get a chance to touch on yet that you wanted to make sure you got out there today?
Chelsey Keenan: Last pieces of advice. I just think that we have to get away from an old traditional mindset. We have to get away from ageism, and even just I am five feet tall, and I think people are just in sheer shock when they see me and they're like, what? She's gonna speak. So, I think people just have to get over all the different stereotypes and realize that [00:35:00] we are all in the same industry trying to learn about the same thing. We're all working together to tackle these same problems. The more brain power we have, the better. The younger brain power we have to reach people on social media, to reach people on all of these digital platforms, VR that is taking over, the better. Just be open. Be an open mind and an open heart.
Greg Bray: you. Thank you so much for sharing with us today. Thank you for exercising your voice and not being quiet and trying to make a difference. If anybody wants to reach out and connect with you, what's the best way for them to get in touch?
Chelsey Keenan: My email is ckeenan, K E E N A N @grouptwo.com. Two is spelled out T W O. Or you can connect with me on LinkedIn. I love to talk, as you can hear from this podcast. So, if you ever just wanna chit chat, I'm around.
Greg Bray: All right. Well, thanks Chelsey again for joining us, and thank you everybody [00:36:00] for listening to The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse. Thank you.