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Meet Generation HENRY – a young and wealthy target group

Luxury brands must start adapting to serve a new target group: the HENRY generation. The acronym stands for a niche demographic subset of Millennials known as “High Earning Not Rich Yet”. A new Engel & Völkers data report entitled “Meet HENRY: Influencing the Next Generation of Wealth” investigates how this new affluent cohort is creating its own definition of luxury and setting priorities when considering purchases. HENRYs are born after 1980 and have an annual income in excess of 100,000 US dollars. The report found that quality and brand reputation are crucial, and provides advice on building relations with wealthy HENRY consumers.

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Luxury real estate: the target group is living the American Dream 

Millennials are pursuing the American Dream of homeownership. 97 percent of HENRYs either already own real estate or are planning to invest in real estate in the future. Luxury is not necessarily tied to a price point here. HENRYs regard the most important indicators of luxury in a property to be: the quality of the finishes, the location and neighbourhood, and amenities. This criteria reflect this generation’s overall perception of luxury. “For HENRYs, luxury is not defined by expense. They define luxury in terms of quality, and they make purchasing decisions based on brand reputation and word of mouth,” said Anthony Hitt, CEO of Engel & Völkers North and Central America

HENRYs expect outstanding property consultancy 

There is also a shift in consumer behaviour with this generation. HENRYs are influenced by recommendations on their social media channels, from their favoured influencers and experts. Authenticity is especially important here. 50 percent of respondents stated that they would choose a real estate agent specifically on the basis of local neighbourhood expertise and their network. “Agents should position themselves as trusted advisors and sources of insider information, before, during, and after the real estate transaction,” Anthony Hitt recommends. Alongside communication channels like social media, HENRYs are also influenced by friends and family when choosing a real estate agent, with 59 percent of HENRYs surveyed citing referrals from these groups as the most important deciding factor. 53 percent of those surveyed additionally cited the local reputation of an agent as a deciding factor.  

Outlook: Real estate expertise on digital platforms

HENRYs have a fast-growing income and will rank among some of the most wealthy consumers in 10-15 years from now. The report recommends that real estate agents start making use of new media and building digital ties with HENRYs now in order to best reach these gatekeepers of future wealth. As authenticity, know-how and brand reputation play a crucial role in choosing an agent, it is vital that real estate professionals showcase and demonstrate their local market expertise and consultancy skills in the digital world too. 

About the study

In partnership with the US market research company Researchscape, Engel & Völkers North and Central America surveyed a total of 1,003 US respondents between 7th and 17th September 2018. All respondents are born between 1982 and 1999, with an annual household income of more than 100,000 US dollars.

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