What Millennial Clients Expect When Working With Attorneys

Oct 9, 2018 | ALI CLE Legal Journals, Litigation, Real Estate

Millennials expectations of law firms

Millennials have surpassed baby boomers to become the largest age group in the United States. Pew Research Center anticipates the group will continue growing and peak in 2036 at 76.2 million.

Don’t make the mistake of imagining millennials are too young to impact your real estate practice: this generation was born between 1981 and 1996, meaning the oldest millennials are in their mid-30s now. This age group will eventually become the majority of your client base, if it hasn’t already. That’s why estate attorneys need to understand millennials’ preferences, habits and expectations.

Our latest research focuses on millennial preferences when it comes to attorneys and legal services of all kinds—and some of the results are surprising. Here are four major takeaways from the study to help you gain more clients from this powerful generation.

1. MILLENNIALS PREFER TO WORK WITH ATTORNEYS FACE-TO-FACE

Millennials tend to be more technologically adept than older generations, but when asked how they would prefer to work with an attorney on a legal issue, the majority chose face-to-face in an office.

Keep in mind that even though in-person is their top preference, millennials are still more open to other communication methods than other generations. For example, 42 percent of millennials prefer communicating with attorneys via email, compared to only 27 percent of older generations. They’re also more open to working with you via text message, online chat or video chat.

What does this mean for your practice?

Like older generations, millennials see working with an attorney as a serious issue that requires in-person meetings. Many clients are coming to you at a time of crisis or great stress in their lives. No matter their age, all clients want to establish trust and build a relationship— and the best way to do that is to connect with them personally.

2. MILLENNIALS EXPECT YOU TO BE AVAILABLE THROUGH A WIDE VARIETY OF COMMUNICATION CHANNELS

When asked how they would expect an attorney to communicate with them, millennials had higher expectations for non-traditional forms of communicating than other generations. One in three millennials expect text messages from their attorney, while one in four expect secure online messaging portals.

Notice that the data doesn’t appear to show that millennials expect these forms of communication to replace more traditional methods like in person, phone and email—they simply have higher expectations that other options will be used as well.

What does this mean for your practice?

The more communication channels you use to make yourself available to clients, the better. Successful customer service means meeting client expectations — in this case, that might mean ensuring that you are available via video chat, even though most of your clients may not choose to use that communication method. But think about how thankful you’ll be that you already have video chat capabilities when a client who prefers face-to-face meetings but is on the road for work asks to Skype with you.

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Real Estate Lawyer

CLICK HERE for the free download of the full article, which was originally published in ALI CLE’s The Practical Real Estate Lawyer. 

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JEAN CLAUSON (@CLAUSONJE) serves as Legal Industry Advocate at ARAG, an international legal insurance provider, fostering relationships with state and local bar associations as well as incubators. Her goal is to provide resources and opportunities to help these organizations educate consumers on how to identify their legal needs, assert their rights, and understand the value of working with an attorney. Visit ARAGlegal.com/attorneys to learn more.