Gen Y - Why You May Not Be Connecting

Real Estate Agent with ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite 148333

Gen YI just read a gem of an article about how GenYers view their online relationships. I frequently find myself in discussions about the long-term upsides and downsides of social media, so I found this particular article useful from both standpoints.

But what we, as Realtors, MUST understand is the way that social media is interpreted by the next generation of home buyers. Like it or not, buyers in their early twenties prefer to communicate in ways that are far different from what you may be used to.

Text messaging is a great example of this. I personally prefer texting over voicemails and phone calls at certain times. Now, don’t get me wrong; phone calls are necessary when you have a lot to discuss, but which is more efficient when you simply need to find out what time your teenager’s going to be home? Without a doubt, a quick text is most efficient and definitely preferred by the teen, which is why I think so many parents fight this transition so much.

What about when you need to just remind your client of their 9am home inspection? Is it quicker for you to send a quick text message, or to make the phone call that will likely turn into a long list of other unrelated questions, that could just as easily be discussed at the inspection in the morning?

Funny thing is, a short time ago, text messaging was considered to be something just for the teens, but now the baby boomers are the fastest-growing group of users of this technology. Is there a chance that social media will take the same course? Maybe it already is. The early adopters of new technology are often the younger crowd, but I can personally attest to the growth of Facebook users getting to an older average age.

The point is, if you don’t adapt to these new mediums, you’ll find your potential client pool diminishing over the years to come as that generation grows and the boomer generation begins to shrink.

Additionally, these “new” mediums offer you new ways to meet and get to know your potential clients in a way that doesn’t make them feel like they’re being solicited. They give you an opportunity to actually build a relationship with someone who may have some common interests or affiliations with, rather than just seeming like another used car salesman.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Donald Bradbury 08/11/2009 08:40 PM
  2. Chuck Marunde 04/05/2010 05:46 PM
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Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

Its amazing how much my clients text me ... it sure cuts down on phone calls!

Aug 12, 2009 12:08 PM #50
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

I love texting and email over phone calls.  I have a written communication to refer back to.

Aug 12, 2009 12:39 PM #51
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Ryan different strokes of communication for different folks (age groups). Texting is very quick and to the point I agree. You still can't beat a quality phone call though or face to face even better. We rely too much on text and email.

Aug 12, 2009 12:45 PM #52
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

As a boomer, I don't come by these changes naturally, but I have embraced text, and have come to realize that Twitter is becoming huge. To tell you the truth, I really like it. Change is good for us older folks.

Aug 12, 2009 02:28 PM #53
Makoto Sato
iNet Realty - Honolulu, HI

Ryan, I agree that texting is very efficient and some great comments as well. I'm not always near a computer to send an email and the message is usually quick and to the point. Most people are busy and can't always pick up the phone just for me to tell them that the home inspector has been scheduled. On top of that it'll give me an excuse to buy the next cool piece of technology. -Mako

Aug 12, 2009 02:52 PM #54
David Monsour
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals - Gettysburg, PA

I agree that texting is very effective and can be unobtrusive as well if you are in an environment where a call would not be suitable.

Aug 12, 2009 04:16 PM #55
Jayne Vaughan
Re/Max Home Team - Clarks Summit, PA


Texting is a great way to have those short conversations and updates.  While I have not had the opportunity to use it in my Real Estate business, I find it extremely useful. Can't wait to use it with clients.

Aug 12, 2009 06:25 PM #56
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK

Wow, what a great bunch of comments and very good points.  I wish I could reply to each on individually. I agree that texting is great, but there's still an absolute need for phone calls and face-to-face communications to nurture those relationships.  I certainly don't think we'll ever replace those things, but many times efficiency is needed and emails & texts give us that efficiency.  I do a ton of business when I'm in meetings or at my kids' ballgames and family functions by text.  Have that option and that ability has made me more efficient.  The thing I found fascinating about the article was that the younger generations actually feel closer to and more understood by those that are their friends on facebook & other social networks than they do by people they may see face-to-face every day. If you never work with Gen-Y, none of this may matter to you, but if you plan to be in this business for another 30 years as I probably will be, Gen-Y will be a factor for you.  Adapting and learning is good for everyone and should never stop.  I do a ton of business with the tech-savvy because that's what I attract the most of, and social networking has expanded that business dramatically.  Personally, 79% of my business so far this year has come directly from social networking, blogs and websites, and I've closed 85% of my total 2008 volume already in this 'down' market. I can attribute that growth directly to technology.

I'm curious how many agents here are already using text-messaging as a method for property information on their listings.

Aug 12, 2009 06:29 PM #57
Pat Tasker
Shorewest Realtors - Germantown, WI
Your Milwaukee Metro Area Agent (WI)

While I may not like some of the methods myself, if that is the way a particular client wants to receive their information, that is how I will do it...

Aug 12, 2009 08:32 PM #58
Sharon Senger
The British Virtual Assistant - Seattle, WA
Licensed Transaction Coordinator


I think the consensus is that texting is here to stay, it's fast and inexpensive.  As Carla stated 6 months ago who had heard of Twitter, now everyone is Tweeting.  It makes me wondered what is next!!!!



Aug 12, 2009 09:13 PM #59
Christine McInerney
The McInerney Team with Realty Executives Associates - Knoxville, TN
The McInerney Team, Knoxville TN Homes For Sale

Very true I text with almost all my clients and have even neogotiated deals via text as several clients could text, but not take personal phone calls during work.

Aug 12, 2009 09:23 PM #60
Kelly M. Fisher

I must be really old -- but I HATE TEXTING!!  Maybe because I have teenagers and the way the communicate baffles me. Or maybe because I have trouble hitting the right buttons and it winds up being so frustrating that I give up.  I love email, on the other hand because I am always pressed for time and I can leave quick messages when I need to. But, picking up the phone is more personal and you can be sure your message went through -- you can't be sure with texting or email.

Aug 12, 2009 10:14 PM #61
Carol Pease
Pacesetter Properties - Cedar Park, TX
CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320

I luv 2  txt msg.  U can cut down on keystrokes this way. 

Aug 12, 2009 11:58 PM #62
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Personally, I prefer email.  However; I think the crucial point of your post is that we all have too adapt and I am right on with that.


Aug 13, 2009 07:43 AM #63
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

I <3 Txt!    So fast and easy.  I have been able to work out entire details of deals via text, schedule showings that way, reminders of appointments, loverly stuff!   And my clients like how accessible it is, how fast for them too. 

Aug 13, 2009 10:41 AM #64
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

Sheree-you're absolutely right-it's a great way to schedule showings, send appointment reminders, etc., but I'd never use it to work out entire details of deals.

Aug 13, 2009 12:28 PM #65
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Advisors - Minneapolis, MN

My cell phone is with Sprint, and luckilly I have an 'everything' account.  My last bill showed my now 20 year old daughter made over 1,100 texts for the month of July!   I didn't even know she could type that much.  Although I hate getting texts while I'm driving I am fully aware that my cell phone can do so many more things than I can. Just read an article today on how our phones will be replacing house keeps and credit cards in the very near future as they are in the Orient.

It seems that in remote villages the Chinese people are using their cell phones to access services never available to them before.  The numbers are staggering.   It isn't just about GenY.

Aug 13, 2009 07:04 PM #66
Georgie Hunter R(S)
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

It's just another tool in our toolbox, and I'm a believer now.

Aug 14, 2009 02:27 PM #67
Judi K Barrett
Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma - Idabel, OK
Broker/Owner, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDAB

Ryan, I find texting to be preferable in many instances.. Often a client will see a sign in front of a home and all they want to know initially is the list price.  OR another simple one liner question. 

Sep 07, 2009 11:10 PM #68
Troy Erickson
Diverse Solutions Realty - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Ryan - I wrote an article a while back about this very thing.  I am trying to stay current on all this new technology, but boy is it changing quickly.  You never know what is going to pop up next.

Sep 27, 2009 09:07 PM #69
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