‘The Greatest Generation’ is a term made popular by journalist, Tom Brokaw, to describe the generation who grew up in the United States during the Great Depression and fought in World War II, as well as the sacrifices and contributions required at home for the war effort and after it ended (sometimes referred to as ‘The Golden Age’). In his book, Brokaw wrote, "It is, I believe, the greatest generation that any society has produced." He argued that these men and women fought and worked not for fame and recognition, but because it was the ‘right thing to do.’
In real estate today, we constantly hear about the different generations and how to best work with each of them, based on what has shaped their thoughts, behavior and lifestyle. As a ‘Baby Boomer’ and Realtor assisting ‘The Greatest Generation’, the words that come to mind to describe them are commitment, personal responsibility, humility and work ethic.
These folks have so much wisdom to impart (even if they tell you the same story a few times-LOL) but there are also challenges preparing, selling and moving them into a new phase of their lives. Oftentimes, they are ill, a spouse has passed, they’ve lived in the same home most of their adult lives, raised their children there and simply can’t imagine living anywhere else. It’s overwhelming to think about taking down family photos, giving away their cherished collections, having complete strangers come through their home and a host of other things involved in the preparation and sale of their home. Luckily, wonderful resources are now available to assist them in ‘rightsizing’.
If you ask my husband, family or friends, most of them will tell you that I don’t have a lot of patience—after all, I’m a ‘Baby Boomer’, the generation that demands instant gratification. But, working with ‘The Greatest Generation’ makes me slow down, cherish my family, friends and the fact that I can have a cup of coffee anytime that I want without a ration coupon. But most importantly, they’ve shown me that doing the ‘right thing’ is the best course of action, no matter what generation you belong to.