Gathered around the dinner table, my family started a lively discussion about the names of each generation. I'm a proud Baby Boomer, and my son is a Millenial (although he would argue he's a Gen X) and the kids around the table tried to decide where they fit in, whether it was Millenial (Gen Y), Gen Z, or Generation Alpha.
So, as I began studying for my SRES Designation (Seniors Real Estate Specialist), I was fascinated to review the dates of birth and characteristics of each generation, and how these groups relate to buying or selling real estate.
The GI Generation, also known as the Greatest Generation, were those born between 1901-1924. These were the teenagers during the Great Depression and they served during WWII. Their numbers are dwindling as this age group is over the age of 95. They now represent less than 1% of the US population.
The Silent Generation are those born between 1925-1945. They are cautious, prudent, don't question authority, hardworking, and prefer face-to-face interaction and good old fashioned handshakes. My mom fits perfectly in this category. Think of those raised during a time of war and economic depression. This group makes up 7.6% of the population.
Baby Boomers (1946-1964) include my childhood friends, classmates, my siblings (except Baby Sister) and me. We are independent, ambitious, hard working, dislike rules, and represent 21.9% of the population.
Gen X'ers (1965-1976) were the first latch-key kids (supposedly). By this time, both parents usually worked outside the home. Gen X'ers are self-reliant, independent, skeptical, and communicate primarily by email and text. This category represents 15.2% of the population.
Millenials, also known as Generation Y, are those born between 1977-1994, and represent 24.2% of the population. Millenials are now the largest in number of all the generations, surpassing Baby Boomers. Millenials are skilled multi-taskers, empathetic toward elders, sensitive to multi-culturalism, yet have a short attention span.
Generation Z (1995-2010) are the 10-25 year olds who are tech savvy, impatient, introverted, and communicate via Snap Chat, Messenger, and other social media apps.They represent over 20% of the population.
Finally, Generation Alpha are those children born in or after 2011. They are independent, self-reliant, most likely an only child of older parents, and represent almost 10% of our population.
The over 50 population consists of the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, as well as part of Generation X. This group represents a significant percentage of the country's personal wealth and home equity. Not all Baby Boomers want to downsize, but may move two or three times while transitioning through life stages. Most elders prefer to keep their independence as long as possible and don't want to move in with their children. A very small percentage (less than 5%) move into nursing homes, while most seniors retain active lifestyles and independent living. There are options for all and not everyone fits into the same mold.
Also worthy to note is that Baby Boomers, Gen X'ers, and Millenials may be actively involved in the decision making process for their elders. I'm currently going through this scenario with a loved one and know many others who are reaching this stage. Skilled real estate practioners should communicate effectively with each client in the manner the client prefers. While the Silent Generation prefers face to face meetings and phone calls, Generation X and Y prefer text and/or email.
The modules for the Seniors Real Estate Specialist Designation (SRES) have been interesting as well as educational. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me through the links provided or call 601-278-4513.
First Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Second Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net