I'm taking the Senior Real Estate Specialist class this week and part of the class was an overview of the generations.
The GI Genereation are those people aged 79 & older; we have about 6 people in that group in class.
The Silent Generation, ages 60-78, about 15 in our class.
The Baby Boomers, ages 41-59, most of our class fall into this category.
Generation X, ages 29-40, about 10.
Generation Y, ages 11-28, none in our class.
Generation Z, ages 10 and under, have not yet entered the work force.
Many of our clients are Baby Boomers who, besides buying and selling their own homes, are often involved in helping their parents make decisions about where to live. Boomers also may be advising their children about buying. Boomers tend to prefer phone contact for friends and family. Email is often used only at work. When selling to Boomers, emphasis on lifestyle is important.
The Silent Generation tends not to use email and avoids technology whenever possible. These people value personal referrals.
Generation X'ers generally prefer text messaging over email or phone conversations. Buyers in this category want the house to be perfect. Proving that a realtor has value will be a challenge because, as a group, they tend to be skeptical and will probably have researched the housing market and you before initiating contact. They are high tech/ low touch people with a tendency towards risk taking. They have high expectations and you will have only one chance to get it right. Your response time will need to be two hours or less.
Generation Y have short attention spans, are empathetic with elders, sensitive to multiculturism, and very busy multitaskers. Email is to them as black & white TV is to Boomers. Gen Y uses Instant Messaging but will accept email as a form of communication. Texting is also acceptable. This generation is truly paperless so plan on scanning and efaxing everything. They may appreciate a copy of their HUD-1 by email around tax time.
There was much discussion in class about interacting with the various generations. Most of us are comfortable working with the Baby Boomers and a little frustrated when working with Gen Xers. Our experiences with Gen Y'ers were that they need us to keep them focused on the transaction. The Silent Generation will usually need more personal attention and you may need to communicate with children and grandchildren when helping people from this generation. Plan on delivering most documents in person as most people in this age group will not be comfortable with e-documents. They want to touch the paper.
My questions for you are:
What group do fall into?
What group do most of your clients fall into?
Which group are you most comfortable working with?