Fact: The average age of a REALTOR is 57 Years Old.
Fact: The average age of a first time Home Buyer is 33 Years Old.
(National Association of REALTORS 2015)
Working with clients who may be 20-25 years younger than you has its upsides and its downsides, and sooner than later you will find yourself having home buying and/or selling discussions with a generation you may be unfamiliar with.
Here are some helpful tips on how to work with a client who may be a quarter century younger.
Don’t Lecture…Do Listen.
Even though your clients may look and act like your children…they aren’t your kids… They aren’t kids at all… and you can’t treat them as such. Don’t try to talk to them like you do your children…if you do you will quickly lose them as clients.
Find out how they want to be communicated with. The younger generation uses text and social media as their main source of communication. Communicate on their level…even when it may be uncomfortable for you.
Listen to their needs… find a problem and help them fix it. Show them you care and be aware when they perceive… they believe… for them perception becomes reality… so if they think it is important… it also has to be important to you.
Most of the younger generation are turned off by any form of condescension. Instead offer encouragement. No matter how confident they may seem, most first time home buyers are riddled with insecurities and fears. They crave and appreciate praise… so be generous with your compliments and support.
Don’t Pretend You Fit In.
Think of yourself as a tourist in the land of the young. Their outlook and perspective on life is much different than a 57 year old. Learn and understand their culture and it will help you to better serve them.
Share Your Knowledge.
Baby Boomers have lived and experienced far more than someone 25-30 years younger… and with age comes knowledge.
EXAMPLE: We know not to drink a 12 pack of beer when we have to go to work the next morning at 8am… Or how after 2 weeks off from the gym it’s not smart to try and do a heavy full body workout and then run 5 miles… OUCH!
Once you have hit 57, you should pretty much know what works…and what doesn’t! Young people don’t and can’t know everything yet…but you can’t lecture them on it. Instead, talk to them explaining how real estate works…. Sharing your perspective in a positive way. Many have a bad taste for real estate because of what the latest decline did to their parents. Show them the big picture and help them to remain calm even when the storm is howling around them. You have to become the YODI to the young Luke Skywalker. “Try Not! Do or Not Do, There is No Try”
Old People Got Skills.
Hopefully by your mid 50’s you have honed your skills to a razor sharp edge. You have been there and done that… and you have t-shirts tattered and torn with battle scars and age. You are the expert and you know how to negotiate an offer… You have excellent communication skills and know the value of a face to face meeting to get the best deal for your client. You’ve been told NO a thousand times, and have learned how sometimes a NO can mean “MAYBE”… and how sometimes "giving" a little can gain you a lot in return.
Even though we may look worn out to Millennials and Gen-X’ers… we still got plenty to offer. The young people of today will be our leaders of tomorrow… and maybe some of the knowledge we pass on will help them be more successful in life and business. Old is a state of mind… Age is a state of experience and knowledge!
Use it or you just might lose it!
Use it or you just might lose it!
Eddie Brown ©2016