How do we deal with Generation X/Y?

Before we begin I think I should tell you up front that I am one of them. I am at the tail end of Generation X.  While I was graduating from college the first of the Generation Y people were off to school on their way to global domination.  I tell you this so you know who is giving you advice.  I often wish I was just a few years younger because when it comes to technology I know how to use it but I don’t necessarily understand how it works.  That might be the best way to separate X from Y if we had to but to keep things simple we can lump X and Y together.  I’ve thought long and hard about what to tell you when it comes to Gen X/Y.  I thought if I gave a few tips on how we operate maybe that would help.  Problem is I could keep writing and writing and by the time I’m finished there will be some new development that I can write about.  So to keep things simple just know these two things (and this applies to agents, buyers and sellers of this generation):

First, DON’T BE AFRAID OF US. Yes, we may understand technology a little faster than you.  Yes, we may want to convey something in 140 characters or less.  Yes, we are spoiled with the speed of technology and expect things NOW!  However, when it comes down to it while we may be different in approach we all want the same results.  So keep that in mind that we are all interested in communicating and working together.

Without going too deep and getting too boring the only other thing I would add on top of not being afraid is to BE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS AND WAYS OF DOING THINGS. When it comes to technology I think that REALTORS®, in general, are ahead of the curve.  We were some of the first professionals to get individual websites or come up with creative ways to market ourselves.  One thing a Generation X/Y’er is not afraid of is to try something new, especially if it makes life easier and faster.

Interested in acting like a Gen X/Y agent for a month? Then try these three things over the next 30 days and see how you like them:

  1. Text an agent for feedback or to schedule an appointment or something real estate related.  I might need to backtrack here…..step one might be getting a text plan is you don’t already have one.  The only thing I WOULD NOT DO AND WILL NEVER DO is negotiate via text.  I hope that is just assumed but you never know.
  2. Open up a Facebook account and use it!  This is not a fad and it is not going away.  Think of it as your online Chamber of Commerce or Rotary club.  Create an account, find old friends and colleagues and communicate.  This is a great example of a tool I’m hearing some agents gripe about but it aint going anywhere.  If that isn’t too painful you should try these other social media sites:  LinkedIn.com and Plaxo.com.
  3. Talk to the agents in your office that are Gen X/Y and get their thoughts on the market and the direction they see the industry heading.  You might be surprised at what you find out (if they put their cell phone down long enough).

Let me know if there are any specific questions on the subject.  We would be happy to make the Generation X/Y an ongoing discussion with more articles to come on more specific ideas.

4 thoughts on “How do we deal with Generation X/Y?

  1. Great article Mike!! I agree with you as a fellow Gen Xer… I hope some agents out there take you up on your 30 day test – I know they will find it will make doing their job more efficient!

  2. Hi Mark. I was at a retreat last month and there was a lot of talk on Gen X/Y and that is what inspired the article. At one point I almost did raise my hand, and jokingly ask “how do I deal with the baby boomers and beyond?” The advice given on Gen X/Y is a two way street. If a Gen X/Y agent wants to succeed in this business they have to do the same when dealing with older generations. As for your styles and methods I still think there is nothing better than knocking on door and a hand shake. My long term goals are to mix the old with the new and try to get the best results from that. Use technology to supplement the older proven methods that have worked for me over the past decade.

  3. I have one question, how many times have you sold a house without showing it; wriitten
    a contract without an original signature; or never meet your buyer or seller in person?

    In my 30 years experience, I can only count these rare occasions on both hands, which is probably more than the average agent. I

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