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5 October 2009

Bridging the Real Estate Generation Gap

Are you experiencing a real estate generation gap in your business and if so what is its impact on your agents and their productivity?

As a professional real estate trainer for nearly 25 years, I have the opportunity to come face to face with agents across the spectrum of professionals in our industry – an industry that has become largely diverse in both agent population and its approach to networking, productivity and long-term relationships.

As we look toward the future of our industry and the future professionals, we see promising, young and perhaps, virtual agents using the latest and greatest advanced methods of communications for inquiry generation and production (e.g. video, blogs, social networks, etc.). Yet, when we examine our current agent population, we have a majority of veteran professionals with ten or more years of tenure, production, and relationships that were built on handshakes, face to face conversations, and handwritten notes.

tech survey 1

In fact, according to the NAR 2009 REALTOR® Technology Survey, a total of 16{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c} of the respondents were between the ages of 25 and 35, collectively 33{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c} were between 36 and 45, 41{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c} between 46 and 55; and 34{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c} of respondents accounted for agents 56 years and older.

tech survey 2

And where the survey notes the ages of respondents, there is no correlation made between age and use of technology in networking and building business.

Further examination of the survey clearly indicates a combination of networking techniques is still needed for success. This brings several questions to mind:

  1. To what degree does each form of networking contribute to a REALTOR®’s success?
  2. How do we move our echo boomers, a generation raised on technological communication and hungry to tap into the benefits of the independent contractor status, toward reaping the benefits of one-on-one communication?
  3. How do we coach our baby boomer population toward proficiency in the use of tools that are instrumental in our business today?

Clearly the real estate industry today indicates that we have migrated to a hybrid model that can be as volatile as it can be rewarding. Here are a few suggestions to produce a harmonious group:

  • Poll your agents to determine their level of knowledge, expertise, and use of networking and inquiry generation methods.
  • Provide training in all areas of inquiry generation and business building.
  • Coach agents one-on-one to develop personally.
  • Buddy agents for peer training and learning.

How are you bridging the generation gap in your office?

5 thoughts on “Bridging the Real Estate Generation Gap

  1. Paula – this is a great analysis of the information. I live in a college town and everyday, I see the USPS truck just drive right past the student's houses….they don't even receive snail mail. I see direct mail campaigns becoming less and less important.

    Tina Merritt
    @tinainvirginia

  2. I completely agree. Snail mail campaigns are completely dead for nearly everybody. Even my grandparents toss out snail mail without looking at it for the most part, and those direct mailing postcards are always the first thing on top of the recycle pile. Switch to a digital medium or shelve your license.

    -Tyler

  3. Hm. So if repeat business and referrals generate the most leads… I find it curious that networking sites have a low importance rank. I keep up with the people I know largely through various networking sites, as well as through my blog. Perhaps having social media rank at all in this survey is a sign of evolving agent marketing techniques?

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