Mind the Gap: Dewey
Joe, an older Baby Boomer REALTOR® who has been influenced by the Silent generation, has written an offer to purchase a listing from Mary, a Gen Y REALTOR®. Joe, as buyer’s agent, is requesting that he be allowed to present the offer in the presence of the seller’s agent and seller. Mary responds saying, “Just email the offer to purchase, and I will take it from there.”
Joe is adamant about presenting the offer in the presence of seller’s agent and seller, so he contacts Mary’s Gen X broker, John, to make his plea. John responds saying that he always leaves it to the discretion of his agents. Therefore, John will have to comply with Mary’s preferred method for presenting offers. Joe is very frustrated and reluctantly emails the offer to Mary.
What should Joe do in the future?
NORTH DAKOTA – SOLUTION
The scenario set forth involves REALTORS® that are a Boomer, a Gen Xer and a Gen Yer and influence from the Silent Generation. What provokes me most in regard to the scenario involving the above Generations is the incredible leap in communication preferences, style and methods that have evolved. The scenario has pulled me away from the present and placed me in a high vantage point to allow a better perspective of the realities and scary concerns about where we have come and where we are going in the name of “advancement and progress” in communications.
To Joe progress in communication methods has been sacrificed to the original intention, connecting to the client in a meaningful way. While he’s not going to insist that Mary change her mind, he can do his best to call attention to the fact that he has a personal preference and style that meshes well with his clientele. He can point out to Mary that while their styles differ, he represents his client and that they both are uncomfortable without a face to face meeting. Joe can emphasize his high touch; personal style is his brand and is important to his reputation with his clients. Mary may be reluctant to take the time, but should realize that Joe is a seasoned professional and there is a great chance their paths will cross again and it would be in her best interest to make an exception.
I believe it’s difficult for a member of Gen X or Gen Y to be empathetic with the plight of a Boomer because they believe all forms of communication are equivalent to live conversation.
The fallout from what is generally considered advancement in communication is diminishing the human touch part of the relationship experience in our daily and business lives. Gadgets seem to be bridging the gap when it should be a handshake; this idea may put a Gen Y person into a cold sweat.
So, where are we headed and what can be done within the REALTOR® Associations to assist the customer/client communication relationships as we move forward? Here is my thought: I am a member of the Boomer generation and there are approximately 78 million of us. The oldest of the Boomers are retiring, some are selling their houses and downsizing and some are moving and buying vacation homes. This phenomenon will be happening for many years, and the Gen X and Y REALTORS® will be the major players assisting us. My question is, will they gain the knowledge and adapt to the communication style of the Boomer Generation and modify their approach to properly and professionally assist us? Perhaps this is a question for the Strategic Planning Committee.