Mind the Gap: Alex


Ed is a retired army sergeant. After military service he pursued his real estate license in 1978. Ed has been a local board president, and for years he was a top producer. He is a continuing education and pre-licensing instructor who has taught over 1,000 students for his association. Over the last few years Ed’s sales have steadily declined.

Andy Billings, 37, was in the 5th grade when Ed began his real estate career. Andy is a high-octane, do-it-yourself, take-no-prisoner type of salesman. He has taken the time to earn most of the NAR designations, and he has deep opinions of the Association leadership and the future of real estate. Andy has been his metro market’s top agent for the past three years.

Ed showed Andy’s listing at 1313 Mockingbird Lane and has a few questions for Andy, but is only able to reach Andy’s unlicensed assistant. Andy cannot understand why Ed has to speak to him when all the pertinent information is listed on the MLS. Andy has made references to not babysitting or handholding while Ed has described Andy as disrespectful with a lack of professionalism.

Now, Ed has a written an offer on the property, but will not scan or email the offer to Andy as requested. Ed has requested a fax number from Andy’s office. When Andy finally returns the call, it is restrained but tense.

Looking through the eyes of Generation Y, how would you close this generation gap?

Did you Mind the Gap correctly? See what Alexander Chaparro, NARLA 2012 Graduate, has to say:


We live in social and generational micro chasm where there can be a gap filled with a lack of understanding and disregard for each other. Or it can be filled with the bonds that bring us closer together. The gap that is amplified in the real estate industry as “generational difference” can sometimes stand in the way of getting things done as illustrated in this blog post.

Through the eyes of Gen Y, Andy may feel like Ed needs to ‘get with the times’, but he needs to understand that Ed represents a buyer. The goal of their interaction is to complete the transaction and satisfy the client. Andy needs to take a deep breath, because dealing with these type of ‘old school’ REALTORS® most likely will not be unique. The reality is that Ed has been successful for years and has a client base that trust him and a reputation that precedes him.

Don’t discount Ed’s brokerage experience based on technology. Think of the opportunities that come with winning Ed’s appreciation and hand holding will become a lot easier. Andy doesn’t want to be known as someone who can be difficult and Ed, with his wide sphere of influence can impact Andy’s reputation. Negotiations become a lot easier with friendliness and the level of appreciation extends to other transactions they may encounter.

The power of communication and understanding is the foundation to success in our industry. Our rich diversity makes the real estate profession full of different perspectives and points of view. With the scenario above, it’s easy to see how the generation gap can fuel misunderstanding.