Mind the Gap: Nikki


Fifty-eight-year-old Carol is a long time REALTOR®. She works well with both her clients and fellow REALTORS®. She refers to her young clients as “kids” and even “my kids” instead of “my clients.”

A Gen X agent in her office made the comment, “You sure sell a lot of property to your children. How many do you have?” Carol feels bad because she can see the other agent has been offended, yet she believes her use of the word “kids” is endearing and well meant. She calls her friend, Kris, who recently retired as an association executive to get some insight.

What advice do you think Kris offers? How might your opinion differ?

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


Fostering mutual respect and building a much better communication bridge is the goal. Clients may react like the Gen X agent in your office, put off or feel like they are being judged. Real Estate is a relationship business. Your success depends on it. Clients enjoy working with someone who’s like them, Kris reminds Carol. Finding and creating a common ground when navigating through the buying and selling process can be very helpful. Ask more questions and listen to build a strong foundation. Once they have trust in your abilities, you can be more familiar and the term will carry your intended meaning. Kris goes on to tell Carol to remember the language you use reflects your professionalism. Your clients may in fact be the age of your children, but it may come across as patronizing.

Silent Generation….(Traditionalists) Kris falls in this group. They grew up during the period of the Second World War and have lived through transformative social and technological advances that came from that period to lay the groundwork for even more progress that has shaped the world we live in today. Kris counts herself as someone who has ‘seen it all’.

Baby Boomers….. currently consist of 78 million born between 1943 and 1960. They need respect for their years in business. Carol is very involved with her clients and many become friends.

GEN X……is the smallest group (born between 1960 and 1980) and amounts to 50 million. They are a self-reliant and independent group that is recognition driven. Kris is able share some insight because she knows the young man Carol is concerned about. During the years his mom was single he was always ‘the man of the house’ and had to grow up rather quickly.