Is your real estate team prepared for the generational shift in the workplace?
Each and every day, while ten thousand Baby Boomers retire, another ten thousand Millennials turn 21, primed and ready to enter the workforce. And while many industries have been grappling with the shifting generational workplace dynamic for years, in 2015 the median Realtor® age reached a height of 57, before showing a dramatic drop to 53 in 2016. If you’ve been following the recent generational shifts, you’re likely familiar with the #1 factor contributing to this inevitable shift in real estate: Millennials. In 2015 Millennials became the largest generation represented within the workforce… a growth pattern that isn’t set to slow down anytime soon.
And while the real estate industry is finally starting to feel the generational shift that other industries have been experiencing for years, still just 5 percent of Realtors® are under 30, while more than 30% of U.S. workers are between ages 18 and 34. In other words, like it or not, the future of real estate is dependent on the largely untapped market of future Millennial real estate agents. Broker/owners serious about securing the future of their real estate teams ought to begin adjusting their recruitment strategies today to attract and retain younger agents, if they haven’t already. But even if your real estate team is ready to make the Millennial shift, how do you attract this elusive bunch?
To effectively recruit Millennial agents, you first need to understand what makes them tick. The millennial generation consists of highly educated, technologically-savvy and often autonomous workers - a perfectly untapped market for real estate. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Millennials also represent the largest homebuying and homeselling generation in the history of real estate. What better quality for a potential recruit to possess than attributes similar to your prime Millennial home buying prospects?
Without question, Millennials are also the most-technologically savvy generation of workers in existence. Having grown up on, with, and around technology, this group has little patience for legacy or grandfathered technologies. Appeal to these recruits by investing in industry-leading technology that not only increases your competitive recruiting advantage over other brokerages, but also improves your bottom line.
Another distinguishing quality of the Millennial generation is their autonomy and ability to work remotely and on-the-go with little supervision. This is truly a generation of individuals who never really disconnect….predisposed to checking text messages, emails and social media channels 24/7 … making real estate a fitting industry. And because Millennials never really shut off, their potential for closing deals quickly and efficiently is much higher.
Now that you have a greater understanding of how Millennials fit into your real estate team, start thinking about your actual recruitment strategy and be sure to consider your audience in determining the approach. I once heard a Millennial friend of mine describe her apartment hunting experience, crediting the apartment complex’s “1990s caliber website” as the main reason not to go view the property in person. In 2017 any respectable business is expected to have some form of online presence to attract customers, clients and employees. Therefore you should keep in mind that Millennials live and breathe online, particularly on social media. If you intend to appeal to this bunch, consider the story that you’re telling about your real estate business across each of these online channels.
And speaking of social media networks, another great way to recruit Millennial agents is by making personal connections with them via the very social media platforms on which they are already engaging. Being that they are the most connected of any generation, once hired Millennial agents can leverage their existing and often expansive social media followings to translate those relationships into potential future deals.
At the end of the day Millennials are here to stay, so why not start embracing and hiring them sooner rather than later? Their technology and social media savviness is a potential business advantage, and you may be surprised to learn a thing or two from their tech-savvy.