Understanding and Selling Real Estate to the Generations

Debbie De Grote, a full-time real estate coach and business consultant to some of the largest companies in the real estate industry, shares her top insights on what you need to know about selling real estate and working with each generation.

Keep reading to learn more about how each generation makes real estate buying and selling decisions. For more information on the Millennial generation in particular, check out our highly-rated real estate continuing education course: Millennials Are Changing Real Estate: Are You Ready?

What you need to know about the Matures (born before 1946)

  • The Matures are a generation that believes in loyalty. If they are convinced you’re an expert, they are likely to go along easily with your recommendations.
  • They look for quality and don’t demand that you customize your services to suit their needs. They expect you to be respectful and even somewhat formal in your approach.
  • They are more concerned about your track record than your degrees. They don’t respond well to marketing gimmicks and slick real estate sales techniques.
  • The paperwork and complicated transactions can be overwhelming to them, so simplify the process as much as possible.
  • Keep your communications simple and old fashioned, printed documents and eye to eye or ear to ear.
  • If you do not specifically ask for the business they are not likely to give it to you. They expect you to close them.

What you need to know about the Baby Boomers (born 1946- 1964)

  • Baby Boomers have over $2 trillion in annual spending power and are one of the richest generations in history.
  • They are 40% of the population.
  • They are busy and stressed and appreciate anything you can do to save them time.
  • Some embrace technology, but may not consider themselves tech-savvy and most often prefer to talk things through and to communicate in person or on the phone.
  • As you customize your presentations for this group, it’s important to note that they are one of the groups who are impressed by awards, trophies, and rankings.
  • The Boomers often prefer to work with a strong brand or at least an agent they feel is powerful and well established.
  • They like to believe you see them as unique and special.
  • They appreciate a good old fashioned aggressive sales approach, and they love marketing and advertising.
  • This group will need and want those weekly status calls. Without them, they will assume that you are not working hard for them.
  • Once you’ve establish rapport, proven your interest in them, and they feel you are good at what you do, they will usually allow you to quite easily lead them to the next step in the process without much resistance.

What you need to know about the Gen X’ers (born 1965-1979)

  • Gen X’ers are the average home buyers in your market today. They demand details, full disclosures, and proof. They will not believe much of what you say unless you back it up with data.
  • You can count on them to do their homework and they will often consider themselves more of an expert than you are. They may not easily accept your advice or guidance and could be hard to manage in the process. They will also look you up online. If you don’t have some presence there they will most likely discount you.
  • If you want to hold onto their loyalty post-sale, you will have to continually market to them by providing valuable and helpful information.
  • Once they are 100% certain they have all the data and that you are the right choice, they will make their decision quickly and efficiently.
  • Because they need to do their research and feel that they have control of the process, you may need to stand down a bit with them.

What you need to know about the Millennials (born 1980-2000)

  • Born in the age of rampant technology, Millennials are often called the smartest and most educated generation.
  • They expect everyone they meet to listen to and value their opinions. And they are not shy about voicing them. This generation is 85 million strong and powerful!
  • This group is optimistic, often very close to their parents, and not in a rush to live on their own.
  • They are most likely to purchase their first home much later in life than previous generations, and when they do it’s often funded at least partially by their parents.
  • They will often research you online before reaching out or allowing you to help them. They will expect clean and simple and quick transactions.
  • If you want to reach Millennials, text them. And if you want to know everything about them, friend them on Facebook.
  • They will not respond kindly to old fashioned hard core sales techniques. However, if you lead them with reason, explanation, and proof, they will be just as easy to close as a Boomer.

Ready to start selling real estate to the generations?

Here’s your to do list:

  1. Look at your marketing. Who are you sending it to and how do your marketing messages need to be adjusted?
  2. Take a good, hard look at your team. Do you need to bring some new, younger blood to your team to help you stay current and relevant?
  3. Review your processes. How to you need to customize your buyer process and listing process for each generation?

Want to learn more about selling real estate to specific generations of real estate clients? Check out our highly-rated continuing education course: Millennials Are Changing Real Estate: Are You Ready?

Click here to register for the course. For more real estate continuing education opportunities, visit McKissock.com.

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