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Challenges of the Graying Real Estate Industry

As younger consumers account for most buying activity, graying industry must adapt.

(Boonton, NJ, September 13, 2013) — As buyers get younger and agents grow older, the housing market is setting itself up for generational conflict.

The typical Realtor is old enough to remember the assassination of John F. Kennedy and The Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show — but the typical American home buyer was born years after those seminal events.

Consumers born after the baby boom account for fully 59 percent of recent purchases, according to the 2013 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report.

In the September issue of industry newsletter Real Estate Broker's Insider, brokers from Real Living At Home in Chevy Chase, MD, and at RE/MAX Southern Shores in Myrtle Beach, SC, provide rules for dealing with younger customers and agents. Among them:

  • Be flexible. Technology is changing fast. If your agents are still sending faxes, they’d better learn new ways of communicating.
  • Be fast. Younger consumers and agents are impatient.
  • Get to the point. Forget long sales meetings that drone on for hours. Young agents will boycott boring meetings.
  • Be respectful. Sophisticated young consumers will be turned off if boomer agents treat them as cute-but-callow whippersnappers.
  • Deliver on your promises. Boomer agents are willing to give brokers time to execute on a business plan, but young agents want to see results.

Additional tips on dealing with younger customers and agents appear in the September issue of Real Estate Broker's Insider.

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Real Estate Broker's Insider provides residential real estate agency broker/owners with actionable news and information on managing their businesses for greater profitability.

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