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Generation Y – An Opportunity and a Challenge

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By Glen Jaffee

RISMEDIA, May 29, 2009-Born between 1978-1987 (now 22-31 years old), the Millennial Generation number 72 million strong in the U.S. and 2 billion globally-an increasingly powerful economic force. For many real estate professionals, future success will depend on successfully adapting sales and marketing strategies to fit the needs and desires of this group. Although stereotypes seldom fit any individual perfectly, clear trends exist.

Fast-paced and tech savvy
Millennials are the offspring of the baby boomers. This group has no recollection of the BC era- before computers. They grew up with video games, the Web and have enjoyed access to information on a scale which was unimaginable to prior generations. The result? They move fast and expect the same of others. Texting and e-mails by cell phone is second nature to them. If you intend to serve this group, you need to be highly accessible and quick to respond. If you have a minimal Web presence you may not be noticed-the group thrives on social networking, online classifieds, blogs, etc. Virtual tours are a must for listings- YouTube is a hobby for this group.

Confident and prepared
They know how to locate information and are used to doing research-the Web is their playground. They will likely know information on comparables; school districts; etc. so don’t assume that providing such baseline information will be perceived as highly valuable. It may be more important to be prepared to discuss issues like proximity to public transportation, shopping/entertainment centers, health clubs, etc.

Tastes and priorities differ
Unlike prior generations, a home in the suburbs on a half-acre lot is not currently, and may not be in the future, a dream destination for the Millennium Generation. Instead, condos and townhomes close to work and shopping and entertainment currently dominate their preferences. “Wired,” close to public transportation, flexible living space, green and low maintenance are also strong themes among the group. Also, one-third of the Millennium Generation is minorities. Adapting to diverse styles, backgrounds, tastes and needs will represent both an opportunity and challenge for real estate professionals.

Recruiting and advertising
Consider the estimation that 58% of Realtors will be retiring in the next five to 10 years. That means one in five people now go online searching for career-related job simulations, and to research companies and industries. Development and maintaining an Internet presence now is essential for future success.

Glen Jaffee is VP of AlignMark, Inc. Contact Glen at 407-659-3576 or gsjaffee@alignmark.com.

For more information, visit www.alignmark.com.

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