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It isn’t all about phone calls anymore—and we promise: knocking on strangers’ doors isn’t the status quo, either. Your clients prefer to be communicated in a variety of different ways, often depending on the generational attributes that distinguish us all.

It’s hard to bridge the gap between baby boomers and millennials. The time has come where the real estate industry has begun to embrace the new and largest generation of homebuyers. Because of this, we thought we’d create a quick cheat sheet so you can better connect with your ever-growing and evolving sphere.

Traditionalist – Born Before 1945
Traditionalists, or Maturists, are now well past the normal retirement age. They shy away from technology and put a high importance on safety, security, and capital preservation. Why? They grew up in the shadow of troubling times, namely the Great Depression and World War II. Communicate with them through print and face-to-face.

Baby Boomers – 1946-1960
Generally, since this gen adapted to online communication technology later in their lives, baby boomers prefer to talk face-to-face or on the phone. They were influenced by rock music and the Cold War, and all of them probably remember exactly where they were when Neil Armstrong took his first step on the moon. The best thing you could do is pick up the phone and call them.

Gen X – 1961-1980
This gen is a bit more technologically advanced and receptive to new innovations than the baby boomers are. They’re sandwiched between two much larger generations and often are raising kids while taking care of their now elderly parents. They embrace new communication channels like email and Facebook; in fact, emailing is favored and the easiest way to get in touch with them without interrupting their day.

Millennials – 1981-1995
At 75.4 million, millennials are now the largest generation yet, which means the largest generation of homebuyers. This crew grew up with technology at their fingertips. In their childhood, they saw cell phones surface, and in their young adulthood were using laptops and tablets every single day. Online communication became a thing in all aspects of their lives: family and friends, romantic relationships and work. They’ve not only been heavy users of social media; they created it. They prefer real-time conversations on platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, or simply iMessage, which is why they expect answers to questions almost instantly. If they don’t pick up when you call, try sending them a text. Chances are they won’t listen to the voicemail you left anyways.

This might all seem overwhelming or annoying (or both), but creating clear lines of when to use which communication styles for your sphere will mean more bang for your buck (and time). After all, there’s a fine line between helpful and bothersome. You don’t want to rub people the wrong way. A set of communication guidelines will help you settle into the role as a client’s trusted advisor quicker than ever before.

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