Real Estate and the Millennials -What Do They Need?
By Rick Guthrie
Thanks for returning back to my blog “Real Estate and the Millennials.” Today it’s about, “What Do They Need”?
According to the findings from Pew Research Center, on Millennials, they are “Detached from Institutions, Networked with Friends” they are also called “the generation of “digital natives”. Technology to the millennial is not just an impact or a change in their lifestyle like it was to the boomers and gen x generation. No, to the millennial technology is a way of thinking, learning and encompasses a lifestyle they were, for the most part, born into.
The data points to fewer millennials seeing differences between political parties. This is certainly different than boomers. The average millennial investor has 52% of their savings in cash, compared to other age groups which has about 23%. Definite patterns have been developed certainly not unlike past generations.
Anyway, I’ve put together a few thoughts on what the millennial real estate professional needs to thrive.
- They need a team environment:
Millennials tend to job hop. It seems to be over 2 major issues. A boss to subordinate relationship, (which they do not like) and fair monetary compensation. The interesting thing though is they would rather make less and be happy then make more and have no fun. They need a fun team environment.
- The need for open thought and opinion:
Let’s face it, no one likes it when their ideas or opinions are shot down. Keeping an atmosphere that is not openly critical, opinionated or racially and religiously charged is important. 48% of millennials are racially determined as other than white. Racial discrimination will not fare well in the work place to the millennial and rightfully so. In short, they want to contribute as a team, to the end result, with little to no drama. Try not suppress opinions or thought.
- They need to be represented and included in decisions:
Millennials feel that too much power is in the hands of only a few people. They need to be heard. They need representation in decision making activities when possible. Certainly a company would need to set standards to where millennial leaders could qualify to be involved in the decision making activities. That said, the input from millennial leaders is invaluable to the company and to them.
- They need and organization who gives back:
This generation is particularly drawn to social and environmental causes. Ensuring that your company is involved in community and or social contributions through a team effort will go a long way.
- They need an open work environment:
Rigid hours and floor time and the 9-5 attitude is going away. Now for some businesses that’s a tough one. However not for real-estate companies. Having a fun and open office environment that gets everyone in the office to participate in lead generation is a win-win. Having swipe cards for easy after hour access is a must. Maybe finding leaders that are more flexible with their hours to meet with team members after traditional hours could be a plus. Sounds like we may need more millennial leadership.
- They need a technology driven work place:
I know you’re thinking more dollars but not really. The greatest technology is in the palm of their hand. You have nothing to do with that. What you can do is get friendlier wireless and blue tooth equipment that complements their smart phones, hand-helds and pads. Then get some great furniture and dump the cubicles and those old outdated PCs that they don’t use and are frankly a source of embarrassment for them.
- They need the opportunity to collaborate:
Everyone, not just millennials, has the need to contribute. This group especially likes side projects. Remember it’s not all about the money. Provide them the opportunity to head up or belong to a committee. Maybe they could work on a community event or plan an office social hour. Provide them the opportunity to train others. This goes a long way.
The fact is that 75% of our workforce will be millennials in 2025. That’s just in 10 years. We need to grow our companies with that in mind. To do that we need to focus in on what their needs are and then meet them. Also, we need to look for that great millennial leadership that we can develop that eventually will replace us…… I know I am! Please call me if that’s you.