I’ve done it. I’ve read every single article I could get my hands on about millennials. Frankly, I’m really tired of calling them millennials and putting them under a microscope. But, the truth is, we have to. They are a huge generation of young consumers that’s hit the world by storm. I’ve had the privilege to raise 2 of them and have hired a few of them as real estate agents in my office.
Today, I’d love to bend your ear and debunk some of the myths.
The first one, every millennial loves and embraces social media, is so false and it really was a major surprise to me. For the most part, the millennials I’ve encountered pay little, if any, attention to social media. Sure, they’ll flip through Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat every now and then, but they aren’t anywhere near as addicted as GenXers. They grew up with it and it may have been something fun they did as kids, but it seems to be like they’ve left it behind and are a bit bored with it now. They seem to value the connection, but it isn’t their whole world.
They love technology? Well, sort of. If it’s technology that makes their life more convenient, they do love it. Scanning their boarding pass on their watch is a prime example of something that makes their lives easier. Not everything is technology focused, though. Millennials use paper, lots of it. From what I’ve seen, they enjoy carrying a notebook around to jot ideas and planners to write down appointments. It seems those with paper appointment books also use digital calendars, which is interesting. I’ve also caught many of them with a love of actual books. Not digital books, real bendable, smellable, touchable books.
And texting? I haven’t found a millennial yet that prefers texting over a phone call. (Which is pretty awesome given what I do…..hiring and training the next generation of real estate agents.) Millennials like control. They seem to actually feel the need to control every aspect of their lives. Part of keeping control seems to have something to do with their lives not being interrupted with trying to respond to repeated text messages. They’ll call you and discuss what needs to be discussed when they have the time and are ready to do so.
What else? They’re smart. Annoyingly so. Millennials are some of the smartest, most informed people I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. They are so used to having information at their fingertips that it’s second nature for them to go a mile deep for an in-depth study on items they are going to use or purchase, or the careers they decide to pursue. As you can imagine, being the broker to a millennial means pulling back from the traditional type of telling the agent what to do or even how to do it. I’ve really found it’s better to take a question approach, let them tell me what they’re going to do and only interject as needed to question/correct. Also, you must do your research before you question an agent on anything you feel they’ve done incorrectly. Gone are the days of just discussing something and discovering answers together. Millennials have the answers and if you’re needing to change their mind about something, you’d better go at it with a stack of research to back you up. This? It’s not a bad thing. It’s really made me grow personally and professionally. Millennials will challenge you and make you learn more than you ever have. I kinda love it.
Now, I want to make it very clear that I don’t find their intelligence disrespectful. Here and there you may find one that seems arrogant. They can be, but I think that’s really been present in the younger age group for many years. There’s a saying about being offended that goes something like ‘nobody can offend you without your consent’. I truly believe this and I choose how I deal with it. Millennials are getting a bad rap for what us older folks are considering disrespect. This isn’t new, my parents thought my generation was disrespectful when I thought I was just smart because of the things I’d learned and the technologies I could use.
In conclusion, I’d like everyone to consider changing their minds about millennials and become more open to learning from and accepting them. After all, they are the largest generation we’ve ever had and they have the power to influence our futures.