Whether you’re a veteran with decades of experience or an energetic up-and-comer, you’re bound to face a generation gap when selling property. One study even found that an age gap of over nine years can reduce the chances of closing a sale from 33 % to 25 %. To keep that percentage high, here's our guide to bridging the generation gap, forging a connection and making the sale.
You aren’t the only one aware of generational differences at work. The chances are your clients have experienced them too, so it’s pointless trying to pretend they don’t exist. The period you grew up in has coloured your experience of the world, just as it has theirs. Respect the difference, be open to their views and you’re much more likely to generate a real rapport, which is worth much more than a false one.
Top sales staff are keen to emphasise that ‘age is just a number’ and if you focus on your strengths that can be absolutely true. Why? Because much of the real estate industry transcends the issue of generational differences at work. The basics like local price trends, amenities and planning laws are an essential part of your sell no matter what age your buyer might be. When you’re pitching, sticking to what you know will push any age difference issues into the background.
Actively bridging the generation gap is about identifying with your client’s way of life. Reports like Bank of America’s Merrill Edge Report or BBVA’s study of financial habits are all easily accessible, and can provide an overview of the differences between different age groups. Spend some time getting to know their demographic and creating sample personas so you can view the property through their eyes. You’ll be better prepared for their questions when it comes to the viewing.
Remember, you can’t have all the answers. If your client loves the idea of his antiques collection in your period property, but you can’t tell the difference between Art Deco and Arts and Crafts, simply showing an interest will have a powerful impact. Ask questions and see if any of their responses can feed into selling points of the property or the area. A Hubspot survey found that the top way sales staff can create a positive experience for buyers is by listening to their needs, not predicting them.
Generational differences can mean a very different experience of household trends. Bridging the generation gap with older clients can mean explaining the benefits of advances like smart home tech. Take the time to learn the basics so you can explain in a helpful and humble way. The same is true the other way. Some surveys show millennials struggle with DIY, so spending some time showing why your property’s built to last could make a strong impression.
Ultimately, bridging the generation gap is just the same as overcoming other differences you have with your clients. Taking the time and effort to understand their experiences, listen to their needs and engage with their interests will always lay a good foundation for a sale.