MLS 5.0 – Understanding and Adapting to Generational Differences
Gen X and Gen Y consumers are already a significant economic force in the “first-time home buyer” category (making up 78% of all first-time home buyers according to the National Association of Realtors 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers). In a few years, they will be listing and selling those homes and buying and making their second and third purchases. Much has been written about generational marketing, and it is recommended that anyone looking for a successful sales career be versed in and understand generational differences and preferences.
Reviewing some of the literature and resources on the subject reveals information such as the following:
- Generation X, also referred to as the Baby Busters, number 48 million in the United States population. They are the original “Latchkey” kids—independent, skeptical and techno-literate individuals. They are the MTV generation.
- Generation Y, the Echo Boomers, numbers 80 million and is larger than the Baby Boom in size. It’s the Generation Me, confident, collaborative and bathed in bits crowd. Knowing about and understanding the desires and preferences of these generations will better arm those looking to be of service to them.
These population groups:
- Own computers
- Use a cell phone
- Use instant messaging and social networking sites—and they log on regularly
- Use websites as their primary source of news
- Author and read blogs
- Download music and other media using peer-to-peer file sharing
- Own some type of portable music and/or video device, such as an iPod. These folks are also the young and future real estate professionals. MLS 5.0 is built to fulfill the expectations of the Realtor and consumer of today, as well as the Realtor and consumer of tomorrow.
Being at the Center of the Conversation
This is a key component to success in real estate sales in the future. It is no longer sufficient to be at the “center of the transaction.” If a Realtor waits until the transaction, it is too late. To be at the center of the transaction, the Realtor must be at the center of the conversation about real property, participating with consumers far in advance of the actual listing or sale.
This has always been the case, and is now more and more taking place through visibility and participation on the Internet, through social networking and social influence marketing. MLS 5.0 on its public-facing side will give consumers and Realtors the ability to engage and discuss.
Web 2.0 concepts and philosophies, sharing and collaborating, must be built into the MLS structure and mindset. Transparency will become more important and if the industry is not ready to give the consumer what they want, the consumer will get what they want from someone else.
To view the entire five-part series on MLS 5.0 or to get the series in a PDF format, go to http://FutureOfMLS.com.
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