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GenY – Turning the Corner in Real Estate

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We wrote some GenY Primers

No Agent left behind

(unless you want to be, then good luck with that)

Many scoffed at the idea of discussing GenY without understanding the point of the background we were laying out for what is upcoming. What I found to be interesting is that GenX in the west seemed to have problems with what we are describing, yet Redfin just let us all know that 90% of their clients are less than 45 years of age. Are you sure you’re not missing something here? You cannot argue with data, it’s factual, all you can do is try to understand it and adapt.

Sure, the data we presented in earlier posts is about internet, computers, iPods, and cell phones, and you’re no piece of electronics. But if your marketing isn’t reaching the core audience, then it is more than likely that you’re not reaching the electronic stream that GenY is accessing daily, and hourly. Remember, this is the largest demo since the boomers.

The Question to ask yourself

If you truly believe that GenY has no real new expectations of you, then why do you blog? If you truly believe that GenY doesn’t get their information online from peers using social media, then why do you Twitter? If you truly believe this new generation Y doesn’t come complete with its own culture, then you are wasting your time online.

Most GenX could care less about what a blog or Twitter is unless their kids are using them, and even then, they’re warning their children away from you. The bottom line is that we want to try to help you turn that waste of time into primetime online real estate, and to do this you must understand the generational gap and the new merge taking place.

Why the first article was so dramatic and from the hip

…and smacked of sarcasm and grit

Because a GenY wrote it. Again, welcome to GenY- it was simply to make a point, that some missed.

Why we’re writing this series

Without understanding where GenY and soon GenZ mingle and congregate seeking the wisdom of the crowd, then how in the world do you stand a chance to be that wisdom- you can’t and you won’t.

Speaking from experience

This is Lani’s Facebook (in case you’re not on Facebook, I added an image at the top), and you see her list of 216 friends. Besides the usual suspects of Real Estate professionals, you see that her Facebook is loaded up with GenY friends that are now all around the world. She truly mingles in the GenY social media circle. Yet, some would doubt what she demonstrates effectively, daily. I would also acknowledge that she mingles with GenX quite nicely as well, so her ability to mingle in both realms should give anyone pause at just how well networked GenY really is. How many actual consumers are in your Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace feeds? Don’t fear, soon we’ll illustrate what works most efficiently and what doesn’t.

Here’s what we know

Show me one GenY client or person you know, and I’ll show you 20 GenYs I’ve closed (here’s three). The truth is, most agents have not one clue as to what will soon hit businesses in droves in the next few years. The oldest age of a GenY consumer is roughly 28 years of age, we’ll add 5 years to include a cusp which would mean that if the majority of your demographic isn’t 33 or younger, then you may want to sit back and grab a pen.

What we know about data

Demographic realities are just that, realities- it is a fact that your upcoming clients will be found on the internet. Chances are that your marketing is stab in the dark failures in the social department, which is probably true if you’re surrounded with other Realtors instead of potential buyers, that means you will miss out on the largest sector of buyers coming in the next 5 years- wrap your brain around that.

So, this closes the basis of what GenY is, and now you’ll be seeing upcoming articles about how GenY’s move in online social streams and how it will effect your business and how you can tap in. If you’re not up for this challenge then don’t read our up coming social media articles, but if you could use some serious input on how to find your way to the stream– stay tuned, but until then, here’s some more meat to chew on:

Why we chose Redfin as an example

It wasn’t because we knew you’d smell blood and attack, it was because of this simple fact- if you believe there are plenty of GenXers to still work with, you may be wrong. Entities in mainstream media such as the New York Times and others have already injected companies like Redfin into the Xer’s consciousness, and guess what, it’s resonating. Take Glenn’s assertion for example, “90% of our customers are under 45.” This means that clients from the age of 28 and older are using them, they’ve found the alternative, and it’s real whether you believe they offer service or not, and most certainly whether you believe they can survive- another company will just pop up in their place and do it bigger and better, and then what?

Don’t fear, we’re not here to tout the end of the world

Our goal is to break down these unique realities and begin to define niche options in marketing, together. The mission now becomes finding opportunities to break into social streams to offer the alternative, but it must be done in a way that speaks to a 2.0 buyer or seller authentically in whatever generation they’re in. We’ve lined up some interesting information that will help all of us tool what most are already doing poorly into something that wins. Our hope is that we can start a collaborative conversation on the future of real estate and how we can begin to shape it as we move towards rebarcamp08, rather than shot in the dark dribble- this is gonna be a lot fun…

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Scott Rogers

    February 4, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Glenn’s data remains a bit nebulous — I’m curious how the 90% of customers under 45 years old actually breaks down. Are most of them Gen-X consumers (age 30-45), or are there a decent number of Gen-Y consumers?

    Glenn seems to be implying that Redfin indeed appeals to Gen-Y consumers (which I would imagine to be the case), but when he backs it with the under 45 data, I’m wondering whether what the numbers look like for under 30 years old.

  2. Benn Rosales

    February 4, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Scott, we’re curious too, we’re actually hoping to get that answer.

  3. Ines

    February 4, 2008 at 8:54 am

    The part I liked most about this post is “If you truly believe that GenY has no real new expectations of you, then why do you blog? If you truly believe that GenY doesn’t get their information online from peers using social media, then why do you Twitter? If you truly believe this new generation Y doesn’t come complete with its own culture, then you are wasting your time online.”

    That really says it all – by making believe that you don’t understand and you don’t believe in generational studies, you are really denying yourself of a marketing truth that is more powerful than words.

  4. Jonathan Dalton

    February 4, 2008 at 9:20 am

    > Entities in mainstream media such as the New York Times and others have already injected companies like Redfin into the Xer’s consciousness, and guess what, it’s resonating.

    Really? Has their market share improved? Are they doing anything more than imitating the great discounters and rebaters of the past, except with a really neat website?

    Some will argue that every generation looks at future generations with a “bah humbug, we were far more sophisticated, worldly, pick-a-word” kind of view. Personally, I look back and realize that when I was the same age as the folks in Gen Y are now, I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did. What’s the old line? The older I got, the wiser my father became? You’ll object now and in 10 years look and say, oh … wait …

    Hinging internet marketing on one particular generation is short-sighted. But again, I’m only a guy who successfully markets to retirement communities online. So what would I know …

  5. Benn Rosales

    February 4, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Really? Has their market share improved? Are they doing anything more than imitating the great discounters and rebaters of the past, except with a really neat website?

    its the really neat website, venacular, and social media that we’re actually talking about- how you’re marketing, and where you’re blowing your marketing cash. The idea that 77% of the consumer experience is online is just a statement, our goal is to try to break that down to how your marketing touches that 77% in a way that pulls traffic in. My point in what you highlighted is that more and more people are catching on to this implied “new way” and yeah, it looks new. I think we all call this 2.0.

    the idea of the wide net approach is costly, and expensive, so the goal was to try to find out just who the 77% is. we’re not breaking ground on anything new here, we’re trying to understand what what 1000s of marketing people around the world are saying and how it will apply to our marketing strategies in real estate. there are just to many folks begging why in the hell are they bothering with social media, and it doesn’t have to be that way…

    follow up posts forth coming.

  6. Benn Rosales

    February 4, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Ines, I am so glad you picked up on that. We’re going to break it down even further than that…

  7. Jonathan Dalton

    February 4, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    > My point in what you highlighted is that more and more people are catching on to this implied “new way” and yeah, it looks new. I think we all call this 2.0.

    Understood. But there’s far more to 2.0 than one company surviving only on the basis of the VC that has been pumped their way. I don’t hold Redfin up as a 2.0 success story.

  8. Jen

    April 3, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Does anyone know the average number of residences people have from ages 19-35, rent versus buy, roommates, etc.?

  9. Faina Sechzer

    June 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Demographics point out another group which would become influential in terms of real estate – Millennials (born 1970-1995). Their numbers will peek by 2015 and the ability to relate to them in their “language” would be very important.

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Business Marketing

Bite-sized retail: Macy’s plans to move out of malls

(BUSINESS MARKETING) While Macy’s shares have recently climbed, the department store chain is making a change in regards to big retail shopping malls.

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Macy's retail storefront, which may look different as they scale to smaller stores.

I was recently listening to a podcast on Barstool Sports, and was surprised to hear that their presenting sponsor was Macy’s. This struck me as odd considering the demographic for the show is women in their twenties to thirties, and Macy’s typically doesn’t cater to that crowd. Furthermore, department retail stores are becoming a bit antiquated as is.

The sponsorship made more sense once I learned that Macy’s is restructuring their operation, and now allowing their brand to go the way of the ghost. They feel that while malls will remain in operation, only the best (AKA the malls with the most foot traffic) will stand the test of changes in the shopping experience.

As we’ve seen a gigantic rise this year in online shopping, stores like Macy’s and JC Penney are working hard to keep themselves afloat. There is so much changing in brick and mortar retail that major shifts need to be made.

So, what is Macy’s proposing to do?

The upscale department store chain is going to be testing smaller stores in locations outside of major shopping malls. Bloomingdale’s stores will be doing the same. “We continue to believe that the best malls in the country will thrive,” CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC analysts. “However, we also know that Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have high potential [off]-mall and in smaller formats.”

While the pandemic assuredly plays a role in this, the need for change came even before the hit in March. Macy’s had announced in February their plans to close 125 stores in the next three years. This is in conjunction with Macy’s expansion of Macy’s Backstage, which offers more affordable options.

Gennette also stated that while those original plans are still in place, Macy’s has been closely monitoring the competition in the event that they need to adjust the store closure timeline. At the end of the second quarter, Macy’s had 771 stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury.

Last week, Macy’s shares climbed 3 percent, after the retailer reported a more narrow loss than originally expected, along with stronger sales due to an uptick in their online business. So they’re already doing well in that regard. But will smaller stores be the change they need to survive?

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Business Marketing

Why you must nix MLM experience from your resume

(BUSINESS MARKETING) MLMs prey on people without much choice, but once you try to switch to something more stable, don’t use the MLM as experience.

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Discussing including MLM experience on a resume.

MLM experience… Is it worth keeping on your resume?

Are you or someone you know looking for a job after a stint in an MLM? Well, first off, congratulations for pursuing a real job that will provide a steady salary! But I also know that transition can be hard. The job market is already tight and if you don’t have much other work experience on your resume, is it worth trying to leverage your MLM experience?

The short answer? Heck no.

As Ask the Manager puts it, there’s a “strong stigma against [MLMs],” meaning your work experience might very well put a bad taste in the mouth of anyone looking through resumes. And looking past the sketchy products many offer, when nearly half of people in MLMs lose money and another quarter barely break even, it sure doesn’t paint you in a good light to be involved.

(Not to mention, many who do turn a profit only do so by recruiting more people, not actually by selling many products.)

“But I wouldn’t say I worked for an MLM,” you or your friend might say, “I was a small business owner!”

It’s a common selling point for MLMs, that often throw around pseudo-feminist feel good slang like “Boss Babe” or a “Momtrepreneur,” to tell women joining that they’re now business women! Except, as you might have guessed, that’s not actually the case, unless by “Boss Babe” you mean “Babe Who Goes Bankrupt or Tries to Bankrupt Her Friends.”

A more accurate title for the job you did at an MLM would be Sales Rep, because you have no stake in the creation of the product, or setting the prices, or any of the myriad of tasks that a real entrepreneur has to face.

Okay, that doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as “small business owner.” And I know it’s tempting to talk up your experience on a resume, but that can fall apart pretty quickly if you can’t actually speak to actual entrepreneur experience. It makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about…which is also not a good look for the job hunt.

That said… Depending on your situation, it might be difficult to leave any potential work experience off your resume. I get it. MLMs often target people who don’t have options for other work opportunities – and it’s possible you’re one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t have much else to put on paper.

In this case, you’ll want to do it carefully. Use the sales representative title (or something similar) and, if you’re like the roughly 50% of people who lose money from MLMs, highlight your soft skills. Did you do cold calls? Tailor events to the people who would be attending? Get creative, just make sure to do it within reason.

It’s not ideal to use your MLM experience on a resume, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Still, congratulations to you, or anyone you know, who has decided to pursue something that will actually help pay the bills.

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Business Marketing

This smart card manages employee spending with ease

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Clever credit cards make it easier for companies to set spending policies and help alleviate expense problems for both them and their employees.

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Spendesk showing off its company credit cards.

Company credit cards are a wonderful solution to managing business expenses. They work almost exactly like debit cards, which we all know how to use, am I right? It is the twenty-first century after all. Simply swipe, dip, or tap, and a transaction is complete.

However, keeping up with invoices and receipts is a nightmare. I know I’ve had my fair share of hunting down wrinkled pieces of paper after organizing work events. Filling out endless expense reports is tedious. Plus, the back and forth communication with the finance team to justify purchases can cause a headache on both ends.

Company credit cards make it easier for companies to keep track of who’s spending money and how much. However, they aren’t able to see final numbers until expense reports are submitted. This makes monitoring spending a challenge. Also, reviewing all the paperwork to reimburse employees is time-consuming.

But Spendesk is here to combat those downsides! This all-in-one corporate expense and spend management service provides a promising alternative to internal management. The French startup “combines spend approvals, company cards, and automated accounting into one refreshingly easy spend management solution.”

Their clever company cards are what companies and employees have all been waiting for! With increasing remote workforces, this new form of payment comes at just the right moment to help companies simplify their expenditures.

These smart cards remove limitations regular company cards have today. Spendesk’s employee debit cards offer companies options to monitor budgets, customize settings, and set specific authorizations. For instance, companies can set predefined budgets and spending category limitations on flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Then they don’t have to worry about an employee taking advantage of their card by booking a first-class flight or eating at a high-end steakhouse.

All transactions are tracked in real time so finance and accounting can see purchases right as they happen. Increasing visibility is important, especially when your employee is working remotely.

And for employees, this new form of payment is more convenient and easier on the pocket. “These are smart employee company cards with built-in spending policies. Employees can pay for business expenses when they need to without ever having to spend their own money,” the company demonstrated in a company video.

Not having to dip into your checking account is a plus in my book! And for remote employees who just need to make a single purchase, Spendesk has single-use virtual debit cards, too.

Now, that’s a smart card!

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