• Millennials represent a greater percentage of our buyers annually — reaching 50 percent within just a few years — yet the proportion of agents their age remains comparatively tiny.
  • You should reallocate your Internet time to actively connect with millennials and build relationships with colleagues across the country.
  • Immersion is an effective way to understand how millennials think, play and work.

The real estate profession needs millennials, and millennials need real estate agents. Each year, “mills” represent a greater percentage of our buyers — reaching 50 percent within just a few years — yet the proportion of agents their age remains minute by comparison.

The challenge is threefold:

  • How do we recruit millennials to become agents?
  • How do we train and retain millennials once they’ve chosen our profession?
  • How do our existing agents work efficiently with millennial clients and customers?

The first step is clear. We have to learn about this massive generation. They are diverse, powerful, connected, often impatient and they outnumber us. So how do we begin?

A quick Google search of “millennials” generates more than 16 million results. And we know that reading whatever we find on the first few pages or what catches our attention on social media is more about effective marketing and SEO than about quality content.

Add to this the fact that we real estate agents have minute free time to explore, and the prospects for success diminish further. Still, the need is clear — we must begin to understand what motivates this generation, how they prefer to communicate, to learn and what models work for them. But how?

I suggest these three strategies that will at least get you started in understanding millennials:

1. Change the way you use social media and at least a portion of your online time  

Most of us can find time if we honestly examine our day. If we add up time doing the email thing, plus time on Facebook and Twitter, plus time spent surfing the Internet (I prefer the term drifting, but that’s for my next article), I bet we’ll have something to work with.

The idea is to assign some of that time to active connecting. Reach out during this active connecting and build virtual relationships with colleagues across the country who face the same challenges. Join (or create) dialogue about millennials. Learn from what they’re doing and let them learn from you.

Dragon Images / Shutterstock.com

Dragon Images / Shutterstock.com

2. Spend time with millennials

Go places they go. Do some of the things they do. Read and watch some of the things they enjoy. There is nothing like immersion to confirm that there are real differences between generations and to begin understanding those differences.

Hint: It is OK to ask a mill or two to act as your tour guides. They usually don’t bite.

3. It’s important to remember value

We bring value to millennials, and while we have questions and challenges about accommodating them, they have concerns and issues about fitting in.

For many of the mills we help as clients or train as colleagues, this will be their first time buying or working with real estate at all.

Our experience — a track record of success and familiarity with the way the market works — will prove invaluable.

These few strategies represent more than just a beginning. They represent an effort on your part to get to know the next generation — the future of our profession.

Brian McKenna manages two residential resale offices for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Blake REALTORS. You can follow him on Twitter  and on Facebook.

Email Brian McKenna.


Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription