• People today have very little -- if any -- confidence in the government, and this makes it increasingly difficult to commit to a purchase or sale.
  • We are best positioned for success when we are constantly connecting and cooperating with the right colleague.
  • The more I listen to our clients, customers, agents and support staff the better I am in support of their needs and our mission.

Welcome to “Letters from,” a column that examines the intimate thoughts of members of the real estate industry.

Learning from our mistakes creates a more powerful version of ourselves moving forward.

Name: Brian McKenna
Role: Dad, husband, broker-manager, writer and constant pursuer of progress
Years in business: 12
www.bhhsblake.com | @bmckennabrian | Facebook.com/Generation-Now

Brian McKenna

Brian McKenna

1. Why did you get into this business?

I got into this business because I knew I enjoyed sales and wanted to help people with what is often the biggest expenditure of their lives.

2. What is the biggest challenge you face right now in your business?

The biggest challenge I believe we all face in the real estate business today is the uncertain, unstable and unreliable political and economic climates in our country. People today have very little — if any — confidence in the government, and this makes it increasingly difficult to commit to a purchase or sale.

3. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started in the business?

One thing I wish I’d known when I was beginning as a Realtor is that while we are independent contractors each running our business, we are best positioned for success when we are constantly connecting and cooperating with the right colleagues.

4. Who has made the biggest positive impact on your business?

Believe it or not, my two children, Matthew and Kylie, have absolutely impacted my business more than anyone else. I changed careers when they were around 6 and 8, and they have been terrific every step of the way with encouragement and support.

5. What is one thing someone could do to help you in your business?

One thing someone could do for me that would help me in this business is to focus on the amazing agents who work with me in our two offices. They are a super hard-working, honest and dedicated group of professionals who consistently serve their clients well.

If people saw them and these great strengths, they would know who to see about their every real estate need.

6. What tool has made the biggest positive impact on your business?

The tool that has had the greatest impact on my business is my set of ears. The more I listen to our clients, customers, agents and support staff, the better I am in support of their needs and our mission.

Too often in our fast-paced world we miss the opportunity for great service by rushing through important exchanges. The better I am with this tool, the better my results.

7. What do you think is going to be the biggest change in real estate in the next five years?

The biggest change to real estate over the next five years will be the full arrival of millennials. Over 80 million strong, they will dominate our buying and selling markets.

The median age of a Realtor today is 57, and while there is nothing to suggest that millennials cannot be effectively represented across generations, there are challenges and important lessons to be met and learned in order to address their burgeoning needs.

We need to effectively recruit, train and retain millennials as both Realtors and as clients and customers. This is the reason I wrote “Generation Now.” This book is a collection of strategies to help us in the real estate profession work effectively with Generation Y.

Cheryl Spangler is the principal broker and co-owner of FORBZ Real Estate Group located in Alexandria, Virginia (serving VA, DC, MD). You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Email Cheryl Spangler.

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