The baby boom generation covers 18 years, between 1946 and 1964. My husband is an older baby boomer born in the late 1940s, while I am a younger baby boomer. We are sometimes called generation “Jones.”
Jones is a kind of generic name given to some baby boomers who were born between 1954 and 1964. We are invisible at times as the older members of the baby boom generation hit 75 this year and get all the attention, but it was like that when we were growing up, too.
Generation Jones may barely remember where we were when John F.Kennedy was assassinated. The older boomers remember being in school when it was announced.
The youngest members of Generation Jones are in their late 50s and are still several or many years away from retirement. I don’t assume anyone is going to retire, ever. Joe Biden just took a new job, and he is older than the oldest baby boomers.
With so many agents to choose from, some boomers will gravitate toward the agents who treat them with respect and not according to old stereotypes.
Here are 10 things you should know about baby boomers
- The baby boomer generation can easily be split into two generations, and younger baby boomers may not retire for another decade — if ever.
- Boomers do not consider themselves to be old.
- People in their 60s may not want to downsize. Some have growing families and look for larger spaces for entertaining family or for multigenerational living. Others may want bigger houses, so they have more room for home-based businesses.
- Older and younger baby boomers may contact us for help selling their parents’ houses or helping their parents find a new home.
- Don’t expect to find baby boomers in nursing homes unless they are visiting parents.
- Never, ever suggest or assume that a baby boomer does not have a smartphone, that they can not use one, or that they cannot send a text message or use an app.
- Do not assume that anyone in the baby boom generation who is moving is looking for a home without stairs.
- Treating baby boomers like they are old is a huge mistake.
- There isn’t one type of housing that is suitable for everyone in a particular age group.
- Never assume that the oldest baby boomers can’t or won’t use electronic signature software or forms.
Some advice for working with baby boomers
It is important to listen and ask questions when meeting with any new client. Always ask people which method of communication they prefer. If you have an app for your clients, offer it to everyone.
I have adult children, but no grandchildren. I can tell you from personal experience that I don’t want to discuss or be asked about grandchildren by complete strangers.
If your older clients have grandchildren, they probably know that they have grandchildren and will volunteer the information if they are moving to be closer to them. There isn’t any need for salespeople to ask about grandchildren.
There are many baby boomers who never married, and those who never had children. As people live longer there are more seniors getting divorced.
I have met men who will call all women “young lady” no matter how old or young the woman is. As an older woman, I find this particularly offensive and generally won’t work with salespeople who call me “young lady” if I have a choice. I am sure there are women who just love being called “young lady,” but I don’t think it is worth the risk to find out.
A more respectful approach is to ask the person, man or woman, young or old which pronoun they prefer or if they have a nickname. Or just ask them what they like to be called. It can even be a great icebreaker.
It is always best to ask questions rather than making assumptions. It’s wise to ask everyone the same types of questions. About what kind of communication they prefer, what type of housing or real estate services they are looking for, and how they want to be addressed.
The baby boom generation owns a lot of real estate, and therefore, a lot of your potential business.