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The Millennial Change to the Face of Commercial Real Estate

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All the recent buzz about Millennials and their preferences and needs in both their professional and personal lives has left me wondering – since I’m a Millennial, how well do these observations describe my own behaviors? You might be wondering the same thing about your own habits, or if you’re not a Millennial, you might be trying to figure out how to most effectively work with Millennial colleagues or, perhaps more importantly, clients. How is this set of individuals affecting your business?

In commercial real estate, an industry that has traditionally relied on paper advertisements and listings with minimal information, understanding people between the ages of 20 and 30 has become vital to your professional success. Whether they’re sending updates, answering simple questions, or confirming appointments, your Millennial clients likely lean towards the modes of communication that they use in their everyday lives. Nicole Weinberger identifies this shift in thinking in her article “A Millennial’s Perspective on Commercial Real Estate”:

“Along the lines of time-saving, easily accessible information, Millennials will also be pushing easier ways for seemingly small tasks…A majority of property tours will move to online and mobile app on-demand scheduling…Social media will continue to gain popularity as an outlet to share articles and publish property listings or property requests. Online lead generation will exponentially outpace referral-based client acquisitions.”

Efficient technology is more important than ever. Older Millennials grew up without today’s efficient technology and have seen it change the world in front of their eyes. Considering the speed and ease of use of  emails, text messages, social media, and the many other modern forms of communication, “traditional” methods of client communication that may have been widely successful in the past may not work as well with newer clients. And developing and maintaining new investor relationships is bound to become more complicated and difficult to keep track of without the use of a real estate CRM that is built for the way you structure your busy day. Get the most from your relationships by understanding the way this generation works best.

So whichever side of the Millennial equation you’re on – whether you’re a Millennial yourself or you’re working with one as a client – the future of commercial real estate is here, and it’s up to you to make the most of it.