100 Years of Real Estate with 5 Generations

There have been 3 milestones of American Civilization:

  • Getting Married
  • Owning a home
  • Starting a family

For decades this was a predictable process, because it always followed this order. When the 21st Century arrived these milestones changed. Now American Civilization considers:

  • Getting an iPhone – I’ve owned every version
  • 1st Coffee at Starbucks – mine was at the Auburn University Library
  • Finding an unlimited Mobile Data Plan – I only have one because my account is managed by my company

The Housing Boom in the early 2000’s changed everything. In our current housing market, we are working with 4 generations of consumers. I’m fascinated by how much the world has changed in the last 15 years. We now have the incredible opportunity to work with several generations, because of their purchasing power. This is the first time in 100 years this has happened.

Is your business prepared to serve 4-5 different generations of customers and employees?

Who are they? The Greatest Generation (born before 1924), the Silent Generation (1925-1945), the Baby Boomers (old 1946-1954 young 1955-1964), Generation X (1965-1979) & Generation Y (1980-1995). Their characteristics are defined in these infographics from NAR.



When you combine the activity of all the generations actively buying/selling/renting, here’s where we are today.

Home ownership rate fell to 63.4% in the 2nd quarter of 2015, marking the lowest home ownership rate since 1967. Apartment occupancy hit 95.2% a near record high. –US. Census Bureau 2015

Real Estate remains the #1 topic of conversation when speaking with all generations. Everyone needs a place to live and the current housing inventory affects every decision we make.

  • Are my friends/family nearby?
  • How long is the commute to work/school?
  • Safety and walkability
  • Rent vs. Owning
  • What about my pets?

Each generation is more diverse than the previous one. Have you heard of Generation Z (1996-2012)? Here’s what we know about them…..not much except: they are the most diverse generation yet and they will be the most internet savvy.

The first question they ask when visiting your home is “what’s your WIFI password?”

We can’t change the classification of our generations, or the experiences that have affected them. Rarely does the previous generation understand the next. Be Interested, Be Passionate and you will be successful in connecting with all 5 generations.

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