Diversity doesn’t only encompass different cultures; the term also refers to different generations. People are living longer, so society is now composed of more generations. Each generation has different traits and communicates differently. A REALTOR® needs to have a keen understanding of each generation in order to relate to clients and other agents. The method of communicating or marketing to each generation can affect a transaction, according to Tracey McNeely, a REALTOR® with Keller Williams in Cupertino.

McNeely shared information about the different generations at last week’s Cupertino/Sunnyvale District tour meeting. She identified the following four generations in today’s society and shared their general characteristics:

1. Veterans, born 1922-45
Respect for authority, conformers, disciplined and never buck the system, traditional nuclear family, savers, put away cash, communicate one-to-one, work hard, duty before fun, prefer to communicate via formal memo or mailed letter

2. Boomers, born 1946-64
Optimistic, involved, casual (“Call me any time.”), many disintegrating nuclear families, workaholics, grew up with the rotary and touch phone, “buy now, pay later” mentality, crusade for causes, question authority, their lives are broadened beyond the scope of the family, prefer to communicate in person

3. Generation X, born 1965-1980
Skeptics, like a lot of fun and informality, many grew up as latchkey kids, touch tone phone – it’s perfectly fine with them to leave messages on their answering machine, screen calls (“Don’t call me after work.”), like to eliminate tasks, self-reliant, have no patience, like immediate action, like to communicate directly

4. Generation Y Millennials, born 1981-Present
Filled with realism, confident, love extreme sports for fun, product of merged families similar to the TV show “Modern Family,” very adept with cell phones, entrepreneurial, multi-taskers, tenacious, oriented, tolerant, communicate via voicemail, email, Facebook, Skype, text messaging, like to chat online.

“Remember, when you have another agent on the other end, try to look at their generation and adjust your way of communicating,” McNeely told members.