I’m a 50-year old white American male. Before I even finish this second sentence, you will probably have already formed an opinion about who I am even though you may not know me. True?
Every single one of us – no matter who we are – gets stereotyped by others. We get it based on our name – my lineage is Italian but because we happen to have a double “L” in our name folks think we’re Hispanic or Latino. Our age, skin color, national heritage, gender, and so many other factors influence what others think of who we are or what we’re about. Which brings me to this: the generational gap.
I know a young American man – he’s 24 years old, hard working at 40-50 hours per week, and going to school online to get his bachelor’s degree. Sitting in the lobby at another local title company to close on the purchase of his first home, he’s reading a magazine while waiting. Some of the title and escrow employees are chatting. This one staff member happens to be rattling on about millennials and how they all live in their parents’ basement, they never want to work hard, and they want everything worthwhile simply handed to them. Then she goes into the back of the office, pulls out a file, and walks out to the front and calls my friend’s name. He accompanies her to the conference room to sign documents, and as he sits down across from the escrow officer he says “I’m one of those millennials you were just talking about.” Oops. Awkward.
In whatever capacity we work and wherever we live, we’re going to deal with other people. If it’s part of your job to win or serve clients, the first lesson here is to complain less – particularly around clients! No one likes to be around complainers. Barbara Corcoran flat out fires them.
Another good lesson: don’t assume that you know what you don’t know. This closer didn’t know anything about the client in the lobby or that she could even be heard. She probably didn’t know that the millennial generation is actually made up of workaholics, according to one Harvard Business Review article. They forfeit vacation time more than all other generations and these hungry employees make up over 50% of the current workforce.
Who are the future buyers of goods, spenders and savers, investors, home-buyers, land-developers, inventors, governors, and neighbors? Millennials. Let’s not write them off like a loss on your account receivables. Instead….
Lets mentor them.
Help millennials in your circle to become the adults we all want them to be. Treat them like you would have liked to be treated at that age.
They are our future America.
Anthony V. Carollo
Vista Title & Escrow