Age is only a number; however, in certain circumstances, business deals may suffer if the age gap is too large. It is a common occurrence in many industries today, when older, more seasoned professionals may not trust the knowledge or experience of younger professionals just entering the business world. It can happen in commercial real estate, where different age groups do not agree about a deal in which one group is interested in leasing or buying commercial property, and the other group simply does not see success in that venture. Thankfully, through a good strategy designed specifically to bridge the age gap between baby boomers and millennials, success can be found.
Baby Boomers, Millennials, and the Business World ,
Most professionals who are part of the baby boomer generation are in their 60’s. While retirement at age 62 or 65 used to be common practice, it is no longer for many reasons. Today’s baby boomers are working longer, which means they are doing business with a younger generation of professionals, i.e., the 20-something millennials.
While this may not seem to be a problem on the surface, it can become a problem whenever each set of professionals have a different problem-solving approach. There may also be very different business philosophies involved. Any differences may appear insignificant; however, they can actually be a part of the commercial real estate business and must be recognized to ensure success at closing deals.
Age Gaps in Commercial Real Estate
With commercial real estate deals, the biggest problem encountered with an age gap is a difference in vision - and there is a lot of vision involved in these transactions. Unfortunately, these two very distinct groups of people often work in different ways, utilizing different business strategies. They may not see the same thing when it comes to those visions.
Communication and trust issues can arise, which may erode any chance for a good commercial property lease or purchase if one group simply cannot see the image of the other group. It may involve property use, agreeing on or arranging for improvements, or any number of other important details. Things that are critical to one group may not be to the other. This is how a difference in demographic groups can become problematic in commercial realty.
Successfully Bridging Age Gaps
Of all the business operational differences between baby boomers and millennials, communication is the single most important factor. To create a good environment for communication, all agents or clients must establish acceptable communications so everyone feels comfortable and included in discussions. If texting or emailing is not preferred, designate preferred methods ahead of time and use only those methods.
Building relationships between baby boomers and millennials is a way for both groups to appreciate the other group’s outlooks, goals, and how they do business. Meeting the decision-making individuals to discuss business priorities and understand company goals can help older and younger professionals work better together. The goal would be to work together towards the same outcome, while appreciating each group's concerns. This builds the trust necessary for a successful real estate transaction.
Even though older, more seasoned business professionals have years of experience and their own way of doing things, there is always room for growth. Similarly, while the younger business set is just beginning their climb to success and have some radical new ideas, there is always room to learn from experience. When working on commercial real estate deals such as building leases or buying commercial property, both groups must appreciate the experience of the other and work to forge the best business relationships!