by Allan Dalton, SVP of Research and Development for HSF Affiliates LLC
Should you be a real estate professional in your 50s or 60s who has invested numerous years, if not decades of hard work, provided exemplary service and acquired an enviable reputation for results and client satisfaction, I have a timely message for you!
Even if you can retire comfortably, the world at large, and especially the world of real estate needs you to keep working.
While any reference to politicians these days may ironically be politically incorrect, perhaps the one benefit some of us can find from a brief analysis of this controversial public sector is how the most notable politicians regard age. Our contemporary leading political figures evidently did not receive the proverbial ageism memo. Instead they are working feverishly to extend their careers and delay the fulfillment of their personal bucket lists.
How else can one explain the following ages of the current geriatric galaxy of leading presidential contenders. The top four Presidential candidates, who I will not name due to the acute political polarization that exists today, are ages: 77, 76, 73 and 70.
Seemingly the public is drawn to these quintessential seasoned politicians. Could it be that they project more authenticity, believability, and of course greater knowledge, and experience as they age? Voters, if not the media, appear to be drawn to their mixture of wisdom and even cantankerous behavior more than they are enamored with even the higher enthusiasm and higher energy of younger candidates.
Now of course, many younger politicians, as is the case with tens of thousands of youthful real estate professionals, are also immediately appreciated due to their professionalism, integrity, knowledge and skills.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is clearly a brand favored by the youthful. As there clearly is an unmistakable match between the venerated brand of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the highly coveted youthful, progressive, energetic, tech-savvy and cutting-edge exceptional agents who are joining our brand in droves.
Our sensational and inspirational younger agents, as indispensable as they are, are not my focus today. The reason I am focused on the baby-boomers and beyond, is that younger real estate professionals are not as likely to either be asked or ask themselves what their plans are for retirement, as is the more veteran agent, broker or manager.
As one who just turned a spry 70 myself, I am of the belief that one should not have to run for the most powerful office in the world, to validate how we become wiser and more valuable with age (health issues aside).
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CEO Chris Stuart, I can assure you, does not want to see an exodus of highly experienced Realtors at the height of their professional powers and credibility leaving the industry based upon society’s arbitrary recommendations regarding when we should retire.
Moreover Chris, as the progenitor of Real Estate’s FOREVER BrandSM and forever agents mantra and mission, wants you to not only define being a forever agent as one who is valuable throughout the life of their clients, but also to enjoy the longest professional career possible and practical regarding your tenure with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.
During innumerable conversations with Chris, he has enthusiastically observed that there are countless professionals in our network, who with each passing year, enrich their local reputations, engender greater trust and develop deeply loyal relationships with potential sellers and buyers.
To quote Chris, “I want to do everything possible to encourage and enable our veteran Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professionals across the globe to continue to prosper through their exceptional and enduring efforts for years and decades to come. I am also completely dedicated to seeing our network be the most natural environment for all younger generations, seeking to establish themselves as forever agents with our FOREVER Brand to become immediately relevant and valuable due to our iconic brand and incomparable technology.”
Enjoying a long and sustained career is a very real objective as we increasingly see that consumers apparently develop a profound respect for those real estate professionals who not only continue to acquire knowledge, but who are at the peak of their professional skills and credibility.
These hard-earned and multi-year relationships with friends, consumers and clients are fortified by the veteran agent displaying a survival of the fittest like level of achievement in an industry where hundreds of thousands of their colleagues have had to encounter the reality that they just didn’t have what it takes.
Such bonding relationships however are often not transferable. Many seasoned agents have also established a level of trust that prevents consumers from engaging in an open and random search for real estate representation.
I believe that so called aging realtors in the age of online reviews will experience even greater success in the coming years as the information age evolves into a trusted advisor environment.
Equally important is how our more seasoned network agents will establish longevity models that will be passed on to their younger colleagues who although may only be in their 20s, 30s and 40s now, will also want and be inspired by their forever agent for the forever agent message to become synonymous with a long, relevant and rewarding career.
Our younger and more technologically savvy network agents can reciprocate, (since each generation is more evolved than the last), by instead of mocking or being miffed by some of their senior counterparts’ lack of equivalent technological sophistication, through sharing that knowledge. Perhaps by helping veteran agents bring more value to their business, they in turn, may someday be the natural party to acquire a more valuable business, leading to a win-win outcome for both veteran and younger professionals.
When this strategic symbiosis occurs, consumers and clients win as well.
For those wondering how long can or should I work, my thoughts are:
Hey, if the Speaker of the House is 79, then you can “Speak of Houses” forever!