The Changing Workforce

Recently I conducted our first national virtual career event. We invited candidates from across the country who were considering a career in real estate or were already licensed and contemplating changing companies.

The purpose of the webinar was to explain why the changing trends in the workforce perfectly align with the already numerous reasons that a career in real estate is a viable and compelling career choice. The following three workforce trends were discussed:

1) The Workforce is Undergoing an Extreme Makeover

There is a shift in the demographics of those that comprise today’s workforce. One of the reasons for this shift is that Boomers (born from1946 -1964) are not only living longer, but also working longer. We assumed for years that Boomers would follow the same retirement pattern as the prior generation. However, with the wealth lost during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, that assumption is no longer valid.  On average, men and women who are healthy at age 60 will be physically capable of working until they are 74 and 77 respectively.  As a result, most plan to continue working longer, according to the World Health Organization. On the other end of the spectrum, Millenials (born from1977-1997) will make up nearly half of the workforce by 2014.  These are very different people, very different consumers, and very different workers than the Boomers. Millenials are known by many names Gen Y, Net Generation, even the Google generation. They have grown up using technology as part of their everyday lives; they expect to use technology to collaborate, brainstorm, network, shop, research and live!

The final major shift in this workplace makeover is that women now outnumber men. Of course, in real estate we have been ahead of this trend for some time. Currently, 57% of all NAR members are women. The influence of women has never been stronger.

2) The Culture of Connectivity

The term “hyper connected” has been coined because most of us are online 24 hours a day in one form or another. Our constant availability has blurred the lines between work and personal activity. With more mobile phones in the world than TV’s and computers combined, we are just a phone call, email or text away from work at any given moment.  There is no such thing as leaving the office. The office is literally in the palm of our hand.

Realtors have also been at the forefront of this trend. We have been balancing personal and professional matters for years. We return an email to a client while watching the kids play soccer, answer a client call during our favorite T.V. show, or answer questions about how the market is doing when we are standing in line at the grocery store. The transition from “time off” to “working” is almost instant.

3) Business Social Networking

People are using social media tools to connect, communicate, research, and engage with products and services. In fact, social networks and blogs are becoming more common communication tools today then email.

Tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogs are basically free and offer a reach far greater than ever imagined. For business in general, and in real estate specifically, these tools offer us an immeasurable platform for success that will continue to expand in the future.

The real estate industry is perfectly positioned to take advantage of these emerging workforce trends. If you would like a copy of the presentation, drop me an email and I’d be happy to share.

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