Years back, rewinding all the way to 1985 when my parents asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer I gave them was: “A rockstar and a mom.” I’m not exaggerating — this testimony is documented, lovingly I might add, in one of my mother’s creative memory books. I’m proud to say the latter happened (I did become a mom)…but the dominant dream of becoming a rockstar never did.
Why didn’t it happen? Because few ‘rockstars’ came out of Generation X. You’re one with me if you’re born the same year as me (1980) or earlier. Our generation, aka the cautious generation, has been characterized as being saddled with permanent cynicism, worry, anxiety and self-doubt. We were too young to have fought in a war yet old enough to have remembered what emotional and financial hardship looked like for our parents and grandparents. I’m not saying our generation isn’t awesome – because we have strengths that so many before and after us don’t – but our hyper awareness of the world around us and constant concern for what could-would-should happen has done us a disservice. As a generation we’re too cautious. We don’t like risks. Self-help books line the shelves directed to us and and they are burdened with an almost permanent state of anxiety — social and financial being the biggies.
Enter Generation Y, aka the Millennial Generation, loosely defined as those that followed; the ones born between 1982 and 1999. They’re perfect by no means with sucky traits summarized in their media-generated nicknames: teacup kids, for their supposed emotional fragility; boomerang kids, who always wind up back home; trophy kids — everyone’s a winner!; the Peter Pan generation, who’ll never grow up. They’re the genre of of speed and convenience, technologically-fueled communication, hyper social media awareness, and instant gratification. Some call them arrogant, over-privileged and undeserving. But wipe away all the stereotypes and what you’ll find is a layer to be envious of. They’re a generation of ‘no fear’. A generation demanding authority, exuding confidence and enabling a get er’ done attitude. Mix all that together and what you have is a generation that bodes itself extremely well to success.
The Millennial Woman is the one I advise you start keeping an eye on. This is girl-power beyond anything you’ve ever seen. She prioritizes a successful career, is buoyed by a stronger belief in her capabilities than her mother enjoyed at that age, doesn’t believe prince charming is her mortgage strategy and evinces a desire to write her own roadmap for how life should go. She re-writes the rules. Her shoes are great but she’s not dropping all her paycheques on Manolo Blahniks like the ladies from ‘Sex and The City’ glamourized females should do. She’s investing that cash instead.
I know this because I work with her. Last year, no word of lie, approximately 50% of my buyer client base were single, millennial women. I’m not dissing the millennial guys. I’m just stating the facts. Half of the business I did – and I did a lot – was with single women ranging from 23 to 30, purchasing property or leasing commercial space on their own.
What this is in incredible. And inspiring. Here’s how it goes: They’re Generation Y so first contact happens via a Facebook message or email; rare to never a phone call. They want to meet me because they have 1000 questions and a dream. So we meet. I spot them immediately wherever we decide that meeting is to happen because they are the wrinkle-free and younger-than-I woman who’s exuding optimism and confidence. We sit down; we talk. They tell me what they have, what they want, and ask the direct question: “How Do I Make This Happen?”
I’m envious. When I was in my mid 20’s I couldn’t fathom the purchase of property without a ring on my finger. Investment was the last thing on my mind and the word mortgage scared the bejezus out of me too. Not this woman though. She’s unapologetic about her lack of real estate knowledge but wants to learn. She’s not thinking that purchasing property means all her travel and fashion dreams will go down the drain. She’s not all about glossy cupboards and stainless steel but rather appreciation percentage trends in differing neighbourhoods. If that were me 10 years ago, I’d be a wealthy woman today.
I love my millennial clients. Their attitudes rock. In fact, they are so much fun to work with that it is bitter sweet when they buy since we are no longer in the car together every week. Their eagerness to learn is infectious. They engage professionals, seek advice and give trust. And their drive! They know what they want, are realistic in their plan to get it, and go for it. If it weren’t for the parents who often join us on some of the showings, selfies of us on Instagram documenting the hilarious parts of the search, and the absence of any crow lines on their face, I’d mistake these ladies for being way older than me. Apparently the 20’s really is the new 30’s.
What does this mean to the rest of us? It means that we may want to stop underestimating those younger than us and becoming open to learning from them. What for example would carrying the Millennial attitude mean to us and our futures? These ladies present the idea of setting goals and making them happen without room for fear. They not only understand and reach for fulfillment both professionally and personally; they demand it. When was the last time you considered the fulfillment factor of your life? I propose a plan: Let’s borrow from these ladies, shall we? Borrow their optimism, their dedication, their ambition and their drive for better tomorrows. Not wait around for success to walk up and introduce itself to us (because really, how often does that happen?)
On that note, who wants to buy a condo? 🙂