What Baby Boomers Can Learn from Millennials

by Deanna Kane


The mother-daughter team of Marlene Rubenstein and Dena Fox with Baird & Warner represent what the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations can learn from each other. Baby Boomer Rubenstein shares what she has learned from her Millennial daughter, Fox.

1. Real-life insight into today’s buyer – Fox provides Rubenstein with real-life insight into today’s buyer, because Fox represents today’s buyer. “Through our broad coverage from the city to the suburbs, we are able to address our clients’ needs at all stages in their lives,” Rubenstein says. “We start by helping with a rental in the city, purchasing a condo downtown, moving to the suburbs with kids, upgrading to a larger home and moving back to the city when the kids are out of the house. As a team, we represent different age groups and demographics and truly understand and can relate to what our clients are looking for in an agent.”

2. Understanding generational habits – When working together, Baby Boomers and Millennials can offer invaluable insight into their peer’s habits. “Marketing has changed, and yet we can go back to old fashion ideas,” Rubenstein says. “While the majority of buyers and sellers gather information online, my generation still reads newspapers. Dena is a great believer in print ads, and we use both print and online ads to market our partnership.”

3. Reverse prospecting – “As I have seen the evolution of the information, I am most interested in the data,” Rubenstein says. Because Fox boasts a financial background, Rubenstein adds, she’s able to splinter data sets in a variety of helpful ways, which allows her to “reverse prospect,” reaching out to potential clients through email and text. Rubenstein says she prefers to call. “We are able to really distinguish ourselves with sellers by fully pre-marketing our properties,” she admits. “That is the most targeted approach we can take to access the most likely buyer, and we’ve been successful in selling a number of properties before they hit the market for a price at or over asking.”

4. More listening, less talking – Rubenstein applauds Fox for her ability to listen. “She is the best listener I know,” Rubenstein says. While Fox lends clients her ears, Rubenstein acts as the office’s mouthpiece, sharing information. “As a seasoned professional, my generation talks to share our knowledge. Dena’s generation listens,” she says. “When you listen, you target the needs of your clients in a much more efficient manner.”

6. The Google generation – With advancements in convenience technologies, the Rubenstein-Fox team has been completely streamlined. “Dena has created shared calendars and shared notes, so we have all the information in the palm of our hand,” says Rubenstein. “We create a file on every property that Dena has organized electronically so that we are prepared to answer any and all questions.”

7. Viewing Data – Fox’s financial background and analytical mind complement Rubenstein’s experience and industry knowledge. “Leveraging a background in finance, I provide a unique perspective on the analytical elements of this business,” Fox says. “We created net sheets for sellers that are dynamic, so they can be adjusted to reflect changing terms. We compile extensive comp worksheets to look at a variety of metrics to both price a new property and determine an appropriate valuation for an offer. We further utilize advance products in the MLS to validate prices for an appraisal and justify the current contract.”

8. Leveraging generational differences – Being multigenerational has proved a huge boon to business. “The most insightful element has been that Dena genuinely represents today’s buyer,” Rubenstein says. “While we use the same tools, the same resources, the same market data and the same origin of information, we use them differently. It is really how we do business together that sets us apart.”

9. Work-Life Balance – Rubenstein believes Millennials have a better grasp on the importance of having a work/life balance. “For Dena, she prioritizes her time and says ‘no’ far better than I do,” Rubenstein admits. “She is far more efficient with her time and values her time with her husband and friends.”

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