Millennial is a term loosely used to describe people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. By 2025, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.
What is the perception of the millennials of our mortgage industry? It seems that every magazine related to real estate (many non-real estate as well) has some sort of take on the Millennial question. Report after report I am reading these days is how to sell to and recruit Millennials. Did each generation have this question before them on how to sell to, hire, train and manage the next generation? I am assuming so and this is just the next transition of understanding.
I myself am participating in a Millennial Brainstorming group and the first question that we started with was: “What is the perception of the millennials of our mortgage industry?” Here is a general statement that one of our group’s founders laid out: “They grew up in their formidable years with negativity with their parents losing their homes, with social media blasting the mortgage industry. Academia is blaming the recession on the mortgage industry. It is in the textbooks communicating that same message of negativity in the curriculum. What we are finding is that the millennials who are in the industry are usually only in the industry because of family.”
We all adhere now to the platinum rule, not the golden these days. The platinum rule stipulates that we talk and sell to those the way THEY want to be sold to. Now with keeping the platinum rule at hand, how do we talk and sell to the Millennials? Now some of my statements are going to be generalizations and I know that each person is an individual with their own personality makeup, etc. These are observations from an older generation and from Millennials themselves.
To attract today’s job entering Millennial, we need to offer more than just here is your loan application software and now go originate. They want to be given a goal and then let them figure out how to master it and move on to the next goal. They in general do not subscribe to the paying your dues in order to move up in an organization. We need to be transparent about their career path or we will loose them in the short run.
They also need to know that there are rewards for their achievements and recognition for their contributions and accomplishments. They need to see the path of how to move up and us, as their managers, need to balance that need with our business goals. We need to bring them into the goal setting experience and allow them to have a voice in order to contribute and not expect them to just have a “follow the rules” mentality.
There are a number of us in the industry that want to fully engage with this generation in order to provide a career path and a visualization of what this industry has to offer them. This is an incredible opportunity for all of us to reach out, become mentors, and share our wealth of experience with this new generation of Mortgage Professionals. Are you in it with me? I (we) need your help as well. We have to develop this platform, curriculum and transparent vision for the Millennials. This article is an ongoing message to everyone in the mortgage industry. Stay tuned for more insights and I look forward to being a fellow “Pathfinder” for the Millennials.
Thank you and Namaste’
Fred Kreger, CMC