One struggle for real estate agents today is the battle to meet the needs of two of the biggest demographic groups – the baby boomers and the millennials.

The battle is seen in efforts to keep younger and older clients happy in new offices, apartments and homes. Scott Muldavin, with the Counselors of Real Estate, told the Dallas Morning News that things are ready to tip.

“We are at a demographic inflection point. We have people who are living and working together — old folks and young folks. Generations are getting in each other’s way a little bit.”

The baby boomers are lingering in the workplace. Millennials are just getting started and the differing opinions are rising to the surface, Muldavin noted. Young workers like collaborative paces while older employees seek less openness.

“It’s open vs. closed office formats — lots of fights over them.”

According to a report by the Counselors of Real Estate, 74 million baby boomers and 75.4 million millennials are pulling the property market in different directions. The report indicates that the meeting points between the two cohorts are increasing, and this will soon have an impact on how real estate agents work with each.

“The generations are crossing paths everywhere: in the workplace, in housing and at the local bar and grill, intersecting and sharing spaces despite their often disparate priorities when it comes to the built environment. One size will not fit all and supply will need to match rapidly changing demand.”

Agents may also be finding that as boomers and millennials cross paths in the housing market, Muldavin noted both are seeking the same urban housing options.

“A lot of the boomers are now wanting to move from the outer suburbs to the inner cities. Boomers want larger apartments than are being created in the marketplace.”

Nationwide, millennials also make up 42 percent of all homebuyers overall, first-time or not. And while baby boomers make up a much smaller portion of homebuyers, the two generations may end up competing for the same type of home, despite being in completely different phases of their lives.  According to Zillow Senior Managing Economist Skylar Olsen, in regions where inventory is tight, agents may find there is conflict between everybody.

“The size that a millennial buys and the size that a boomer buys is not wildly different. Millennials buy a 1,800-square-foot home on average, and a baby boomer buys a 1,950-square-foot home. The other generations are away from those.”

Olsen noted that in competitive markets, many millennials are skipping the traditional starter home.

“One of the things that we find is that millennials are looking for affordability, but because it’s such an issue, and competition is so high, and so many of those low-end homes are renting rather than being available for sale, they tend to be skipping starter homes and looking for something larger. It’s so hard to buy a home that the idea of buying a home just to move five years later doesn’t seem like a viable option.”

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