Dave: That is a really good question, and one that I have asked myself many times as I am likely in your age range. The goal of working with these large, growing groups of homebuyers is a worthy one in this market. The question is: where do you start?
My answer to any marketing question is to start with your sphere. And remember that your sphere is the key to reaching others. For example, the sons and daughters of many of your older customers are millennials and Generation X (actually some grandkids as well). Are you teaching them how to help their kids purchase a home?
Reaching them would be the first step. The second step would be positioning. You need to use your age and experience to position yourself as a mortgage advisor.
Today, the proliferation of technology means that most younger prospects will start their search for a home and financing online. But many have no clue regarding making the right financial decision. Therefore, they will need an advisor to guide them. Let them know you are there to guide them and you will be surprised at how loyal they will become.
Speaking of technology, that does not mean you will get a pass on technology because you are older. Younger buyers are going to want to get updates by text, not necessarily a phone call. You must be up-to-date regarding the latest communications and marketing technology.
Older loan officers also need to hire more young loan officers into this industry. Whether you are a manager hiring loan officers, or a loan officer hiring an assistant, hiring someone who is part of that generation will be more effective than any advice I have given thus far.
The next question is: where to find younger prospects to hire? I will start by explaining why there are not more younger workers in the business today. It comes as no surprise that someone does not go to college to enter the mortgage industry, as there is no curriculum. In the past, many entered into the industry by happenstance or when they purchased a home and got involved in the process.
With millennials, many have delayed major life decisions, such as purchasing a home and starting a family. While they are purchasing now, they are older than previous generations and more likely to have found their career, and less likely to wander into the industry. Thus, it is not just a matter of finding them, but also hiring them while they are in a different stage of life as compared to previous generations that started in the industry. I will discuss this topic in more depth in a future column.