The Globe had an article yesterday on the “new face” of the real estate industry. Meaning, agents in their 20s and 30s. The median age of an agent is 52 years old. The median age of a buyer is 32 years old, so you can see the disconnect.

Brokers taking on a younger look – By Kate M. Jackson, The Boston Globe

[T]he industry is now scrambling to recruit young agents such as Johnson, those in their 20s and 30s who have established online identities, are fluent in IM and text messaging, and regulars on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

“It’s certainly on our radar to try to bring younger people into the industry,” said Susan Renfrew, the president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. “Ours has always been an industry that tends to attract people as a second career choice, which explains the demographic. We’re trying to put the word out that real estate is a great first career choice as well.”

And one way to recruit is through the very medium that defines the younger generation: Renfrew said many agencies are using podcasts, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other forms of social media to help to connect with young candidates.

Er. No offense to Ms Renfrew, but I don’t think most agents would know a podcast if it broke down their front doors and invaded their homes.

I think podcasts, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts are wastes of time, and do nothing to increase an agent’s business. I’ve tried anything and everything.

After more than three years of constant attention to “new media”, it seems to me that not much has actually changed in the way buyers and sellers transact real estate.

Once you cut through all the clutter, you’ll see (as I have) that buyers tend to go with agents who 1) are referred to them by friends or co-workers; 2) show them a property at an open house; 3) have an office on a street they walk down; or, 4) work for the relocation company at their job.

Most sellers go with 1) the agents who sold them their homes; 2) the agents with the most ads in the newspaper; 3) the agents with signs on all the for-sales, nearby; or, 4) referrals from friends and co-workers.

There is still no short-cut to good old work, building a reputation, and, being recognized in your community.

Instant messaging, yes. Chat capabilities on a website, yes. Being available by email while on the road, and being willing to text tand talk by phone, 24-7, yes.

The rest is just fun and games. And, ways to distract you from your job.

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