united real estate

United Real Estate Lands on Inc. 5000 List Third Year in a Row!

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To be included once again on the Inc. 5000 list is an incredible accomplishment for United Real Estate. What began as a single real estate office in July of 2011 in Dallas, Texas, has become a testament to how seeing things differently in business can allow you to reap big rewards. The real estate market looked vastly different in 2011 and 2012 when we were preparing the company to grow nationwide. And let’s not forget that in 2012, 43 percent of all home sales were either a short sale or a foreclosure. From having a difficult time selling a home to now having a difficult time finding a home for sale, we have seen dramatic shifts in the real estate market in a short period of time. As a company, United Real Estate continues to move forward full force with commitment to invest and innovate, making certain that we remain a modern, relevant brokerage that is the preferred choice for productive real estate agents and their customers.

While the market continues to change, what has remained constant is the vision we had when we first launched United Real Estate. The vision to build a market-leading full-service 100 percent commission real estate company is thriving and becoming a reality through our ever growing franchise network. No longer do agents have to choose between paying high fees for the support they need to grow their business or working for 100 percent commission with very limited support. At United, our agents are provided the focused support they need with very low fees, all while receiving 100 percent of their commission. Behind our growth is a commitment from all of our employees, brokers, managers and franchise owners aligning with three success principals.

Our first success principal passion.  Our company as a whole is really passionate about our business and works to keep that passion at the forefront of our decisions every day. We are passionate about helping agents achieve personal financial freedom in their real estate careers. United Real Estate operates on the belief that agents are entrepreneurs and if we develop our agents and assist them in creating the business and lifestyle they desire, they will transform United Real Estate into the market leader.

The second success principle is an understanding of what drives our economics. Transaction volume from our agents drives our economics. The company makes money when our agents make money. This aligns everyone in the organization with the same end goal to make certain our agents have the support they need to sell more real estate. We see the success of this principal in our established offices where over 90 percent of their agents are productive.

Lastly, the third principle is an understanding of where we excel in our business and industry. At United Real Estate, we excel at recruiting productive real estate agents. Our rising recruitment of quality agents is the combination of our passion to help agents succeed with the economics of our business model. We warmly welcome the 100+ agents that join our offices each month. We warmly welcome the 100+ agents that join our offices each month.

The combined commitments of many people have allowed us to help our agents not only make more money, but create a better lifestyle for themselves and their families. I fondly remember speaking with an agent who joined United during our first year and stating to me, “Thanks Peter, you and United have made it worthwhile for me to sell more real estate.” This statement encompasses the United vision and our culture. It tells the story behind our mission and core belief that our agents are entrepreneurs. Simply put when our agents succeed, United succeeds.

To find out more about our rapidly expanding network and our protected franchise territory model, visit GrowWithUnited.com

Thanks,

Peter

Message to All Affected by Hurricane Harvey

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To all of our United family of brokers and agents in Houston.  On behalf of myself, and our CEO Dan Duffy, I know we speak for everyone inside of our United Real Estate Corporate office and throughout our growing supportive network of offices and agents, that you have been in our thoughts and prayers these past few weeks. Our immediate concern is still for you and your loved ones continued safety.  I have been in communication consistently with Dianne Moore, our and your leader in the Houston market.  She has kept me up to date of what is still an ever-changing dynamic for many citizens of the greater Houston area. We recognize that this is not only an enormous disaster, but also the largest natural disaster in the history of our country.

We are a country filled with people of resolve, and the citizens of the state of Texas have as much spirit as any group of individuals I have ever met. I know the waters will recede and Houston will begin to assess the damage, repair and rebuild.  Houston and its citizens will continue to be an example of a great large American city! It won’t be immediate and some areas will take longer than others, but business and the continued growth of the greater Houston area will resume.

Recognizing this, the United Real Estate leadership team wants to help the 240 agents who work for United Real Estate | Houston how we can during this transition time. An immediate action we will take is to waive your monthly fees for October, November and December. At this time our Houston office has not been damaged and we will open back up when it is safe to do so. We will ensure you have no interruption to the full support services you receive from United Real Estate, while removing the monthly fee obligation.

You should also know that your United family from California to New Jersey to Florida, everywhere in between, and back to Texas have asked how they can help.  Many have already donated to different charitable organizations to help the citizens of Houston.  All of us at United are continuing to think of you and will be in touch again soon on how we can support you and the greater Houston area to slowly but steadily get your lives and business back on track. We are United!

God Bless!

Peter Giese

President

United Real Estate

Back-to-School: New Start, Setting Goals & Achieving Success

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Children and young adults around the country have begun the journey of another new school year. Thanks to social media, we are reminded of all the various school milestones with pictures of grade-schoolers to high-schoolers and beyond starting their first day in a new grade. The parents are proud – and both parents and kids are often filled with enthusiasm (and some anxiety) for how that first day will go and how the year will end. There is no doubt a mix of emotions for everyone involved with the start of a new school year, and that is okay.

I enjoy seeing the back-to-school photos because, regardless of the distance between family and friends, in an instant you can see how quickly their kids are growing up. It’s also a reminder that I am getting older, and getting older is happening quicker than I thought. A new school year provides a new start, and I have learned through experience that we all have an opportunity to begin again and create a new path for our future.

With all endeavors, it is much easier to end right if you start right. The school year begins with a list of necessary supplies, preparing students to start the year off in the right direction. In business and in life, the list of supplies needed to successfully get started is based on our individual goals. When setting a goal, many individuals will not dedicate enough time to research what is needed to reach that goal. You need a foundation to launch any new idea or project, and research lays the groundwork to create your own self-determined, successful life.

Through research you find out who you are competing against and the best route to reach your finish line. You will learn what actions are needed to reach each milestone and what relevant skills you need to invest in. It does not matter if you are finding a new job, launching a new business idea or becoming healthier. Research is the first step on the path to success. People often give up on their goals because they didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to achieve their desired results. They were unorganized, uncomfortable with the process or unprepared mentally for completing their “marathon” – and so they quit. Avoid these common mistakes – do your research to ensure you are well-equipped to start this new journey.

Success in life is a marathon, not a sprint. You will have to learn how to adapt and refresh. The big secret of those who reach impressive long-term goals know is – they know when to take a break. Completing a long-term goal, or dealing with adversity, is not only about having persistence, it is also knowing how to recharge. Successful, happy people know how to prepare themselves to reach their goals – AND know how to step away, decompress and reset both physically and emotionally so they can get back on the road to success.

If you are in real estate and need help mapping out your road to success, United® Real Estate has established training designed to help you achieve your business goals, no matter what career stage you are in. Offering training that is available in-person and online 24/7 allows you to build a foundation, gain relevant skills and achieve new milestones on your journey.

Cheers to your success in the year ahead and keep posting those back-to-school photos. They are a positive reminder of growth and all that is possible!

Peter

How to Overcome Adversity like a Professional Athlete

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In pursuit of building anything truly meaningful in your life, career or business, learning how to overcome adversity during your journey is critical in order for you to reach your goal. There is an adversity to overcome that exists in the moment where you must take action and change your direction immediately, and there is a long-term obstacles to overcome that goes along with reaching your lifelong dreams. If you talk about a dream, it becomes a goal. If you can see the goal every day in your mind, it becomes real. If you put a date on achieving your goal, it becomes possible.

Obstacles that require a quick response to turn you back in the right direction are often the case for high paying professions such as professional athletes, entertainers, politicians, top sales professionals and business leaders. These individuals are in the spotlight, playing in the big tournament, in a career-changing audition, delivering their key presentation or speech that if fully executed at that moment, would allow them to experience a pivotal life changing milestone. It is a sink or swim moment and they must perform. Through years of proper training, many have learned to manage the states of their mind and body. They can, typically with an unnoticeable trigger, transform themselves back into a peak state where they perform at their best. With a snap of their finger, a clap of their hands or a change in their posture, they increase their energy level and fill their mind with positive thoughts, and once again are confident to win. That trigger immediately reminds them of what that winning performance looks and feels like.

Retraining your mind and body to accomplish this is by no means an easy task, most of us need support.  Having the right people in your life to help push you in the right direction can dramatically influence your outcome. I was reminded of this while watching one of the top golfers in the world, Jordan Spieth, attempt to win one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, the British Open. He had a three shot lead going into the final round but things were beginning to unravel quickly. He hit his tee shot on the opening hole and instead of bouncing on the fairway it stayed in the thick long grass. After locating his golf ball his attitude changed and he started verbalizing his frustration over and over. His caddy began the journey of helping him with the mental aspect of overcoming immediate adversity. This process started on the first hole, where he told Jordan “You need to get over it,” after the frustration continued to occupy his thoughts on the unfortunate bounce.

Surrendering the tournament lead and continuing to play at a level that would not allow him to win the tournament, Jordan’s caddy approached him again but this time more directly. He said, “I’ve got something to say to you. You remember that group you were with?” He was referencing Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps who Spieth saw during his recent trip to Cabo San Lucas. “You’re that caliber of an athlete, but I need you to believe that right now because you’re in a great position in this tournament. This is a new tournament. We’re starting over here.” The mental shift worked, his physical posture improved and a five stroke turnaround occurred, finishing the tournament as the champion. He graciously thanked his caddy for the mental coaching support that helped him win.

Do you have people in your life who encourage you in this manner? I am not talking about a boss. I am speaking about the individuals you surround yourself with. If the people around you don’t inspire you to be more and reach new levels of success and happiness then you need to fire them as friends or colleagues. When you are stuck, do you have a support system in place to remind you that you deserve success, you deserve the next great thing for your life? It will not do you any good to dream big if you have not surrounded yourself with individuals who also have big dreams and want to continue to better themselves.

If you are falling behind on your goals, make a shift and start over. The real question you have to ask yourself is: do you believe it and do you have people around you who will support that belief? You deserve success!

 

Peter

The iPhone® Turned Ten in June and Changed How Real Estate Agents Operate

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Whether you are an AndroidTM fan or an individual like myself who could not bear to part with the iPhone, the disruptive impact that smartphones have had on many industries has been proven time and time again. Steve Jobs described the first iPhone as a “truly magical product.” Looking back, as well as into the future, it’s hard to imagine another device that will ever be more readily used each day by the majority of the population than our smartphones. In 2016, Apple® stated that the average iPhone user unlocked their phone 80 times a day and checked their phone over 150 times a day!

The mobile phone started as a way to increase communication and now the idea of owning just a “mobile phone” is considered ancient. It’s not only mobile phones that were replaced by the invention of the smartphone. Think of cameras, personal computers, GPS devices and even Apple’s own product, the iPod® – all have been replaced by smartphones. It’s not hardware makers alone that have been affected; new industries emerged and disrupted other traditional businesses with the invention of smartphone applications. You now have a computer, video camera, gaming device and movie studio in the palm of your hand. With those capabilities available on our phone, it is easy to get distracted. What are we doing when we constantly check our phones?

Yes, we still spend a lot of time talking and texting on our smartphones, but for many our phones have replaced our computers for website searches, email and have become the main vehicle for interacting on social media and with our community, in general.

A great deal of time and money has been spent by real estate brokers and agents to make their websites mobile friendly and responsive to help facilitate the interaction with buyers and sellers. This shift to mobile responsive websites was caused by the majority of real estate searches being performed on mobile devices. The amount of online research that potential home buyers and sellers conduct continues to increase each year as connectivity and the smartphone ease of use improves. Mobile search and key terms are definitely critical for an agent’s online success. But with the easy access to information and time on our hands, another search category has developed.

Home buyers and sellers are no longer looking at real estate properties, neighborhood demographics and valuation trends alone, they are researching prospective agents extensively too. Two out of three people interested in buying a home are researching prospective agents comprehensively online prior to working with them (see graph below).

It’s no longer enough for a REALTOR© to be proficient at their trade, they now need to pass the Google® test and be seen as the most competent choice online. The first step in this new process is being certain you, as a REALTOR©, dominate a consumer’s search. How do you accomplish this? First, you should own your own website domain with a personal URL and have a website with relevant content. You also need to have a professional profile on dominant national consumer real estate websites, a presence on social media (i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook) and participate on consumer review sites.

The next question to ask yourself is, have you shifted your mindset to that of a media company? The reality is that when you are being extensively searched online, you are your own brand! With the mindset of a media company, you move past checking the box and being found on the Internet or social media and move towards properly promoting and managing your brand. This means you have to develop content, distribute content and be readily seen as a market expert – you have to be someone people want to do business with. The impact of the smartphone will continue to be felt by all brands. Take this opportunity to promote your real estate brand beyond what your competition is willing to do. The rules for winning at this brand game have been already determined. You need to fully commit to the new personal promotion strategy to win.

As you finish this article, take a moment to search yourself using your smartphone and see what results appear on the first page. You would be prepared for an in-person meeting with a client – you need to be prepared for the client meetings that are happening online without you. Be certain to be Google and smartphone prepared because your customer base expects it.

Check out the United Intranet for the latest training on building your brand presence.

Peter

A Brief History of National Home Ownership Month

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June is National Home Ownership Month and if you missed it you weren’t the only one. Not only was there a lack of press coverage, there was also a large group of individuals who missed out on the opportunity to buy a home. In 2003, National Home Ownership Month was announced by President George W. Bush to promote awareness and policies to expand home ownership across the country. The awareness campaign and policies were not completely new, but rather an extension of President Bill Clinton’s National Home Ownership Day of 1995 and the Clinton 100-point action plan to increase home ownership to record levels.

Both the Democratic and Republican administrations’ plans had noble intentions, as they both recognized that home ownership is a part of the American dream. Home ownership does, in fact, promote civic responsibility and financial security for most Americans. I experienced this first-hand when I relocated my family to Dallas, Texas. We opted to rent for nearly a year while we learned more about the area. My family’s attitude towards our rental house and neighborhood were different than our current home. Our feelings toward our rental home were not bad or negative, we just did not experience the pride we feel now that we have purchased our own home.

Looking back now, we see that the President’s goal of increasing home ownership to record rates was met. However, it came at a great price as the “bubble” was created and real estate prices came crashing down shortly thereafter. The bubble bursting took most of the economy down with it which is now referred to as the “great recession.” The reality is that while most Americans dream is of owning a home, not everyone should or can afford own a home, due to all different kinds of circumstances.

Homeownership rates are now at the lowest levels in 50 years (see chart below) and there is pent up demand for affordable housing.

The term “home ownership rate” can be misleading. It is defined by the government as “the percentage of homes that are occupied by the owner.” It is not the percentage of adults that own their own home. The problem with this rate is it does not count adult individuals who are neither home owners nor are renters. Since the great recession of 2007, the group of young adults between the ages of 18-34 has increased dramatically. In fact, the individuals in this age group are opting more often to live with their parents than with a spouse, as marriage is being postponed to a later age. See chart below.

The home ownership rate alone can mislead you because if young adults don’t create a new household, then the percentage is skewed. Comparing number of actual historical households, it becomes clear that the number of young adults who are fulfilling the dream of home ownership is significantly less than the current home ownership rate states. Starting a new household is important for many factors, including the overall economic growth of the country. Owning your own home is equally important for most individuals’ financial security.

The month of May reached a new peak in the median price of homes. Unlike in 2007, this peak was not caused by government involvement but rather the laws of supply and demand.  May demonstrated a new low in listing inventory and a new record low of time on the market for a house to sell. The real estate headlines this summer will continue to highlight the shortage of affordable housing. Let’s hope by next June a plan is put into place that will spur new construction of homes that are priced to encourage more young adults to buy and afford buying their first home.

As June ends, it is the true beginning of summer.  Here’s to hoping that you have plans in place to enjoy both the benefits of home ownership, and enjoying the summer.

Peter

Six Characteristics to Being Successful

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What do successful people have in common? If you study people that have navigated the ever-changing world we live in and became successful in business and life, you will see them all share similar characteristics. Develop these six traits and success will follow you.

Vision

Vision is a mental picture of what the future will or could be like. It is the foundation for the changes you will make and actions you will take to support your idea of the future. With the correct vision, you are willing to go to extreme measures to see that vision through. Your vision for your life, your career or your business should inspire you yet be simple to understand. For some people, this is a statement. For others, it is a pictorial collection of what they want out of life and serves as a visual reminder of their goal. In either case, carrying that vision every day moves us toward creating the future we want and then to the future we must have.

Attitude

It isn’t very often that we get anything more than we expect. Your vision has you expecting to obtain great success. Don’t let the wrong attitude set you back. What you project outwards in your personal and professional life is what you will get back. What you think your career will be is likely what it will be. You will not have the motivation needed to succeed in life if you are fighting yourself. Don’t focus on what you haven’t done; focus on what you will do to achieve your dreams. Successful people have a positive attitude and stay positive in all circumstances.

Planning and Goals

Having a plan and establishing goals will point you in the right direction to start achieving your dreams. It is your map that will guide you to your final destination. Planning starts the process of building commitment to achieving your goals. The vision may be there, but without a systematic plan with measurable goals in place, it will remain just that – a vision.

Taking Action

The best-laid plans means nothing without action. Your actions will determine how people see you and how successful you will be, not your words. Leadership is an action not a position. Successful people are leaders of their future and take action each day to move forward. Make up your mind to move forward and turn your vision into a reality.

Continued Learning

Starting a career or business is the beginning of your learning process. Anyone who achieves outstanding results and lives a full life without regret became committed to continued learning and development. That person will read more, practice more and do more throughout their life. In all professions – from doctors to teachers to corporate executive – the top performers will commit to continued education that goes beyond the minimum requirements to keep professional certifications current or to please a boss.

Persistence

Persistence means you have the discipline to stay on track for obtaining your dreams regardless of what obstacles come your way. Persistence is essential to achieve the life you deserve and keeps you on track when others around you don’t provide positive reinforcement. Below is a quote that sums up an important component of persistence.

“The one who once most wisely said, ‘Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.’ Might well have added this to it, ‘Be sure you are wrong before you quit.”

Creating a great life and business takes time – you should plan on it taking lots of time. Getting there will take persistence. There will be setbacks, but does that mean you stop chasing your dreams? If your dreams are your passion, then you won’t give up easily and you will reach that goal.

Success leaves clues. Be sure you are working on fully developing these time-tested characteristics each day!

Best wishes in creating success as you define it.

Peter

The One Chart That Explains Why You Can’t Find a Home to Purchase

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Summer is not only the time every school age child looks forward to, it is also the traditional time of year that many families eagerly look forward to buying a new home. In fact, historical home sales data shows that the month of June is typically the busiest month for buying and selling real estate. As the school year ends, families execute plans they made in the spring to move to a new school district or buy a larger home. This year the challenge that many will face is the shortage of affordable homes available to buy.

This shortage of available housing is not a short term problem. With an ever growing population and housing construction that lags way behind the country’s population growth, the lack of available housing will continue into the foreseeable future. While news headlines have covered the annual increase in housing over the past five years, the actual data shows that the number of homes for sale is still at record lows. When you look at the actual amount of new homes being built and take into consideration the continued population growth, a clear picture comes into view of what challenges still lie ahead for potential homebuyers (refer to graph below).

Keep in mind that the “increase” in new home construction in 2016, compares to the same actual levels of new construction in 1982, when the country was in the midst of a deep recession. However, after the 1982 recession, home construction immediately and significantly rose again in 1983. There is no such increase in new homes being constructed in 2017 and the population of the country has increased by over 100 million people since 1982.

Want to know why home prices keep going up and you can’t find a home to buy? It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. There is an ever increasing demand driven by a growing population and a lack of inventory of homes for those buyers in the market to make offers on.

With the current rate and foreseeable future of new home construction remaining stagnant, this won’t be a short-term problem but rather a systematic long-term challenge for many trying to buy their first home or next home. You can expect home prices will continue to rise and affordable housing options will be in high demand driving up prices to even higher levels. The supply of new and existing homes available for sale across the country will remain very tight.

Homeownership is not just part of the American dream of freedom and independence, but also the number one way for most people to improve their long-term financial security. While it may be costly this year to buy a home, more than most likely it will be even more expensive next year. The law of supply and demand won’t change. Your best bet is to sit down and build a personal plan to achieve your family’s home ownership goals and financial needs and begin to take action to achieve those goals. On this topic, time is of the essence.

Best wishes for a fantastic, fun-filled summer and a successful home buying season!

Peter

Are You Asking Great Sales Questions?

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It is with certainty I can state that the top sales professionals in any industry all have learned to become excellent at asking questions.  There is both an art and a science to asking questions.  The art of asking questions comes in the timing, delivery and all around presence the sales person has in communicating with their potential client. The science is about the type of questions they ask that are known to stimulate a different type of thinking in the person they are communicating with. Done correctly, a potential client can go from feeling satisfied with their current service or product to being curious about a new product or service to feeling that change is a must or they will be missing out on a new level of satisfaction.

When the product or new service delivers on the promise to the client, a true win/win scenario is experienced. The client gains something they were missing, and the company and sales person benefit by increasing their revenue and earnings. What many people fail to realize is that we are all in sales. It does not matter whether it is for a new job, a new business venture or dating that special someone; I have discovered that asking great questions will be the first step to place you on the right path to success. Asking yourself the right questions is a sales function that works equally as well for growing your business, building your career and achieving personal goals.

A vision of success is personal in nature and not everyone’s will look the same. The underlying truth is we were created to grow, and if we don’t grow then we are missing a basic human need.  The need for growth is built in us as much as our need for companionship and community.  We were never made to live on an island alone. We need relationships to survive and thrive and we also need to grow or we become stagnant. People will often become complacent because they claim they are satisfied when what they really are is uncomfortable with change. The world is always going to change and as we press forward with new technology and adapt to demographic shifts, the change will become more rapid. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are states of mind that are influenced by the types of questions we are willing to open ourselves up to.

Are you asking great questions about your own business or life to reach your true potential and new levels of success? Top sales people don’t use any gimmicks or sales tactics to achieve success. They ask quality questions because they care about the businesses and individuals they seek to help. They enjoy selling because what they sell and how they sell is congruent with their values.

“If you ask quality questions, they will help you create a high-quality life” – John Maxwell

Where might you start with asking yourself quality questions? I like the question that sums up where you have been spending your dollars and time.

How much have you invested this year to grow your business and grow as an individual?

That investment is in both dollars and time.  Most people have already given up on their 2017 New Year’s resolutions. They did not invest the time and money to see them through. The most successful people significantly invest in themselves every year to grow their knowledge, grow their skills and grow their network. You are going to be around a long time, your success is worth more than an expensive watch, handbag or pair of shoes.

I am proud to announce that each year we have a wonderful opportunity for United Real Estate agents to make an investment in themselves that will pay for itself 10 times over. Early registration is now open to our agents for the 2018 United convention, Viva United!  For only $199, all United agents have the opportunity to be at an industry-leading event. The three day event will give our agents the knowledge they need for immediate growth and create a mindset that will motivate them to keep those growth commitments alive throughout the year.  Click here to register and learn more about United’s convention that will be held February 22-24, 2018, in Miami, Florida VivaUnitedRealEstate.com.

Viva United!

Peter

Gen X is Turning 50 and They’re Stuck in Their Homes

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The leading headlines on the future of the housing market typically read, “Get ready for the millennials!” If not that, the alternative subject line highlights the number of baby boomers retiring and whether they will move to the coast, move to be close to the grandkids or just stay put. In between the two is a generation of high wage earners that is mostly ignored in the national housing conversation. This doesn’t occur only in the housing market, the majority of news coverage in the last election was given to the, “We don’t want to change” boomers and the idealistic “We want the world to change” millennials. In the middle, described by some authors as the middle child, is Gen X. Once described as slackers, they are now in their prime earnings years and have the highest average income of any other bracket of consumers. Gen X who grew up on grunge music, wearing ripped jeans and flannel shirts has grown up and is very influential in the business world and yes, many are stuck in their homes.

I don’t view Gen X as having a middle child generation syndrome, despite not being written or talked about as much as the older and younger generations they interact with. I view this generation as the link connecting the baby boomers and the millennials. They have an understanding and share interests with both generations. While sociologists and the census bureau will give a different date range for members of this generation, I use the simple definition that identifies Gen X, with individuals born the first year the birth rate in the country began to once again decline after its continuous rise post World War II, 1965 to 1980 and the start of a new decade of patriotism. In all cases, generations are defined by a certain birth date and a general world view outlook.

Gen X understood the values of the baby boomers but challenged them with the indifference that went along with growing up as latchkey kids who either had two working parents or were part of a family separated by divorce. They went to college, got married, had kids, some got divorced and began to change social norms and alter the direction of popular music. It wasn’t the millennials that took the popularity of tattoos away from the exclusivity of bikers, gangs and members of the military. It was Generation X that started that trend, although for most it was more conservative and hidden than you see today. They looked at race differently, birth control was the norm, as was women being in the workplace. They don’t feel ignored like a middle child, but rather are often indifferent and are adept at independently figuring things out, which all goes along with growing up as a latchkey kid. They went to school with computers and are very proficient at technology, and unlike the millennials, can freely turn the technology off.

While the housing shortage across the U.S. appropriately discusses the impact to first-time millennial home buyers, Gen X was hit the hardest during the real estate down-turn that began in 2007. Some still own homes with negative equity and those with equity have the challenge of where will they move to, if they sell their home? The housing shortage has a negative impact on upward mobility for Gen X. With housing construction still below historical rates, and homes available in areas where Gen X want to live, in even shorter supply, balance of lifestyle is not just a millennial desire. The American story of moving and advancing to that next community or larger home every 5 years is gone.

The macro issue of more homes being available is a broader challenge that would require government, new entrepreneurs and businesses working jointly towards a solution. In the interim, what can members of this generation do if they truly want the step-up move? There is a solution that could work in certain markets and that is selling their home and then leasing it back to them for 60-90 days so they have time to search for a home with the money already in hand for the down payment. Under this scenario, a new buyer can purchase a home they want and can afford, and Gen X can have the time and the money to be more diligent about finding the next size home. After all, it is a generation that is accustomed to creatively figuring things out.

To the early Gen Xers, a happy 50th birthday wish to the likes of Dave Matthews, Billy Corgan, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Will Ferrell who are all turning 50 this year. Know someone who is turning 50? Send them a text wishing them Happy Birthday, they are also the generation that texts the most.

Best wishes to all who are pursuing owning their dream home.

Peter