Ah, Gen Y. Confident, ambitious and achievement-oriented. The stereotype says they have high expectations of their employers and aren’t afraid to question authority.
So what happens when you pair Gen Y with an older Gen X who’s responsible, resourceful, self-sufficient and who values freedom in the workplace above all else?
We asked Hayman Partners director Rowan Glanville (age 31, Gen Y) and sales agent Kim McGuinness (age 40, Gen X) about what it’s like when two generations come together in one high-performing sales team.
Kimmy, do you agree with the stereotypes that Gen Y find it hard to maintain focus and always want to be the boss?
Kimmy: No. Rowan knows that I’m definitely the boss. We’re often focusing on that.
How would you describe each other’s working style?
Kimmy: I’d describe Rowan, the Gen Y, as ‘organised chaos’.
Rowan: I’d describe Kim, the Gen X, as ‘focused, creative and detail-oriented’.
How are your styles different?
Rowan: I think our styles are less about our ages more about our personalities. Kim’s definitely a nurturer. She’s a great communicator and excellent at building and nurturing relationships. I’m a more direct communicator. But that’s why we teamed up – to learn a little bit of each other’s styles.
Kim: Rowan is highly skilled in having what other agents see as a ‘difficult conversation’ with our clients As a team member alongside Rowan, I have strengths in different areas – I feel people see me as more approachable and friendly – so we operate in unity with each other really well in that way.
What have you learnt from each other?
Rowan: Kim’s obviously at a very a different stage of her life, with children and a family at home. She’s taught me to prioritise what’s important, and that that may change and adapt at different stages in life. Also, she gives excellent fashion and relationship advice.
Kimmy: Rowan has taught me so much in the project marketing space. I’ve learnt how to analyse the feasibility of a project, how developers differ from homeowners as clients, and how – as an agent – you can influence a development to ensure the completed product is what the market is looking for.
What makes it your Gen Y / Gen X relationship work?
Rowan: With real estate, the main thing is that it’s different every day, no two days are the same and no challenge that you face will be identical to a previous one. We both know how to adapt quickly to the situation in front of us and have a transparency and trust between us that works.
Kimmy: Honesty, trust and knowing that your teammate has your back.
Rowan, is it hard being a Gen Y in real estate?
Rowan: The thing with real estate is a lot of people often look at the older generation and think they’re more experienced. I started off in property when I was quite young and it was definitely a challenge to overcome. But I built up some excellent market knowledge, I’m adaptable, and I can build a relationship with basically anyone. And I work hard for my clients. Hard work will always overcome any stigma people may have about age.