(NOTE: Originally written for my work, the implications of understanding someone’s mindset in order to better serve them is applicable all over our world. I thought I would republish here. To find out more about what I do and the company I work for please visit www.knowledgecoop.com)
Hello out there! First, let me introduce myself, I’m Nathan Knottingham the Director of Content Development here at the Knowledge Coop. I’m 36, love my family, love watching movies, making movies, and long walks on North West beaches looking for agates (feels good to admit that last one).
Anyway, I was perusing some of my old bookmarks and I ran across my most favorite list of all time published by Beloit College each year. It’s called The Mindset List and it articulates what the current high school classes have, or have not, been exposed to as far as overall social awareness. Per Beloit’s website: “Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall.”
It’s fascinating information, especially when you consider some of this information for the Class of 2017:
1. Eminem and LL Cool J could show up at parents’ weekend.
2. They are the sharing generation, having shown tendencies to share everything, including possessions, no matter how personal.
3. GM means food that is Genetically Modified.
4. As they started to crawl, so did the news across the bottom of the television screen.
5. “Dude” has never had a negative tone.
There is a lot more to this list, but I think all would agree that it is fascinating to think about our world today from the view point of a high school senior. But what does this have to do with Mortgage Lending, Loan Originators, or Real Estate in general? I think the answer is: A lot!
In late August The Atlantic and The Washington Post released articles within days of each other describing the good and bad of the Millennials not buying houses. At the Coop we actually don’t think it is quite that bad for a number of reasons (primarily because millennial is a generation, not an actual person), but one of the ways we would encourage all LO’s and Mortgage professionals to think about it is by considering the life experiences of this emerging generation. Thus the Beloit Mindset List comes into play.
Take the Class of 2006 for example. On average they will all be turning 28 this year at some point. They have at least somewhere near 5 years out of college and working (hopefully) and settling into life. So what did they experience growing up? How about:
3. South Africa’s official policy of apartheid has not existed during their lifetime.
4. Cars have always had eye-level rear stop lights, CD players, and air bags.
9. Cyberspace has always existed.
10. Bruce Springsteen’s new hit, Born in the USA, could have been played to celebrate their birth.
15. George Foreman has always been a barbecue grill salesman.
16. Afghanistan has always been a front page story.
18. They have no recollection of Connie Chung or Geraldo Rivera as serious journalists.
22. The U.S. and the Soviets have always been partners in space.
38. Electronic filing of federal income taxes has always been an option.
When we stop to consider the world through the eyes of our younger borrowers and a growing segment of the market it becomes easier to understand and identify with their growing demand for easier communication, digital technology in the loan process, and choice. I mean as far as they know Cherry Coke ALWAYS came in a can!
I bring this information to you to help present a case for why the change in technology and delivery of your services is actually good and not something to be feared or frustrated with. What this growing market of young borrowers needs most of all, what they don’t know but will appreciate more than anything, is that you…the trained//licensed//loyal//caring Loan Officer…will help them understand every up, down, sideways, and bumpy movement that comes with buying a property. And the fact that you’re not afraid to communicate with them on their terms will make you a true friend and hero to them.
Take a moment to read Beloit’s Mindset List, especially as you have younger borrowers come to visit you, and think about how you might be able to experience the world through their eyes and help them better understand the process of purchasing that they are about to embark on.