In a new video interview, Steve Carroll, director of industry relations at Real Estate Group, tells industry commentator Christopher Watkin why company leaders will struggle over the next decade if they are not in tune with the Millennial workforce.
Carroll's role for REA - Australia's Rightmove - is equivalent in the UK to that of Miles Shipside, Rightmove's commercial director.
The interview explores the changing expectations of employees and what estate agency leaders in the UK need to do to ensure they retain and attract the best staff across the 2020s.
Carroll tells Watkin that Millennial workers are computer-literate and that computers have wired their expectations. He uses the example of Uber and says Millennials expect everything 'really, really fast'.
Watkin jokes that Millennials in the UK are only interested in 'free food, avocado on toast and beanbags'.
Carroll says, in fact, he believes them to be 'the smartest generation to join the workforce ever' due to their creativity and innovation.
He adds, though, that because of this they have 'amazingly high expectations, driven by technology'.
According to Carroll, Millennial workers are used to companies like Apple which 'innovate, improve and move at speed'.
"They will not tolerate leaders and companies that are not moving with the times."
He estimates that the average Millennial will have had close to 20 jobs and five different careers by the time they come to retire.
He then tells Watkin how social media has given the workforce access to the world's best leaders and opened up communication channels.
Watkin explains the profile of leaders of the biggest UK estate agency firms. He says they are likely to be 'dominant in style, organised and interested in the big picture'.
He says they also will not be interested in the ‘minutiae’ of issues and that the picture Carroll paints is counter-intuitive to all the agents he knows.
"I believe leaders need to seriously look at the changing demographic of the workforce and need to adapt accordingly," says Carroll.
Watkin points out that pretty much every single negotiator these days is going to be a Millennial and asks whether this means leaders need to put their heart on their sleeves and communicate more.
He says in his day it was about having money, commission and a car and 'you just dealt with it'.
Carroll agrees that the fundamentals haven't changed, but that millennials won't put up with poor bosses even if the fundamentals are right.
Carroll says as social media has opened up accessibility, every leader will need to be accessible over the next decade. He gives examples of leaders 'walking the floor' every morning of the week and Mark Zuckerburg's weekly 'Town Hall' meetings at Facebook.
"Imagine having a boss who doesn't know how many children you've got and what is going on in your world - that's the disconnect of personalisation," he says.
He then talks about how in 2010 someone interviewing at REA would have had no expectations of him or the company, whereas now they will be Googling everything and making a decision about whether this is the type of boss and company they want to work for.
He encourages agents to Google themselves and their companies to see if they give a digital impression that they're a great company to work for.
He says talented Millennials will be looking at prospective employers to see if their CEO looks digitally switched on, whether the company gives the impression they would grow the individual and whether it's a company that cares about others and the community.
You can see the interview in full below - our thanks to Christopher Watkin for making this video available to Estate Agent Today readers on an exclusive basis.