Roger Federer, the third ranked tennis player in the world, who in pursuit of his record setting 21st Masters Series championship, recently lost an epic and grueling five-hour, five-set tiebreaker in the Wimbledon finals. After the celebrated match, Federer was asked by one reporter … “Are you considering retiring?”

Well, if the third highest ranked and to some the greatest tennis player of all time, encounters as he nears the age of 38 pressure to retire; or at least to consider packing in his tennis racquet, then what should those in Real Estate who are in their 50s and 60s and who are in 50,000th place in productivity rankings be thinking?

Well, you can take it from this 7O-year old grizzled industry veteran and I am sure from your deeply appreciative broker as well, along with your many clients that you should not even think about the possibility of retiring … too soon! Listings expire, but you cannot prematurely afford to! Especially those of you who have enjoyed success for years, and here is why:

According to social scientist Arthur Brooks, there is a phenomenon that he refers to as the “Principle of Psychoprofessional Gravitation.” This, according to Brooks, is how “the agony of professional oblivion is directly related to the height of professional prestige previously achieved and to one’s emotional attachment to that prestige.”

Therefore, to both you legendary brokers and iconic community real estate professionals, I respectfully suggest that you take a page out of the world of politics regarding how one’s inevitable declining years can be managed. Regarding my declining years, each week, I am on an accountability call led by Gino Blefari, chairman of Real Living Real Estate. On our calls, we all are asked by Gino, after making our business reports, to announce what we are doing to improve that week.

Not wanting to call unwarranted attention to myself, I, too, mention my diet and exercise, what I don’t mention is that I am really asking myself as a former Boston Celtic draft choice what I will need to do that week to slow my decline. And nobody works harder at managing their decline than our highest-rated presidential candidates. This is not to say that you should seek to emulate them in another way. That is unless you want to become duplicitous, conniving and self-promoting.

Instead I do suggest that you look to emulate the geriatric galaxy of presidential contenders in how they validate how society values experience, resilience, career stability and longevity. Remarkably, our leading presidential contenders from both sides of the proverbial aisle, even if their vision is waning, are of the following eye-popping ages … 77, 75, 73 and 70 according to 70-year-old TV anchor Wolf Blitzer. Clearly our political aspirants, who, like real estate professionals, must rely on brains versus brawn, did not receive or pay attention to the society’s collective email delivered to all of we who are aging!

Accordingly, why would a professional real estate professional who has spent decades developing experiential knowledge, invaluable skills,  a considerable real estate retinue and widespread admiration for their resilience and how they have withstood numerous watershed Real Estate changes, retire now at the peak of their real estate powers?

Moreover, what an opportunity to engage in so-called reverse mentoring. That is by accepting technology advice from younger (and based on evolution) more intelligent generations to come. My advice for our much younger agents, is rather than mocking your older counterparts for not being as adaptive regarding emerging technologies as you are, why not offer your more contemporaneous grasp of our digital world to them? They can then reciprocate through providing meaningful career and life lessons.

Given the importance of not only developing spheres of influence, but actually influencing spheres, our industry might not be able to withstand a massive exodus of long tenured agents. This is due to how new business-modeled entrants will at the same time seek to dislodge the relationships that many real estate professionals have built with home sellers. Indeed, if selecting a so-called listing agent now becomes as random as how buyers select an agent when they buy then “industry beware.”

The most effective way for us to generationally move forward, as I stated, would be through the formation of symbiotic relationships. This is where in exchange for tech support from younger agents, aging real estate professionals can turn over or sell their career “ book of business” to a younger agent who was helpful in its sustenance. This transition however, in my view, should only happen when our top and more seasoned agents are ready to retire and on their terms.

This is in contrast to being rushed to retire, based upon society’s pressure to speed up the beginning of the so called “Golden Years.” Doing well in real estate and making a major difference in the lives of those you serve are your Golden Years … Thus, I fervently hope that whether you are a broker, manager or agent that you get to enjoy your real estate Golden Years for years, if not decades to come.

All my best,

Allan Dalton