Baby Boomers in the iPad Age

It is a matter of undeniable public record that your humble Permanent Parameters scribe was born in December 1945.

I don’t remember it but I am sure that when I emerged into the world, I would have thought it was a really great day to be born! The war was over and peace was in the air – for my younger readers, we are talking about World War Two – but as it has turned out, my timing was not as good as it could have been, because as much as I have always believed I was a ” baby boomer”, I am now informed I missed the cut!

Apparently, we count the baby boomer generation from a birthdate of 1 January 1946, and on that basis I have to remain just a fossilised old fogey rather than a fully fledged boomer!

If I took a survey of management rights owners, I am willing to bet that over 80% are baby boomers. Unfortunately, when I am out there talking to these on-site managers I find a significant proportion whose attitude to the latest technology is, “I hate computers! My grandson set up my Hotmail account and that is enough for me!”

I know I am about to insult a few of my readers (forgive me), but this attitude is typical of far too many baby boomers and thus I am sometimes happy to have been born just early enough to escape the title. If you are not using a computer and up-to-date software to effectively run your business, you are like a carriage-maker refusing to acknowledge the invention of the motor car; a candle-maker refusing to believe that electricity and incandescent bulbs might just take on – you are a life form battling ultimate extinction! It won’t take a meteor to hit you like it did the dinosaurs – rather, like an old soldier, you will just fade away and your business might just fade away with you!

I talk to many managers about changing over to electronic payments for tenants and landlords, and some of my permanent managers say “I don’t want to change over to electronic payments because I like to eye-ball my tenants every fortnight when they come in to pay the rent. I like to keep in touch.”

Now I am sure some tenants are very easy on the eye-ball and some are not but when I ran my management rights business I never felt this overwhelming need for social intercourse every week, fortnight, month or ever! Particularly if it meant I had to keep my office open when I didn’t want to be there and go to the bank every second day with buckets of cash. Many managers who use these excuses for avoiding electronic banking are simply scared of the technology and don’t want to confront it!

When I was a kid, Lego was probably not invented. Meccano sets, Hornby model trains, and balsa wood aeroplanes were all the go.

When I first became involved in property management (circa 1986) we used huge, multiple Kalamazoo sheets with carbon paper between and flimsy, skinny manual receipt slips that never tore along the dotted line! Reconciling that lot each month was a nightmare.

That was then and now is now!

The problem with the computer age is that those with a vested interest in making it sound mysterious and dangerous have succeeded. Remember that awful Y2K bug! Mumbo jumbo has conquered the world and we are all expected to be intimidated by the purveyors of this digital religion.

I am still a fossilised old fogey and I wouldn’t know a “bit” from a “byte” but I managed to write this article on a computer and send the Word document to Resort News as an email attachment. I am sure Resort News used another computer or two to put this magazine together and the printer did not use little letters made from hot lead to produce the printed page.

Do you know what? I haven’t got the vaguest idea how it all works and I don’t need (or want) to know! I just press some keys in a certain order, and somehow you end up reading these words.

Any fool can learn to make a computer work for them! Even baby boomers at the oldest end of the Bell Curve! I offer myself as whatever evidence you need.

Mike Butler
RAAS Rights

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