Appealing to the seniors market

It is no secret that Australia’s population is ageing.  An intergenerational report released by the Government at the beginning of the year predicted that the proportion of Australia’s population aged 65 and over will rise from its current 14 per cent to approximately 23 per cent by 2050. 

This changing demographic information represents a large opportunity for real estate agents.  Baby boomers and senior citizens are at life stages where moving (in many cases to sell the larger family home and downsize) can become more frequent. 

However in order to appeal to this older market, real estate agents must realize that in some cases, a different approach to marketing may be necessary. 

Firstly, real estate agents should focus on educating themselves about the housing options open to the seniors market.  While many older people choose to live in regular houses and apartments, others opt for especially constructed apartment complexes, or senior-living communities.  Real estate agents should understand all options available and be able to make suggestions based on the needs of individual clients. 

When marketing to the seniors market, try not to assume why a senior client is selling, or to what type of property they wish to move.  While it is true that many in the seniors market wish to downsize to a more manageable property, others could actually want more space, or a home of a similar size, for instance if there is the possibility of an adult child returning to live at home. 

Real estate agents should try to realise that the needs and wants of the seniors market regarding the types of property they look for could be very different to those of younger buyers and sellers and display an understanding of these needs when dealing with their older clients.  Senior clients may prefer lower maintenance homes with smaller gardens, where they don’t have to clean as much or do hard physical work.  Senior clients may also require homes that are close to health and medical facilities, catering to their changing health needs. 

When presenting to prospective senior clients, try to understand the attachment that many who have been in their homes for long periods of time may have.  Do not underestimate the power that sensitivity will have and try not to rush these people.  The process may take longer, however it is worthwhile to build up a relationship. 
 
In terms of communicating with your older clients try not to assume which mode your senior clients will prefer, rather take the time to work out which works best.  Some older clients will not like email, while others will find this the easiest form of communication.  Others could prefer the phone, or even personal visits. 

The process of dealing with clients in the seniors market can be a rewarding one, given that you as a real estate agent will often be assisting people through quite a significant life change.  Try to embrace this opportunity and if need be, approach marketing and selling differently where necessary. 

 

Posted by Reality Bytes - Real Estate Training Blog on 25/08/2010 at 2:33 PM | Categories:

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