Over the next two decades, boomers will boost the nation’s senior population by 30 million, and they’ll be looking to sell their homes because, according to NAR, people over age 65 typically release much more housing than they absorb.
A NAR economist has said this supply of homes could mean more buying opportunities for younger generations who’ll likely absorb up to 80 percent of the available inventory of owner-occupied housing.
So, how do you capitalize on this trend? Here are a few tips:
With Baby Boomer sellers:
1. Give your listing presentations lots of human touch and avoid high-tech gadgetry. These people grew up with real newspapers, actually spoke to their neighbors (face-to-face no doubt) and appreciate old-fashioned common sense and communication. Know your numbers and facts, they’ve been around the block and know what’s what. Plus, get to the point fast, they value time, and they typically make up their minds quickly.
2. Hang out in boomer circles. Simple enough – if you want to reach boomers be where they are. Consider a co-op marketing program with local businesses that cater to boomers. And start a referral base where boomers are moving to – usually the warmer climates: Florida, Arizona and California.
3. Make your ad and marketing materials boomer-friendly with larger type sizes (at least 12 point), simple type styles (avoid all the fancy stuff) and clean contrasts – black and white is best.
4. Consider getting the designation for seniors (SRES). It covers a lot of details on how to communicate effectively with them.
With Younger Buyers:
1. Stock up on interactive tools. It’s rare to find Gen X and Y without their smart phones and iPads. They also love social networking and any technology that lets them connect to the world, the news and their family and friends. I know this first hand because anytime I leave a voice message for either my son or daughter, I practically never hear from them. But if I text them, they get back to me immediately.
2. Make your website as interactive as possible. Let users take virtual tours and see lots of photos. Give them the larger picture of the neighborhood and city via your site; they expect a lot of useful, pertinent information at a click. They like sites that give them instant gratification. And if your site doesn’t provide it, they’ll go elsewhere in a hurry. Consider a form that lets them request wish list items and have a mortgage calculator so they can see how little an upgrade will affect monthly payments.
4. Reallocate your ad budget. Old habits are hard to break and I bet many of you have a habit of renewing your ad budget from year to year. Well, things have changed and eyeballs aren’t where they used to be – namely print. Many agents and brokers are now spending money where other smart business people are spending theirs: online. Specifically, electronic billboards, banner ads, e-mail marketing and even spots on YouTube. And now pay-per-click campaigns are proving to be a cost-effective option for those without larger ad budgets – you only pay when a user clicks on your ad.
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.
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