If you’re a real estate agent with a focus on serving seniors, you know downsizing is different from other moves. How you support your clients throughout the process is what sets you apart from other agents who focus mainly on the sale.
But here’s the thing. Many of the clients you’re trying to attract may not fully understand that. They may think that real estate agents are all pretty much the same.
They may hold off on finding an agent because they assume an agent’s only role is to sell their current home (and perhaps find a new one).
So, how do you convince people they can avoid downsizing pitfalls by involving an agent like you early in the process? And how do you assure them that, if they do contact you, you’re not necessarily going to push them to list their house tomorrow?
Taking an educational approach
Part of the solution is to make sure your marketing material raises their awareness. Until you do that, they’ll have a difficult time understanding why they should turn to you for help.
Here are a few suggestions about what to include in your educational content.
• Start by picking a topic. Think about the sorts of questions downsizing clients ask you. What issues typically trip people up? What common misconceptions about downsizing do you encounter?
• In your opening, meet your audience where they are. Once you’ve picked a downsizing-related topic, start by talking about the problem as they likely see it now, not how you intend to solve it for them. Don’t be afraid to tap into the emotions they’re feeling. It will show them you understand what they’re going through.
For instance, if your topic is thinning out your belongings, your opening might sound something like this:
“The thing you may dread the most about downsizing is the prospect of thinning out your belongings, especially if you’ve been living in your current home a long time. Sorting through room after room of stuff. Trying to decide what to do with the long list of things you can’t take with you. It’s a huge task that feels like it could go on forever.”
Notice that there’s no mention of you or your services in the opening. It’s all about the reader and the sticky situation they’re in.
• Introduce a new way of looking at the problem. In order to help them shift their thinking, describe how they likely see things now, then offer a new insight that will gently set them straight.
Continuing on with the previous example, here’s what that might look like:
“It’s a huge task that feels like it could go on forever, which is why you’ve hesitated to line up a real estate agent. No point listing your home for sale until you’re ready.
But here’s something you may not know. There are real estate agents who specialize in downsizing. They don’t just list your home for sale. They’ll help you get it ready. The sooner you get them involved, the better. Some can tap into downsizing experts in their network so you don’t have to figure everything out on your own, including deciding what to do with your belongings.”
What you’ve done here is let the audience know there are agents like you who can make downsizing easier. You’re still educating – not promoting yourself just yet.
• End with a call-to-action. You could wrap up by asking people to give you a phone call, but you likely won’t get much of a response, not unless they already know you. That’s because most people worry that a phone conversation could easily turn into a sales pitch. Instead, you could offer another significant piece of free information in exchange for their contact information.
Here are two sample calls-to-action:
“Not sure what to do with all your belongings once you’ve sorted through them? Then download my free listing of where to sell, donate and dispose of your things.
“Want more information on downsizing? Simply click here to check out my video, 5 Avoidable Downsizing Mistakes.”
Creating educational material that’s specific to downsizing is more likely to get you business from seniors than simply relying on the same marketing material you use with everyone else.
Could someone take your free information, run with it, and sign on with some other agent? Sure. That’s why part of the trick to crafting good learning material is to make it clear you haven’t been able to share all there is to know in the space you have available.
For more tips, check out my free ebook: 7 Top Mistakes Realtors Make When Writing Marketing Materials Aimed at Downsizing Seniors.
Paul Cavanagh is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate marketing for seniors. He also writes marketing materials for businesses in the senior living sector. Trained as an occupational therapist and urban planner, he has more than 30 years of experience working with seniors and their families. attractdownsizingseniors.com