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Rate your marketing to seniors

Conventional marketing tactics often don’t work with seniors. In fact, introducing yourself as a realtor can be a conversation killer. That’s because most seniors who are thinking about downsizing aren’t ready to talk with a realtor. 

So, how are you supposed to get them to know, like and trust you?

Keep in mind that downsizing is unlike any other move. There may be a lifetime’s worth of belongings to sort through. Getting the home ready for sale may take a huge effort. Plus, leaving behind a home full of memories is often fraught with emotion. 

Is it any wonder, then, that people tend to approach downsizing with ambivalence? They may have all sorts of questions. Will this be the right move for me or should I just stay put? Is now the right time? Where should I go? What can I afford? Where do I even start?

 

How your approach needs to be different

 

At this stage, seniors aren’t looking for a realtor. They’re looking for answers to their questions.

So, answer their questions.

In other words, focus less on selling yourself and more on teaching them about downsizing.

Using an education-first approach can be a tremendously effective way of generating downsizing leads. To do this successfully, you need to develop a seniors’ focus as a realtor. 

 

What I mean by this is:

 

Understanding downsizing from their perspective. Don’t just look at downsizing as a real estate transaction. Think about why seniors downsize. What makes it hard for them? What emotions do they often experience?

Acquiring special knowledge, skills and business connections to better serve them. Getting a seniors-specific certification like SRES or Lifestyle55+ is a start. You’ll also want to continue expanding your knowledge by learning more about the ins and outs of downsizing and age-related issues from other professionals who are experienced in the area, including other realtors.

Providing support throughout the entire downsizing process. This may begin months before their home is listed. Or, it may take place within a more compressed timeframe if health concerns are driving the move. Chances are you’ll take on a bigger role than you do with your younger clients. Developing a network of trusted vendors who serve seniors will help you better serve your downsizing clients.

Gearing some of your marketing efforts specifically to seniors. In other words, don’t rely on the same techniques you use with all your other clients. Offer educational resources that are specific to downsizing. Flag leads in your CRM who are interested in downsizing so that you can send them follow-up information that’s relevant to those interests.

 

How well do realtors market to seniors?

 

I polled realtors who are interested in serving seniors using a three-minute quiz that I developed. The quiz measured how much of a seniors’ focus they have and to what extent they use an education-first approach.

 

Here are the early results

 

Seniors focus

 

Average score = 69 per cent

Areas where the greatest improvement was needed:

  • Clearly differentiating themselves from other realtors who don’t specialize in serving seniors
  • Doing more to gear their marketing to downsizing and seniors

 

Education first

 

Average score = 65 per cent

Areas where the greatest improvement was needed:

  • Regularly sharing downsizing resources
  • Tracking whether those resources are actually being seen by seniors

 

Rate your own marketing to seniors

 

Interested in seeing how you measure up? You can take the three-minute quiz yourself by clicking the link in the byline of this article.

 

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