I think one of the things I love the most about specializing in the mature market is, while it is a distinct and narrow niche, there is still a bit of variety that keeps it interesting!
In a blog post that I wrote for Keeping Current Matters (KCM) a while back, I outlined the three different types of moves that occur most frequently in the 65+ market. In case you didn’t see the post there, I thought you would appreciate a refresher so that you can insure you are addressing the varying real estate needs of seniors in your marketplace.
Move #1: Amenity-based
These individuals and/or couples are seeking a certain type of lifestyle and their home is only one component of a much larger picture. When looking to sell, they are usually transferring their equity from one home to the next and can usually either pay cash or put a significant down payment towards a purchase. Depending upon employment status, they may be moving across the country for more appealing climates or seeking a place near an airport making it easier to commute. Some are moving closer to kids and grandkids, while others are moving to destination locations where the family can enjoy visiting. Amenity-based moves are not necessarily downsizing moves and may even involve more space!
Social engagement including quality family and friendships are key decision-making elements.
Move #2: Anticipatory / Preparatory
As people age, many begin to anticipate changes in their (or their spouse’s) physical or mental health. Moving means simplifying and making preparations for future care needs and support. With this type of move, seniors are typically looking to either buy or lease a property with minimal maintenance, accessibility features, and in close proximity to quality healthcare. Family members and adult children may be called upon at this stage to assist, and will often have some input into the decision making process. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) are designed for independent older adults who are conscientious about future care needs and have the financial means to fund it.
Access to formal and informal support, as well as low maintenance and accessibility features, are primary decision-making factors.
Move #3: Needs-based
While most people say that they intend to live independently and in their current home, this reality isn’t always possible. As health declines to the point where more support is needed than can be provided for within the person’s home and community, relocation is usually necessary. This move may involve selling the personal residence and relocating to a senior living community or into the home of a family member. In most cases, needs-based moves involve caregivers and/or family members as additional decision makers. Needs-based moves may also be called crisis-driven moves depending on the level of urgency involved.
Timing, health status, and availability of caregiver support are keys to decision-making.
As you can see from these various different types of moves, not all seniors share the same housing needs and goals.
Regardless of whether you choose to make working with mature home buyers and sellers a part of your overall business plan, with at least 1 in 4 home sellers over the age of 65, there is little doubt you will work with older adults in the course of your general real estate practice.
When encountering these opportunities, it will serve you well to consider the three types of moves listed here and evaluate your value proposition and services accordingly so that you can be the very best agent possible for your mature clients.
|Nikki Buckelew is the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute and administrator for the Certified Senior Housing Professional® (CSHP) designation. A veteran REALTOR® of over two decades, she holds a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. As a professional speaker, coach, and trainer, Nikki is committed to empowering, equipping, and educating real estate sales and senior housing professionals seeking to better serve the mature market segment.