Seniors have the highest home ownership rate in the nation, with a full 81.2% of 65-year olds reporting that they own the home they live in. After this age, ownership rates start to decline as seniors sell and relocate to be nearer to family members or join a retirement community.
There are multiple benefits for a real estate agent who chooses to work with or even focus on senior clients. Seniors are more likely to have previous experience in the real estate market, meaning many will have realistic expectations and respect your knowledge and role as a professional.
Additionally, senior sellers can be very fun to talk to about the properties they are listing. Often they may be selling a home they have been in for years to relocate or downsize. You can bet those sellers will have great stories about their history in the house and the neighborhood as a whole that will help you develop a listing description that sells.
One of the best ways to help senior sellers is to start out by getting your Senior Real Estate Specialist® (SRES) designation. This designation is earned by agents who demonstrate the knowledge and expertise to counsel clients age 50+ through major financial and lifestyle transitions in relocating, refinancing or selling the family home.
Is a 50-year old really considered a senior citizen? Not technically, but around this age is when many people begin making considerations for retirement and beyond. These individuals will have questions that an SRES®-designated agent is better prepared to address.
SRES® member benefits will also help you reinforce your value as a senior specialist. You will gain access to customizable marketing materials, a bi-monthly newsletter, monthly webinars, an online community and more.
Once you have earned this designation, make sure to publicize it. Add it to your real estate website, business cards and online and offline marketing materials.
Other ways to improve your services to seniors include:
- Be available to communicate in person or over the phone – often seniors value the personal connection and may be more hesitant to reach out via email or text
- Prepare clients for listing photos and walk throughs by sharing information about home staging that will help them declutter and depersonalize
- Stay up to speed with news about pensions,
- Alert your clients to common real estate scams that strangers and even relatives may try to push on senior sellers
Of course, not all senior sellers come from the same background or mentality. People are living longer than ever these days, so there is a wider range of generations represented by this category. For an in-depth look at generational differences between different groups of senior citizens, read Understanding Senior Buyers, Sellers Better.