More Boomers Aging in Place…Because They Have to
Today is a somber day. Today the Creating Results team joins all Americans as we pause and reflect on one of the greatest losses the country has suffered. We remember the lives that were lost and the loved ones left behind, and remain eternally thankful for those who responded to the tragedy on that day 16 years ago. Our thoughts are also with those in Texas and Florida who have been displaced due to Harvey and Irma.
Our Monday blog post explores two marketing stories of interest from the past week. First, we uncover why housing preferences for younger generations mean real estate woes for boomers. Then, with the help of Christopher Penn, we attempt to unlock the secret to marketing success. As always, your thoughts, comments and insights are appreciated — be sure to note within the section below.
Younger and older generations alike are gravitating toward smaller dwellings in more urban, walkable suburbs and cities, with restaurants and coffee shops around the corner. It’s leading to a real estate traffic jam: Increasingly, boomers are getting stuck, because most can’t buy the home of their dreams until they unload their current ones. Many millennials have neither the desire nor the means to help them out.
A recent article in Realtor.com sums up the challenge boomers are facing as they attempt to sell their homes. The article shared home preference insights that we at Creating Results see play out every day when working with clients targeting active adult buyers — this demographic is looking for smaller, walkable and open. Most builders and developers of 55+ communities are offering just that, so what’s the problem? According to the article, millennials and gen x’ers are looking for that same thing and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for boomers to sell the bigger homes they currently own, leading to more boomers deciding to age in place.
I see inspiration and opportunity (and fear) for those selling homes to each of the generations mentioned within the article. What we at Creating Results have experienced is a desire, regardless of life stage, to have less home and more walkable access to nearby sights, sounds and attractions. Builders who offer this winning recipe need to make sure this aspect is a critical part of your community’s positioning. Those marketing 55+ communities will need to be cognizant of the fact that the sale of an existing home could be a challenge for prospective buyers and lengthen the sales process. Offering programs/tools to help your prospect overcome this obstacle could be the ticket to making your community stand out and achieving the sale.
I love Christopher S. Penn! If you don’t subscribe to his blog I highly encourage you to do so (spoiler alert: a link where you can opt in is noted below).
His marketing insights are spot on and he offers great tips for marketing professionals. In fact, his recent post unlocks the most sought-after insight…the secret to marketing success. I must say, the article made me giggle, as all too often I’m asked by clients what the winning recipe is for achieving marketing goals. His response, and often my own to clients, is the secret is that we must “embrace ambiguity and uncertainty”.
He went on to note:
Even bedrocks we take for granted are anything but in the world of marketing. What worked for SEO 5 years ago is actively dangerous advice today. What convinced people to open an email last year is greeted by readers with a yawn this year.
It’s so true if you think about it, change is so rapid in the fast-paced world of marketing that you can’t rely on what worked before as a benchmark for future success. However, I would offer that the unknown doesn’t have to be bad, in fact embracing it could set you apart.
At the end of the piece four questions were offered as a gut check (and perfect tip) for marketers regarding a comfort level with the unknown:
- What knowledge do you prize above all else that would make it difficult if it became defunct?
- When was the last time you started over in a part of marketing you thought you knew?
- What insight, practice or approach would you abandon to learn something more difficult?
Click here to read the full post and subscribe to his blog.