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Posts By Kathy East

Baby Boomers and seniors are seeking a new lifestyle, not just a new home in a new community. Whether they plan to downsize, upsize or rightsize, at the end of the day what they are really seeking is a new home and new community which enhances their lives.

Recently I spoke at the International Builders Show. Conversations with attendees and attending others’ sessions reinforced the idea that adults aged 55 or better want out of their current homes where they have lived for 10, 20, 30 years or more. But what do they want to get into?

You don’t need to watch more than one day of HGTV to understand that everyone wants open concept, but these buyers also want lower-maintenance homes (inside and out thank-you) with greater function. More often than not 55-plus homebuyers stay relatively close to their current neighborhood but proximity to conveniences also is of prime importance.

Yes, PBS’s hit Downton Abbey holds lessons for those selling to the 50+ market of baby boomers and seniors. So while Sunday evenings in front of the fire enjoying the upstairs/downstairs drama may appear to be leisure, it’s really sales training!  1. Formalities aren’t old-fashioned. While it may seem quaint to hear all the “Misters” and “Missus” we should remember…

Market Force’s annual survey on fashion retailers certainly made us take notice—our favorite stores were right up on top of their list. And we weren’t surprised that a major reason was their customer-centric focus. Yesterday’s post noted several ways active adult and senior housing communities incorporated customer-centric approaches in their marketing . They know baby boomers and older adults are…

Creating Results is always shopping for consumer insights that can help our clients motivate baby boomers, and were delighted to see Market Force’s annual survey on fashion retailers. Thousands were surveyed, but any woman who loves shoes could’ve saved them the time: Nordstrom is the best! Of course the survey, as reported in MediaPost, was very scientific and provided insights…

I’ve just returned from an annual senior living conference sponsored by VANHA (Virginia Association of Nonprofit Homes for the Aging). The conference focused on mature marketing and aging well and there were many points that stood out.  Here are just a few of my key take-aways that you can leverage to market to seniors. 1.    Changing the image of aging: Larry…

Baby boomers love, love, love to travel but hotels, restaurants and attractions could make it so much easier with not a lot of effort. I'm a baby boomer and I know what I'm talking about here. I'm going to list my top three pet peeves -- each of which is also a business opportunity. Pet Peeve #1: Hotels, motels, B&Bs…

Lately, I've been thinking I'm our Vet's best customer. I've taken our little Ebony there 3 times in 5 weeks and haven't seen any other "repeats" in the waiting room. At our last visit I noticed something new: "House calls available." My initial reaction was "whoa, my internist doesn't make house calls and neither does my daughter's pediatrician." After giving it…

I’m a fan of people watching. Airports are prime spots as are downtown shopping areas. I am particularly fond of seeing people meeting and parting, and imagining the next chapter in their stories. Of course I never get to find out what happens next. The Blogosphere has opened up a new form of people watching for me, albeit a virtual one, and the plus is that I can find out what happens next. A case in point is Ronni Bennett’s terrific “Time Goes By” blog—“what it’s really like to get older.” Ronni Bennett - Time Goes By - ElderbloggerAt 69 years of age Ronni decided to move about as far as possible within the continental US, from Portland Maine to Portland Oregon. (And while you might think the location decision had something to do with the “Portlandness” of it, that was just poetic coincidence.) On her blog, she has been chronicling her move.  These posts offer insights for those marketing real estate to Baby Boomers and beyond.

Emotions Dominate When Searching for a New Home

A cross-country move is unusual for Baby Boomers and beyond. The 2009 study by MetLife and the National Association of Home Builders found that 67% of those aged 65-74 plan to age in place with only 12% expecting to buy another home. Yet the overwhelming reason seniors move is to be closer to family and friends. Ronni was born in Oregon and her brother lives there so this is very much a “going home” move. I think Ronni put it perfectly in a February post:
I have often thought that as we grow into our late years – the winter of our lives, if you will – there is an emotional pull, for those of us who have wandered away, to the homes of our youth.
Whether the draw is family or friends or the familiarity of your hometown, most of us tend to agree with Dorothy and Toto that it’s nice to get home. Or, as Ernestine, one of Ronni’s regular readers, posted in her comment:
Bottom line is whatever years we have left on earth - we need to be where our heart leads us.
As we age we’re more likely to listen to our hearts. Seniors base more decisions on emotions vs. logic and that is exactly what Ronni experienced as she blogged the day she took that big step of listing her home for sale.
 So I made the decision on the spot Saturday while the agent was here.
The decision wasn’t without prior thought and consideration. Yet, when it came to taking that first concrete step of moving, emotions ruled.

Three Lessons for Marketing 50+ Housing

What can builders and developers of new active adult communities, owners of CCRCs, Assisted Living Facilities, Realtors, and others involved in housing Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation learn from Ronni Bennett and her readers?694006

Kudos to MetLife and NAHB who recently released a study about how builders were doing meeting the expectations of the mature market (Baby Boomers and beyond).  At Creating Results, we love research!  Decisions can be made based on data rather than that gut feel in your stomach or the old fall-back “we’ve always done it that way.”  In this economy, when…

27% of Americans plan to put off home purchases because of the economy. We're glass half full people. To Creating Results, that means 73% of those in the market are still open to opportunities. Where will they be looking? 87% say the web. A survey by the National Association of Realtors provides some insights into who is looking and how.…

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