Baby boomer real estate leads: 3 strategies you absolutely have to know (and some tips)
Baby boomer real estate leads – as this generation ages, generating leads in this important segment becomes critical to real estate success. “I think the baby boomers are still going to pick up books in the grocery store but everyone else is looking online first, researching second and then picking up the phone.” This from a very young agent in a thread at Active Rain.
Myths like that one about baby boomers abound and it’s useless to try to dispel all of them, especially to younger generations.
Suffice it to say, however, 87 percent of younger boomers – adults between the ages of 54 and 64—are regular internet users while nearly 70 percent of older boomers (65 to 72) use the internet, according to Pew Research.
So, despite the aformentioned agent’s vision of a doddering oldster, browsing the books at the local supermarket, the fact is that a boomer is just as likely to find his or her agent and next home via the Internet as any other generation.
Beware! There are certain things members of this demographic won’t bother telling you about themselves, but they’ll expect you to know. Baby boomer real estate leads aren’t what you might think.
1. They aren’t old
Baby Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, won’t tell you that they don’t consider themselves old or elderly or even senior citizens, but they will either laugh at you or choose another agent if treated as such.
This generation is active, vibrant and much healthier than the previous generation – the one on which the current stereotypes are based.
“They will not tolerate typecasting, stereotypes, pandering or ageism,” warns Brent Green, author of “Marketing to Leading Edge Baby Boomers.”
He goes on to say that “They will invest in products and services that resonate, and they will reward those who crack the idiosyncratic marketing code.”
This brings us to the second secret your Boomer clients won’t share with you. They will reward you.
2. They’re good at referrals
As of last year, the Census Bureau estimates that there are 65.2 million American-born baby boomers. Add in immigrant boomers and that number rises to 76.4 million. According to a study by ThirdAge and JWT Boom, a whopping 96 percent of these people (73 million) participate in word-of-mouth marketing.
What this means for the real estate agent is that a boomer client who is happy with the service he or she receives is highly likely to pass on your information to friends, colleagues and family members.
Will they tell you this?
Probably not, but it’s something you should keep in the back of your mind when working with this generation. Referrals from this segment can be gold!
Go above and beyond the normal expectations and you may just end up with every boomer in town as clients. Not bad when you consider each one of them represents at least two transactions, since they will typically sell a home to buy one.
They are also considering renting
Of this generation’s members that say they’ll be moving, 41 percent say they’ll purchase a home. Only 10 percent will rent, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). That sounds like good news for an agent hoping to corner this market niche, right?
Here’s the clincher – 45 percent are undecided. It’s up to you, then to sell them on the benefits of owning over renting. Are you aware of what those are for folks in this age group? If not, you’ve got some studying to do.
3. They Expect Excellent Customer Service
“I think a big mistake that many marketers make is assuming that all boomers are hippies,” Lisa Magerl, SVP, director of client services, at RTC Relationship Marketing tells Direct Marketing News’ Nathan Golia.
“Boomers have very high expectations with their interactions with businesses. They expect a high degree of customization, personalization and on-demand service,” she concludes.
Whether this is true of all Boomers or most of them isn’t explained. But the nugget of knowledge provided is invaluable when working with your older clients.
“Right now the housing recovery has been fueled by baby boomers with good credit and lots of equity,” David Cobb, regional director for Metrostudy, tells NewsPress.com. “It’s been mainly the blue chip buyer who’s brought the market back from the abyss.”
How to Generate Baby Boomer Real Estate Leads
Go through your website and delete all mentions of “retirees,” “seniors” and “elderly.” Replace the terms with “baby boomers,” or “50+,” or, if you must, “older adults.”
Remember, many boomers are still active in the workforce. Even more important, you’re referring to the Peter Pan generation and growing old is something they don’t want to be reminded of.
Forget everything you think you know, and a lot of what you read online, about this generation. Even if retired, most refuse to be considered “out to pasture,” so arts and crafts classes at the local senior center aren’t a hot button.
Boomers are a varied bunch, but typically enjoy:
Travel – AARP conducted a study two years ago that found 99% percent of baby boomers were planning to take vacations that year.
Walking, running, jogging, hiking
Playing online and video games
Entertaining and socializing (consider restaurant and movie reviews, “where to buy” lists, etc.)
Home improvement projects
Since not all of your blog and social media posts should be real estate-related, sprinkle in some hyper-local posts about the above topics.
Baby boomers are today’s repeat buyers. Baby boomer real estate leads can help your business grow – ignore them at your own risk.