Probably the most common question I get when teaching the Success in Seniors Real Estate is this one:
“How do I reach seniors and adult children before they go visit a senior living community or decide to put their house on the market?”
Great question. Isn’t that what all sales people want to know though? If there was an easy way to identify leads, sales would be easy and then everyone would be doing it.
Here are 3 Key Platforms for developing your overall senior housing and real estate platform (and the simple answer to a more comprehensive business strategy that we teach in our courses and coach at an even higher level in Business Boosters On-Demand and Agent to Icon Advanced Coaching Programs.
Your current sphere of influence. This includes people that you have close relationships with like friends and family, but also includes your past and current clients, organizational affiliations, colleagues, and acquaintances.
This pipeline development strategy is no different than the development of one’s traditional client base, especially for real estate agents. In the Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks, and Jay Papasan, the authors illustrate with great detail and supporting statistics the advantages of focusing on one’s “MET” database consisting of those they already know vs. those they have not yet met personally.
When you are a Certified Senior Housing Professional®, it just gives you more reasons to reach out and connect at a deeper level with your Personal Platform. It creates conversation starters that differentiate you from the pack.
Business to Business connections. B to B networking and the subsequent relationships with those business owners, sales counselors, community relations managers, executives, and other professionals are critical when it comes to serving downsizing seniors and older adults looking to make a move.
A senior housing professional’s business to business platform is essentially a sub-section of their overall personal platform, although it is made up of a highly targeted group of people who are likely more influential and closely connected with seniors who are in need of moving or real estate assistance. These relationships take longer to cultivate and yet once the relationship is solidified, there is opportunity for both higher quality leads and an increased number of them over the life of the business.
This platform includes senior adults and caregivers living in or relocating to/from your local community, the media, and virtually everyone else in your target market. You could naturally break this down into sub-categories, but nonetheless, it is a big number -- an unknown one really.
Although the public platform is less likely to yield enough immediate business to sustain a profitable business like the personal and professional platforms, it cannot be ignored as an important long term business platform. As you become the public icon in seniors housing and real estate, you stand to generate more opportunities to share your value proposition and thus attract more people and organizations into your Personal Platform and Professional Platform.
We all know that helping people with their housing needs is a very personal proposition at any age. This truth is even more pronounced when you consider senior adults who are emotionally resisting the very idea of a move or caregivers who are burdened with the responsibility of making decisions on behalf of their aging family member.
The sales cycle for senior adults is not the same as the sales cycle for first time home buyers, executive relocations, distressed property owners, investors, or virtually any other type of client.
It makes sense that senior clients and their caregivers or adult children rely on the referrals from trusted advisors, and close friends and family.
The implication for professionals in the senior housing and real estate industries is clear. Focusing first on one’s personal and professional platforms is critical, while building upon one’s public platform for longterm validity and increased exposure.
Note: Although none of the material for this particular blog was taken directly from the book, my inspiration for the writing of it came from Michael Hyatt and Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. You will notice that my blogs on this topic going forward include more direct content and I give him full credit for those contributions.
Nikki Buckelew is the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute, a coaching and training company for real estate and senior housing professionals committed to serving senior adults, and Co-Founder and Lead Listing Specialist for OKC Mature Moves Real Estate Services in Oklahoma City, OK.
|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.