My Broker Thinks I’m Nuts

Posted by: Nikki Buckelew

Yet another real estate agent told me yesterday, “My broker told me I was ‘crazy’ when I told him that I was going to specialize in the seniors niche.” 

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that… 

What is amazing to me is that so few brokers actually understand where the market is heading. At the current time 25% of home sales involve a senior over the age of 65 and this statistic isn’t going to decrease anytime soon. Unlike the short sale market was, the senior tsunami is no flash in the pan. 

Because there are few things worse than your broker, mentor, manager, or spouse for that matter, throwing cold water on something you feel passionate and enthusiastic about, I thought I would share a few tips with you on ways to approach those you will be looking to for support and encouragement along the way.


Put on your invisible foul weather gear! 


By Seattle Municipal Archives (Flickr: Rainy day, 1980s) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Not every broker will be a Negative Nellie. Some managers are excellent coaches and will ask you to share your passion with them, while others will immediately try to convince you to follow whatever current program they are offering or to just continue with the old school methods of real estate sales. They may even tell you that “no one succeeds in niche marketing.” Be prepared for pessimism and just let any negativity roll off. This is YOUR business and if you feel compelled in your gut to follow this path (or any path for that matter) don’t let anyone rain on your parade! 


Prepare to present your case: lock and load
 

If your broker is one who doesn’t see the massive shift in the market involving senior transactions, be prepared to update them on the current statistics. Not that it’s necessary that you convince them that specializing in the seniors niche is a good idea, but if you do feel the need, know your statistics and go into the meeting fully armed. 

Here’s a start. The National Association of Realtors reported in their Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in 2012 that one in four home sellers was over the age of 65. That is 25% of all listings sold. One in fourteen was over the age of 75. Now, take time to lock and load by researching your local demographics and sales data. 

By English: LCpl Joshua Lujan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By the way, specializing in seniors because YOU are one is NOT the most effective way to position yourself for a successful conversation with your broker - not to mention, it has nothing to do with whether or not you will be successful in this specialty. Just don’t even say it out loud - PLEASE! 


Have a plan in place.
 

Having been a broker and a coach myself, I can tell you of countless agents who have entered my office to announce their newest, latest, and greatest strategy for success, but I can only count on one hand those who had actually done their homework before deciding to jump in. 

If you really want to make an impression on your broker, have your action steps in place outlining what you are prepared to do in order to be successful in your seniors real estate specialty. What classes are you taking? What systems are you putting in place? What models are you researching? Show them that you are serious about this strategy and that you are thinking like a true business person.

"Surround yourself with people who are green and growing vs. ripe and rotting." - Dr. Fred Grosse






 




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. 


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