When it comes to working with older clientele in your real estate sales business, there are three key connections that must be in place.
In order to serve your client effectively AND insure that you are positioned as the expert for direct referrals, you must communicate your point of difference with your sphere of influence (personal platform), other professionals serving seniors (professional platform), and senior living communities in your market area.
Let’s talk about the importance of these 3 key lead sources:
1: Your personal sphere of influence
If you have done a good job connecting and educating this segment, they likely already trust you and see you as their expert when it comes to matters of real estate. It’s equally (if not more) important to clue them in on your advanced education and expanded services focused on mature home buyers and sellers. They need to know that you are uniquely positioned to assist the people in their lives with downsizing, relocating, or finding more manageable housing
When communicating with this group of individuals, strategically and intentionally, it should become one of your top sources for referrals -- both short and long term.
- Add value to others and they will add value to you.
- Come from contribution and the referrals will flow.
- Stay in contact and avoid being "salesy."
- You can help a lot of people and make a positive difference while also running a profitable business.
2: Senior Living Communities
As people age, they frequently choose not to buy another home to maintain and instead choose a community where they have some assistance -- not burdened with the responsibility of home ownership. Savvy senior housing professionals know the many 55+ housing options available in their area. They not only know what is in the MLS, but they also know the options NOT in the multiple listing service such as independent, assisted, and continuing care communities.
Becoming knowledgeable about senior living communities (and how to speak their language) requires time and research, but when done strategically and intentionally (yes, that is the second time I mention strategic and intentional) it can also be an excellent way to create mutually beneficial relationships.
Senior living communities and knowledgeable real estate professionals often work hand-in-hand to insure successful resident move-ins. Serving seniors is a team sport!
- Partner with senior communities to create mutually beneficial partnerships.
- Add value to senior communities rather than trying to "market" or "sell" yourself or your services.
- Senior community representatives are people too -- get to know them and become their friend.
3: Professional Resource Team
While number 3 on the list, it is certainly not third in priority! Aligning with professionals in the aging services field (professional platform) creates leverage that not only helps to insure your mature clients and their families receive the help they need, but it also lessens the burden on you, the agent, for feeling like you need to be all things to all people.
Many real estate professionals specializing in working with seniors are natural-born nurturers — this can be both a gift and a curse. The best way to run and successful and profitable business AND nurture and support your older clients is to surround yourself with competent subject matter experts and service providers who share your values and passion for serving seniors.
These relationships are the perfect two-way-street. Because serving downsizing seniors is a team sport, the people you connect with will also need and want to partner with you to serve their clients. Once again, when you add value to the professionals in your network, they will add value to you.
- Working with seniors is a team sport and the team must work well together in order to best serve the client.
- Beyond serving the client, highly efficient and cohesive resource teams also co-create leads, share referrals, and provide a synergistic environment sparking creativity and positive "vibes."
- Team building doesn't happen by accident, it is a strategic and intentional (yes, third time) process that yields huge returns on the investment of time and energy.
Is it time to boost your seniors business?
If you have made the decision to serve seniors in your real estate practice and just need a boost in putting these three key fundamentals in place, you owe it to yourself — and your clients — to make it a priority in the New Year.
The Seniors Real Estate Institute has created a unique program to supplement the fundamentals you learned in Success in Seniors Real Estate and designed specifically around mastery of the three tasks mentioned here.
Through strategic and intentional (that's 4) focus in these key areas of your seniors niche, you are certain to notice an immediate boost in your business AND an increase in consistent referrals from longterm referral partners.
|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.