Using your voice to reach more seniors doesn’t mean talking louder — just more often.
Yes, I know. You are thinking “But, Nikki, you and my momma always say that we should listen more and talk less.” This is true and the following is the exception.
People in our communities are begging to hear what you have to say. While there is no shortage of marketing and promotion, true unbiased education about senior living options and what is available as people age is lacking.
Adult children report regularly that they cannot seem to find good information about what housing options are best for their parents when they can no longer live in their own home. Just as often, older adults who need assistive devices to make living at home safer, have no idea where to start. This lack of public knowledge makes people vulnerable to scams and unscrupulous contractors.
As graduates of the Seniors Real Estate Institute and as Certified Senior Housing Professionals (CSHPs), you owe it to your community to help provide this information. When you signed your CSHP application and membership pledge, you checked the box that said,
“I look forward to serving as an active advocate, educator and voice in my community
regarding senior housing issues.”
Aside from personal responsibility as a professional to educate those that you have chosen to serve, it is also in your best interests to do so.
Those of you who remember the story of how Chris and I built a successful seniors real estate team will recall that I taught classes weekly — all over the community and to anyone who would listen. Some classes were 15 minutes long at a local Rotary Club or Kiwanis meeting and some were 90 minutes to an hour at a senior living community or local not-for-profit organization.
Not only do you benefit your audience when you provide education and training, you become a better professional. In order to teach, you must learn the material, right? The more knowledgeable you become about your topic, the more “specialized” you are. This level of specialization doesn’t come from reading a book or taking a workshop, it comes from going out and sharing what you know — over and over and over again!
People ask me all the time, “Nikki, how can you just say things on our coaching calls [when they ask questions] perfectly as if you have said them a hundred times? How can I sound that confident?” The fact is, I probably HAVE said them a hundred times, both in preparation and in practice.
You only become an expert by using what you know. And by using what you know to help those you serve, you become the icon in your market. It’s that simple.
Not sure where to speak? Here are a few places to start:
- Rotary, Kiwanis, Ambucs, Lions, Optimists, Jaycees, Junior League
- OASIS - Education for people over 50
- NARFE - National active and retired federal employees association
- Senior living communities and senior centers
- Homeowner’s associations
- Company in-services
What do I speak about?
- Options for seniors over the age of 55 in Austin, TX (use the name of city you are speaking)
- Strategies for clearing the clutter
- Services available to seniors who choose to age-in-place
- How to apply for the senior’s property tax credit
- Downsizing Made Easy
When educating about a topic that is better suited for a subject matter expert outside of real estate, partner with an attorney, financial planner, social worker, physician, or reverse mortgage lender.
It’s time to speak up.
You can probably tell that I am very passionate about this subject of speaking. Not only do I love it and do it regularly myself, I am clear that it is one sure path for you to become the icon for seniors real estate in your market.
I am so passionate about this that I am offering a series of 3 budget-conscious webinars titled "Become a Master Presenter." It is for those of you reading this that want to go out and speak, but are a bit nervous about your ability to do so. We need more senior advocates who are willing to share their knowledge with their communities!
Take a look at the list below and get signed up for one or for all — you were meant to do this, I promise!
Classes are open to real estate agents, reverse mortgage lenders, senior move managers, and others who are in a seniors housing related field.
Public Speaking 101: Tips and Tools for Becoming an Expert Speaker - $49
Organizing Successful Events: Strategies for Reaching Senior Homeowners - $49
Expert Panel Events & Interviews: Maximizing Your Professional Platform to Reach More Seniors - $49
Sign up for all three! - $129
|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.