In Part One of my profile of CSHP Victoria Hathaway, Director of the Silver Group of the Bob Lucido Team of Keller Williams Select Realtors in Maryland, I shared a broad overview of Victoria's unique role in heading Lucido's specialized real estate and move services for seniors.
Here in Part Two, we delve a bit more into the Silver Team's marketing efforts and community involvement.
Nikki: In addition to working directly with senior clients throughout their entire move, is a big part of your job about community outreach?
Victoria: My role is to be involved in the community, raising awareness of our services and programs. So, yes, there is specialty networking, community outreach/presentations, events, fund-raising and dearest to me, volunteerism, done on behalf of The Silver Group of the Bob Lucido Team at Keller Williams Select Realtors.
Nikki: Give us some more details on your activities regarding outreach and marketing.
Victoria: We have embraced this aspect of doing senior-related business. On behalf of our team and as Director of The Silver Group, we support the Alzheimer's Association by fielding a Walk team and in sponsorships. We support a program here called “Neighbor Ride” with sponsorships of their events and by actively serving as volunteer drivers for the seniors in their program who need help with transportation. In addition to myself, other agents from the Bob Lucido Team also volunteer as drivers.
I also drive a delivery route for Meals On Wheels, and we are active in another local program called “ Food on the 15th, ” which is geared to providing food to local seniors at mid-month when their funds are lowest. We've done specialty events such as "Retiring Well" with the Baltimore Sun newspaper and seminars like "Get Organized," so people can learn about getting their houses ready and how to downsize in preparation for a home sale and move.
Additionally, the Silver Group sponsors COGS (the Coalition of Geriatric Services,) which is sort of a senior chamber of commerce for the senior service providers/businesses in our county. And through those efforts we help support the county's emergency senior fund (through the Office on Aging) and provide scholarship funds for local kids studying for their CNA.
Nikki: Do you have a particular success story that really stands out as you worked with a senior client?
Victoria: A senior community reached out to us as they prepared for a gentleman to move in. But first, he needed to sell his home in order to actually make the move. Within a few days, I was able to hold a meeting with the client, his children, our agent, a downsizer/move manager, and a specialty mold contractor. The client hired the Silver Group, everyone was given marching orders, the gentleman was moved to senior living, the family's elder law needs were addressed, VA benefit research shared, and the house was cleared, renovated, and went under contract.
It was a huge project in terms of scope and scale and yet it was exactly what we do! We've sold houses where timing and financing was tight and anxiety was high on the first day on the market. I've even helped transport cats to the vet and kennel in order to help with house showings. Education is huge and so is being a team that provides our clients to professional, reliable resources. Many seniors would like to move but don't know how to actually accomplish it, so bringing good, professional providers and services into our offering has been key.
Nikki: I touched on this in Part One, but I want to get your complete response here; Describe the unique way that you and the Silver Group are utilized by the Bob Lucido Team as a whole.
Victoria: I am different and don't know of any other firm with someone in my role. I work with our senior clients and families from the first informational call/outreach/referral throughout the entire process. When I first meet the clients, I take an agent from the Bob Lucido Team along with me to the appointment after collaborating with Bob on the match.
The choice of which agent I work with is based on our shared interest in serving seniors and the unique aspects or challenges of this move. We make sure that the agent chosen is an expert in the geographic location of the property so that the seller is being well-served from a strict real estate perspective. The agent is tasked with what is usual in this scenario: helping educate the client about the house, its value, a plan for getting it ready/sold on the seller's timeline, and for top dollar.
My role is to listen for every other need on top of the real estate items. I've been called a hub, a connector, a case manager, a concierge, the resource person. My goal is to get this move as "right" as is humanly possible, so I'm listening for needs like elder law, financial advising, daily money management, interim in-home care, home modifications for the interim or for where they're moving (if to a child's home, for example), transportation, meals, help with assessment or community placement, and most frequently help in rightsizing/downsizing/move management for the actual move.
Another of my favorite things is educating/connecting clients with eligibility for VA benefits. Many of them have no idea the benefit exists.
|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.