Commercial and residential real estate marketing to baby boomers
Thursday, January 10, 2019
Real estate marketing used to be a more manual process that included handing out business cards, writing newsletters and even delivering flyers door to door.
Since the creation of the internet, however, real estate marketing has radically changed, and many real estate professionals focus on social media marketing via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms and apps.
While some baby boomers are very computer-literate and have active social media accounts, others do not, and real estate pros know that you just should not market to one consumer segment.
What is the best way, then, to reach baby boomers?
Whether commercial or residential, you need reach the largest audience possible. Here’s how:
Roughly, baby boomers can be classified as those adults between the ages of 54 and 72. First, be aware that this population group does not consider themselves to be “old.” They don’t just buy books at the grocery store while ignoring the internet, either.
In fact, boomers are as likely as any other clients to locate their preferred real estate agent through the internet. If you treat them as digitally illiterate, don’t expect to be rewarded with their business. Just because this group isn’t renting a college apartment in Bloomington, Indiana, doesn’t mean they don’t understand the digital age.
If you do a good job for a boomer client, 96 percent of them will tell someone else. This type of word-of-mouth advertising is invaluable, so it’s certainly worth your time to build relationships with this market segment.
This is especially true for agents selling commercial and office space. Think about it, you want to do business with people you like and with people who can help fuel your business and baby boomers are exactly the same.
They Expect Superior Customer Service
Boomers, as a rule, are not laid-back clients that will be content to hear from you when your schedule permits. And don’t think that all boomers are gray-haired hippies that don’t have sense of time. These people need quality commercial spaces to run their mature businesses, too.
They want responses from their commercial leasing agent and they answers to their questions quickly, because that’s how they have treated others.
Returning phone calls within 48 hours and not immediately acknowledging emails will just not work with baby boomer clients. Again, do a good job here, and they will communicate that to their friends, and that will help build your business.
Fueling the Comeback
A few years ago, The Washington Post said:
“Getting a mortgage loan isn’t easy, but it is getting easier. Lenders are increasingly convinced that the housing recovery is for real and that borrowers will pay them back. Lenders have been worried about lawsuits and other regulatory actions prompted by their poor lending decisions during the housing bubble, but these legacy issues are slowly being settled. Lenders still want borrowers to come up with bigger down payments and higher credit scores than government lenders Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration require, but they aren’t being nearly as tough on borrowers as they were. The mortgage credit spigot is slowly opening.”
Boomers are a big reason this trend has continued, as they tend to have cash, equity and better credit scores.
How to Reach Them
So, baby boomers will look at your website, and they may have a great down payment and/or substantial equity. Now, what is the best way to reach them if you have a quality new office space available?
First get rid of anything on your site that may offend them like the words older adults, geriatrics and senior citizens.
Next, pick up a copy of AAAP magazine and check out the language style used. You’ll find it’s a little like Readers’ Digest, but somewhat more up-to-date. Use that style when you write blogs about the activities that boomers prefer like:
- DIY home improvement
- Entertaining others in their homes
But make sure that your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts — of course very important marketing tools for other segments — aren’t the only way you attempt to target baby boomers. Old-school marketing like leaving business cards at HOA meetings, sending a printed postcard in the mail, and duplicating that monthly emailed newsletter with a printed version can go a long way toward getting the attention of this targeted marketing segment.
It’s not a matter of teaching an older generation exactly how to navigate through social media as you shouldn’t care how anyone finds your name.
If it takes attending a Rotary Club meeting — look that up if you don’t know what it is — then make an appearance armed with properly branded cards, newsletters, pens, pencils and calendars.
Everyone wants to automate their work life, and for some, it would be great if sitting behind a screen all day and churning out blogs, posts and pics would produce an abundance of clients so that any other marketing would not be necessary. Unfortunately, especially with baby boomers, this just isn’t always the case, so while Facebook may be enough for your younger clients — and it may attract a certain amount of baby boomers — if you want a more diverse client book, you should simultaneously attempt to reach these clients through more traditional means.
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