• Shannon

Come on, real estate industry, Boomers are NOT frail

I just read, for the umpteenth time how decrepit and ancient boomers are.

Ok, the oldest of the bunch are turning 73 in 2019. Sounds old, doesn’t it?

Not in the 21st century though.

My best friend is in his 70s and he has built his life around his two passions – surfing and working with his search and rescue dog. He is still employed, don’t get me wrong, but he spends every other minute of every day on the beach near his home on Kauai, surfing, or in the mountains, training for some future disaster. Does this sound like a guy who needs a wheelchair?

Lest you think he’s an exception, consider my former husband. He, too, is in his 70s and, works full-time in the construction industry, climbing tower cranes on construction sites. Can YOU climb 22 stories of stairs?

Another friend is in her 60s and still climbs over walls to take shortcuts on outings with her grandson, completely landscaped her own backyard, by herself, and takes her dog on a daily run.

Do we slow down as we age? Sure we do. But most of us won’t come to a complete stop. And the three examples above prove it.

So, no, dear agent, most boomers aren’t seeking a home with “a wall-mounted sink, which makes access easier for those in wheelchairs.”

Nor are they particularly interested in front doors that are “wide enough to wheel through.”

And, if you insist on speaking to boomers, or addressing them in your website content, with words such as "seniors," and "elderly," assuming they’re old and frail and hard of hearing, you’ll achieve nothing.

In fact, you’ll tick them off.

This generation flat-out refuses to go gentle into that good night and, in fact, fully embraces Dylan Thomas’ edict to “rage against the dying of the light.”

So, what do they want?

They want respect. They want honesty. They want you to understand that they’ve done everything you’ve done, for a longer period of time.

They aren’t children, they aren’t doddering old fools.

They are living life with one foot in the past and one in an uncertain future.

This precipice doesn’t frighten them, but they want to get the most possible out of what’s on the other side.

For instance, what do you think about this couple?

Typical middle-aged retirees, right?

Before you condescend to them, however, keep in mind that this is what they look and feel like inside:

In fact, the second photo is of the very same couple, 47 years ago at Woodstock.

If you have any doubts of where the boomer generation comes from, do yourself a favor and watch a video of Woodstock.

I love this one because I try to imagine what these women look like now and how younger people must underestimate them, their life experiences and where they are right now.

Another assumption: Boomers are tech dunces

Internet use trails off as we age, with Millennials the largest group of users and the Silent Generation the lowest. This doesn’t mean, however, that boomers aren’t using the Internet.

In fact, 85 percent of younger boomers surf daily while 76 percent of their older cohorts (age 60 to 69) do. This information is from Pew and it appears they got the ages wrong, but it’s close enough (baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964).

Ninety-one percent of boomers use a cell phone and 57 percent use social media, primarily Facebook.

Want more real estate business?

While the rest of the industry is almost solely focused on Millennials, chase baby boomers. Why? The generation has almost as many members as the Millennial gen and far more money.

In fact, "AARP says that Americans over 50 represent the third largest economy in the world," according to marketplace.org's Molly Wood.

The group also claims that “more start-ups are shifting focus from millennials to aging baby boomers,” says CNBC's Lauren Thomas.

Best of all, the chances are real good that you'll get two deals out of a boomer because so many of them own homes.

Furthermore, they’re ready to make real estate deals. From down-sizing to moving closer to family, this is a group of very warm leads.

Learn more about how to work with this generation at Prospects Plus (yeah, we wrote this one. By the way, order some postcards while you're there).

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