How to Win Clients and Close Deals: Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation

By January 29, 2019 Blog No Comments
win more real estate clients

Last week, we began a two-part series on how to use home buyer and seller data to win more real estate clients. By harnessing insights from the National Association of Realtors Generational Trends report, you can develop tactics to help you win more business from specific audiences. We focused last week on Millennials and Generation X. This week, we’ll look at Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.

How to Win More Real Estate Clients from the Baby Boomer Generation

Baby Boomers (age 53-71) are often in transition. Younger Boomers frequently move due to job relocation, while older Boomers are often preparing for retirement. Many Boomers have older children who are either leaving the nest or “boomeranging” back after college. And they are often at the point where their elderly parents need more attention and care.

Despite stereotypes about technology usage, Baby Boomers are highly tech-oriented. They are the group most likely to start their home search online and to use an online video site, such as YouTube. Older Boomers are even the most likely to find their real estate agent through an app.

When it comes to communication, however, this generation likes to mix things up. They prefer phone or in-person contact, but email is close behind. Their housing preferences are a mix, too. Younger Boomers tend to stay in the same area and move between similarly-priced and -sized properties. Twenty percent also want a property that can accommodate multi-generational living. Older Boomers, by contrast, are the most likely to move to a new state and tend to downsize.

Boomers as a whole tend to be more selective in their home searches. Younger Boomers have the longest average home search of any cohort (10 weeks vs. the overall 8-week average). They want frequent and immediate updates on the market or specific properties. And older Boomers are the least likely to compromise when it comes to factors such as price, condition, and size.

Want to work with this generation? Your primary takeaway: don’t make assumptions. This group covers a wide range of life stages and housing goals. But Boomers as a whole tend to be selective, so it’s doubly important that you take the time to understand their needs. Also keep their communication preferences in mind. If you’re trying to close a Boomer lead, a phone call or in-person meeting will be more effective than an email or text message. And remember that they like video, so attract their attention with listing tours, community videos, and agent bios. Finally, you may need a solid referral network to succeed with older Boomers, due to their tendency to move long distances.

How to Win More Real Estate Clients from the Silent Generation

The Silent Generation, ages 72 and older, has a unique set of needs. Many of these are due to their life stage. Almost all Silent Generation home buyers and sellers are retired. As a result, they have the lowest median income of any generation. However, they also tend to have significant equity in their homes. This leads to a lower need for financing when they purchase a property.

Silent Generation buyers are unique in other ways. Like older Boomers, they tend to move due to retirement and a desire to live near family. But unlike other generations, they show a strong preference for multi-family housing and newer properties. This is because they want to minimize the physical and financial demands associated with property maintenance and repairs.

When it comes to choosing an agent or a property, Silent Generation clients are outliers again. They are they only group that likes to start the home search by contacting an agent, and they strongly prefer analog contact. And while 70 percent still end up searching for homes online, 43 percent also use print media. This group also makes highly confident clients: they look at the fewest number of properties when buying (6 vs. the overall average of 10) and are the least likely to offer buyer incentives when selling.

To win more real estate clients among the Silent Generation, you’ve got to check your ego at the door. This group has strong preferences for how they do things, and they don’t work with agents who don’t accommodate them. To get yourself or your listings in front of this group, you may need to change up your usual marketing mix. Continue to post online, but invest in newspaper and magazine ads also. Follow up with any leads by phone or in-person – email and text are media non grata with the Silent Generation. Finally, remember their preference for new and multi-family construction and for cash buying. Make sure you can speak intelligently about related issues (such as community maintenance agreements and proof of funds).

How do you turn your client data into actionable tips for winning business? Share in the comments!

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