Entering the 50+ Market in the New Year

Filed in 55+ Housing by on December 24, 2014 0 Comments

Many businesses have targeted the baby boomer age wave over the years, and so should you.

Boomers — one of the country’s largest age cohorts in size and in percentage — are, as a group, the nation’s wealthiest, have the most housing equity, the least debt, the fewest mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures and are best qualified to buy homes.

seniorsontreadmillBoomers are the most able to buy a home, but they also are the most difficult to motivate. They generally do not need to buy. Their motivation is the potential for a significant improvement to their lives. Some may move because a disability makes the current home unmanageable. Others are just tired of maintenance and expensive upkeep.

Today’s buyers want homes that are more energy efficient, easier to maintain and healthier, but smaller is a more complex question. Generally, active adults begin their search looking for smaller homes, but they resist compromising on their preferences for spaces in a new home.

It’s true that warmer climates still attract potential retirees. But boomers have broken the mold at every stage and increasing numbers want to stay where they are. They may want to be near grandchildren, friends and a lifestyle they are familiar and comfortable with. But they also want an improved quality of life and more amenities.

Your success, however, is very much a matter of local market conditions. Don’t be swayed by national statistics. Research and understand your market and your prospective customers. Learn their thoughts, perceptions, motivations and preferences.

If you are building an entire community, consider hiring expert consulting help — a market research firm that has specific experience studying active adult opportunities. If you are building spot lots around town, you will have to do more of your own leg work.

First, define and understand your market area. Study the demographics, and understand potential demand. Answer the who, what, where and why. Next, if you haven’t already, join the 50+ Housing Council, either through an at-large membership or at the local level. Network. Talk to others currently building active adult communities and homes that appeal to this age group. Talk to residents and prospects in active adult communities and in your market area.

Learn new product and community trends by visiting active adult communities and homes in your area, your region and around the country.

Do your homework and build the best team of consultants who understand active adults.

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