You are viewing our site as an Agent, Switch Your View:

Agent | Broker     Reset Filters to Default     Back to List

Ride the 'Silver Tsunami' of Baby Boomers

March 25 2021

pp silver tsunami 1COVID-19 has changed much of what used to be considered "normal life." The future is at the top of many minds. Even when the world recovers from this pandemic and gets back to normal (or something close to it), the lessons we've learned will be forever ingrained in our consciousness.

Home, family, taking care of our health -- have all become even more important.

While the real estate market appears to be very much like it was before the pandemic's outbreak, with low interest rates luring buyers into the market and home values holding steady, attitudes of real estate consumers have changed.

We are told to expect an exodus from the cities to the 'burbs and perhaps even rural areas. The downsizing craze is over, we're told, and homebuyers want more square footage. Outdoor spaces and specialty rooms (office, gym, etc.) are on the lists of those buyers who can demand them.

Most of all, many Americans who were isolated by distance from family during the lockdown, crave closeness.

Especially older Americans and most especially those who live alone.

While one of the primary reasons baby boomers sell their homes is so that they can move closer to their adult children or friends (23.5% according to the NAR), we think the social distancing we've endured will see many, many more choosing this option.

Boomers in the real estate market

pp silver tsunami 2Older homeowners naturally have more equity in their homes, according to NAR's 2020 Generational Trends report. The average equity earned of sellers age 22 to 54 is nearly $45,000. Baby boomer sellers, on the other hand, have, on average, $74,300 in equity.

The homes they will sell have at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms (many, however, boast three bathrooms). While on the market, boomer homes experienced far fewer price reductions than the homes of younger sellers.

More than one-fourth of younger boomers have lived in their homes for 21 years or longer, while 35% of older boomers can say the same.

Younger boomers who purchased another home after selling their current home chose a slightly smaller home, while older boomers, on average, chose slightly larger homes.

Finally, baby boomers make up nearly half (46%) of the seller's market.

How to reach this group of home sellers

Boomers love YouTube. But before you race out to create real estate videos for this demographic, you need to understand that they probably won't watch them.

Their use of YouTube is as a sort of TV-on-demand platform. According to data from Think with Google, the most-watched categories by boomers include "… entertainment, music, and news."

The best way to reach this cohort and engage with them is on Facebook. Pursuing organic reach, however, may be futile, according to BigCommerce.com.

pp silver tsunami 3"With organic Facebook reach hovering somewhere between two and four percent, many brands struggle to gain impressions and engagement on the platform," according to the site's Ethan Giffen.

The solution, he says, is Facebook ads. Yes, they cost money. But it's one very effective way to reach the group that has a higher net worth, is most likely to want to move and sells more homes than any other.

OK, so maybe Facebook ads are a bit pricey for your budget right now. Consider direct mail as a budget-friendly, highly effective alternative.

This is a generation who grew up with mail as a major form of communication to friends and family. They still enjoy receiving mail and are more likely to read what they receive than the younger generations.

But you need the right message

To send the right message requires that you know your audience. Earlier we gave you a bit of insight into their real estate habits. But to effectively market to the group requires digging deeper. Baby boomers, by and large are:

  • Active
  • More internet savvy than they're given credit for
  • Independent
  • Not "old"

In fact, dump the word "senior" when referring to this group. Use "baby boomer" or "older American" if you must. While not all are offended by the term "senior citizen," many are.

Overall, they value useful information. This might include local market activity, a CMA, news on mortgage rates and helpful home maintenance tips.

Get to know baby boomers' interests by visiting aarp.org, nextavenue.org, and everythingzoomer.com.

To view the original article, visit the ProspectsPLUS! blog.