The term “senior citizen” means different things to different people.
And the fact is, many who technically fall into that category do not describe themselves that way at all!
NAR has courses for dealing with folks who are “over 50.” But to think everyone who has attained the half century mark is alike is simply stupid.
While there are 65 year-olds who are in poor health, unable to do things for themselves, etc. many more are just getting ready to go have a good time. They want to sell out, buy a motor home and hit the road. Or they want to buy a place in the country where they can have a horse, a cow, or a garden.
Others want to ditch the house with all the upkeep, move into a condo, and spend their time traveling or pursuing hobbies – like dancing or kick boxing.
Or, they’re going to work every day and have no intention of stopping soon.
Even when your clients are in their 80’s or 90’s it’s best not to assume that they want to go sit somewhere and have people take care of them.
My 88 year old neighbor tends his cattle, mows his lawn, and rides his 4-wheeler down the road each evening to discuss politics and have a whiskey with a neighbor.
Our favorite roofing contractor is well into his 80’s – and still climbing a ladder to crawl around on roofs with a hammer or a screw gun. He takes his small dog up with him – which is quite a site to see.
That’s why, when I wrote my series of prospecting letters for senior relocation, instead of assuming the reasons they might want to sell, I mentioned the possibilities, then focused on how you can help them deal with the reasons why they might be reluctant to sell.
What are those reasons? One is dreading the idea of moving or disposing of a lifetime’s worth of accumulated “stuff.” Another is examining the financial consequences of a sale.
My prospecting letters offer to put them in touch with people who can help with those tasks. And I firmly believe that if you are going to serve senior clients, you need to have some of those experts on your resources list.
You might also want to have a list of quality assisted living facilities – but don’t offer it unless you’re asked.
Senior citizens are no different from any other age group – each individual person has their own individual reason for wanting to buy or sell. If you respect that and don’t make assumptions, you’ll do well.