Broker Check
Marketing to Older Homebuyers

Marketing to Older Homebuyers

April 26, 2024

As children leave the nest and retirement approaches, many Americans over the age of 50 start thinking about trading in the big house in the suburbs for a smaller place in a community that offers a more adult-oriented lifestyle. Baby Boomers appear to be increasingly open to selling or renting their current home so they can transition to a home better suited to their needs.

Since many retired buyers are on a fixed income, having low and predictable monthly operating costs is often a priority. Baby Boomers may be interested in energy-efficient products and systems that will lower their monthly utility bills. Many older buyers also look for homes with low-maintenance finishes and landscaping that minimize the amount of yard and housework required. And even when downsizing, buyers may still want ample storage, and younger Boomers, in particular, often look for homes with offices that will allow them to continue working from home.

But not all Boomers are on tight budgets, especially those in their fifties who are still working and are at the height of their earning power. More affluent Boomers may still have considerable equity in their current homes, as well as substantial savings and excellent credit, making them more likely than younger buyers to opt for high-end custom-built homes with luxury amenities. Older buyers with bigger budgets may, for example, be interested in homes with separate guest houses or quarters over garages to accommodate visiting family members, dual master suites with separate bathrooms, or dedicated fitness rooms. Since they anticipate having leisure time for entertaining guests, wealthier Baby Boomers frequently opt for homes with well-equipped and spacious kitchens, large dining areas, and outdoor living spaces with cooking facilities, gazebos, and pools.

A segment of older buyers is open to moving to active adult communities exclusively for residents over the age of 55. The goal of these communities is to provide retirees with a safe, quiet neighborhood, along with a wide selection of recreational activities. These planned communities are especially attractive to more affluent Baby Boomers interested in maintaining an active social life in retirement.

Some older buyers may, however, have mobility problems, or want to plan ahead in case they become less mobile in the future. Thus, a segment of the Baby Boomer market will favor homes built on either a single story or multiple stories with a master bedroom on the first floor, as well as homes with wide doorways and wheelchair-accessible bathrooms.

In marketing to an older demographic, builders should choose their words and images carefully. Even if retirees are the target audience, it is best to avoid using “ageist” language and images that could be perceived as patronizing. Market research shows that Boomers do not want to be referred to directly as “the elderly” or even “seniors.” When featuring pictures or stories involving older people in brochures and websites, marketers should avoid making direct references to age unless the context demands it. Instead, the language and the images should reflect the active but relaxed lifestyles most Baby Boomers expect to enjoy in retirement.


Important Disclosures

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This article was prepared by Liberty Publishing, Inc.

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