Having an understanding of what baby boomers are now looking for can help you maximise sales, writes sales director Alison Abel.
The retirement living sector is a fast-moving one, so if you want to sell effectively you need to be paying close attention to changes in what your demographic wants, expects and how they behave. Baby boomers today are a different breed than those before them – they’re more educated and far more discerning. Baby boomers – particularly the younger cohort – will not compromise, so if you’re not offering what they want, they’ll go somewhere else.
Through listening to our customers, we’ve noticed four key trends emerging in this demographic. By adapting to these trends quickly, we’ve been able to secure great results for retirement operators.
Trend 1: They want great options for singles.
Traditionally we’ve found off-the-plan projects are made up of around 80% couples and 20% singles, but at one of our villages in the ACT, a surprising trend has emerged – almost 50% of units have been sold to singles. Whether it be due to the death of a long-term partner or a later-in-life divorce, the priority for these singles is not to re-partner. What they do want, however, are the friendships and sense of community that a retirement village offers. Most importantly, they also want to free up some money through downsizing, to allow them to go travelling or invest in their lifestyle.
Trend 2: They want family to be the focus.
Family is at the heart of decisions made by baby boomers. When they downsize, whilst they are happy to compromise on bedrooms, they don’t want to compromise on living space. They still want maximum space to entertain family, as well as warm and inviting community spaces (such as outdoor barbecue areas) where they can host family events.
This family focus also influences their approach to financial decisions. They want downsizing to free up their finances so they can give money to their kids or go travelling with their children and grandchildren – an opportunity that might not have been available to their parents.
Trend 3: They want choice.
This generation prizes having the ability to personalise their path. They don’t want a cookie-cutter approach to retirement living – especially when it comes to the financial aspects. At one of our properties in the ACT, we’ve found that offering flexible financial options, such as the ability to dial up or dial down, has been a major drawcard for customers.
Whether or not they choose the dial up/dial down option isn’t necessarily important – simply having it there means customers feel like they’ve got choices to pay for this move however they see fit. Having that control is incredibly valuable to baby boomers.
Trend 4: They want to age in place.
Being a very educated group, baby boomers are approaching retirement-living decisions armed with information – especially about their future needs. They want a village with aged care on site, or which allows a continuation of care with the same operator within a 5km radius. Having the peace of mind that comes from knowing their future care needs will be met is very important to baby boomers.