Moving to a new home is typically an exciting experience — but for active adult buyers, choosing to right-size can be one of the most emotional decisions they’ve ever had to make. These buyers have most likely spent the entirety of their adult lives filling a few homes (or even just one) with memories and experiences, and are now deciding whether to leave everything behind for something brand new.
It’s safe to say that “moving on” is not as simple as it is for younger buyers. That’s why you have a unique opportunity with this demographic. You don’t just want to communicate your high-quality, superior homes; you want to communicate the positive impact that one will have on their life. The key to this kind of communication is empathy. After all, you aren’t just a talented builder. You’re a trustworthy team of empathetic people who care.
Use Imagery That Highlights Lifestyle:
This demographic typically ranges from the 50 to 70 age bracket (so be sure that you use the correct age range in photography!), which means that high-quality imagery that showcases a relaxing, happy lifestyle goes a long way in your marketing, whether in an email or on a landing page. Your instinct might tell you to show visuals and graphics that are more “serious” and “sophisticated” because they are older buyers, but we recommend leaning into their youthful spirit. Show them imagery that feels vibrant, youthful, and exciting.
We created a campaign that focused on the message: “the best things in life are (maintenance) free.” Each piece of the campaign utilized bright, happy imagery (i.e. a couple riding bikes, playing with their grandchild, dancing) that speaks to the endless fun and freedom of the active adult lifestyle.
Embrace Informative Verbiage:
It goes without saying that active adult buyers want to be well-informed and educated about the entire process. The more informative you are, the more confident they’ll feel about their decision. From the quality of construction to fun and easy rightsizing tips, provide sufficient information via blogs, web copy, emails, social media, etc. that’s straightforward and easy to understand.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to highlight pain points; the reasons that active adults want to move. For instance, one of our campaigns utilized a play on words in each piece — “where the grass is greener & always mowed,” “no need to shutter at the thought of home repairs, “quit stairing” — to creatively emphasize the ways that a maintenance-free home positively impacts a person’s life and takes away the stress of a current living situation. A home or yard that’s too big, or a home that doesn’t cater to aging, are just a few of the reasons that active adults are motivated to move. Make sure that you address these pain points throughout the verbiage in your marketing.
Highlight the Area:
Many buyers may be moving to a new area to be closer to family, so it’s a good idea to showcase what makes that area so enjoyable (and convenient) to live in. Points of interest maps give buyers a clear-cut idea of what they’ll be surrounded by — and what they have to look forward to. Along with your community amenities, make sure to highlight events around town, excursions, and activities, as well as nearby hospitals and medical facilities that provide peace of mind, so buyers will feel a sense of community before they even get there.
Our “Feel Free” campaign effectively captured the unique lifestyle that this builder’s community offers — and most importantly, the beauty of feeling free at this point in life. The imagery and messaging reflects the endless opportunities of the neighborhood and beyond. We also enhanced the sales office to include a POI map and informative pieces about the area.
Illuminate the Benefits of Rightsizing:
This is a tricky concept to embrace, especially considering that the word “downsizing” often has negative connotations. Always use “rightsizing” in your marketing, because at the end of the day, finding a home that’s the right fit is the key to a happier, healthier life. Prove that rightsizing is not about giving things up — it’s about keeping the things you love while embracing the fun and freedom of this exciting phase of life. And not just that, but having an abundance of storage for your unique needs.
For one of our builders, we wrote a 3-part blog series on rightsizing that was equal parts informative and engaging. This blog series serves as a reliable, educational resource for potential buyers while illuminating the value of a rightsized lifestyle. We’ve also created many emails that focus on rightsizing, with upbeat messaging (“Single-level living, luxury amenities, friendly neighbors, and a world of possibilities are all yours every day”) and bright imagery that evoke confidence and positivity.
Showcase Healthy Living Features:
Health, comfort, and well-being are priorities for any buyer, but especially for this demographic. Call attention to the ways you provide peace of mind, from universal design features in your homes to community amenities like a pool and fitness center. It’s especially important to show buyers that your communities aren’t for “old people,” they’re for people who love to be active, relax, and enjoy fun amenities and events with friendly neighbors who are just like them.
Discuss Connection and Socialization:
At this stage of life, connection and socialization are major selling points for active adult buyers. They want to surround themselves with like-minded people who enjoy the things that they do, so make sure to highlight the ways that your communities foster connection through community events, clubs, and amenities. When discussing this topic, it’s also a smart idea to speak with urgency — why now is the best time to buy, and begin experiencing your most enjoyable lifestyle yet.
Keep in mind that as fun and exciting as an active adult community may sound, the decision to move to one still comes with varied emotions. Speak empathetically in your marketing, and make the rewards as clear as possible. Because there’s typically a longer buying cycle with active adults, continue to stay in touch with your buyers and make sure that you stand out when they’re ready to make their move.
Be a Good Listener:
Unlike many younger buyers, this demographic doesn’t mind an extra helping hand. In fact, they prefer this kind of attention and care. Provide information on how to pack up their current belongings, prepare for move-in day, and unpack once they arrive at their new home. Create blogs and emails about fun ways to decorate their new home and utilize functional space and storage. Above all else, listen to your buyers’ concerns, and address them with the time and attention as you would for a member of your own family.
When it comes to active adult buyers, the superior quality of your homes isn’t enough. You have to prove that you’re a builder that they can trust and turn to when they need a helping hand (or a shoulder to lean on). Most importantly, these buyers want to feel as if they’re being spoken to, not marketed to. When you’re not having a one-on-one conversation with a buyer, make sure that every piece of marketing material has the exact same feel. If you prove that you care about your buyers, you’ll prove that your homes and communities do too.
Guiding an active adult buyer to the community they’ll love to call home is something truly special. You have the ability to make this (oftentimes) difficult experience as easy and enjoyable as everything to come. With these recommendations in mind, you’ll not only effectively communicate with active adult buyers, but foster a trusting relationship that leads to new opportunities and endless happiness.