Targeting an untapped demographic
By Gregg Hicks—Preventive care and planning are a hot topic right now. The population aged 65 and over has grown by an estimated 34.2% over the past decade, increasing the demand for home renovations aimed at safe living and aging.
Major home adjustments are needed when a retiree decides he wants to get “in place” rather than move into an assisted living facility. Renovation contractors, specialty stores and installers can help create a safe space for this cohort. But the key is having the right marketing strategy to engage with these customers in their golden years.
The needs of a homeowner aging in place are very different compared to typical home renovations. Even if these seniors are still mobile and healthy, they need to think about the functional features that will provide support in the future. People want to live at home as long as possible. But as mobility declines, assistive functions are the only way they can maintain safety without outside support. As a renovation professional, you provide solutions that help the aging population to remain independent for years to come.
Selling to seniors requires a thoughtful, tailor-made approach. Whether talking directly to the elder or working with his or her caregivers, remember that this is a delicate conversation; this decision is emotional for everyone involved. The family is looking for a contractor who will devote time and attention through one-on-one scheduling. By building a good relationship in the beginning, a positive relationship is created during the renovation process.
Consider these essential strategies to meet the unique needs of this demographic:
• Work examples. Provide a portfolio section with samples of your work. These photos may include features such as safety floors, walk-in tubs, railings, and ramps.
• Build credibility. Since an on-site renovation is an emotional decision, you must be proactive in building a stable relationship with each customer. Your messages can convey confidence in the services you provide. It’s a good idea to share reviews to show your other customers’ satisfaction.
• Supportive resources.
Printed pages, website information, and other reference sheets can be helpful when a homeowner is making renovation decisions. Many renovation contractors find that they answer the same questions for all their customers. Consolidate the most critical information in these resources to provide quality support to every person you meet.
• Virtual appointments.
As the aging population is at high risk of complications from COVID-19, virtual appointments can allay their concerns about introducing the virus into their homes. Provide a digital option for the first conversations so you have a secure platform to build trust.
Since most on-site renovations take place indoors, winter is an ideal time of year to market these services. If it’s too cold outside to support outside renovations, you can shift your focus to retirees.
With a clear purpose and the right renovation features, it is possible to make any home a safe, comfortable place for people of all ages.
Gregg Hicks is vice president of Modernize, a company that helps homeowners navigate a wide variety of home improvement projects. He has 20 years of experience in web analytics, SEO, social, SE and affiliate marketing strategies.
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