An article on how to lease to Baby Boomers is a shift isn’t it, from the normal focus on Millennials. Now some of you are thinking, “It’s about time we stopped focusing on those Millennials!!” While others of you are thinking, “Why would we focus on Baby Boomers?? They already own their homes!”
The truth is while Millennials will continue to be a major force in the rental housing industry for years to come, Baby Boomers are still a crucial component of your success too. Did you know that over five million Baby Boomers (including current homeowners), aged 55 and over expect to rent again by 2020. (Source: FreddieMac)
If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Many Baby Boomers have spent many, many years working hard, climbing the corporate ladder, raising children, while pursuing the “American Dream” of owning a home. And now many Baby Boomers want someone else to take care of things so they can enjoy the lives they’ve worked so hard to create.
So what can you do to attract Boomer renters?
I’m going to focus more on the “people” aspect here, since you may not be able to do something about the product or the price, depending on what you do at your company. But, you can control you, right?
So here is what you need to know. First, I want you to watch this classic Chrysler commercial with Ricardo Montalban….
Did you see how they compared a Chrysler to a Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce at the end? What about the reference to “Corinthian Leather?” (By the way, there is no such thing as “Corinthian Leather” it’s a made-up marketing term, but man it sounds luxurious doesn’t it, especially the way that Montalban says it!)
As a cohort Baby Boomers love the luxurious. The exclusive. The elegant. Just think of the TV shows of the 80’s, Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest, Knot’s Landing, even Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. This is all Baby Boomer heaven, right here!
What does this mean for you? Well if you’re in a luxury community play it up, my friends! Highlight the status, exclusivity, the prestige of your community.
Even if you’re not in a luxurious community, you can still provide excellence in the experience for your Baby Boomer customer. This might mean that you may need to be a little more formal, more traditionally professional, and you may need to be less “friend” and more someone who is serving, if that makes sense.
If you’re a fan of the Gilmore Girls, I want you to think about this question…would you sell to Emily and Richard Gilmore differently than you would to Lorelai or Rory? Yes!! Remember, you’re selling to Richard and Emily and that may give you the perspective on how to connect, communicate and engage with your Baby Boomer customers.
Why is this important?
If you’re a Millennial or a Gen X-er like me, our generations are somewhat more casual than Baby Boomers. I’m convinced “Casual Friday” was invented by a Gen X-er who wanted to wear his khakis from The Gap to work, instead of a stuffy suit. (I have no proof for this.) So, if your default tends to be more casual and less formal, that could get in the way of successfully helping your Baby Boomer customers who are used to being more formal.
Remember this word … EXCELLENCE. If there is a buzzword that should guide your interactions with Baby Boomer clients, it’s excellence.
Rommel (pronounced "Roh-mel") Anacan is one of the most dynamic, entertaining and educating speakers in the multifamily industry today. Rommel works with leading companies and organizations nationwide helping them achieve their maximum potential and performance with a powerful "Win With People" message and approach to organizational development. In 2017 he was invited to become a member of the famed Apartment All-Stars team.