Targeting an untapped demographic

Home Column Targeting an untapped demographic

agingBy Gregg Hicks—Preventive care and planning are a hot topic right now. The 65-and-older population grew by an estimated 34.2% in the last decade, increasing the demand for home renovations focused on safe living and aging in place.

Important modifications are needed in the home when a retiree decides they want to “age in place” instead of moving to an assisted-living facility. Remodeling contractors, specialty retailers and installers can assist in creating a safe space for this cohort. But the key is having the right marketing strategy to connect with these customers in their golden years.

The needs of a homeowner who is aging in place are quite different compared to typical home renovations. Even if these seniors are still mobile and healthy, they need to consider the functional features that will provide support in the future. People want to stay in their homes as long as possible. But as mobility declines, assistive features are the only way they can maintain safety without outside support. As a renovation professional, you can provide the solutions that help the aging population maintain independence for years to come.

A thoughtful, tailored approach is required when selling to seniors. Whether you are talking with the elderly person directly or working with their caregivers, remember that this is a delicate conversation; this decision is emotional for everyone involved. The family is looking for a contractor who will dedicate time and attention through one-on-one planning. Building a rapport in the beginning will create a positive relationship through the renovation process.

Consider these essential strategies to accommodate the unique needs of this demographic:

• Work examples. Have a portfolio section that provides examples of your work. These pictures can include features such as safety flooring, walk-in tubs, handrails and ramps.

• Build credibility. Since an aging-in-place renovation is an emotional decision, you’ll need to be proactive in building a stable relationship with each client. Your messaging can communicate trust and confidence in the services you are providing. It’s a good idea to share reviews to show the satisfaction of your other customers.

• Supportive resources.

Printed pages, website information and other reference sheets can be helpful when a homeowner is making decisions about the renovations. Many renovation contractors find that they are answering the same questions for all their clients. Consolidate the most critical information into these resources to provide quality support for every person you meet.

• Virtual appointments.

Since the aging population is at high risk of complications from COVID-19, virtual appointments can help ease their concerns about bringing the virus into their homes. Offer a digital option for the initial conversations, giving you a safe platform to build trust.

Since most aging-in-place renovations happen inside the home, winter is an ideal time of the year to market these services. If it’s too cold outside to provide support for external renovations, then you can shift your focus to reach out to retirees.

With a clear goal and the right renovation features, it’s 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 range of home improvement projects. He has 20 years of experience across web analytics, SEO, social, SE and affiliate marketing strategies.

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Oct. 11/18, 2021

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