Baby Boomers still represent a big portion of the population, consisting of around 76.4 million people. As this generation grows older and their children leave their home, Boomers are often left with a house to tend to on their own. As the nest begins to feel empty, many Boomers are making the transition to more modest living accommodations--including apartments.
Marketing apartments to these Empty Nesters becomes pretty interesting; after all, this is a demographic that often already has equity in real estate, has already owned a home and is looking for less space--but often, isn’t in a hurry. The Empty Nest market in particular appeals to a prospective resident who wants to live in a smaller location, may not want to reinvest in a house or own a property, and who wants a change in lifestyle. Often, these people are attracted to the idea of a living space that’s close to public transit, entertainment, and dining. In other words, they want to feel like they’re on vacation all of the time. Below, we look at a couple of different strategies to employ when marketing to the elusive Empty Nest market.
Resort-Living For Residents
“Boomers have been weighed down with mortgages, landscaping, and general maintenance chores and expenses...many now want a luxury apartment,” according to Julie Chase, head of Chase Communications, who spoke to Buildium last year. As this segment of the population downsizes, residents want to feel a bit more pampered and less tied down. Make sure to market your apartment by highlighting the included amenities, as these strengthen the case for Empty Nesters looking to downsize.
“They want services, from requesting replacement of a light bulb to supporting the care of their pets...a place to drop off or pick up dry cleaning...an on-site concierge,” said Chase. “The preference is not to ‘double-pay’ for health club access, a pool, or even some pet services.” Chase goes on to clarify that this segment of Empty Nesters differs from the parents of Boomers who retreated to Florida or the Southwest for a vacation home. Instead, a “fully loaded” property helps Empty Nesters to feel like they’re living the vacation lifestyle 365 days a year.
Tap into this by finding the getaways and resort-style perks in your community. What amenities feel as much like a hotel as an apartment home, and how can this be positioned as the perfect place to escape, to get away, or to unwind? Using language that connotes pleasant living and the verbiage of vacation can help prospective residents feel like your community is just what they need.
The Stars Align
While positioning the apartment as a choice getaway or a vacation destination may be effective for some, other Empty Nesters may have highly specific ideas of what will motivate them to move. Despite commanding a fair share of the market space, Empty Nesters are notoriously specific.
“The Empty Nester market is a significant portion (40%+ in some markets), but attracting empty nester buyers requires careful alignment of location, product, and amenities at a compelling price point,” according to RCL Co.
Here, the idea is to extract the unique selling points and “fully loaded” aspects of your apartment community into every aspect of your marketing. The Empty Nesters in question are notoriously specific about what they want, because they have the time to make the decision. There is little urgency to move, especially if a mortgage is paid off, unless they feel the stars are aligning in each customer’s unique way.
To tap into the unique experience of a resident, leverage your apartment social media marketing. Share some of the stories of your residents so that people can let others’ emotion and satisfaction act as the key selling point. This will help humanize the community to the prospective renter, and ensure that they have the possibility to envision themselves within the community and learn more about the experience.
Entertainment options are again a critical selling point for many of Empty Nesters searching for new apartments. As stated earlier, many Boomers in this particular stage of life want to feel taken care of and will gravitate toward fully loaded properties that have something to offer.
According to Chase, this segment wants “a social component in-house, whether it’s an organized wine tasting, simple gathering about books or bridge, or an organized trip to local galleries, museums, and theater run by staff.” Chase points out that after moving, many Boomers distance themselves from their social circles; older neighbors may not be able to visit and new relationships with new neighbors and new faces will begin to develop. As a result, market your entertainment and the social functions that might appeal to Empty Nesters, and ensure that this is clearly represented in the way the building is marketed.
Ensuring you meet the needs of an inquiring Empty Nester can be a tough ask; however, it’s a good test to revisit your marketing and messaging to ensure that the location’s finest points come across clearly--on your website, and social profiles as much as the building itself. Be sure to highlight how living at your property can feel like a vacation, showcase all of your amenities, and exhibit your on-site entertainment!
For more about how to make the most out of your marketing, get in touch with us today.
AVP | Business Development