Selling houses to Baby Boomers as easy as X, Y, Z or is it? – Part 2

Posted on 01/16/2010. Filed under: Baby Boomers | Tags: , , , , , , |

Lifestyle Matters

Lifestyle Matters

Just knowing the differences between each generation should help you market to these very unique groups.  But I am going to add some “secrets” you can’t afford to ignore.  Most of the first time buyers (about 75%) are in Gen X or Gen Y but these groups are distinct.  Gen Xer”s are putting off marriage and families while gen Yer’s have 2.3 children.  What do yo do with that .3 child at the playground?  Gen Y couples might be more interested in single family homes.  Condos and townhomes may be the better answer for Gen X.

Reaching this group requires new marketing techniques.  Neither group likes newspapers.  The only magazines they enjoy show fun and active lifestyles.  Your ads need to show pictures of young singles and families enjoying the lifestyle specific to your area.  For Baby Boomers, concentrate on pictures of couples buying vacation homes or downsizing their home.

Social network sites are heavily populated by these generations.  The key word here is “Social”.  Treat Facebook, Twitter and the rest like any other social get together.   Engage in conversations with other people with like interests. Don’t spend time trying to sell a product or your accomplishments.  Instead be the likeable, social person who happens to be the local expert on real estate.  Gen X and Gen Y in particular, like to get to know the “real” person with whom they are going to do business.

Location, location, location – still true.  Today’s buyers want quality lifestyle in a quality neighborhood.  What constitutes a quality neighborhood?  Convenience!  Convenience to work, family and friends.  Quality of the schools was very high in importance to young families.  Family and friend time is considered a high priority. Lastly, what type of lifestyle is offered to the new homeowners?  All of these conversations should take place before showing your buyer a new home.

Another important factor of this group is how long they keep their houses.  As the younger homeowners change employment or family style, they need to move.  The average time for this is about 4 to 5 years.  Singles get married and want a family which means moving from a condo to a single family home.  Young  families are growing and need larger homes.   At the same time Baby Boomers are looking for smaller homes for vacations or retirement.  Both groups giving you a steady stream of referrals and future business if their experience is considered beneficial to them.

Mike Cathell,  ePro Realtor at Florida Future Realty, Inc.          Finding Dream Homes in SW Florida – Ft. Myers, Estero, Cape Coral & Lehigh Acres             Cell:  (239)  770-6250       Office:  (239) 542-8521      Fax:  (239)  542-8522                      Email:

Real Estate blog:                                                                                                                                  Web:

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Why Use A Baby Boomer Realtor?

Posted on 09/23/2009. Filed under: Baby Boomers | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Baby Boomers, it’s time we start thinking about our upcoming retirement.  SW Florida has long been a vacation spot for “Boomers” but now is the time to take advantage of prices in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral.  Prices have made many homes extremely affordable.  The median price in SW Florida has dropped to $85,ooo for a basic home which is a significant drop from the $280,000 from a few years ago.  Now is the time for Boomers to use these prices (as well as the low mortgage interest rates) to get the home they want in Florida.

Great place to be!

Great place to be!

Being a “Boomer” myself, I understand downsizing, empty nests and low maintenance features.  I will use this blog to inform other Boomers about changes in the Florida market as well as keep current lists of specially priced houses for my readers.  I will keep an eye on investment trends also if your intention is to find rental properties for retirement income.  Another section of the blog, will include useful phone numbers plus places to shop, golf, boat or just enjoy a special event on our gorgeous beaches.

I will also be adding some of my favorite Baby Boomer blogs and web sites.  These sites will include lots of information plus a little humor tossed in if you need a lift.  Use the subscription bars to add me to your email so you don’t miss any of the information.  If there is anything you want to know more about, leave a comment here or feel free to email me.  All of my info is below!

I look forward to helping you get relocated to our sunny shores, give me a yell!

Mike Cathell,  ePro Realtor at Florida Future Realty, Inc                    Email:

Cell:   239-770-6250                Real Estate Blog:

Follow me on Facebook:    or Twitter:   FLCoastRealtor

Florida Future Realty Info - Click here

Florida Future Realty Info - Click here

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Did they mean “hassle” rather than “haggle” for SW FL houses?

Posted on 09/10/2009. Filed under: Getting Ready to Buy?, SW Florida Investments | Tags: , , , , , , |

pulling-out-hairI also thought this was important enough to post on my ActiveRain blog also!

In a recently released article, used research supplied from saying the best place to “haggle for home prices” was Florida.  While this is true in a few markets (they named four areas), us in SW Florida aren’t seeing it this way.  The areas where this is working have an abundance of luxury homes that are still over-priced, even in this market.

I have spent countless hours educating customers that this is definitely a buyers’ market, but an “intelligent” buyer’s market.  Why would a buyer think they are the only ones looking for a great deal.  If their agent is really watching the market for them, they are aware of a new listing that is a good deal.  But are they naive enough to believe they are the only ones spotting that house today?  Some don’t even believe it when we are sitting in the van, in line, waiting for our turn to look at the house.

In my experience, these deals only last a few days and due to current practices by some banks and listing agents, the agent will take offers for several days to find the “highest and best price” for this listing.  If I got paid every time I had a listing agent tell me there were multiple offers, I could have retired this year a wealthy man.

In the Fort Myers/Cape Coral market, our customers need to be aggressive with offers.  “Low balling” to start a conversation is a waste of time here.  Many of the listings in the botton half of the listing prices are selling for listing price or even higher than listing price.  Giving a low offer just frustrates the customer and the agents.  Even if it is against our advice, customers still hear about all the “great deals” the media throws out there.  Yes, as the media reported, we did have a three bedroom, 2 bathroom house sell for $25,000.  What they forgot to tell you,  it was a marijuana grow house that was completely gutted inside and is in a very unsafe neighborhood.  More importantly, it was the ONLY one and it’s GONE!  All of the houses in SW Florida are not priced this way.

Buyers need to be realistic.  Haggling gets you no where in the mid to low price range houses.  Come in strong, with financing in place or cash in hand.  You are not the only “smart” investor to be working this market!  Remember, the media makes money selling news, not selling houses.

Mike Cathell         Florida Future Realty, Inc          Email:

Cell:  (239) 770-6250                                                    Web site:

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Who’s Your Buyer? Florida Properties Kicking Butt!

Posted on 06/16/2009. Filed under: Baby Boomers | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Unless you live in a cave, every national newspaper, TV News station and national magazines are talking about the depression in Florida.  I want them to keep talking like that because properties are selling like crazy here.  In any market, knowing your customer and the dynamics of your market is crucial to your success.

There are several categories of buyers looking at property in SW Florida right now.  I will explore others in future blogs but today, I want to talk about Baby Boomers.  Again, in case your present home is a cave, the term Baby Boomers refers to the approximatemy 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 (according to US Census Bureau).  This large group is probably the last generation to believe Florida is where you go when you retire.

Baby Boomers are taking advantage of the recent foreclosure crisis by looking strongly at the properties with deflated prices in SW Florida.  Homes that were selling for $250,000 during the Real Estate Boom are now available for $110,000.  Properties once appraised for over $1 million are now on the market for $450,000.  The average price of 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom homes in parts of SW Florida is under $90,000.

Baby Boomers are looking forward to simplifying their retirement lives.  They are down-sizing from large homes in the Northeast and Central US to smaller, low maintenance homes in sunny climates.  It doesn’t get any more relaxed or simple than a concrete block/stucco house with tile floors 15 minutes from the beach, golf courses and shopping malls.  Condos are even simpler because you usually don’t take care of your landscaping, the management company does!

Even Baby Boomers not retiring for another few years are taking advantage of the values in the SW Florida market.  Houses are being purchased to use as yearly rentals, seasonal rentals or even better, a vacation home for the Baby Boomers and their families.

I also address Baby Boomers in my Active Rain Blog:

Mike Cathell, ePro (and Baby Boomer) Realtor @ Florida Future Realty, Inc

Cell:  (239) 770-6250         email:

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