Selling houses to Baby Boomers as easy as X, Y, Z or is it? – Part 1

Posted on 11/30/2009. Filed under: Baby Boomers | Tags: , , , , , , |

We Are All the Same but Different!

Finding your niche should be as easy as A-B-C, or more importantly, X-Y-Z or maybe Baby Boomer!?!?  This doesn’t make sense to anyone unless you become aware of the big breaks in selling to different generations.  Almost everyone who doesn’t live in a cave has heard about Baby Boomers (born from 1945 through 1964).  But unless you are part of Gen X, Gen Y or now Gen Z, you probably have not thought about marketing to these groups.  Just like Toys R’ Us aims advertising at kids, Best Buy aims large screen TV to men wanting that great football game experience and Bottega Venata knows women understand the importance of luxury designer handbags, Realtors should understand how to market to generations.

The largest group is the well-known Baby Boomers.  A group getting ready for retirement.  Boomers understand about saving for their dream retirement.  Many are looking to Florida for a fixer upper.  They are economical shoppers that look for deals and are aware of the economic changes that has produced value in the housing market.  Boomers are looking to downsize from the large homes where they raised their family. A simpler, fun lifestyle is what they want for retirement.  Why fixer-uppers?  One, they have time to fix it for a vacation home since they still have a few years before retiring.  Secondly, since many were born or have gone through tough economic times, they are do-it-yourselfers.

Generation X sounds ominous but these late Boomers were born into a very volatile time in our history (born from 1965 through 1977). This is by far the smallest generation which makes its members feel ignored by society.  X’ers were the first to experience broken families, AIDs, and recession.  They were not into re-cycling and they won’t sell out to “Corporate America”.  They are individualistic.  And of importance to us as we type away, they were the first bloggers!

Generation Y  are Baby Boomer “Babies”, or for those that don’t get that, the children of the Boomers (born from 1978 through 1996).   This generation was spoiled by parents and catered to by “Corporate America”.  The group is very optimistic and team oriented.  If you follow this anyone in this group in social medias, you know they are individualistic but want to be just like their friends.  They are very specific in their wants and extremely specific of when and how they want it.  Only products with multiple functions and added value interest this happy group.  Why?  This is the first real “computer” generation.

Generation Z is the up and coming generation (born from 1996 through the present).  This is the “Realist” generation having grown up with terrorism, global warming, animal extinction and dwindling resources.  More than half of pre-teens or “tweeners” consider the environment the most important issue they need to face and cure.  Through their Moms’ efforts, this group has become more than smart and talented.  They are gifted,  multi-talented and creative.  They connect through event marketing and “word of mouse”.  They believe in one-to-one connections using viral marketing, data transfers, digital media and online social media.

Knowing how to market to these diverse groups can make or break your business.  Part 2 of this blog will discuss the ways to reach these very different groups.  To make your business successful, you need to pick your generational niche as well as your product niche to make things happen.

Mike Cathell, ePro “Baby Boomer” Realtor at Florida Future Realty, Inc                Cell:  (239) 770-6250      Email:

Check out info for Baby Boomers at http://FLCoastRealtor/

Florida Future Realty, Inc

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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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Was Paul McCartney Predicting the Future of Baby Boomers?

Posted on 08/18/2009. Filed under: Baby Boomers | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The other night I was listening to an “Oldies” station while doing more research on the group of which I am an integral part…Baby Boomers.  The song, “When I’m 64” by Sir Paul McCartney, was written and recorded by a very famous Baby Boomer who turned 64 a few years ago.  Did Sir McCartney know where our future was going when this song was recorded in 1966 on the Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album?

Lyrics (found at pepper

“I could be handy
mending a fuse,
when your lights are gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside.
Sunday mornings go for a ride.

Doing the garden,
digging the weeds,
who could ask for more?”

Baby Boomers, a group I am part of, are hands-on people.  Many have had many ups and downs in their career and home life.  They are not afraid of doing repair and remodeling work to their homes.  Several of the Baby Boomer clients I am working with now are looking for “fixer-uppers” and plan on doing a lot of the work themselves.  They also are planning on a more simple life with their weekend trips or tending to their yards and gardens.  Yard space is on the top of their lists for a home feature.  We also spend time discussing where shopping and local attractions are located in relation to their search.

Another prediction of the future of Boomers are the lines:

“Every summer we can rent a cottage in the isle of Wight
if it’s not too dear.
we shall scrimp and save”

Many of these same Boomers are looking now to take advantage of the prices in SW Florida and using the house as a second or vacation home until retirement.  The Boomer generation was trained by their parents to save for their future.  For many, that future was a second home to relax and unwind.  Eventually, becoming their retirement residence.

Maybe I’m pushing the limits on the meaning of this lyrical song by one of my favorite performers!  Maybe not.  I want to believe Sir Paul, one of the most famous Baby Boomers, knew where we were heading.  If you think this is a stretch, wait till you read how I feel this song was foretelling the future of Baby Boomers and Facebook!

Mike Cathell

Florida Future Realty, Inc              Cell: (239) 770-6250      Email:

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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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