55+ Market and Special Spaces
As we’ve talked about often, today’s 55+ home buyer is not the same 55+ buyer of yesteryear. This influential home buying segment is younger, healthier, and more demanding than ever. As Gen Xers (41-55 year olds) and the Younger Boomers (56-65 year olds) join this buying segment, it is a lucrative and expanding market. To tap into the 55+ market, we need to ensure we design to meet (and exceed) their wants, needs, and expectations. One effective way to do that? Strategic and thoughtfully designed special spaces.
Types of Special Spaces
When we speak of special spaces, we are describing specific rooms and areas that are purposefully designed to evoke emotions in a potential buyer. They include:
When designing special spaces for the 55+ market, it is important to remember, this buyer has worked hard and they’ve played harder, and they’re not willing to stop having fun anytime soon. This is an experienced buyer who knows what they want. Often, this buyer is buying their ultimate dream house, or at least not buying with someone else’s needs as their top priority anymore (i.e., schools, work commutes, etc.). And as such, ensuring that the design includes special spaces specifically for the buyer is key.
What is important to each buyer can vary dramatically, and as such, we make sure to create flexible designs tailored as closely as feasible to the buyer profiles. So, for instance, in one model, the “me” space might be a place to display one’s travels and life adventures. In another, it could be a place where they can really get into their hobbies. Or, maybe the buyer’s “me” space is a zen-inspiring space where they can curl up with a good book. The options are (almost) endless, that’s why it’s important to know your buyer.
For many 55+ buyers, especially those who’s children have left home, their pets become their “children.” When touring a model home, show the potential buyer that you’re the builder that never forgets “man’s best friend.” Think about the small things you can do as well as the big things that might help make this home a home for their pet too. Be realistic to what your buyer can afford.
A dog wash conveniently located by the owner’s entry and/or a designated place to hang leashes, store food, and feed the pet can go a long way in evoking some powerful “must buy” emotions.
While many 55+ buyers may still have teenagers at home, or experiencing some “boomerang” children (adult children who return to the nest for one reason or another), many do not. Then there are those who have grandchildren. Yes, these are the darlings, never to be overlooked by many 55+ buyers. As interior merchandisers we want to create a special room or area in a model that shows you understand how important they are to this purchase. It can be a “grandkids” bedroom complete with stuffed animals and whimsical design. Or, a designated craft room for some shared intergenerational arts and crafts activities.
The 55+ housing market continues to expand in both the numbers of buyers, and their wants and needs. Creating a model that showcases your ability to meet their needs through special spaces can make all the difference. To learn how we help you tap into the very lucrative 55+ housing market by designing special specials, contact us today.