Here are several things that will change the face of the American Boomer. How you react to these will impact your profitability. This is sort of a reverse Q&A, more like an A & Q.
Cruise lines are building permanent, for sale units, on ships.
The ultra-luxury are alive and well. Are you marketing to them, because they’re buying?
Boomers are embracing education, more than ever before.
Are you building near colleges or even adding space for education in your floor plans?
Trailer, mobile home and RV parks are gaining in popularity.
What is to prevent you from capitalizing on that? Have you considered building apartments or multi-family units such as quads near these locations, or even offering an RV parking space as an option for your current product line?
Boomers are living longer, and are embracing trans-generational housing.
Are you building it, because they are already coming?
Hotels are getting in to the elder care business?
Are you building a variation of the trans-generational house, to accommodate a nurse, next generation or caretaker?
Canadian giant, Four Season’s hotel, and others, continue to expand their luxury 7 figure apartments.
If you are a custom builder, are you prepared to compete with that?
Boomers are more active, and want to be near “action items”.
Are you building near ball parks, opera, the zoo, malls, etc., or using action and location in your marketing?
The number of people aging in place, or needing assisted living and medical care, will rise for over a decade.
Whether you are a Remodeler, custom builder or volume builder, are you capitalizing on that by building near there, marketing to that demographic, or even getting someone on staff familiar with the issues? At the very least, align yourself with a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) expert. CAPS is a designation offered by NAHB. You having a CAPS person on staff is a differentiator, for very little time and money.
Boomers can live outside the US more easily than ever.
Dell Webb / Toll and other giants warned some time ago about losing units to foreign soil. But many of those retirees still want a place, even if a small place, here stateside. This proves even giants need to know their market. Are you making the right plans, in time, on product type and location?
The use of Concierge and Personal Assistants is growing.
Does your active adult community have an assistant program built in? If not, that is a huge differentiator, and all you need to do is coordinate and put the program in place. In fact, the whole concept of Apartment for Life (major services are delivered) is being introduced. This greatly impacts product design. It can even be a seperate profit center, just like outsourcing interior designers and others.
Lofts, and urban revitalization are ever more attractive to Boomers
Are you letting go of an opportunity to redo a downtown structure at high profit margins? Boomers are among those who want art space, and your marketing to the artistic community could be well spent. Wouldn’t museum and art gallery clients be nice leads?
The bottom line is, your bottom line will be greatly impacted by the way Boomers are choosing to live. What you do, or don’t, take action on is part of the art of business; your business.
Erik Cofield, CGA has leveraged technology and provided business management consulting for all sizes and types of builders, developers and Remodelers since 2000, including volume, multi-family and custom, to help them improve their business. He is the National Accounts Manager with BuildTopia (www.buildtopia.com), a widely used international construction management software company. He is the Houston Sales and Marketing Council’s 2008 Associate of the Year. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the blog at www.buildtopia.com/blog.