Marketing the right way to a graying population
By: Amara Rose
There’s more gray every day: in America, someone turns 50 every eight seconds. But few 50-year-olds perceive themselves as “seniors” — though they are likely to be homeowners, and thus, ripe reverse mortgage leads.
Age is a state of mind. One fellow said to his daughter when she phoned to wish him a happy 75th birthday, “You know, honey, I look at the number and I can’t believe it. There’s a little boy in there!”
In fact, mature adults of every age are an active group, even if society has marginalized them with goofy ads and movie roles. The truth is, people 50+ own more homes than any other age group, have the greatest discretionary income, and buy almost half of all new cars sold.
They’re also into exercise and healthy eating; they research products and shop online, and yes, they do enjoy travel and lifelong learning. To most, “old” is always at least ten years older than they are now.
Reverse mortgage marketing should therefore always be an appeal to independence, never frailty or fear. No one becomes a senior overnight because they celebrate a birthday. That might work for coming-of-age, but after 21, we’re all simply adults. Some just have more life experience.
According to the AARP, reverse mortgage marketers must speak to at least two distinct audiences:
- The Gap Generation, 57 to 65, early Baby Boomers who are planning work and lifestyle changes;
- Retirees aged 66 and up.
With each group, address their key concerns. For instance, younger adults who are transitioning out of the workforce might be keen to use the proceeds a reverse mortgage provides to travel or to help their children; older home owners might appreciate the security that comes from knowing they can remain in familiar surroundings as they age.
We’ll focus on marketing specifics for each cohort group in upcoming posts.