The process of aging makes one more vulnerable when it comes to trust
While it’s true that people don’t change dramatically just because they grow older (see Marketing to the Mature Homeowner/Part 1), there is one area in which aging makes us more vulnerable: trust.
As people age and watch spouses, friends and family members die, the lyrics from The Cure’s tune, Trust, may express how they feel: There is no one left in the world that I can hold onto / There is really no one left at all. Lack of a support system can and does affect older adults psychologically.
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The response to these transitions can either be fear, in which seniors become less confident in people overall, or outreach, where, in their desire to connect, they misguidedly place their faith in everyone from the caller who tells them they’ve just won a sweepstakes, to the salesperson who suggests a risky investment.
Because such unscrupulous individuals and businesses often prey on older adults’ loneliness or hope, it behooves reverse mortgage professionals to understand the concerns unique to this cohort group.
To build a strong relationship with older reverse mortgage prospects:
- Allow plenty of time to get acquainted. Regardless of whether they seem secure or anxious, many mature adults (particularly “older” seniors, 75+) love having a new audience for their stories, especially those revolving around something as precious as their lifelong home;
- Develop a strong sense of their personal situation. Is a reverse mortgage a prudent move for them — or are they simply enjoying the regular contact visiting with you offers, even if this takes place over the phone?
- Go slowly. In our frenetic world, it’s easy to forget that the spryest senior will likely operate at a somewhat slower pace than you do. Be willing to explain information more than once, and in different ways, until it’s clear your prospect comprehends all the specifics.
- Reach out. Going the extra mile might be a cliché, but doing so never is. If a senior turns out to be an excellent reverse mortgage prospect in every way, yet clearly thrives under your attention, reach out: make a home visit if possible, bring a small gift, find a referral for another need they mention. These demonstrations of caring will not only help seal the deal; your kindness also boosts your client’s quality of life.