Marketing: Selling the Ritz to Boomers

By Christopher Zoukis

Harris Interactive reports most baby boomers are still in the workforce, and are a driving force in the housing market. The same report concludes 42% of baby boomers would like to retire in the South, 32% in the Western United States, 15% in the Midwest, and 12% in the Northeast. Which means the bulk of opportunity for marketing luxury real estate remains in the Sunbelt.  Image courtesy

Four out of ten or 40% of baby boomers own second, separate vacation homes. In fact, baby boomers account for 57% of all vacation home ownership, and own 58% of all rental properties in the United States. Ten percent of baby boomers plan to buy real estate over the course of the next year. Two-thirds of those will buy a new home, a second home or commercial property.

According to a National Association of Realtors survey, baby boomers expect to use a professional realtor when they buy property. Not only will they utilize real estate agents, but they will demand excellent service and expertise from their agent. Of boomers in the rich category, 97% own homes, and 47% own other additional real estate.

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Marketing: Never Trust Anyone Over 30

By Christopher Zoukis

Baby boomers believe they are special. This means they demand the best, because the best bolsters the idea that they are extraordinary. This translates to mean they are attracted to perks, such as frequent flier miles, credit cards that offer access to upgraded hotel suites, and travel packages that give them special access to creative performances, such as art shows or stage shows. It also means they desire customized luxury goods and services. Baby boomers dislike being part of the rank and file. For example, when traveling to San Francisco and visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, boomers don’t want to stand in line with everyone else to ride the ferry to Alcatraz. They want to take one of the exclusive evening tours offered only by the Blue and Gold Line. These tours cost more, but offer more personal touches, such as a visit to the ferry’s control room, and human guides on Alcatraz rather than the standard audio guide.

When baby boomers say they want an experience, they mean they want a luxury experience. Gourmet food, panoramic views and superb service are essential to this experience. They do not want to rough it or stay in a standard motel room. Only the finest hotels complete with the most luxurious decor fits the tastes of boomers.  Image courtesy

Baby boomers have hectic lifestyles, because they are trying to pack so much living into each day: work, spouses, hobbies, sports, and social activities. This explains why boomers like products and services that save time. Laptop computers, the internet, smart phones, and iPads are absolute necessities for baby boomers. Service providers have to earn the trust of baby boomers. Once they do, the boomers remain loyal.

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Boom, Boom, Boom

Image courtesy of By Christoher Zoukis

Baby boomers are people who were born between 1946 and 1964, according to most experts. The sheer size of this group of people is mind-boggling. There are approximately 75.8 million baby boomers. Put another way, they make up one-third of the population in the United States.

Generally speaking, baby boomers range in age from 45 to 65. Many of them are what demographers call “empty nesters,” which means the children have left home. This means that a tremendous amount of income that was formerly spent on “the kids” has now become discretionary income. According to Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave LLC, baby boomers take home $2 trillion per year and, as a group, embody 50% of all discretionary spending. They control 70% of all the wealth in the United States. They own 77% of all financial assets. They own and use 50% of credit cards in the United States. Fully 80% of the money deposited in savings accounts belongs to the baby boomers. And 50% of all luxury cars sold are purchased by baby boomers.

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