Business Booming
Photo courtesy of Kichler

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Photo courtesy of Kohler
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ers may not feel the need or desire to downsize if they have frequent visits from out-of-town family and friends, or lots of sleepovers with the grandchildren who live nearby. Boomers often transform extra bedrooms into craft rooms for new hobbies they have always wished to take up, but did not have the space. By choice or by necessity, many Boomers want to work after retirement, so their extra bedrooms may become home offices for on-line businesses they have started.

Provide Amenities That Boomers Desire

It makes good sense for professional builders to be familiar with the amenities and features that Boomers look for when searching for a home, so that if you want to market to this generation, your products will fulfill their desires. As active adults, Boomers keep pace with the latest high-tech features and expect to have those included in a new home. They look for home automation systems that offer control of their home’s whole house audio/video, lighting, HVAC and security systems through one, simple interface. Because most Boomers love to travel, controlling these systems through their smart phones while they are away is very important to them. They also want easy-to-maintain exteriors and landscaping so it will be easy to bring those areas under control when they return. Level driveways and a weather-protected walkway and entrance should be considered.

This generation prefers today’s open concept in their homes that makes gathering their families together easier—the kitchen, dining room and living room should be one generous space. They also like to include a multi-purpose room or flex room that can serve a variety of changing needs. If the homeowner is living in a multi-generational household, they may desire an additional master suite. They are attracted to wider doors and hallways, lots of natural light and bigger windows that open up their homes to the outdoors.

Incorporate Accessibility Features

Boomers are reticent to think of themselves as “aging,” but the above design trends also offer the wider spaces they will need if they suddenly face unexpected medical treatments that may require them to use a wheelchair. Larger windows and better lighting provide valuable benefits as eyes age. Some Boomers are finding it difficult to climb stairs, so if their home is two or more stories, they will prefer to have their master bedrooms and bathrooms on the first floor.

When builders wish to work with Boomers, it is helpful to have expert knowledge of Aging-in-Place and/or Universal Design principles and incorporate them into your house plans. Also be aware of how best to present these principles to your clients when discussing the home they are envisioning for themselves. Increasingly, these principles are moving into general acceptance so they are often included in modern, luxury kitchens and bathrooms. Active Boomers who do not consider themselves to be aging, can be enthusiastic about zero-threshold showers simply because this is a very stylish option. At the same time you will gain credibility with your clients by explaining how this accessible type of shower will make their home both beautiful and convenient for years to come.

Some other items to recommend in the master bathroom would be hand-held showers, a built-in shower seat, elegant grab bars, a comfort height toilet, and non-slip tile floors. In the master bedroom closets, include an electric wardrobe lift and LED strips to light up each cabinet. In the kitchen you could suggest pullout shelving units in the cabinets, variable height counter tops, and touchless kitchen faucets. You may also want to discuss how layered lighting can intensify the beauty of a room, while also providing superb illumination for all the tasks at hand.

Market to Boomers Via Print

As mentioned earlier, Boomers keep up with the latest technology and are active online. When marketing yourself to Boomers, however,

allow for the fact that they usually trust print publications more than online ads. For better success in reaching your local niche homeowners, consider placing an ad in a specialty magazine in your area, or mailing post cards or newsletters to homeowners in the specific communities where you are working. The content should be clear and concise.

Boomers are attracted to ads that showcase real-life type of situations in which people of a similar age are depicted. They can relate to people like themselves who are discussing options for enhancing their lifestyle through working with your company.