Business schools around the country define marketing as the determination a customer’s fundamental wants and needs, and then satisfying those wants and needs.
Most real estate companies seem to spend their time focused on sales – having a product and then convincing customers that yesterday’s listing is the house that will fulfill every dream. Little time is spent really listening to the client and determining what it is they want or need.
Other real estate companies emphasize advertising – in reality, eyewash for a seller – to convince them that everything humanly possible is being done to sell their property and also as an enticement for buyers to pick up the telephone.
The home that most buyers ultimately purchase is determined less by fundamental wants and needs and more by a variety of exterior factors like price, income, credit history, school systems, time-frame, and convenience to churches and shopping. For most consumers, buying a home is the result of a lot of compromises and has only a little to do with what the home buyer really wants or likes.
Most Realtors in Myrtle Beach and along the Grand Strand the easiest sales are made when they match the perfect home with exactly what the client wants. Finding the house that requires no compromise. The perfect fit. That’s not always an easy task.
Who Are the Myrtle Beach Buyers?
Myrtle Beach is the second fastest growing metro area in the United States and the fastest growing area on the Atlantic Coast. Since 1970, people moving from other states has accounted for most of the area’s growth. Since 1970, people moving to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand from other states have been the primary source of the area’s growth, exceeding gains from the birth rate by an almost 5-to-1 ratio. In fact, Horry County has a negative birth rate – there are actually more deaths than births each year. Since 2010, migration from other states has accounted for roughly ninety percent of the area’s population growth. Migration from other South Carolina counties and other nations accounted for the other ten percent.
The fastest growing population segment is the retiring Baby Boomers. Rob Salvino, an economist at Coastal Carolina University, said abundant, raw land and relatively cheap construction prices are a big draw for people from the north. Many of them are often able to buy their new homes with cash. Salvino also said he expects the flow of retirees to the area to likely to stay strong for at least another decade, barring another financial downturn. Horry County builders are responding by developing new subdivisions and building new single-family homes.
Any Grand Strand Realtor interested in growing their business needs to figure out how to really market to these Baby Boomer Buyers – to figure out what those buyers, age 62+, really want and need. If area Realtors are not aggressively and actively working with Baby Boomer Buyers, they are missing the boat. They need to be asking themselves, “What’s stopping me?”
A Little-Understood Strategy for Increasing Business
During a recent conversation with Scott Trembley, a partner in The Trembley Group Real Estate and a nationally recognized expert on the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), Scott said one of the most overlooked and least understood resources in marketing to retiring Baby Boomer Buyers is HECM.
Scott said that the HECM satisfies almost every concern a Baby Boomer has when buying a new home. “In most cases, the HECM allows a senior buyer to purchase a new home that perfectly fits their lifestyle needs. It protects their retirement portfolio and incorporates their accumulated housing wealth into their retirement plan. In some cases, the HECM creates an emergency fund,” Scott says. “I’ve seen the program reduce monthly expenses, enhance cash flow, and give retirees the peace of mind that comes with knowing that cash is available to pay all the monthly bills. In some cases, the HECM has reduced the burden of out-of-pocket healthcare costs and has created the money to pay for caregivers, live-in nurses, or other in-home care. It’s even been the source of cash for a luxury vehicle or a five-star vacation. What’s not to love? We are doing our Baby Boomer clients a disservice if we don’t at least give them information about all the program offers. They deserve an informed choice.”
A local area real estate broker recently said that he’d love to do more business matching baby boomer buyers with the HECM, but he found the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage to be confusing. He didn’t understand the program himself so he couldn’t adequately explain it to his boomer buyers.
The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage industry and the real estate industry use a lot of specialized jargon to describe the HECM, but there really isn’t anything mysterious or complicated about the meaning of those words. Business people familiar with the industry use acronyms like H4P and throw around words like positive and negative amortization every day. They often forget that everyone, especially the typical consumer, doesn’t understand them. That’s a mistake! If Real Estate professionals don’t fully understand what the HECM is and how it works, then they aren’t likely to recommend the program to their clients which is ultimately a disservice to their clients. Their clients deserve at least an informed choice.
So what? Well, here’s what!
What if a Baby Boomer buyer, age 62+, could increase their purchasing power and buy the dream home they really wanted without depleting their nest egg? Wouldn’t that be a win-win for them and their real estate broker? Wouldn’t that be an option the broker should be obligated to offer the buyer?
If real estate brokers want to sell more homes to Boomer buyers, they owe it to themselves to learn about the HECM, a powerful financing program that is guaranteed to open up new sales opportunities.
Scott Trembley has been using the little-known HECM strategy since 2009 to successfully match age 62+ Boomers with their dream homes.
The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for Purchase Program or H4P Program is an age-based financing program that lets Real Estate Professional attract Baby Boomer buyers and sell them the dream home they really want.
What’s In It for the Real Estate Professional?
Real Estate Professionals willing to invest a little time in learning about the H4P can expect to benefit in two important ways:
- The H4P Will Increase Business. With the HECM for Purchase program, Realtors will increase their business. They’ll be able to offer seniors more home buying solutions. Using the HECM sets a Realtor apart from the competition. Most Real Estate Professionals aren’t even aware of the HECM for Purchase program. They’re missing an opportunity to provide seniors with a powerful home purchase option. Offering the HECM for Purchase allows senior clients an opportunity to leverage their purchasing power and potentially acquire the dream home that they thought seemed out of reach.
- The H4P Will Create a Consistent Lead Flow. Boomers make up the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., more so in Myrtle Beach and on the Grand Strand than anywhere else in the country. According to a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau population survey, the number of Americans age 55+ is 76.7 million. Of these, 52 million Boomers surveyed said they were not living in a home that met their long-term lifestyle.
Why? The two explanations most often heard were: 1. “I don’t have enough cash to afford a new home,” and 2. “I can’t qualify for a traditional mortgage.”
The market for HECM for Purchase is huge, and the demand for creative purchase solutions is growing. With life expectancies growing longer, aging Boomers have to face the real risk of outliving their money during their retirement years. The H4P is a solution.
The H4P Program Offers Three Purchase Options
These aging Boomers are looking for real estate professionals to help them upsize, downsize, or right-size.
A 2014 Merrill Lynch Retirement Study found that among retirees who moved to a new home, 51% moved to a smaller one, 30% moved to a larger one, and 19% moved to a home about the same size as their previous one. That’s a perhaps surprisingly large number of people upsizing, but still far more downsizing.
Most Baby Boomers moving to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand are moving after selling a paid-for or nearly paid-for home with substantial equity. Many retirees plan to pay for or nearly pay for their retirement home and have a small or no monthly payment at all. Regardless of their purchase option, the H4P can be a useful financing choice.
Downsize: purchase a smaller home with low maintenance.
Many people downsize as they approach or enter retirement because of the many benefits to doing so. There’s less house to clean, a smaller yard to maintain, and likely lower taxes and insurance, too. Retirees selling a larger, more valuable home can buy a smaller and less valuable one, banking the difference and saving it for retirement.
Many retirees find that a small house suits them just fine. The kids are gone. Since a smaller home has smaller time demands, there’s more time travel and other retirement activities. Some retirees want to move to South Carolina for health reasons. Their health may require a home without stairs. Others move to the Palmetto State for the low taxes or to be closer to family. The low cost of living also attracts many Baby Boomer buyers to South Carolina. Some Boomers are planning ahead, assuring they’ll be OK sometime down the road when they’ll have to give up driving.
Downsizing results in smaller mortgage payments, likely freeing up some cash to help pursue lifestyle goals in retirement. Whatever the reason, the H4P is an attractive financing option for downsizing, allowing Baby Boomer buyers to own their new home without a mortgage payment and keeping much of their cash available for retirement.
Upsize: Purchase a more expensive home with more options.
Why would people in retirement – presumably a couple, with an empty nest – decide to upsize? There are several reasons. A bigger home can accommodate more guests. Some retirees want their kids, their grandkids, and their friends to visit and stay a while. Having a spacious home is be enticing to them. Some retirees want to travel less as they get older and would rather have their loved ones travel to see them.
Other retirees don’t have children and anticipate others moving in, perhaps to care for them as they grow older and their health begins to fail. Or perhaps you’re aware of family members or friends who may be needing a place to stay for a while — such as your kids between jobs or relationships, or even your own parents. You might also be able to more easily accommodate live-in help, if you can afford it, with a bigger home. Or you might take in some roommates to help with expenses and foster more socializing.
Still other retirees upsize is to get a home with features that anticipate needs down the road, such as wider hallways to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs and large bathrooms with room to maneuver.
Finally, some Baby Boomers upsize their home not only for larger dimensions, but also for its location. A large new home might be located on the Intracoastal Waterway with a boat dock or overlooking the Grand Strand – a new home sure to attract visiting family and friends. Retirees are sure to get fewer visits if they’re living in the central-Ohio countryside rather than in a home overlooking the beach in Garden City or the waterway in Carolina Forest.
A few retirees upsize because they want a fancier, more prestigious home. After working hard and making sacrifices all of their working lives, these retirees have earned their just reward and deserve to treat themselves.
The H4P allows a senior buyer purchase their dream home valued a much more than their available cash and still have no monthly payment.
Right-size: Purchase a similarly priced home but with different amenities.
Some Baby Boomer Buyers don’t want a larger home or a smaller home. They’d just like a different home – maybe a single story or lower maintenance or one in a senior lifestyle community.
The H4P allows Baby Boomer Buyers to live in a new home with no mortgage payments and keep a significant amount of their cash for future needs.
As long as the buyer complies with the terms of the loan, they retain title until the title is transferred. The buyer is responsible for paying property taxes, insurance and maintenance. The H4P is a non-recourse loan, therefore the home is the only asset the lender can pursue to repay the loan balance.
Proceeds from the HECM are tax-free and can be distributed in any of a number of way the buyer chooses variety of ways based on the borrower’s choosing. The money can be received as a single lump sum, as monthly disbursements or as a stand-by line of credit to be drawn upon as the borrower chooses.
It is not difficult to qualify for the HECM. The borrower must occupy the home as their primary residence, be at least 62 years of age, the property must be eligible for financing (single family, 2-4 units, FHA approved condominiums, townhomes, planned unit development (PUD), and the buyer must ensure they have enough income to pay any monthly obligations including property taxes and insurance.
And the H4P program is safe. A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is a HUD Program that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) enabling retirees across the country to live a more enjoyable retirement.
Larry Reed at Retirement Funding Solutions and Scott Trembley of Keller Williams The Trembley Group Real Estate have a goal of helping consumers make the right, informed decisions about funding their retirement. To this end they periodically offer informational seminars to help the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand Real Estate community learn about the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. The Seminars are open to any Real estate Professional, regardless of company affiliation. To learn more about the HECM, give Scott’s office a call at (843) 945-1880 or call Larry at Retirement Funding Solutions at (803) 269-1053. Your clients will be glad that you did.
At Keller Williams The Trembley Group, we pride ourselves on being the experts at more than just selling real estate. We are local residents, some of us have been here for a lifetime. The rest of us will be here until the end of time. We love living, working, and playing in the diverse backyard of Coastal Carolina, and look forward to helping you live and love your dreams soon too. Please reach out to us by phone or email for personalized service and one-on-one advice.