DME Article "Retirement for the Residential Specialist"
After 39 years selling real estate, Susanne McInerney CRS, noticed she increasingly sold more homes for older adults. She had the SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) designation from the NAR, but says that wasn't enough to make her feel equipped to serve seniors at a higher level. So she dedicated herself to earn the more rigorous Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) designation from the Seniors Real Estate Institute. The course work included considerable field time to learn about different types of senior communities. Since earning the CSHP designation last fall her business with seniors has more than doubled.
McInerney offers her senior customers detailed information that might be difficult for them to discover on their own. She uses a five-step program for moving into retirement living which starts with seniors learning about what living options are available in the area. "If a senior goes online, they can't find a list," she says, "so I help them know what their options are." The different senior options in the area include independent living apartments, assisted living residences and continuing care retirement communities, 55+ communities and rentals that might be available in the area.
Downsizing requires most seniors to make difficult decisions at what can be a particularly vulnerable time. McInerney conducts a seminar series that she licensed through the Seniors Real Estate Institute titled, Downsizing Made Easy : 5 Easy Steps to Simplify Your Move.
" Somewhere between sorting through possessions, choosing a new place to live, and deciding what to take and what to leave it suddenly hits them that downsizing is a lot of work, but it doesn't have to be so overwhelming, " she adds.The seminar series has become one of her best vehicles to attract new clients.
Five Steps to Choose Retirement Living
Here are five basic steps that can guide clients through moving into retirement living.
1. Create a lifestyle plan – Consider interests, financial situation, location of friends and family, and how you envision living life to the fullest. Then choose a place that best fits your lifestyle.
2. Communicate with family and friends - Share with them any plans and find out if they have any questions or concerns.
3. Surround yourself with qualified professionals – Retirees will likely need the services of an estate liquidator, mover, REALTOR®, organizer, move manager, repair contractor, and others. They should learn about these professionals by working with their Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) to conduct interviews and get references.
4. Dealing with a house full of possessions – Sorting through personal belongings is often the most difficult step. Retirees need to focus on what they want to keep, and let the professionals do the rest.
5. Celebrate your new lifestyle – Take stock of how you feel throughout the process and how you might feel about your new lifestyle. Being aware and prepared can make a big difference.