Now here’s a challenge: How do you build a business in a world where nobody works? Their income earning days are behind them. Even more difficult, how do you raise your visibility in the land of second homes and vacation properties?
You might say: “Why choose to build a business there?” The answer is simple: That’s where you and your family work. Your spouse might work in the medical field and he/she recently took a job at the local hospital. Maybe your family has lived in this resort area for generations.
“The land where nobody works” is a misconception. People who relocate after completing their working career often choose their new locale very carefully. Retirees like college towns because they are surrounded by people of all ages. They also move to areas with great medical facilities because you never know when you might need specialized care.
Retirement and resort communities are often on an upwardly expanding trajectory. If new homes are being built and sold, someone is doing the construction or selling the furnishings. Agents who are new residents often feel they are at a disadvantage because they don’t know anyone. In retirement communities, many people are newcomers.
Who are my potential clients?
Retirees are an obvious choice. It’s likely they already have financial advisory relationships in place.
There is still hope. Research shows on average, HNW individuals have relationships with three financial professionals. Many clients consider it like a marriage, one person at a time. But they are wrong. Multiple people can date your money. Many people prefer face-to-face relationships. This can work in your favor. Some newcomers may plan to establish residency. You might be able to provide some advice. Another key common factor about retirees – they have a lot of time on their hands.
If most of the population is retired, how do you get on their radar screens? Forget cold calling them at home. It’s estimated over 70 percent of Americans have signed up for the Do Not Call list.
Here’s the key: Retirees have time on their hands. They need something to do. Years ago, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida resident explained to me: “You have one activity each day. You build up to it, do it and then recover from it.” It might be going to the grocery store. If someone suggests getting your hair done, they reply: “I couldn’t do that, today is my day for grocery shopping.” Retirees often stretch activities out.
With that in mind, here are five ideas for how to reach individuals in retirement communities:
1. Golf clubs
So many people look forward to playing golf in retirement. Clubs are everywhere. Developments are built around them. They are a social hub too. You don’t need to play golf to belong.
Action Step: Pick a club and join. Ideally it’s exclusive and expensive. The club you join says a lot about you in these parts. And if you don’t play golf and don’t care to learn, use it as a clubhouse.
2. Yacht clubs
Guess what? You don’t need a boat to join a yacht club. They are another form of a social club with plenty of parties. They are often pretty easy to join.
Action Step: Maybe you should belong to a yacht club too.
Join with the aim of attending events and raising your visibility within the membership there.
See also: 9 ways to reach clients in a big city
Developments and gated communities often feature homeowners associations that run the place. They have regular meetings. Often, developments have a community center or clubhouse.
Action Step: They need activities. Holding investment seminars might seem like the obvious step but others before you have done this badly and made people suspicious of financial professionals. Non-investment topics can be a good fit. Your firm likely has a compliance-approved identity theft seminar.
Who cares about identity theft? People with assets. Who do you want as clients? People with assets. Do you have an interesting hobby? Have you restored a classic car or brought a historic home back to life? This can also be an interesting talk for community groups.
4. Adult education courses
The local university might offer non-credit courses for local residents. Retirees with time on their hands are often into self-improvement. As a credentialed investment professional you might be qualified to teach a couple of courses. Your compliance department would need to share your enthusiasm.
Action Step: Investing is complicated. Many people don’t know that. Ads for online brokers imply anyone can do it on their own. You might teach a course on the fundamentals of investing, highlighting how it’s more difficult than people imagine.
See also: 2015′s 50 best ways to generate leads
5. Friend raising
Realtors do this well. In Naples, Florida, a wealthy retiree remarked: “You could go to an event (cocktail party) every night if you wanted. A small Bucks County, Pennsylvania, investment office holds monthly themed cocktail parties in their conference room after work. They invite clients and people they’ve met in the community. They encourage past attendees to bring friends.
Action Step: Once you have built a list of people you have met, invite them into your office monthly or quarterly for a party. Retirees need to buy certain services. They also prefer doing business with people they know.
People to cultivate
Agents and advisors think of accountants as traditional referral sources. In retirement communities that are building out, realtors are often well placed to know who is new. They often develop friendly relationships with the new homeowners. These new arrivals most times will need local services.
Coastal cities with marinas often have plenty of boat brokers. It’s a licensed profession. It’s not difficult identifying who holds licenses (state records are online) and determining who is doing well or new to the business. They could be a good source of introductions.
It’s no joke: Funeral directors can be good prospects. In communities with high average ages, people pass away. Their business isn’t THAT busy. They should have time to talk on the phone. Often their names are in the title of the business. These morticians can actually have a great sense of humor.
Who profits when a new home is sold? Build a list starting with the property developer. Realtors too. Although they might buy their furnishings from big box stores, lots of stuff comes from small specialty businesses (window treatments, for example). Do some research and find out who owns these businesses. Get on their radar screens.
Nurses are your gateway into the medical profession. Everyone knows a nurse. They often make a great living. There are lots of them. In most communities, being a registered nurse is the most popular job in the area for residents with a four-year college degree. Nurses know other nurses. They know doctors too. They can share their ideas how to market inside the hospital too.
As mentioned, retirees have time on their hands. Some fill it with golf or frequenting the yacht club bar. Others scan the newspapers looking for activities and read the websites from their gated communities’ residents’ center. Others ask their friends, “What are you up to?” and tag along. You can raise your visibility by showing up where they like to go or planning events they want to attend.