Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"People Are Looking For A Long-Term Home"

People still look for and purchase new construction. They have various reasons for wanting something new. Among these are the fact that it is new and never before occupied, that it comes with many warranties - builder as well as manufacturers, that they get to select their features and colors, that it may have a better chance of appreciation, and that it is located in a desirable neighborhood with recreational amenities and other natural features.

A second group of people prefers to rent - single family homes or apartments. They may want to save for an eventual down payment on a future home purchase, enjoy not caring for a home in terms of normal maintenance, or prefer the freedom of being able to move frequently without marketing their home first.

Now a third group - arguably the largest - is the one that wants to continue living where they are now - regardless of their current age, family situation, age of their home, or how long they have lived in it. This is the aging-in-place market - "AIP."

The AIP market wants to remain in their current home indefinitely - for the long-term. For some in this market, they have found what they believe to be their "forever" home and see no need to move from it. Others have no real issue with their present home and don't think about the possibility of replacing it down the line.

Aging-in-place comes about in many different ways, but the bottom line is that people want to remain in their current home. It may serve their needs perfectly as is. It may be real close. It might serve them better with a little TLC or renovation. It might need a lot of work, but the neighborhood, the size of their investment, and other factors make moving rather impractical for them.

Many people simply cannot afford to replace what they have now - to get the same size home or layout for the money they spent on their current home. It would take considerably more to replace it, so they remain where they are.

Others - in fact most people - have such an accumulation of stuff that it makes the prospects of moving seem quite tall. Some cannot part with what they have and don't see moving as the answer to their space issues. Others know that it would take an inordinate amount of time to sort through and cull what they have. Better just to remain put.

So whether the initial objective was to find a long-term home, or it just happened, AIP is real. Those of us who provide services to people who want to remain in their homes - such as safety makeovers, accessibility renovations, room additions, new products and finishes, technology, or modernization - there is a huge market who needs our help.


Learn about my aging-in-place/universal design instructional programs or new home sales training programs at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © Steve Hoffacker.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"You Can't Afford To Fake It - And Neither Can Your Customers"

An old adage is "fake it 'til you make it," but people today want the real deal. If you can't deliver as you intend or promise, then go a different direction or wait until you can do what you say you can.

On the job training is fine for some pursuits, but in the aging-in-place market, we are talking about working inside people's homes and using their hard-earned savings wisely. We have a fiduciary responsibility to them that cannot be undertaken on just a general idea of how to approach something.

It's more than just displaying confidence about what you might be able to do or what you think you should be capable of. You actually have to have the technical expertise to evaluate what your clients need, advise your them about what works within their budget, prioritize the work if necessary to accommodate their budget, and then deliver your solutions as you have described them. This is more than just a typical remodeling effort.

People want to live in their homes safely, comfortably, and conveniently - long-term. It does no good to agree with them that changes need to be made to accomplish that purpose if you aren't the one who can do it.

Of course, you can function as a consultant, and that's fine. Just make sure your clients know the extent of your expertise and then find the right professionals to execute the job you and they envision.

Whether a consultant, carpenter, remodeler, OT or PT, designer, handyman, electrician, plumber, or general contractor, make sure you are up to the job of creating effective aging-in-place solutions.

Being CAPS certified is a great place to start. Then, you won't have to fake it. You'll know.


Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © Steve Hoffacker.