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What I Just Taught A Room Full Of Realtors About The Above 50 Market

SRES-Blog I just finished teaching my 2-day SRES Designation course for the National Association of Realtors and let me tell you the room was hopping.   Amazing energy was abound! Questions were followed by information, followed by big smiles and it never stopped. I’m serious, from the moment we started to the moment we said our goodbyes; the atmosphere was perfect for learning.

Now unfortunately I can’t recount the whole class here; although I’d like to, but I can give some highlights. On the 1st day of the course, I had the realtors fill out a sheet with the most common problems they were having with their clients so that I could address them on the 2nd day. Here are a few of my favorites.


  1. My clients are not really comfortable with technology – I hear this all the time. When dealing with the above 50 market you will have to, pardon the phrase, be old school about it. Your clients are not interested in communication through email, they don’t want to talk about on line marketing for their listing, and when it comes to agreements, they’ve never even heard of DocuSign. For the Above 50 market, it’s all about face to face.
  2. My clients are cash poor, but equity rich and they’re afraid that they are stuck in their home with no options – This is a great one, because as their realtor you get to be the bearer of good news. There are many financing products that are specifically designed for this exact scenario. A HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) have changed quite a bit and can be the answer for the equity rich homeowner. The flexibility of a Reverse Purchase might be the answer. Most realtors aren’t even aware of the Reverse Purchase, so you will be way ahead of any competition for your clients business.
  3. My client’s family dynamic is hard to navigate – I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing all the players in the game. If you aren’t aware that a family member has your client’s ear, or even worse, is manipulating your client, you run the risk of getting completely blind-sided. All your hard work can go out the window, leaving you very confused and frustrated.
  4. My client is a Hoarder – Oh boy, I’ve been thought that and it wasn’t pretty. Here’s the thing, most hoarders are embarrassed by their home, so it’s incredibly important to be gentle when discussing the steps that will need to be taken. Hoarding is a disorder and depression may be the cause. Either way, your client will not be comfortable with the idea of you riffling through his or her personal belongings. They will be anxious when it’s time to throw anything out. My suggestion would be to recommend bringing in a company that specializes in cleaning houses for hoarders. That’s right, they’re out there filling this important need. Essentially, they take it out of your and most importantly the client’s hands. Which brings me to number my personal recommendation for all realtors.

You MUST create a team of VETTED trusted professionals that you feel comfortable referring to your Above 50 client. Remember this market is a target for predators and requires protection. You are their first line of defense, so do your homework and build your team.


All of the realtors that took the course seemed to be thrilled with what they learned and many of them asked the question, “What’s Next?” I hadn’t anticipated that level of excitement. They want more knowledge. My first decision was to offer private coaching sessions with me and my second was to push ahead my plans to create a companion course for the SRES designation called “The Journey Beyond 50”. I will let everyone know of course as soon as it’s ready, but in the meantime if you’re interested in private coaching sessions or the course, feel free to email me at toni(at)tonipatillo(dotted)com(dotted).