KC Real Estate Company Convenes Community Network for Serving Seniors

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Demographic Shifts Prompt Keller Williams Platinum Partners to Sharpen Its Focus on Underserved Market Segment

A late-in-life move often involves entire families, and requires the services and expertise of a wide range of professionals.

Every day, 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65. Their elderly parents are living far longer than the generations that preceded them – in many cases well into their 90s.

While the impact of the aging population on health care and Social Security has been covered at length, the real estate industry is largely proceeding with business as usual – focused on first-time and move-up home buyers.

The most recent statistics from the National Association of REALTORS® suggest the need for a new approach.

  •     In 2013, 25 percent of home sellers were over 65 and 7% were over 75.
  •     In 2013, 14 percent of home buyers purchased a multigenerational home.
  •     The average age of a home seller is on the rise, up from 46 in 2009 to 53 in 2013.

Determined to sharpen the focus on the distinct needs of those who are downsizing, Mark Wilkinson, CEO of Keller Williams Realty Platinum Partners in Lee’s Summit, Mo., along with a committed cadre of agents, has taken a stand for seniors in Jackson County. Their first step: an unprecedented, brokerage-wide pursuit of the Certified Senior Housing Professional® designation, following an intensive, two-day training event with the Seniors Real Estate Institute®.    

“We’ve cast a vision of a new standard for serving seniors in transition,” Wilkinson said. A late-in-life move often involves entire families, and requires the services and expertise of a wide range of professionals,” he emphasized. As such, he recently assembled a group of nearly 100 professionals that includes home health care workers, estate planners, elder law attorneys, downsizing experts, estate sales companies, senior move managers, representatives from senior living communities, home stagers, and the full range of trades people who are needed to get a home ready for sale. “Each of these parties has a distinct and interconnected role,” Wilkinson noted. Our agents have stepped in to fill a much-needed void and serve as the hub – providing referrals of trusted individuals and coordinating a transition process that too often overwhelms seniors and their families.

“This level of specialization was a natural outgrowth for Keller Williams Realty Platinum Partners,” Wilkinson said. “Real estate is a second career for a large percentage of our agents, many who have backgrounds in helping, healing and teaching fields. Considering that our sales are up more than three times that of the rest of our market, it appears that a passion for serving seniors is good business.”

“Keller Williams Realty Platinum Partners’ visionary leadership, combined with a commitment to redefine the role of the real estate agent within the senior’s market, stands as a model for real estate brokerages nationwide,” said Nikki Buckelew, founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute.

“We are making a positive difference in the lives of many as we simplify the late-in-life move process and assist older adults as they transition from homes that they may have lived in for decades,” Wilkinson said. “Ultimately, our agents have become more than just REALTORS®. They are advocates and legacy coaches who are devoted to helping seniors to make the next chapter of their lives the best one. A real estate sale just happens to be the end result.”

For more information about Keller Williams Realty Platinum Partners, go to http://www.kwleessummit.com/.

For more information on the Seniors Real Estate Institute, go to http://seniorsrealestateinstitute.com.

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Lisa Wahlgren
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