Navigating Seniors and Their Families

Amy
Navigating Seniors and Their Families

It’s a family affair. That statement has never been more accurate when dealing with the families of seniors in a real estate transaction. If our beloved seniors are involved, everyone wants to ensure they are happy, healthy, and safe. This can prove to be a challenging task for SRES® agents. Everyone wants to feel like they are making the best decision for their loved one which can look different for all interested parties. This is an emotional experience for anyone.  Regardless of how many people are included in the real estate process, there are some simple steps to follow.

Set the Tone

As any SRES® agent knows, in any real estate transaction, the first step is building trust with the clients. When multiple family members are involved, perspectives and opinions can be scattered. Check with the senior and determine their needs before anyone else. Remember to stick to your confidentiality agreement and decide who will be involved from the beginning to the end of the process.  

Next, set up a meeting with all interested parties. While planning for this event, make sure you can successfully guide them through the ordeal. When an agent lays out all the information to the clients in an easy-to-understand format, there is little wiggle room for disagreements. State the facts and explain each part of the process in detail. People of all ages can appreciate a lesson on this major step of their lives.

Family Members Who Are in the Passenger Seat

When a senior brings their family into the mix, it should be a sign to the agent. The relatives are there for support and advice and are not necessarily buying or selling the property in question. However, these people are valued and trusted by the elder and will play a critical role in the deal. It is important to show the client you value them and therefore their family. When there are multiple members involved, it can be frustrating and hard to make everyone happy. Allow them to voice their opinions and find out where they fit into the plan but, remember the senior is the focus. If you take your eyes off the prize, they will feel neglected. Most people want to keep their loved ones safe and happy, remember that when countless conversations are being had.

Family Members Moving with Seniors

If the elder is moving with their relatives, set a meeting with interested parties to make sure all voices are heard, and all attempts will be made to meet those needs. To service the family, you must listen. Why does the son/daughter constantly ask the same question? Do they frantically call you with concerns? Read between the lines. This can be hard for everyone involved. When moving in with an elder relative, there are many changes taking place and new questions/concerns constantly come up.

Consultations and negotiations will be smoother if the clients feel supported and valued. Dealing with a family situation may require more meetings, multiple phone calls, or explaining the procedures a few times to other interested parties.  The more time you spend explaining and guiding them, the less time you will spend in disagreements and frustrating calls. Check out this

Tips for Dealing with a Senior with No Family

Dealing with a senior who has no immediate family to help them make major life decisions can be difficult. Make sure you are easy to understand and can guide them through everything. Refer them to the correct people and truly stick by them to listen and voice their concerns through this situation. You might be the only sounding board they have. Think of how you would like someone to treat your senior relative in that type of scenario.

Determine the Big Picture

One common goal everyone should have is to focus on the senior and what is right for them. Ultimately, they will make the final decision. If the elder has multiple loved ones helping with this transaction, they may be a deciding factor that can change their mind. Going that extra mile to build a relationship based on honesty and patience will help in the long run. Planning from the start will help avoid conflict in the end. Remember to be sympathetic, this is an emotional process but especially for our elder age group. Customer service is key in all transactions; check out this article for more tips: Seven Real Estate Customer Service Best Practices And Principles For Agents And Firms (forbes.com).