Two years ago, the oldest members of the Baby Boomer generation turned 65, and over the next 18 years, 79 million more will do the same. These seniors are projected to move out of an estimated 11.3 million housing units through 2020 creating what is known in the real estate industry as the “silver tsunami”. These generational trends have inspired the creation of Windermere Senior Transitions; a new program made up of Windermere agents who are specially trained to understand the unique needs of clients aged 65 and older.
The Windermere Senior Transitions program focuses exclusively on helping seniors through the transition of downsizing from their existing residence into a smaller home, condominium, or an assisted living facility or retirement community. This process can be very complicated and emotional for many seniors and requires the support of someone who is trained to navigate this transition. These home owners often have needs that extend far beyond a traditional real estate transaction and may require assistance with finding resources for everything from healthcare and legal services to financial planning, estate sales, and downsizing services.
Mary Benz, Director of Sales and Marketing at Chateau Retirement Communities in Seattle believes that the agents who are a part of Windermere’s Senior Transitions program “Provide a critical need for seniors facing the overwhelming task of downsizing and making a move that marks a milestone for them. These dedicated agents have received additional certification to work with the senior population and have reached out to form relationships with various agencies involved in all aspects of downsizing and moving.”
There are several criteria agents must meet in order to become a certified Windermere Senior Transitions Specialist, including completion of an internal training course entitled “Intro to Senior Transitions”. They must also earn the national Senior Real Estate Specialist designation (SRES) which certifies that agents have demonstrated the necessary knowledge and expertise to counsel seniors through major financial and lifestyle transitions in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home. In addition to this, agents must close a minimum of three “senior” transactions on an annual basis, as well as sign the Windermere Senior Transitions “Standards of Practice” contract which requires agents to abide by a strict code of ethics specific to senior-aged clientele.
For more information, please visit the Windermere Senior Transitions website: www.windermereseniortranstions.com.