Downsizing is often a difficult decision to make for our older generations.

The financial implications have been stacked against mature homeowners in recent years. Stamp duty, capital gains and low-interest rates have meant that holding onto property has been a more sensible option and with higher inheritance tax thresholds, property price growth, equity release options and the lowering of early pension release age limits, it is easy to see why many retirees are staying put.

There is also the emotional attachment to a property to consider. Perhaps they raised their family there and it offers a great amount of security and comfort to them. Maybe they have friends, family and are part of a close-knit community and moving would make them feel isolated and alone.

These are all compelling reasons not to move but if we are to help free up more properties for growing families, highlighting the positive reasons to downsize is imperative.

  • House price rises are slowing down and in some areas, dropping.
  • Bank interest rates are predicted to increase in a few months time.
  • Fuel and heating costs are increasing.
  • The cost of food and basic necessities is soaring.

These are just the black and white reasons to move.

If we really want to encourage older generations to downsize, maybe looking at the way we market the alternatives would be a great place to start.

Retirees are being pigeon-holed into ‘retirement village/communities’ – and they don’t like it.

Has anyone ever considered that this is the last thing many of them want? Today’s pensioners are active, healthy and have a great deal to offer their communities so why do estate agents want to exclude them from what is commonly referred to as starter homes or small family homes? Instead, targeting them with what is in effect segregation, via custom built retirement properties?

Some people certainly need the extra support that retirement communities offer, but the vast majority of retirees are fully independent and could probably teach us a thing or two.

One of the main obstacles cited as a reason not to downsize is a lack of places to buy.

However, if there are families desperate to move to larger properties and older homeowners equally keen to downsize, is the real issue just a lack of effective marketing?

Take a look at your own listing and you will soon see that everything is geared to climbing up the ladder but promoting a property as a perfect place to downsize is sorely neglected.

Why not try rethinking who you are targeting with your marketing? 

A  small or ‘starter home’ could be the perfect place to ‘start a new chapter in life’. Compact and modern with a small low maintenance garden? Perfect if you want to enjoy life and cut down on the hard work and bills! 

Our older generations have so much to offer and want to be a useful part of our communities. They also make great neighbours! Include them in your local developments and see your community’s spirit rise.

Surrounding yourself with young and active people is a proven way to help stay physically healthy and mentally alert for longer. It’s also really great for kids, as many recent research projects have indicated – so including downsizing in your marketing material could be a big win-win for all. 

Above all, it’s always worth remembering; The more inclusive you are, the greater the possibilities for success.

Don’t forget to include your website in your marketing plan. Silver surfers are the fastest growing group of internet users so make sure your website is appealing and easy for them to use.

If you need help making your site more user-friendly, please get in touch.