If you checked out our blog last week, you know that we recently attended (and truly enjoyed!) NASMM 2017! In a conference themed “Exceeding Expectations”, we were not surprised to find a Master Class dedicated to understanding the needs of Baby Boomers & older adults. As move managers, we tend to take pride in our service being a process, not a product, and our priority being people, not possessions. (That may sound funny in the context of moving – but our role is to not only manage the physical transition at hand, but the social, mental and emotional one as well!) In the Master Class we attended, we learned how what we do has surprising ramifications with regards to the needs of the population we serve. In an era where many traditionally relational business models are turned into virtual and technical processes, the opposite holds true for the move management industry!
To put things in perspective, the increasingly availability of information over the last 50 years has created a seismic shift in power from the company to the customer. Yet those of us who work in aging markets are serving clients who remember life well before the availability of such information, and after. Combine that lifelong perspective with the needs of the life transition involved in a move and you have very specific service goals that need to be met to ultimately serve YOU best!
Whether the service that older adults and Baby Boomers seek is a new art, lost art or changing art – it’s a commitment we strictly adhere to. So exactly what DOES service look like in our industry today?! Here is an overview of what market analysis tells us older adults want – and we are pretty sure humanity agrees!
***We’d like to give full credit to Presenter Jim Gilmartin who shared these insights (and MANY more!) in the Master Class “Everything You Think You Know About Sales & Marketing to Baby Boomers & Older Customers May Be Wrong”.
#1: Dialogue – NOT monologue.
Do you want someone to tell you how to feel when you move? Do you expect a one-sided conversation about the desired outcome of your transition? Of course not! Senior move management is never a ‘take it or leave it’ service model – it’s an open dialogue with ongoing evaluations of what’s working – and what’s not – in this transition for you.
#2: People-centric – NOT product-centric.
Back in the day, a ton of time and energy was spent on showcasing the product – the specifications, the details and the quality. While we’d be happy to show you our moving vans…we hope you believe in US as people even more than you believe in the tools of our trade. And speaking of people…this relationship-based business means that we focus on YOU and your needs, not on what we do and our needs.
#3: Emotional – NOT rational.
This one might surprise you! You mean that you can make decisions rooted in emotion?! Of course! Asking someone to be purely rational in the midst of a highly sensitive process isn’t fair or productive. Our homes and our possessions are the roots of our sentimentality and that is okay. Understanding the emotion and attachment within your move is the most critical part of our job. We promise you will never hear the words ‘just give it away’ or ‘it’s only a _______’.
#4: Collaborative – NOT directive.
We are definitely here to guide, and sometimes even here to follow! Through collaboration between you, us and the combined resources and providers involved in your move – it is definitely more like a crossing road of collaboration than a one-way street. In a step beyond the ‘dialogue not monologue’ approach, it’s customary that we communicate openly with you but also your realtor, stager, mover, etc. as needed. We’ve even helped family members communicate their needs, concerns and wishes with one another in the context of moves related to safety, stability and well-being. It’s not easy – but it’s important!
#5: Metavalues – NOT economic values.
It isn’t all about money. Maybe that is the best benefit of being older and wiser – you realize what is really important in life! Aging puts things in perspective, and as you make a move that right-sizes your life, money may not be the number one determining factor. You may choose to move because of proximity to loved ones, the convenience of needed medical resources, the desire to participate in certain social and cultural events, etc. Senior move managers will never judge whether you could have found something smaller, cheaper or more economical. We’ll keep our focus on higher values such as happiness, health, comfort and peace of mind.
The goal of all of this is to ensure that as Move Managers, we are an absolute experience-provider – not a product-provider. We hope to make your transition as seamless, simple and strategic as it can be – whether up-sizing, downsizing, relocating or entering assisted living. Please let us know if we can help you, your parents or grandparents achieve a move that is right for them, in an experience tailored to their needs.
Cheers to knowing the best is yet to come,
Helen & Julie