With an ageing population in Australia, one in four Australians now live alone, and these people are more likely to be women. Additionally, young women are now more likely than young men to be looking to invest in their first home and secure their financial future.
For real estate agents, these clients are worth keeping in mind when building your business. Many of these buyers or sellers might need to downsize from a large family home, or find a suitable home close to work and public transport. Others might be looking for financial advice or help with finding a mortgage for their first home. Our existing housing stock still needs to catch up to this new reality, along with our marketing strategies.
“Millennial women are more likely than men to be investing in property.”
As an agent, you might be involved in the sale of a family home due to bereavement or divorce, you might also handle the purchase of a new apartment or investment property. Alternatively, you might find that people come to your for advice about selling to downsize or release equity upon retirement. These are all significant decisions, particularly if they have to be made under stressful circumstances, if the seller has been in their home for many years, or if they are a first-time buyer.
Read on for some tips about how to engage and assist singles and women and hopefully build long-term client relationships.
Who are these clients?
The chances of living alone increases with age, and more of those living alone are women. Plus, young single women are snapping up property now that prices have steadied. Here are some quick facts and figures.
- In Australian in 2011, 24% of households are one-person, with about 13% of adults overall living alone.
- Of these households, 55% are women, many of whom are professionals and high-income earners.
- Interestingly, home ownership is now higher in women than men up until the age of 65. Younger women are more likely to own their own home, with or without a mortgage, than men, and pay off their mortgages earlier.
- In terms of age, 31% of those living alone are middle-aged people, while those over the age of 79 has increased to 15%. While the proportion of households living alone increased steadily since World War Two (8% in 1946 to 24% in 2001) it has now levelled off.
- As you would expect, the older people are, the more likely they are to be living in their own home and not rental accommodation.
Create opportunities to engage women and singles
As an agent, you are in a position to give your clients information about buying or selling that will keep them well-informed and confident about the process. If you do your job well, you might well have a loyal client for life.
There are a few ways you can attract these clients. Here are some that have worked for One Agency principals.
Hold wealth creation seminars for women or singles
Here you can give advice about the best areas for investment properties or apartment living, and offer savings tips, etc.
Invite a financial adviser to speak to your clients
Consider holding an information night with a financial adviser to answer questions around financial issues like negative gearing, interest rates and so on. With the current uncertainty in the housing market and talk of changes around tax and negative gearing, up-to-date information and an opportunity to ask questions will be welcomed by many.
Partner with a mortgage broker who can work with your clients
Developing a business relationship with a mortgage broker you know and trust is another way to grow as a business and provide a more rounded service for your clients. While buyers are not obligated to use your broker, they might want to make the process as fast and smooth as possible. Recommending someone to them that you work with regularly will demonstrate your ability to streamline the buying and selling process.
Amend your CRM/database to reflect singles/women
When building your all-important database, note which of your clients are single, and tailor your marketing accordingly. People living alone, particularly older women, often struggle to find the right property – well-priced, not too big, close to shops and public transport, and safe and secure. And younger women looking to buy their first home will appreciate a call about a great property that’s just come up. It’s worth keeping in touch with these clients and checking in every so often in case their circumstances have changed and they are looking to buy or sell, particularly if you have a property that might be perfect for them.
All of these services can help to create a client for life – someone who will remember you when they decide to buy or sell, and recommend you to their friends as someone who understands their particular real estate needs as a single person.
"It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep that counts."
‒ Paul Davies, Founder and CEO