Senior buyers are getting savvier, and home builder software developers are recognizing this shift. According to a Deloitte survey, for example, the use of social networks by Boomers and older buyers went from 40 percent two years ago to more than 80 percent last year.
This new sophistication is reflected in innovative tech initiatives such as Sales Simplicity’s senior living website, SeniorCare.SalesSimplicity.com, which is integrated into its CRM and sales software suite. Company president Barry Forbes says standard Sales Simplicity software has been adapted to include senior living terminology and requirements, such as income and asset fields—critical information for assisted-living communities where tenancy can be determined by Medicaid regulations. “Senior living construction and sales and the need to manage that is going to grow significantly in the near term and long term,” he says.
Homefront Software is using its off-the-shelf solutions to help builders focus on older home buyers. CEO Daryl Shenner says builders are increasingly using the category and filter features to create databases of buyer prospects ages 50-plus, tailoring the sales campaigns and CRM to them. “These buyers want more frequent updates, more access to the builder and information, and they want access on their terms,” says Shenner. “Builders are going to have to use software to make those connections.”
Craig Schweikart, vice president of Constellation’s Builder 360 division, says adapting software is as simple as renaming certain spaces within the home using an interactive floor plan function. “The Gen Xer is looking for an office, the empty-nester is looking for a media room; you adapt the labeling to reflect what that group of buyers is looking for,” he says.