HOMEFINDER: Victoria realtors focusing in on seniors

National Association of Realtors has program to teach realtors how to cater to senior market

It’s no secret Victoria’s population is one of the oldest in Canada.

With 115,735 residents over the age of 55, just over a third of the population, Greater Victoria has the third highest elderly population in the country, just behind Peterborough, Ont. and Kelowna, according to the 2011 census.

With that in mind, it should be no surprise that the city is also home to more than a few senior real estate specialists (SRES).

SRES is an official designation created in 2007 and granted by the National Association of Realtors to members of the Canadian Real Estate Association upon completion of the respective course.

Chris Kirby, an SRES at Slegg Realty, said that there are several factors that put Victoria at the top of the list for many seniors, retirees in particular.

“The biggest pull is the climate,” Kirby said. “Winter can be really challenging, especially as you get older. A lot of people from other provinces start looking at Victoria once they retire, because they don’t have to worry about icy roads. The fact that you can golf all year here is a huge draw as well.”

Kirby said Victoria is a popular spot to retire even for people from Vancouver, due to the lower cost of living, especially for those looking to spend their golden years in a home by the sea.

Just like the needs of older residents, the services provided by age-restricted condominiums can vary greatly, with some providing dinners for residents or even daily check-ins by staff.

Andy Stephenson, a SRES with Sotheby’s Realty, said that accessibility is important for realtors to take account when working with older clients.

“Not all seniors are internet savvy, some are hard of hearing and their sight is not always good,” Stephenson said. “Small things, like using larger font in paperwork, can be helpful, and you can’t expect to send PDF documents over email and have the client print them off.”

When trying to reach an older demographic, many realtors rely on print advertisements, particularly in magazines that specialize in “senior living,” though many SRES also cater to the general market. However, Kirby said that an increasing amount of seniors are now using Facebook, and having the ability to buy ads on the website that only appear on the screens of users over the age of 55, has helped him get his name out to potential clients.

While the Victoria real estate market has no shortage of homes, or realtors, suitable for seniors, Kirby said that a new home isn’t always the best option.

“The first thing I look at is what the difficulty with the current home is, and if there’s anything that can be done to improve it,” he said. “Sometimes there’s an easy fix, and a lot of people don’t know that its often tax-deductible. For some seniors, the thing they want most is to stay in their own home.”

 

 

Just Posted

Choir study shows people with dementia can learn new songs

Volunteers need for Alzheimer’s helpline, World Alzheimer’s Day is Sept. 21

Victoria’s ‘Penny Girl’ to tell story of gender transition in new documentary

Frankie Edroff will write film, Empress Avenue Media to direct, produce project funded by Telus Storyhive

Four Greater Victoria mayors to be acclaimed in fall election

No election in District of Highlands with six council candidates up for six seats

First phase of Highway 14 improvement project nears completion

Province ready to start more work this fall in Sooke

United Way asks Victoria to share local love

2018 campaign aims to raise another $5M

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Pot, cash, mansions: Judge divvies up illegal estate of divorcing B.C. couple

The Smiths ran a multi-million marijuana operation that spanned three counties

Most Read