With loads of inventory, high end retirement communities across the country are re-vamping their marketing strategy to boomers according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Retirement communities in Arizona, California, Florida and other vacation destinations are pitching older Americans so-called retirement getaways, a few nights in a model home with access to all the luxury amenities,” reports the WSJ.
The test drive before you buy approach seems to working. According to the article:
For example, since January 2010, the Trilogy at Monarch Dunes reports that more than 20% of the couples who bought their test-drive package went on to buy a home – about 32 couples. Across the Robson Resort Communities’ seven retirement properties, roughly 75% of the 3,200 people who participated in its getaway program are now permanent residents, according to a spokesperson for the company. “It’s a good sales tool for communities because people might have doubts, but when they get there they can see the advantages and disadvantages,” says Sandra Timmermann, executive director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
Some of the communities are offering the opportunity to for free but others can cost as much as $200 per night. Factor in the meals and transportation and it could end up costing consumers significantly more. Don’t forget about the sales pitch that borrowers will have to sit through either.
A spokesperson for Robson Communities told the WSJ that for its Pebble Creek community, consumers will spend about an hour with a sales associate, who talks about the community, gives you a tour and hands you a personalized itinerary for the weekend, including dinner with a resident couple.