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Specializing in Seniors – How Realtors Can Embrace the Role of Advisor

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RISMEDIA, March 31, 2008-In keeping with the evolving expectations of their clients, Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES(R)) — a designation of the National Association of Realtors(R) — took steps to enhance their ability to advise older Americans in decisions about senior housing. Through a partnership with SNAPforSeniors(R), SRES members now have access to the most current and comprehensive database of senior housing options in the United States.According to a 2006 survey conducted by SRES, 29% of home sellers age 65 and older move into an active-adult community or senior-related housing.

“It’s a non-traditional role for a Realtor to fulfill because, by and large, there is not a lot of ‘buying’ involved when dealing with senior housing,” says Gene Glasco, an SRES designated Realtor from Arcadia, Calif. “It’s about being able to counsel the client through every facet of the process; it’s a distinguishing factor to go beyond just helping them sell their house, and be able to facilitate confident and informed decision making regarding senior housing.”

Whether helping families find assisted living for a dependent parent with Alzheimer’s disease, or locating an independent living community on a golf course for empty-nesters, SNAPforSeniors allows agents to provide helpful recommendations for clients in search of senior housing.

The resource also provides agents with a method of finding senior housing anywhere in the nation. This often proves important, as the SRES study indicates that nearly one-third of home sellers age 65 and older end up living 100 miles or more away from the property that they sold.

“Before, I could only offer my clients limited information about senior housing options in the immediate area,” says Glasco, who had early access to the tool. “This resource allows me to provide them with a qualified list of options anywhere in the nation. The information is also objective, which is something they aren’t likely to find elsewhere.”

SNAPforSeniors allows SRES(R) agents to conduct detailed senior housing searches based on criteria such as lifestyle amenities, care needs, diet, languages spoken, even health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

“The senior housing landscape has transformed dramatically in recent years, and many Americans aren’t aware of the exciting range of options that are now available,” says Carol Kairis, Managing Director for SRES. “Whether it’s active adult communities, assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, there are a lot of options out there and we’re here to help. Our agents are specially trained to address the financial, physical and transitional needs of older Americans.”

The SRES designation was created more than 10 years ago to focus on the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50 and older. It became an official member of the National Association of Realtors family of designations in March 2007. SRES designees receive extensive training and have exhibited the knowledge and expertise necessary to counsel clients age 50-plus in navigating their unique housing needs.

Derek Preston, CEO of SNAPforSeniors, said he sees the relationship with SRES(R) as a natural fit.

“Our mission is to help people get complete, unbiased answers to difficult questions about their senior housing options,” says Preston. “We’re proud to be partnering with the SRES Council to bring this valuable information to families and support the Realtors that are providing this help to them. There is a tremendous need for this kind of assistance, and I’m glad that SRES(R) has taken the initiative in empowering its 16,000 designees to help consumers across the country.”

For more information, visit http://www.seniorsrealestate.com, or call (800)500-4564.

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