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When homebuyers are looking for a real estate professional to work with, their options are seemingly endless. The real estate industry is a competitive one, and it often takes more than just drive to edge out the competition and secure the trust of prospects. One National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) designation that can certainly help make a splash when attempting to attract mature consumers: the Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) designation.

John “Skip” Frenzel, owner of Agape Real Estate and Agape Long Term Care, is a Realtor® who is not only SRES®- designated, but also a proponent of NAR’s GRI, with other designations such as CRS to his name. While Frenzel currently only conducts referral business, he’s an instructor of the SRES® class, teaching Realtors® about the importance of working with seniors and their families.

“Seniors are the elephant in the room. Ten thousand people per day are turning 65 and going into retirement. It’s such a huge segment of the population that really needs to be addressed,” says Frenzel.

Baby boomers are at a “pivotal age,” says Frenzel, and many are going through shifts in their lives.

“Boomers are reaching milestones. They have to adjust to accommodate these things and, of course, that’s also true of housing. They don’t think of how a house is going to affect them when they get older or become disabled and need help. A two-story home can be an obstacle for many people and some might have to sell to get a single-story home or some other way to accommodate that need,” he says.

And that’s exactly where the SRES® designation comes into play. With the SRES® designation, Realtors® can learn how to meet the special needs of maturing Americans who are buying, selling, relocating or refinancing their residential or investment properties. Armed with information targeted toward this specific age-range, agents can help seniors figure out the best options available so they can continue making their important, life-changing decisions.

Seniors’ needs revolve around four major transitions, says Frenzel: the death of a spouse, retirement, moving (because they have to), and no longer being able to drive.

“The real estate agent that’s sensitive to these various transitions will be able to have the knowledge to help seniors with each of these and hopefully make their lives a little bit easier,” says Frenzel.

During the SRES® training, agents learn how to deal with the senior market, which, just like every other segment, has its own special dos and don’ts.

“A lot of times I’ll get the excuse, ‘I’ve been working with seniors for years so I don’t need to take the class.’ Well, a patient who has a heart attack isn’t going to be a cardiologist just because they have that experience. It’s the same with agents dealing with seniors,” says Frenzel.

With more knowledge and education in tow, Realtors® can help service their aging clientele better than ever before, and that level of high-end service for seniors can only come from an agent who is SRES®-designated.

“The designation is not only important to Realtors®, but it’s essential,” says Frenzel. “Not only can it help with getting more business, but the added knowledge is paramount toward being able to help these people.”

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