When planning for a 55+ community, it is important to bring forth the lifestyle that they are envisioning for themselves. Consider wine as a staple to win them over. Seriously! Boomers tend to look at wine differently than other generations. In fact, they tend to have a glass more nights out of the week than any other generation. Perhaps a part of this is attributed to the free time this buyer finally has, now that the kids are reaching independence. Wine is far more than a simple beverage to pair with dinner. It’s a universal symbol for celebration!
My first rule to selling to the 55+ buyer: Make it fun! Wine is one of the most social drinks and is the preferred beverage for the 55+ demographic. Let’s integrate that lifestyle into the design of the home, the interiors, the sales center and the clubhouse.
When we first proposed a wine area in the NEXTadventure Home, it generated a lot of enthusiasm, particularly with Martin, the activity director for the Esplanade 55+ community. “Oh, they love anything and everything to do with wine!” So we made the wine display very prominent in the home – right off the foyer and adjacent to the kitchen and family room. Interior design firm, Lita Dirks & Co. took it to the next level and made the display truly memorable with a suspended cabinet, lighting for above and below, and rocks on the floor to make it feel like a grotto. Wow! Everyone loved it.
In addition to the decorative display, wine connoisseurs need space to actually store the wine. The dedicated beverage center in the NEXTadventure has just that. For those that won’t use it for wine, the beverage center includes a second under-counter refrigerator for beer, soft drinks and other chilled beverages.
Beyond the home, wine plays a vital role as well. One of the hurdles of selling to this buyer is getting them comfortable with leaving the familiarity of their existing neighborhood into a new one where they don’t know anyone. Starting over can be scary (although, for some, that idea sells itself). Couples love being able to take an evening stroll around the community, and a glass of wine makes the perfect ice-breaker! Bring the experience full-circle by including wine tasting events in the clubhouse or a wine tasting trip to local restaurants (limo driver recommended for this!).
Wine is just one of the many supporting acts that comprise 55+ design, turning a vision into a realized lifestyle. Make it fun for them!