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Realtors told to tweak sales tactic for retirees

Posted on June 25, 2012 10:12:15 PM [  BusinessWorld Online ]

REAL ESTATE firms need to reinvent marketing strategies for their retirement villages, the Retirement and Healthcare Coalition (RHC) yesterday said, noting the need to lure foreign senior residents through short stays first before selling them a long-term investment.

“Comparing the already existing retirement projects in the Philippines with other retirement communities worldwide, one difference can be seen in the marketing approach of the projects,” RHC Executive Director Marc Daubenbuechel said in a statement.

“Here in the Philippines... they are not using tourism marketing tools and the only option in nearly all their projects is buying a property,” Mr. Daubenbuechel said further.

A “tourism-based approach,” would require developers to improve amenities such as entertainment, leisure and health facilities.

“Foreign retirees that leave their home country do not want to live in an empty village. For them it is very important to be embraced by the new community,” he noted.

Property firms should also allow long-term leases.

“Giving them the option to have a long-term lease gives them the feeling of owning a property but at the same time retaining for them the option of moving back to their home country, if necessary,” Mr. Daubenbuechel said.

Putting up hotels or condotels within retirement villages will also likely improve attractiveness of developments.

This would allow foreigners to “test-live” in the facility and assess their [level of comfort] in the Philippines, Mr. Daubenbuechel said.

Developers were likewise urged to “take special care” in obtaining professional design and planning services for facilities and buildings.

It went to say that the government and the private sector “still need to learn more about retirement villages and the best practices worldwide.” -- Kim Arveen M. Patria

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