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Baby Boomers Text, Skype, and Twitter, Should Your Reverse Mortgage Company?

image The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is now over but I wanted to point out that there was a Silver Summit which focused on the intersection of baby boomers, their parents, and technology.  The day-long exhibit featured speakers and product demonstrations from AARP, gaming giant Electronic Arts, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft and others showing how boomers are playing an important role in technology.

Most people don’t realize how many baby boomers are using technology on a daily basis.  "They’re doing things that 80-year-olds weren’t doing 15 years ago," said Howard Byck, senior vice president for lifestyle products for AARP.  However, getting retailers and advertisers to recognize this is a constant battle says Byck.

Video game developer Electronic Arts says about a third of visitors to its puzzle, word and board game site are Boomers or older who say they play Pogo games to keep their minds sharp. AARP also said that its own gaming area (Sudoku, Solitaire, etc.) is the most-visited part of AARP.

Boomers aren’t using technology just for games, Forrester Research found that Americans 55 to 64 are more active in online finance and shopping than those under 55.  If you’re putting off upgrading your company website, think about this for a second. 

Golden Gateway Financial, a relatively small reverse mortgage company, who according to HUD’s Neighborhood Watch closed 31 HECMs in the last 12 months.  The company is constantly mentioned in publications like the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger, NPR, and others.  How did they pull this off when there are lenders out there doing more volume? 

Its website and reverse mortgage calculator.  Besides NRMLA, Golden Gateway is quoted in the press more than any other reverse mortgage lender because of its website.  Kudos to them, for putting the effort into its website, and maybe its because they’re new to the business.  If you’re still marketing to seniors the same way you did 5 years ago, you will not be successful in the long run. 

Mary Furlong, a marketing consultant, said it best at the CES conference.  "Hell, no, they won’t go," she says of Boomers trying to resist old age. "We text, we Skype, we Twitter," says Furlong.  Boomers will never be seniors in the traditional sense.

Older folks like Wii, PCs and cellphones, too (USA Today)

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