Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian downsizers are actively searching and embracing digital technology like never before, with some even completing a property purchase without ever physically stepping foot into the home.

Well before COVID-19, Australian downsizers were already digitally savvy. 

Research published in 2019 found that 70 per cent of Australians aged between their 50s and 90s used a search engine every day.

Since the onset of COVID-19, an even greater number of these Australians have been using digital technology to connect with friends and family, research options and make online purchases. 

Thanks to COVID-19, 34 per cent of over 60s are now even more confident with technology, according to research by South Australia’s Global Centre for Modern Ageing.

During COVID-19, many property developers and vendors have switched to offering virtual inspections, including through platforms such as Downsizing.com.au and OverSixty.com.au

In late June 2020, NSW couple John and Rosemary Gooch purchased a new Stockland retirement village unit at Laurieton on the State’s mid-north coast, solely on the basis of a series of virtual tours.

“I’d looked at the apartment so many times (online), I knew it backwards,” Ms Gooch said. “I knew every room, every little bit, so we knew it was going to be good.”

John and Rosemary Gooch purchased this apartment on the basis of virtual tours

Leading land lease community provider Ingenia Lifestyle has also reported many thousands of views of its virtual home tours launched in March 2020, with nearly half of all users coming back to review the tours more than once. Ingenia has also reported a virtual purchase.

“Over 50s are definitely more comfortable using virtual technology,” said Ingenia Chief Operating Officer Nikki Fisher. “We’ve seen that many have taken the opportunity during lockdown to improve their digital skills, frequency of use and trying new platforms such as video calling.”

Structural shift to digital marketing

Downsizing.com.au co-CEO Amanda Graham said COVID-19 had accelerated the shift to digital already underway amongst downsizers and empty nesters looking for a better lifestyle and for options to manage their financial commitments.

“During COVID-19, we have really seen a very strong structural shift to digital channels, which has been helped along by the shutdown of many local newspapers,” Ms Graham said. 

“This has meant that more downsizers are searching for, inspecting and even buying homes online and want to learn more about developments through virtual tours or online events. 

“This is the most resilient residential property market segment during COVID-19, and these are the buyers who have accumulated the most home equity throughout their working lives and are now looking to de-leverage their finances and achieve a better lifestyle at the same time. 

“They are open to options and they don’t want to wait years to make it happen.

“Advertisers are now able to target the right prospective buyers online at scale, and generate a high volume of high quality sales leads very quickly.” 

Downsizing.com.au co-CEO Amanda Graham

Downsizing.com.and OverSixty.com.au can reach digitally savvy downsizers

Downsizing.com.au and OverSixty.com.au have formed a partnership to promote downsizer-friendly property projects to their combined audience of mature-aged consumers.

 Together, these two digital platforms reach over one million website users per month, along with 500,000 Facebook followers and 120,000 newsletter subscribers.

Starting as a Facebook community six years ago, OverSixty.com.au has grown its audience rapidly to become the one-stop destination to keep over 60s in the know. 

Downsizing.com.au is Australia’s number one online destination for anyone looking to downsize from the family home, or transition to the next stage of retirement living.

In addition to offering highly targeted online promotion and social media amplification of property projects, Downsizing.com.au has also just launched a new digital service which allows developers, marketing professionals and agents to attract more likely buyers to upcoming open days, events, talks and online tours. 

Prospective advertisers who want to find out more about these great opportunities to reach this valuable audience can contact Downsizing.com.au at enquiries@downsizing.com.au  

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