Posted: May 06, 2012 / Real Estate Business
Can Social Media sell Key West Real Estate to Boomers - I
What are the most effective social media methods and strategies to target Boomers? Being one myself, and most of my friends, I ask, what do I want in my second home, the community it is in and the realtor selling it to me? But first – what am I? I've never considered myself special enough to be special.  I do my best.  Treat people square.  Expect nothing that isn't mind and more often then not yield even when I don't have to.  Yet everywhere I hear - Boomer.  What is a Boomer?

My spouse and I are healthy, comfortably confident, passionate and involved. We want a second home where we can choose engaging activities, volunteer, read Smith by the pool and join or make friends over chiati.

Marketing. I know what Wow is. It doesn’t come in a can or in a spiral binder. Goods and services create an experience. Speak to my interests. I promise to listen to you when you talk. But you have to do the same for me. If not, I’m off. Don’t forget – Boomers are referral machines. Get me – get my referral.


Age. I’m 59 and except for the little MS thing I’ve been carrying since ’93, my doctor says I’m the healthiest man he knows. My wife says the same, which is good cause I want to look at no one but her. Both she and I know we can’t physically compete with most 30-somethings but we’re also not dragging around any bread basket butts, jelly rolls or beer guts, so if you press us, you might be in for a surprise.


Values. Selma, Memphis, Altamount, Watergate, El Dorado Canyon, Berlin ’61, Berlin ’87, Didn’t inhale, 1000 Points of Light. Highs and lows. Stand up and care. Need I say more?


Fun. People ask me what it was like to fly a jet airplane on and off an aircraft carrier; day, night, rain, shine, snow, sleet, wind, rough seas and smooth. Great Fun! So too was rehabing a school in central Djakarta, an open-air clinic in Phuket and a convent in Karachi. Give back often. Challenge and reward. We’re looking for sensory stimulation with social interaction.


Information. I’ve never liked information presented in bullets. Now even less. Tell me a story, Readers Digest version please. Hallmark card even better. I might not know how to do something, but I’m eager to learn and I’m a quick read so when I say “I got it”, let’s go. If I want more don’t worry I’m not afraid to ask. Guide me up, not preach me down. Otherwise, intro, body, conclusion. Launch ‘em. Learn. Adapt. Do it some more.


Trust. If it looks like a rose. It should smell like one. Boomers research goods and services before they spend their money. By and large I know what I want and when I find it, I buy it. If it’s not what I want then please don’t try and sell it to me. Nothing personal, it just doesn’t reach me on an emotional level.

2001 740il back road NY



For three years I looked on line for a particular car. I knew exactly what I wanted; make and model, year, mileage, price, interior color, exterior color, type of wheels. One day, searching online, it appeared – presto! – in a show room in Providence, RI. I paid for it sight unseen and 7 weeks later flew from Key West to get it. Spent 6 weeks in late September and early November driving byways visiting friends and family in Cape Cod, Cooperstown, Wilmington, DC, Knoxville and Florida panhandle before heading home. I’ll drive it till I’m gone. 


A Little Story about Caring for Your People:


I worked hard to be a top carrier jet pilot in the Navy. A guy you could trust. At a squadron party one night a young wife walked over to me. She says “You’re Waldo aren’t you?” My nickname was Waldo. Back when my moustache was a little redder and a lot more handle-bar-ly. Nicknames break down the “Sir” barrier that can clog communications between senior and junior officers. Flying jets around aircraft carriers demands split-second trust and a “Sir” barrier can mean the diff between making it or not.

“Yeah I’m Waldo.” I said. Remember, this was a party but this girl was afraid … almost grave. She says who her husband is and he’s headed to the carrier with me in a few days. I’m going to be the the boss of the group. She says they’re newlyweds, it’s her first time away from family and it’s his first time to the carrier. And she is frightened, a lot, ‘cause she knows that sometimes not everyone who goes out comes back.

USS Constellation

I moved a little closer to her so it was just she and I. And, taking her hand, I said quietly … eye to eye.


“Your husband and I love flying. It brings us to life. We know the risks but we’ve measured the job and the joy of flying is so great that the dangers hardly exist. Your husband is a good guy. I like him. He’s ready. I wouldn’t take him if he wasn’t. You can ask anyone here about that. But I will tell you one thing – he’d be a damn fool to do something stupid and risk not living a long life with a beautiful girl like you.


So I’ll make you a deal. You write him a note every day and I’ll make sure he’s around to read them”.


Two days later and off we went.


Four months. December, January, February and March in the Mediterranean. Windy, sleet, white caps and ice. Rough seas, gripping fog and starless nights. Lots of times we wore wet suits under our flight gear – so if rescuers found us we’d be only mostly frozen instead of Mrs. Paul’s. We did our stuff day and night. We even scared ourselves a few times.

Landing Signal Officer watching an F-18


Finally – time to go home. April and back to our base in a horizontal rain, 38 degrees and a low ceiling. A bone chiller. Didn’t see the runway until 1 mile out. We landed safely, though after landing on a carrier and going from 150 to 0 mph in 182 feet, landing on the runway felt like we were running in new loafers on a tilted hockey rink.


We parked and hustled into the hangar. Inside a small band of shivering but happy families and friends. Wives, kids, girlfriends, more kids, parents, some signs and a few flowers. Smiles, tears and pats on the back. Just off to the side stood our young wife. In an overcoat. She looked a little thicker then I remembered. From a ways off I looked to her face and sought some recognition but she just kind of looked down and away. As if caught off guard but with a good explanation. Well.

F-18 in the wires

I thought she was going to squeeze her man in half. Rooted, they held each other fiercely, a lifetime of longing no longer waiting.


Off they went. Intertwined. Just before rounding the corner she turned, found me and over her shoulder mouthed a silent “Thank you”.


As always I went home by myself. There was never anyone special waiting for me. But I tell you. Going home that night – I felt Great. Trust and respect. Giving and caring.


If you have any comments, please contact me here.


Most Christmases I’ll receive her card “Merry Christmas – Thanks Again”. That was 30 years ago.


You hook a Boomer and you’re hooked for life.