7801 Deercreek Club Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

Learn how to help 55+ clients make life-changing decisions

Learn how to help 55+ clients make life-changing decisions

Earn the Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation


Paul Ellsworth, a broker associate with Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC, has found earning the National Association of REALTORS® Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES) designation to be particularly advantageous.

“SRES® is an excellent designation to have when you are working with the 55+ community, and I have already had it work to my advantage in many ways,” Ellsworth said. “I once received a phone call from a REALTOR® in Austin, Texas. Her mother and father were relocating from Chicago, Illinois, to Northeast Florida because her brother was living in the Ponte Vedra community. She deliberately sought me out because I had earned my SRES certification. I immediately thought of communities in the Nocatee area that deal with the 55+ community, and I was able to help her parents.”

The SRES® designation is for REALTORS® who want to be able to meet the special needs of customers over the age of 55 who are buying, selling, relocating, or refinancing residential or investment properties. By earning the SRES® designation, REALTORS® are better prepared to assist older clients with the best options and information as they make life-changing decisions.

NEFAR will offer the SRES® designation course on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 28 & 29 at the NEFAR Resource Center, 7801 Deercreek Club Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256. The class will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be taught by renowned real estate instructor Patti Ketcham of the Ketcham Realty Group, Inc. of Tallahassee.

“This is hands down my very favorite course to teach from the National Association of REALTORS®,” said Ketcham, who teaches throughout the state of Florida and is a member of the Florida Real Estate Commission. “I love it! If you don’t take this class, you are missing out because there are two things that seniors have – time and money.”

Specifically, the SRES course teaches key differences in housing options that may appeal to the over age 55 set. Among the choices discussed in the course are age-restricted communities that include assisted living and nursing home progressions.

Class participants will also learn how to utilize applications of the Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA), the ins and outs of reverse mortgages, pensions, 401K accounts and IRAs, which may be used to finance real estate transactions.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security also affect the real estate decisions of clients over 50. It is important that REALTORS® understand how to protect their customers from mortgage, finance, and loan schemes that target senior borrowers.

As Ellsworth discovered, having the SRES designation can be quite lucrative. Because his name had been added to an online SRES® member database, the Texas-based REALTOR® was able contact him as a REALTOR® with special expertise needed to assist her parents as they searched for a home in Northeast Florida. REALTORS® with the SRES® designation also have access to the members-only section of the SRES® website as well as consumer marketing materials, a quarterly newsletter, marketing letters and scripts and concepts for contacting clients over age 50.

Having the SRES designation is essential for a REALTOR® to attract a more well-rounded customer base. “Earning the SRES® certification shows that the REALTOR® is sensitive to the 55+ community,” Ellsworth said.