Success in Seniors Real Estate™

More than 25% of all home sales involve a seller over 65.

Position yourself as a mature market expert today!

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At SREI we teach you how to

Be Different.

Succeeding in real estate in the coming decade means learning and implementing new and different skills. Many agents simply won’t be equipped when it comes to serving the senior client.

In order to position yourself as the agent of choice for mature homeowners, adult children, and aging service providers, a higher level of expertise along with advanced senior living knowledge is critical.

Our exclusive foundational course titled Success in Seniors Real Estate™ provides you with exactly what you need and much more.

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Success in Seniors Real Estate™ courses are

The most ADVANCED in the industry.

SREI trainings are specifically designed to equip real estate sales professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to better serve their more mature clientele.

SREI courses involve a combination of real estate sales and marketing, business and leadership development, environmental gerontology, and developmental psychology. No other course offers as much depth and diversity as you will find here.

Unlike other training programs which are often taught by novice instructors, SREI trainers have decades of professional experience in real estate sales, senior living issues, and relocation. Most have also served personally as caregivers for aging family members.

Authored by Nikki Buckelew, Ph.D., course materials are considered to be the best in the industry and include a depth of knowledge otherwise available only at a college graduate level.

Engage and collaborate when you join

Live Training Sessions

Online education can be wonderful for many reasons, but sometimes collaborating and connecting with peers on the path to specialization makes learning more enjoyable. Join SREI coaches, trainers, and successful CSHP’s from around the country when you participate in LIVE virtual or in-person trainings. These are included in your registration and held throughout the year.

Part 1: Serving the Senior Client (2021 dates)

July 28th via Zoom meeting (9:30am-4:30pm central)

Dec. 1st via Zoom meeting (9:30am-4:30pm central)

Oct. 18th – In Person – OKC, OK (9am – 5pm central)

Part 2: Building a Senior-Centered Niche (2021 dates)

Aug. 11th via Zoom meeting (9:30am-4:30pm central)

Dec. 8th via Zoom meeting (9:30am-4:30pm central)

Oct. 19th – In Person – OKC, OK (9am – 5pm central)

Success in Seniors Real Estate™ Curriculum



Course Faculty: Dr. Nikki Buckelew, PhD, CSHP, CSDC


This course prepares graduates to manage issues associated with residential relocation in older adults, particularly longtime homeowners and those downsizing into smaller or more manageable residences. Current research will be examined. Residential real estate and senior move management best practices will be discussed. Those having successfully completed the required core courses (Parts 1 and 2), Business Blueprint and Certification (Part 3), and comprehensive exam, are eligible to apply for Certification as a Senior Housing Professional designation administered by the Seniors Real Estate Institute. 


Upon completion of this course you will:

  • Understand the changing demographics impacting the real estate industry today and in the future.
  • Recognize the broad range of issues older adults face as they make decisions about their current and future housing needs.
  • Have the knowledge necessary to effectively guide longtime homeowners through the downsizing and relocation process. 
  • Understand the challenges of older adults and their adult children as they relocate into senior living communities. 
  • Understand the most common types of senior living arrangements available in today’s market.
  • Know the four proven platforms for developing a successful senior real estate niche.
  • Have multiple strategies for filling current knowledge gaps and becoming the authority.
  • Be prepared to develop a strong resource team for both client service and business development. 
  • Understand the seven fundamental truths of successful senior housing professionals.
  • Have the tools and resources for developing both a short and long term pipeline of referrals and leads.


  • Nature of late-life moves for individuals and couples
  • Global attitudes and stereotypes surrounding aging in place and relocation
  • Senior living options and Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA)
  • Relocation-related fears, concerns, and challenges of older adults and caregivers
  • Family relationships and communication
  • Real estate and move management systems and processes
  • Ethical considerations in senior real estate
  • Business building strategies and techniques


Success in Seniors Real Estate: Part 1 – Serving the Mature Client

PT1 SEC1 Orientation and Certification Overview 

PT1 SEC2 Your Purpose and Intentions

PT1 SEC3 People: Getting to Know the Mature Client

PT1 SEC4 Product: Getting to Know Your Inventory

PT1 SEC5 Process: Serving the Mature Client

PT1 SEC6 Professionalism: Doing the Right Thing


Success in Seniors Real Estate: Part 2 – Building a Successful Senior-Centered Business

PT2 SEC1 Differentiation: Define Your Point of Difference

PT2 SEC2 Mastery: Become the Authority

PT2 SEC3 Resources: Expand Your Team

PT2 SEC4 Take Action: Grow Your Business

PT2 SEC5 Personal Platform Development: Sphere of Influence

PT2 SEC6 Professional Platform Development: Business to Business

PT2 SEC7 Senior Living Community Platform Development

PT2 SEC8 Public Platform Development: Become an Influencer

PT2 SEC9 Follow Up: Lead Nurture and Conversion



Each section of the class includes an exam which is delivered through the online student portal. Students must complete each exam with a 100% passing grade to be eligible for the comprehensive exam. The exams are open book. The final comprehensive exam (included in Part 3 only) must be completed with an 80% or higher passing grade to be eligible to apply for certification. 


We understand that creating a senior-centered niche can be complicated or even a little overwhelming at first. That is why we created the Success in Seniors Real Estate Business Blueprint (Part 3). The Business Blueprint is made up of a series of 38 tasks delivered over 23 days. Signature assignments are designed to assist students with implementation of the course content and begin growing a successful senior-centered real estate practice. All signature assignments included in the Business Blueprint must be completed before students are eligible for certification. Grading of signature assignments is based on a qualitative scale. Students are asked to put their best effort into their signature assignments and should the submitted work be deemed as substandard for meeting certification requirements, the student will be contacted for clarification and given an opportunity to revise and resubmit specific assignments. 


Students receive a printed Success in Seniors Real Estate Course Manual by mail following registration. The manual is also available digitally for online learners and can be accessed in the course portal using a student login. 

Required resources:

Success in Seniors Real Estate: PART 1 – Course Manual (printed and online versions provided). 

Buckelew, Nikki (2018) Residential Reasoning in Older Adult Married Dyads: A Phenomenological Study, Dissertation Manuscript. (Available as PDF in course library).

Solie, David (2004) How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders, Prentice Hall Press. (Students must purchase online or check out from the public library).

Recommended reading:

Gawande, Atul (2017) Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Picador Press.

Golant, Stephen (2015) Aging in the Right Place, Health Professions Press.


With the faculty-mentored self-study approach at Seniors Real Estate Institute, students are expected to block the necessary time to complete assignments and implement action steps. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time each week to complete the necessary work involved in this course. All students work at their own pace, however, successful graduates of the program have recommended planning a minimum of 8-10 hours per week over 90-180 days (similar to the investment of time necessary to develop your senior niche over time).  


Students are encouraged to participate in live courses (virtual and in-person). Students should contact their enrollment coordinator to reserve a seat for in-person courses or to gain access to classes delivered via web-conference. Once certified as a CSHP, you may attend live trainings at no additional cost (as long membership is current) by registering through an enrollment coordinator. 


As an online student of Seniors Real Estate Institute, you are invited to participate in monthly masterminding sessions included in your registration. You will receive notifications of these sessions by email. Exclusive sessions for specific topics are posted online on the SREI website and in Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Contact your enrollment coordinator if you have questions about attending these sessions.


To schedule a personal phone or video call or with your instructor or assigned mentor, contact your enrollment coordinator with specific content-related questions or concerns. Faculty and mentor guidance is available during regular office hours on weekdays only. Technical questions or website troubleshooting can typically be addressed by your enrollment coordinator, by contacting SREI’s main phone number or by emailing 


Seniors Real Estate Institute courses are not automatically eligible for continuing education credits. Many real estate licensing authorities will award continuing education credits with proof of participation and curriculum details. Students are solely responsible for providing information to their respective entities for purposes of continuing education. 


Certification as a Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) is awarded to those who qualify only after completion of Success in Seniors Real Estate Parts 1, 2 and 3. Final approval requires reference checks, interview process, and proof of minimum production requirements. 

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Introduction: What Makes SREI Different

This introductory class is an overview of SREI’s Mission, Vision, training philosophy, and offerings.  Get to know the leadership team at SREI and become familiar with how we view important issues such as:

  • Personal and professional growth 
  • The classroom experience
  • Age and ageism 
  • Competition
  • Servant leadership


  • Get to know SREI and the SREI leadership team
  • Explore the path to becoming a Certified Senior Housing Professional
  • Compare and contrast SREI’s approach with other industry programming and experience what makes SREI “different.”

Your Purpose and Path

This foundational core class is designed to assist students with establishing goals and intentions for better serving the older adult client. Whether students intend to become certified or simply want to gain increased expertise in working with the mature market, this class is an excellent opportunity to revisit goals, establish intentions and develop signature stories designed to attract your specific target audience(s). 


  • Get clarity around goals and intentions regarding serving the mature market.
  • Learn the components of a well-written signature story.

People: Getting to Know the Mature Client

In 2030, 72 million Americans will be 65 or over, representing 20% of the overall population. It would be a mistake, however, to make assumptions about this demographic all having similar goals, lifestyles, needs, and circumstances.

The senior adult demographic is as diverse as every other generation and should be studied with this in mind.

In this class we explore aging demographics and how this impacts housing and real estate. We will also review the research associated with how and why older adults make late-life housing choices.


  • Understand the various market segments within the senior demographic.
  • Explore how the demographic shift will impact the global and local real estate markets in the coming decades. 
  • Review the implications of the aging demographic on how real estate is transacted.
  • Understand why some seniors elect to age in place and why others choose to relocate.
  • Discover the five reasons mature adults sell primary residences. 
  • Review the obstacles and challenges associated with late-life moves.
  • Learn how family decision-making can affect late-life moves and real estate transactions.

Product: Getting to Know Your Inventory

Success in Seniors Real Estate teaches you far more than simply the names and categories of the many types of senior living options in today’s market. You will learn about the communities available to real estate agents, but also those not found in the multiple listing service. Gain insight into how placement agencies operate, terminology used within the senior living industry, and commonly held myths and misconceptions about senior living.  


  • Learn appropriate senior housing terminology
  • Learn commonly held senior living myths
  • Learn about the different levels of care and the continuum of care
  • Examine the Housing for Older Persons Act
  • Understand the role of placement agencies in senior housing

Process: Serving the Mature Client

In this class, you will integrate what you learned in sections 3 and 4 into your current real estate sales practices. Many students find that this class not only helps them serve senior adult clients at a higher level, but all clients in every age range and price point. We will cover all aspects of the residential real estate transaction from the pre-consultation through closing. You get key talking points that improve communications and simplify the entire process from start to finish. 


  • Learn the difference between being a functionary vs. a fiduciary.
  • Learn the value of pre-consultation preparations to assess client urgency and motivation.
  • Understand the four basic intentions of prospective clients requesting consultations.
  • Learn how to deal with clients who wish to “Stay put.” 
  • Understand the various communication styles including the pro’s and con’s of using digital or electronic communications.
  • Learn the preferred timeline of most downsizers who have a home with no mortgage
  • Gain insight into key vendors who are beneficial or necessary to facilitate complex late-life or downsizing-related moves
  • Rethink how you were taught pricing, staging, showings, offers, negotiations, and the closing process as it relates to serving the more mature clientele.

Professionalism: Doing the Right Thing

This Seniors Real Estate Institute course is designed to help you prepare in advance for possible ethical dilemmas related to serving the mature client. We all believe we would “do the right thing,” but taking time to consider the potential challenges helps agents to be proactive rather than reactive. 


  • Explore the possible ethical challenges when dealing with older adults and other vulnerable populations transacting real estate.
  • Think critically about how to avoid ethics violations by always doing the right thing.
  • Learn how to recognize and address unethical behaviors.

Differentiation: Define Your Point of Difference

This course by Seniors Real Estate Institute helps you define your target audiences and ideal clients. It’s not enough to simply say you specialize, it’s critical to know what value you bring to the consumer and to business partnerships. In this class you will get clarity about your point of difference and further define your unique value proposition and service offering. 


  • Identify your target audience
  • Identify your ideal client
  • Examine what makes you different than other agents in your market so seniors hire you
  • Craft your specialized value proposition and service offering that supports it

Mastery: Become the Authority

This class helps students who intend to specialize and seek certification to examine the level of knowledge they may currently have and create a strategy for filling any gaps in their current understanding about serving seniors. The five key proven techniques for filling knowledge gaps are discussed in depth by instructors who are actively engaged in the senior real estate market and who have real world experience.


  • Learn the 7 fundamental truths of a successful senior housing professional.
  • Learn the 3 key questions all potential customers and clients ask themselves before they hire an agent.
  • Learn how to increase knowledge in key areas important to success in the mature market.
  • Learn key terms and definitions used in the senior living and aging industries.
  • Learn how to effectively network in the aging services industry.
  • Learn the use of focus groups as a way of increasing knowledge about what seniors and longtime homeowners both want and need from their agent.

Resources: Expand Your Team

This class outlines resource team members who agents need to align themselves with in order to ensure older adult clients, longtime homeowners, and downsizers have access to the services they may need. The “must have” vendors are discussed in detail and five proven ways to find competent and trustworthy vendors are outlined. 


  • Learn to become the “hub” of the transaction
  • Learn which service providers are must haves in the senior real estate transaction
  • Gain insight into how to identify and interview various resource team members

Take Action: Grow Your Business

This section of Success in Seniors Real Estate provides an overview of the 4 key platforms for growing a strong senior real estate niche. At the Seniors Real Estate Institute, we know that not all agents are the same – so we don’t assume they will grow their businesses the same way either. In fact, there are many ways to be successful within the senior real estate niche. 


  • Learn from successful Certified Senior Housing Professionals as they discuss how they have built their businesses. 
  • Instead of spending money on theoretical strategies, invest in proven models that work in today’s senior real estate market.
  • There are many ways to approach the senior market that many other programs never even discuss.  


  • Learn how others are approaching the senior real estate niche.
  • Learn about the two primary types of leads: Sales leads and opportunity leads.
  • Explore the possibilities as it relates to growing a successful mature market niche.

Personal Platform Development: Sphere of Influence

The Seniors Real Estate Institute recognizes that some agents prefer to focus their services on those within a close circle of influence. This class focuses on identifying, categorizing, and expanding your personal sphere of influence. Connecting with them in a way that strengthens relationships and increases opportunities. 


  • Learn how to approach conversations without sounding salesy or pushy.
  • Organize your sphere of influence according to level of priority and opportunity.
  • Learn to structure your lead generation approach based on your personality and behavioral style. 
  • Learn how to utilize social media more effectively to spread the word about your specialty. 

Professional Platform Development: Business to Business

This class is for agents who want to increase their business to business referral partnerships. There are multiple ways to grow a successful senior real estate niche by connecting with like-minded professionals. Your Seniors Real Estate Institute instructors provide dozens of proven strategies to connect, collaborate, and grow referral relationships. 


  • Learn an easy 4 step process for quickly creating strong referral partnerships.
  • Learn where to find like-minded professionals who share a passion for service.
  • Learn scripts for referring to others and for teaching others how to refer to you.

Senior Living Community Platform Development

This class focuses on how to create strong partnerships with senior living community providers in your marketplace. The Seniors Real Estate Institute has been teaching this method for over a decade and continues to adapt and modify the strategies to keep up with current day market conditions. Students receive a comprehensive strategy for how to approach, connect with, and nurture senior community relationships to maximize referral opportunities. 


  • Learn how to identify the right communities to approach as partners. 
  • Learn how to connect with the right people at the right time with the right message.
  • Learn the fatal mistakes real estate agents make when calling on senior communities. 
  • Learn how to grow relationships using an educational consultative approach.
  • Learn key talking points designed to foster win-win relationships that serve the consumer and professionals alike.

Public Platform Development: Become an Influencer

This class is for agents who want to use an educational approach to become the leading authority on senior living issues in their market. The Seniors Real Estate Institute teaches agents how to become community leaders through educational seminars, classes, and workshops. Various strategies for promotion and delivery of such programs are outlined.   


  • Learn strategies for creating and delivering live and online seminars.
  • Learn which advertising and marketing methods deliver the highest (and lowest) return on investment.
  • Learn the topics and talking points mature homeowners are most attracted to. 

Follow Up: Lead Nurture and Conversion

This class teaches the value of staying in touch, as well as practical ways to organize and prioritize leads, moving them through the pipeline. Not all mature adults or homeowners will be ready to move upon first contact with them, so the key is ongoing relationship building and lead nurturing. This class covers best practices for the mature market that may differ from what traditional real estate training emphasizes. 


  • Learn about the 3 interlocking gears of success for lead management.
  • Learn practical and manageable ways to organize your short and long-term pipelines.
  • Learn how to speak to prospective clients in a way that positions you as the authority and causes them to trust you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do the foundational core classes involve?

Not only have we created the most thorough curriculum available related to assisting a more mature clientele with their residential real estate needs and goals, we have also provided a proven series of purposeful action steps to assist agents grow a successful senior real estate niche. These action steps are included in Part 3 and are called Business Blueprint Signature Assignments. Each of the classes in Parts 1 and 2 includes video training segments, written materials, and an open book exam. 

What’s included in the comprehensive exam? 

Each class concludes with a short open book exam covering class concepts. The final comprehensive exam (150 questions) includes important concepts from all course materials. The goal of course examinations is to verify that students have a full understanding and comprehension of the course concepts. 

Why are references required? 

To become a CSHP it isn’t enough to simply be a competent professional. You must also have impeccable character and truly care about people. Applicants must provide a minimum of six references including 3 personal and 3 professional. References are randomly called or emailed by SREI staff for verification. Instructions for obtaining references are included in the Part 3 course materials.

What are the minimum production requirements for certification?

To become fully certified agents must have completed a minimum of 10 transactions in which they were directly involved. These transactions need not involve senior adult clients. Those with fewer than the required number of closed sales must name a mentor who meets the production standard and who has been an active real estate associate or broker for 3 years or more. 

What is involved in the peer interview process?

Beginning in 2020, all applicants must participate in a formal interview with the CSHP professional standards committee. Interviews are conducted via web-conference. Applicants may be asked about hypothetical case studies involving ethics or other questions concerning serving the senior client. The committee also researches any past ethics violations and seeks to better understand the nature of such violations. Some violations may prohibit certification. 

Renewal requirements

Annual membership as a Certified Senior Housing Professional is $129.00. Membership renewal is one year from the date of initial certification and then every year on that date going forward. To be eligible for renewal, members must verify completion of specific continuing education credits outlined elsewhere. These credits are unrelated to state licensure requirements. 

What is the CSHP badge? 

The image below is used by Certified Senior Housing Professionals to assist them in identifying others similarly qualified in various geographic areas. The badge is instrumental in illustrating your professionalism to consumers and vendor partners seeking a higher level of expertise. 


Enroll in the 3-part bundle!

$947 $697

Bundle Savings!

Enroll in Parts 1, 2 & 3 and get a jumpstart on completing the Business Blueprint and certification process.

Part I: Serving the Senior Client

$199 $149

Special Pricing

Register for Part I and improve your service to seniors and their families.

Learn More About Part IEnroll in SSRE Part I Now

Part II: Building a Senior Business

$499 $399

Special Pricing

Continue your path by learning how to build a senior-centered business.

Learn More About SSRE Part IIEnroll in SSRE Part II Now

Part III: Business Blueprint and Certification Track


Earn the CSHP

Take action and become the authority in your market.

Learn More About SSRE Part III