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The realistic unemployment rate exceeds 15% or more. This number represents those who have part time employment hoping for a full time job and those who have abandoned the search all together. It is a depressing and frightening time for the unemployed and those who consider themselves facing the potential of joining their ranks.
Last year our profession felt the consequence of the dismal downturn that has the nation in a funk. Sales numbers fell reflecting the pain of those we serve. Their insecurities and limitations impacted our businesses dramatically. Sales fell to 2003 and earlier records.
Yet this year sales of pre-need memorial property have rebounded some. This rebound is not reflective of the nations, or the worlds economic status, rather it reflects the clients who have turned to us in 2009. These clients are older, cautious and more concerned with end of life needs and costs than ever before. It seems that as a group they realize the limitations their children are currently facing understanding preplanning is the means by which to insure their deaths impose no hardship upon their loved ones while guaranteeing their wishes are fulfilled.
For cemeteries who rather sell community mausoleum spaces this group is a hurdle. Being older, remembering the options available for their parents many will only consider traditional burial. Though some will be willing to learn of other possibilities their motivation is tied to getting past confronting end of life considerations unwilling to do anything other than what the past dictated.
It is incumbent upon us to understand their realty which has driven them to our doors. Pricing is a consideration, as is packaging and terms. By accepting the realities of the marketplace as it is rather than how we wish it were, we serve a dual purpose. We assist our clients at this dramatic time of insecurity while appealing to clients and families who might otherwise have sought the services of others.