Retirement community marketing is like football--it takes both strategy and tactics to win.
One of the most difficult aspects of retirement community marketing is that no one wants your product. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I can’t wait until I’m old enough and infirm enough to move into a retirement community!”
Most seniors begin to consider an independent living community after a fall, a serious illness or a life-changing situation like the death of a spouse or a sudden inability to maintain a home.
Every sale involves an attitude change. Prospects need to be convinced that the move to a retirement community will allow them to not just be safe, but to experience a fulfilling and rewarding life. We need prospects to come out to the community on multiple occasions, experience the socialization opportunities, enjoy the meals, and envision for themselves the possibilities of a fulfilling life there.
This can only happen over time, which is why our on-staff sales consultant tells us that it takes an average of 20 “intimate” touches to close a sale; so, when we develop advertising, we incorporate not only branding but also event marketing to get prospects out to the community as frequently as possible and special offers to create a sense of urgency.
Please take a look at the Covenant Village ad. Our strategy is reflected in the branding. Based on our research, we knew that strongly faith-oriented individuals would be most attracted to this community. We wanted to target them, but not to the exclusion of others. The “covenant” language and concept that we developed did just that.
Then we added tactics: we promoted frequent on-site events that were of particular interest to seniors, getting them out to this beautiful community. Finally, we developed urgency through strong calls to action emphasizing the limited number of apartments and special move-in offers.
We implemented our plan through print, direct mail, specialized web landing pages, and strong public relations and earned media components.
The result: we met and exceeded occupancy goals. Proving that, as in football, a correctly focused strategy and perfectly executed tactics give you a winning game.
MARKETING INSIGHT: A perfectly crafted strategy isn’t enough. Carefully consider what is tactically necessary to close the sale.