The number of retirees in the country is growing rapidly, and with the growth in the older American population comes an increase in options for senior living. With so many options available to seniors, it is important that senior living communities begin marketing at the development phase. Before breaking ground, senior living facilities must gain the support of the community they build in. During the development phase, it is crucial to proactively engage with the neighborhood to ensure the support from the community outweighs the protests. Of course, marketing does not stop once the support of the community is gained. Once out of the development phase, senior living communities must develop marketing strategies to attract residents as well as health care providers.
Engage with the Community during Development
Senior living projects can better a community’s economy, offering job creation, increased tax revenue, and a chance for aging adults to live near their families when assisted living becomes necessary. However, the positives are not always evident to those affected by large-scale construction projects. Therefore, it is wise for senior living providers to start community outreach early to gain neighborhood support. Residents generally worry about the usual concerns with commercial development, i.e. increased traffic and congestion, or change in the neighborhood. One suggestion for gaining support for a construction project early on is by holding public forums, where community residents are able to ask questions and voice concerns. In a public forum environment, senior living companies can directly address the concerns of the public and try to immediately alleviate them. Sending direct mail clearly and concisely explaining the project and its benefits to the community can also help to counter opposition. Generally getting involved positively with the community (i.e., sponsoring little league or other sports teams) can also help garner support for development projects. It is also important to keep elected officials informed of the progress of the project, and ensure that they know that the company is addressing the concerns of the community to maintain support for the project. The importance of gaining support early in the development phase cannot be stressed enough, as the senior population continues to boom and the need for additional housing developments increases.
Phase Two: Marketing to Consumers and Healthcare Professionals
Senior living providers must strike a balance with their marketing campaigns. They must successfully reach both consumers and healthcare professionals. Seniors are becoming increasingly involved and informed in the process of choosing an assisted living community. Thanks to the social media and the internet, consumers hold a great deal of power. Many are more likely to trust a review by a resident or family member than an advertisement created by the facility. At the same time, health care providers are more concerned with what type of expertise the facility will offer, so that they are able to make a recommendation to their patients. It is vital that the senior living community cater their websites to both consumers searching for the right fit and health care professionals. One of the best ways to do this is to have the website visitor identify themselves via a link or a drop down. That way, your company is able to direct each party straight to relevant information without confusing or overwhelming anyone.
Effective marketing is crucial to attracting residents to senior living communities. However, before you can think about marketing your facility, you must secure funding for your development project. If you have questions regarding finance and capital for your senior living initiative,contact Cambridge Realty Capital. Our experts are standing by to help you build, grow, and improve your community.