Technology is a major consideration in senior housing, and Cambridge knows this should not be overlooked by developers or investors. For example, tablets afford many benefits to senior housing facility residents, including portability for reading, flexibility for immediate communication with family members, and overall operational ease of use for residents within the facility.
Not Just a Cliché
Despite what could perhaps be considered as a cliché of senior citizens and how they relate to interfaces on ever-changing technology devices, senior housing is extremely sensitive to technology’s rapid flux. In fact, smart technology may bolster autonomous living for residents. By allowing the user to directly interface with graphical images at the touch of a finger instead of using physical exertion, senior housing business operations and marketing strategies are shifting to accommodate the resident who is more adept with tablets and smartphones than one would presume to be the case.
For investing, this that means senior housing designs should be contemplated for outfitting not just the presence and our impressions of current technology, but should be flexible enough to adapt to future changes that will undoubtedly affect facility operation. Furthermore, such changes in technology have implications on very capital-intensive fronts of real estate development, including both the residents’ use, enjoyment, and satisfaction with the facility and decision making for major purchases of facility equipment systemic to providing senior care.
Is Promoting Technology Effective for Marketing Senior Housing?
Absolutely. As technology becomes more prevalent, its user age will become less relevant. Thus, the default for outfitting and designing any business should be done so with a keen eye. This eye is not just about how customers view an attractive website with its graphics and rotating banners displaying alluring photos of the senior facility, (however, that is important too). Rather, substantive amenities within the facility should be showcased, including things like charging and adapting ports in units, clean ergonomic design complementing resident autonomy, technology systems affording seamless communication to the care staff, and of course the requisite WiFi (which should be offered both inside and directly outside of facilities in communal spaces like courtyards).
These amenities will become a major factor in creating an outstanding facility that outshines its competitors. In fact,some marketing companies report that the tablet computer has a substantial presence in the top 25% of income earners, and may be more popular with users aged 55-64 over those aged 45-54.
Smart Marketing Includes Smart Technology
On the business side, a robust internet presence should be executed through a marketing strategy focused on search engine optimization. This is necessary as seniors browse the internet to select where they choose to live for long-term care, thus where they choose to put their net worth for the duration of their lives. This means that such amenities should be displayed and showcased on the website and should be emphasized to appeal to both the potential resident and to the resident’s family members who will become visitors, as well as occasional users of the facility. To illustrate the need for a tablet-compatible web presence, the Pew Research Center conducted a polland found that the majority of seniors now go online (60%), and just under half are broadband adopters. As suggested above, this number will only increase over time. As there are more seniors on the internet, your real estate project should be specifically directed to the customer. The more informed the user is, the more inclined the user will be to consider a facility for their housing.
Empowering the Resident Empowers the Business
Access to information is considered the hallmark of fair business. The website should demonstrate accurate descriptions of the facility, floorplans, and numerous photos of amenities leaving the user satiated and calmed with information on what is a major, likely scary decision for them.
But for investors, resident lifecycle considerations affect business profits: more informed residents by access to generous information means less risk of dissonant expectations or disappointment once a resident joins the facility. This has major impacts, from how staff interacts with residents, to the facility’s reputation, and ultimately to the profitability of its brand. Cambridge Realty Capital ensures developers and investors make valuable considerations, such as appropriate technology, that have major dollar implications in the development and design of a senior housing facility.