5 Proven Ways to Increase Sales and Occupancy
At Creating Results, we have had the privilege of working with leading developers of active adult communities and continuing care retirement communities across the country for more than 10 years. Despite the economy, our clients have been innovative in finding solutions – not just for their own sales & occupancy but for the challenges their buyers face. What they all have in common is they were able to help their prospects by tailoring solutions to their issues.
Here are five great ideas that have worked:
1. Selling Their Home
Westminster at Lake Ridge, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Northen Virginia, connects prospects with top Real Estate Agents who help their clients learn the value of their home, stage it and get it sold quickly. Westminster’s marketing team will even take the time to meet prospects in their home so they can understand their prospect better and learn what might be the challenges for selling the home.
Traditions of America, Pennsylvania’s leading developer of over 55 communities, offers several innovative programs including HomeFree which connects customers with a Resale Specialist and helps them manage their move, giving them time to sell their home and, if it doesn’t sell, they don’t have to buy their new Traditions home. Many new homeowners have benefitted from the program including Mike and Maria Lopes, “The HomeFree program has made the entire process as worry-free as humanly possible, while maximizing the value we received for our home.”
2. Getting Motivated
Traditions of America uses “behind the scenes tours" at lifestyle events so folks can kick the tires a bit, attend seminars on selling their home and meet residents who point out the benefits of not putting off a move; Willow Valley and Westminster at Lake Ridge offer guest stays and draw on residents for marketing to their old neighborhoods. It’s casual, comfortable and there are no strings attached. As Michelle Seitzer wrote in her blog, “Moving into a senior living community is typically not an easy process for anyone involved… Dating is a similarly uncomfortable, overwhelming process at any age/stage of life. It’s been a good 10+ years since I played the dating game, but I’ve heard about these “It’s Just Lunch” dating organizations and it seems like a decent idea. Get people together who are all looking for the same thing – but are just as busy as you – put them in a casual, comfortable setting, and see what develops. If there is one thing I know for certain about all seniors, it’s the fact that they love free stuff. Most people do, but seniors will go out of their way to get it.”
3. Decluttering, Moving and Settling In
Leading Boston-area CCRC North Hill partners with a professional organizing company to help their prospects pare down. They also are teaming up with senior move specialists to make the transition easier and are exploring a partnership with Habitat for Humanity so that seniors can feel good about their treasures getting a new life where they will be valued by others. Westminster at Lake Ridge offers their customers assistance with moving, unpacking and setting up their new home. They will even put the new resident’s slippers out and make a pot of tea!
4. Motivating Couples
North Hill ran a series of workshops featuring life coach Roberta Taylor,RNCS, M.Ed. and co-author of The Couples Retirement Puzzle addressing the quite common quandary of when one spouse is just not ready to say goodbye to their house, while the other has one foot out the door.
5. Addressing Financial Challenges
Traditions of America offers HomePlus, a home equity conversion mortgage to help their prospects purchase a new home. Using HomePlus prospects are able to purchase their new Traditions home without the burden of monthly payments. For Traditions homeowners Norm and Pat Kratfel, HomePlus made the difference between staying put or moving to their dream community, “When our existing home wasn’t worth as much as we hoped, we thought we wouldn’t be able to make the move. But HomePlus made the difference; we could buy our new home without the burden of a monthly payment.” At Westminster at Lake Ridge, residents sometimes run through their funds through no fault of their own and are no longer able to cover the cost of care and services. They can rely on the generosity of fellow residents through the Ingleside Foundation, which raises money to assist residents in need. The confidential assistance of the Foundation assures dignity and peace of mind and improves occupancy by keeping residents in their homes, enjoying the quality of life they deserve.
Five ideas that were innovative AND successful. Take a look at the programs you are currently offering, and consider how helping your prospects face their challenges could help your community solve its occupancy challenges in 2012.