“Our community has the friendliest residents.”
“Our grounds are lovely and always well maintained.”
“Whenever you have an issue in your home, our maintenance crew is there quick as lightning.”
“We have the best activities and wellness programs.”
How many times have you heard a sales associate at a senior living community make these or similar statements, and how many times have you offered these statements as a validation to move to your community? Probably often. If that is true, our prospects are hearing the same spiel over and over again from every community they visit.We must augment our message.
Today’s older adult has a multitude of choices that were not available in the early days of senior living communities. The number of senior communities has exploded. Active adult and 55+ communities, independent living with limited health care levels, senior apartments, naturally occurring retirement communities, urban alternatives and continuing care retirement communities abound.
In addition, while assisted living communities, adult day care programs, and home care do not offer an apples-to-apples comparison to your full-service community, there is no doubt that the availability of these offerings allows people to think, “I will always have options if something changes in the future, so I don’t have to choose to move to your community. ”During the housing market slump of 2008, many seniors experienced cash flow decline and difficulty selling their homes, which made home services extremely attractive, allowing them to increase and flourish.The option to remain at home has always been one of a full-service community’s greatest competitors, and home-delivered services have better equipped older adults to manage at home – at least for a while. All of these factors created intense competition and an increased need for providers to educate prospects as to “what makes us a better choice.”
For the past few weeks, this blog has focused on the importance of branding to identify your community and disseminate your message consistently and repetitively.One of the most important elements of branding is differentiation – identifying your unique sales proposition – USP for short. Distinguishing your community from the pack is essential to branding and selling your community successfully. What is it that you offer apart from the generic qualities of a senior living community?How do you discover them?
The next few blogs will explore a USP and how you might promote your community by using one.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.