Every day new retirement and Memory Care communities open their doors. For mid-sized operators who are more established in the Senior Living space, this market saturation presents a challenge.
When your property doesn’t evolve with new initiatives and fails to promote them properly, it will be harder than it should be to fill apartments.
As occupancy fuels perpetual growth and revenue, mid-sized operators are tasked with updating amenities and communicating the benefits thereof.
Over the years, I’ve worked with many senior living operators that face the problem of stagnant occupancy and flat revenue. I’ve learned that competing with large providers involves making a few changes, all of which actually work to your advantage.
Keep your community competitive by making these updates that attract and entice prospective residents to make a move.
Update Your Technology
Outdated technology screams that your community has been left in the past. This is a giant red flag to any potential new residents and their families who count on medical technologies to keep mom or dad well.
Medical technology is not a trend that’s going away anytime soon. In fact, 72% of medical professionals use healthcare software to gather their patients’ health information.
In addition, 75% of seniors age 65 and older live with a chronic health condition that needs to be monitored by a doctor on a consistent basis.
Your community needs to provide technology that bridges the gap for residents who require extra attention and health monitoring.
Talk to your local medical providers to see what technology you can implement into your community to make healthcare communication easier and visible to family members.
As of 2013, 59% of seniors use technology on a regular basis. Computer labs and movie rooms are now considered standard amenities in more attractive communities. If your community doesn’t offer these amenities, you’re going to have a hard time competing with those who do.
Acquire Popular Amenities
Competitive retirement communities offer valuable amenities that make their residents’ lives better.
Some of the most popular amenities include:
Made-to-order meal services.
Gardening or green house programs.
The majority of new communities are built to cater to resident activity, hobbies, and personal growth, which often puts established communities at a disadvantage.
If you have the equity, expanding your community to provide these amenities is a matter of reaching out to your community—both the residents and the families who have a stake in the care.
The people in your community might be able to give insight into residents’ needs, which allows you to create new amenities that heighten the quality of care.
If you don’t have the equity, consider partnering with location business owners who seek to create win-win partnerships, and discuss how you can bring these services onboard with-little-to no cash investment.
Expand Your Care Options
In the past, most senior communities were built to serve the needs of a specific group of residents:
Seniors who were independent lived in independent living communities.
Seniors who needed assistance resided strictly in assisted living homes.
Seniors who required round-the-clock care lived in special care communities.
Today, it’s common to find communities that allow residents to age in place, as the comprehensive care options cater to multiple needs. It’s possible for one single community to offer everything from independent living services to Memory Care.
The option to age in place is incredibly attractive to seniors looking to buy into a community, because it eliminates the hassle of having to move from place to place should the need arise.
I understand that it’s not always realistic, or even beneficial, for communities to try and offer every service under the sun.
However, I also understand that providing different care options to your residents is becoming more necessary to attract residents and fill your vacant apartments.
If you’re looking to expand your services, I recommend looking into Memory Care. This is one of the most attractive services you can offer, as long as you have the resources and training to back it up.
Other care options might include:
Make Cosmetic Changes
Small cosmetic changes can go a long way. There’s a stigma about retirement communities that makes it seem as if senior care properties are stuck in the past.
Start with simple amendments, such as painting your walls with bright, modern colors. Warm colors like reds, yellows, and oranges will give your community a warm, happy vibe. Blues and greens are good for creating soothing, relaxing spaces.
You don’t have to hold on to that couch from the 60´s. Your residents don’t want to be trapped in the past. A modern feel makes it clear that you’ve kept up with the times and know the latest trends.
Also, new décor can influence the vibe of your community. Make sure your community says modern and fresh.
It’s clear that there are many things that can be done to make your older retirement community competitive in today’s market. Now is the time for you to make it happen.