Creating Results helps organizations increase sales from Baby Boomers and seniors through integrated, strategic marketing. Creating Results partners with clients in senior living, healthcare, travel, financial services, real estate and more to motivate Baby Boomers and Seniors.
Last week, Creating Results hosted a panel webinar featuring senior living and 55+ industry experts with experience in both provider and agency roles. The webinar focused on creating a successful provider-agency partnership, with details on three key steps:
Negotiating a beneficial contract
Establishing a marketing budget
Allocating marketing dollars most effectively
View the Webinar Recording
3 Steps to a Successful Provider Agency Partnership in Senior Living - YouTube
Managing online reviews can be overwhelming: What should you say? What shouldn’t you say? Should you delete bad reviews? Praise good reviews? The balance of acknowledging a concern over social media or contacting reviewers privately can impact your business’ reputation in a matter of minutes.
BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2017 suggests consumers are 68% are more likely to use a business with positive reviews, up from 50% the previous year. With the influence of reviews trending upward, it’s important for senior living and 55+ communities to manage online reviews effectively. Here are six best practices for managing the good, the bad and the ugly.
1. Create a Google My Business and Facebook Page.
Customers tend to research local businesses with Google and Facebook. By registering your business, you allow customers to easily find who you are and why your business might matter to them. Bonus points if you register with Bing Places, since 53% of Bing’s Network is 45 years old and better, according to The Bing Audience Network.
2. Notifications save time and headaches.
Set up your business’ Facebook page or Google My Business to alert your marketing department (or agency) for any reviews. This helps you manage what’s being said and tackle negative reviews in real time. Pick an employee with good costumer experience and the ability to respond in a timely manner.
During a community visit, let visitors know they can leave a review of their experience on your Google or Facebook page. Ask for reviews using a “thank you for visiting us” email with quick links to leave reviews can also be effective. Don’t offer any incentives, as this is often against online policies and can lead to inauthentic reviews.
4. React timely and professionally to negative online reviews.
Often, our first reaction is to defend our business and reputation against a negative review. Instead, try to come from a curious standpoint. Be empathetic to their issues and provide a resolution when necessary. Don’t feel the need to respond to every negative review. If the concern is not legitimate, don’t give the review anymore life.
5. Take negative personal reviews offline.
If a customer is upset with an interaction they had with an individual, or a quick resolution from both parties isn’t available, ask them to private message, email or call you to help resolve the issue. Don’t forget to leave your business’s contact information.
6. A little appreciation goes a long way.
While we often focus on the negative, maintaining a lasting impression requires you to show gratitude to positive online reviews. This helps customers know their opinions matter and, for potential customers, that their experience is of the utmost importance.
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New trends will inevitably shape the senior living industry in 2018. In recent years, we’ve seen holistic approaches to wellness, increased home customization, open-layout design and an emphasis on lifestyle and amenities become mainstays in retirement communities. So, what’s in store for 2018? We’ve rounded up predictions from industry experts on the top five trends in 55+ living this year.
1. Upscale Dining as a Growth Strategy
Many continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) have adopted upscale, restaurant-style venues providing numerous dining options for residents. In 2018, CCRCs may consider following the lead of pioneering communities that have opened these options to members of the surrounding community to expand the potential for new business.
Voice-activated products, robotic home maintenance services, applications that detect potential hazards and more! What are the five smart tools making their way into the mainstream that will help older adults live independently for as long as possible?
3. Continued Growth of Continuing Care at Home Services
According to the National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC), 90 percent of older adults would prefer to age in place and be cared for in their own homes. As a result, a number of CCRCs, such as Needham, Massachusetts’ North Hill, have begun offering a continuing care at home option.
Find out more about the benefits of continuing care at home on My Life Site.
4. Increased Emphasis on Natural Amenities
Many communities, such as Pinnacle at Adams by Traditions of America (a Creating Results client) and Kingswood Senior Living Community, are foregoing state-of-the-art amenities and taking a more natural approach. Look for some communities to start emphasizing extensive walking trails, community ponds and expansive views over clubhouses, fitness centers and bowling alleys.
Find out some of the benefits that natural amenities offer from Nydree Flooring.
5. High-Rise CCRCs in the City
High-rise CCRCs have recently opened in New York City, Dallas and Fort Lauderdale, and Mather LifeWays is expected to open one just outside of Washington, DC, in 2022.
Read more about the emerging trend in urban high-rise CCRCs on A Place for Mom.
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Finding the right agency partner is as much about cultural fit as it is about capabilities. What will your new partner really be like to work with? Will the marketing agency be able to hit the ground running? These five questions will help you determine the best fit for your organization’s needs.
1. Who will be my day-to-day contacts?
It’s no surprise that feeling at ease with the people you’ll be working with on a daily basis is a big factor in the success of your relationship. But often enough, the people working with you during the pitching and vetting process may not be the ones who ultimately execute the work. Ask to include the day-to-day contacts early in the process.
2. What will the first 30 days entail?
Often, the initial stages of an engagement involve a significant amount of discovery and strategy work, which can be difficult to manage if it’s unexpected. Ask about the agency’s process for onboarding new clients, how often the team hopes to meet and what information your new partner will need to inform their strategy. Knowing what to expect can help ease the burden of unanticipated requests and enable you to manage the expectations of your internal stakeholders.
3. What does your ideal client look like?
Gaining an understanding of what makes for a “good client” in the eyes of a potential partner can help you assess the cultural fit of the relationship. It also gives you an opportunity to assess potential obstacles before they become pain points down the road. For example, if the ideal client has minimal changes to creative, but you know your internal team is very invested in the creative process and that changes often bubble up at the last minute, talk with your potential partner about how you might adjust processes to account for those needs.
4. How will we measure success?
Tying marketing initiatives to your goals and ultimately sales is a critical factor in a successful partnership. Identifying clear metrics to measure from the outset can help both the agency and the organization identify areas for optimization, attribute successes and allocate dollars most effectively. Ask for a sample report to understand what you’ll receive and when. In addition, ask about specific results for other clients of similar budgets and scale.
5. What is your approach to solving my challenge?
The agency’s approach to problem solving is one of the most critical — and often overlooked — aspects of marketing strategy. Many times, organizations want to see samples of work that represent the exact same challenge they face. More important, however, is how the agency comes to the solutions they execute. Ask the agency to show you examples that represent their strategic thinking and to walk you through how they arrived at the deliverables.
More tips for creating a successful partnership
Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 2 p.m. ET as we discuss 3 Steps to a Successful Provider-Agency Partnership. The presenters will include senior living industry experts who have experience in both agency and client roles, providing them with unique insights into the needs of both sides of the partnership.
Happy Monday and Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Whether you’re at home watching the highlights from last night’s crazy playoff game between the Vikings and Saints, or in the office like we are, take a few minutes to catch up on the most engaging marketing content from the past week.
This week, we’ll take a look at an article published on US News & World Report that reveals the results of a recent cost of care survey. We’ll also find out the number one way in which senior living communities can increase engagement among residents in an article by Senior Housing News.
Most Clicked: The Cost of Senior Care and Housing
Recently, US News & World Report published an article by Michael O. Schroeder detailing some of the key findings from the most recent annual Genworth Cost of Care Survey.
One of the key takeaways from the survey is that long-term care costs vary nationwide and that prospects researching the costs of these services are finding it difficult to obtain useful cost information as they are researching the services they need. Most older adults are expected to need long-term care in their lives, so why are we making it so hard for them to find information that will help them adequately plan for the future?
Here at Creating Results, one thing that we continue to recommend to our clients is to not withhold pricing information from prospects and to avoid hiding this information behind required sign-up forms online. While we understand that lead generation is vital for continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), asking for too much from the prospect in the beginning stages of the purchase journey can be off-putting and may cause them to disqualify your community from their search early on.
“If those people don’t find the info online or build affinity and trust, then they’re eliminating the communities purely by their websites,” said Creating Results President Kimberly Hulett, whose was interviewed for Schroeder’s article.
This insight is something that is supported by our national study, Social, Silver Surfers, in which we survey adults ages 40 and above about their online habits. The study showed that not listing prices on community websites is the number one pet peeve of adults looking for information about senior housing online.
That’s why we believe that it is best to not make visitors on your website jump through hoops to find the information they are looking for — including pricing. Providing that information from the outset is just one way of showing that you are prioritizing the consumer’s needs rather than your own. Over time, this should help your community build affinity with the prospect, and when they’re ready, they will reach out to your community for more information or to schedule a tour.
Most Shared: Increasing Resident Engagement at Life Plan Communities
More transparency: that’s what residents of life plan communities are asking for according to an article on Senior Housing News by Mary Kate Nelson.
Findings from a recent study at over 260 life plan communities conducted by the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging partnered with Ziegler, Life Care Service and other organizations were recently published in a report called Transparency and Decision Making in Life Plan Communities. The results show that 92% of respondents desire more transparency from the communities in which they live. Mather Lifeways CEO Mary Leary suggests that this likely due to them having paid an entrance fee to join the community.
The Creating Results team is in agreement with the residents desiring more transparency. We believe that trust is the foundation of any successful organization. Being transparent is a key part of fostering the relationship between management and residents, and will make residents more likely to support important decisions from management.
As evidenced by the chart below, the top areas where residents desire increased transparency are in regards to expansion and renovation news, monthly service fee pricing, and sales and occupancy results.
Source: Senior Housing News, 11/12/17
Does your community have a resident council where residents can voice their opinions and concerns to leadership on a regular basis? If not, this is something that you will definitely want to implement in your community. A monthly resident council is an easy way of keeping the lines of communication open between residents and management, and provides an open forum where both sides can voices their opinions and concerns.
While we are firm believers that transparency is best for all parties, it is not without it’s downfalls. As Nelson states in the article, there will be residents who will require more information than the community can provide at the given time, or will think they have a greater level of control of the community than that of a resident. For these people, according to Leary, it’s best to fully explain the reasoning behind your decisions (even if they are unfavorable) and realize that you can’t win everyone over all the time.
If you’re attending the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida this week, be sure to stop by for our session on search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). Our very own Patrick McShane, Vice President, and Beth Mickey, Senior Client Service Director, escaped the cold and flew south for the annual event.
What: Love Connection SEO & SEM: A Match Made in Heaven
When: Tuesday, January 9th @12:30pm
Where: 55+ Housing Central – West Concourse, Level 3, Room W 307 A
Today’s 55+ crowd is increasingly turning to Google first to help them on their search for a 55+ community. This means that SEO and SEM best practices are vital to your community’s digital success. But who really knows how to read website code, pick keywords, develop a link-building strategy and keep up with changes in search algorithms? And what is a SERP anyway?
You’ll fall in love with SEO and SEM after this speed-dating style program where we will introduce five key insights to make your digital strategy work for you! Discover actionable tips to ensure optimal search results for your organization and resources that will help keep your digital campaign knowledge current. Learn the foundations of SEO and SEM specifically for 55+ adults.
Join the IBS conversation on Twitter by using the following hashtag: #IBSOrlando
Happy Monday and an early Merry Christmas from Creating Results! Take a break from last-minute Christmas shopping and read our last Monday roundup of the year.
In this week’s most clicked content, LCS Development provides their insights on what will be the top six senior living design trends in 2018. In this week’s most shared item, Saul Levmore states his case in favor of mandatory retirement in an article for Next Avenue.
Most Clicked: Senior Living Design Trends to Look for in 2018
Whether you’re breaking ground on a new senior living community or getting ready to undertake a large-scale renovation project, it is necessary to know what features your current target market is expecting to see in your community. Joel Bleeker, Director of Design at LCS Development, has offered six design trends, approaches and tips that are expected to be prevalent at continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) in 2018.
Here are two trends that we found particularly interesting:
Provide for Choice: Today’s 50+ consumers are used to having a variety of options and will not want that to change once they move into a senior living community. Failure to provide options that prospective residents are expecting could result in them taking a pass on your community in favor of one that offers more choices. Think about areas of your community where you can give residents the power to choose. For example, make sure certain elements of apartments are customizable and that residents have a say in the finishes for their cabinets, countertops and flooring.
Focus on Wellness Areas: In today’s senior living community landscape, it is not enough to just provide an apartment and meals for residents. Communities that don’t have occupancy issues cultivate an active lifestyle for residents. While the initial investment is high, building wellness areas, such as fitness centers, in your community, is a step in the right direction towards providing an active lifestyle for residents. It provides them an avenue to pursuing their passions.
An ad made by Creating Results for North Hill emphasizing the community’s PurposeFULL Living philosophy.
The Creating Results team agrees with the design trends that Bleeker listed in the article. Many of our clients are well ahead of the curve regarding oncoming market demand. For example, for years, North Hill, a CCRC in Needham, Massachusetts, has championed the PurposeFULL Living philosophy in its community.
PurposeFULL Living offers North Hill residents guidance, resources and opportunities to pursue what is important to them. The community’s WellSpring Landing is a hub for wellness. With an art studio, fitness center, greenhouses and more, North Hill has created an environment where residents not only have a place to live, but a place to thrive.
To add to that, North Hill also offers several ways in which residents can customize their homes with their own personal touches. We firmly believe that going the extra mile to create a community that offers homes rather than housing is what sets great communities apart from good or average communities.
Click here to read the full list of senior living design trends for 2018.
Most Shared: The Argument for Mandatory Retirement
Is it time for employers to consider implementing a mandatory retirement age? While many people may see this as a form of age discrimination, Saul Levmore, Graham Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School, stated his case for why having a mandatory retirement age may not be as bad as we are led to believe.
In an article written for Next Avenue, Levmore suggests building an agreed upon retirement age in employment contracts. For example, if a law firm were to hire a 55-year-old, it would be up to the two parties to mutually agree on a mandatory retirement age for the employee, for example, 65 years old.
Levmore’s argument is that companies would be more willing to hire older employees knowing that there is an agreement in place for them to retire at a designated time. Once they retire, the company would be able to make room for new employees with fresh ideas, while the retiree could then open their own business or look elsewhere for work; the negotiated-upon retirement age would be specific to the company, not the workforce.
While we understand Levmore’s thought process, the Creating Results teams believes that people of all ages have much to contribute to the workforce and that they shouldn’t be gently pushed aside just because they’ve reached a certain age. While new ideas in the workplace are always welcome, there is no reason why we can’t find ways to combine those ideas from younger workers with the experiences of those who have been in the workplace for 40+ years.
One thing we’ve learned is that a good percentage of people ages 65+ want to continue to work, and while Levmore’s ideas don’t prevent older adults from working, they do require them to start over. If someone has been working at a company for a long time, they may want to see out the rest of their career there, but without the restriction of having to retire at a certain age. They should have the opportunity to do just that if they are still working at a high level.
Click here to read Levmore’s case for mandatory retirement in its entirety.
Happy Monday! Rather than our normal most clicked and shared recap, we thought the timing was right to focus today’s post on content and how to impact your marketing strategy for 2018.
How-To Videos and Mature Consumers
“7 in 10 viewers often use YouTube to solve a problem when it comes to their job, studies or hobbies,” states Think with Google’s recent study, The Values of YouTube. Quick story: my husband is one of those 7 viewers. After spending 2+ hours trying remove my old brake rotor, he chose YouTube to be his guiding light when figuring out how to remove a striped screw. He eventually was successful, but not before pulling me into the YouTube how-to fix. PS: This is a real story, but here is the thing — most brake rotors don’t have screws (thanks YouTube). Mazda did this as an added safety feature. Happy Saturday to me!
Celie O’Neil-Hart posted more stats pertaining to The Values of YouTube Study, including “86% of viewers say they often use YouTube to learn new things.”
We know it is important and deemed successful for marketers to advertise using video ads which will be viewed before the how-to video. But what about creating how-to content for your prospects in general?
Moving into a Senior Living Community can be a daunting experience, not just for the adult child but also for the senior who is impacted by the transition. Creating how-to content like what is the first step after identifying the community that fits the seniors needs or how to have talk with your parents about moving.
Our client Traditions of America provides how-to content with their Buying Made Easy and Try Before You Buy programs. Videos explain what each of their programs is about and how the programs work.
Hard to believe it’s already December — where did the year go? Each week we take a look at the mature marketing stories and inspirations that had people talking and sharing. This week we explore the differences between Boomer and Millennial multifamily buyers courtesy of Realty Biz News, and MarketingProfs helps us uncover the top eCommerce preferences and how we can apply them to our own marketing strategies. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these stories — be sure to share in the comment section below.
I think we can all agree that there are marked differences in the preferences, life experiences and desires of Boomers and Millennials. According to Realty Biz News, while the differences are great, the similarities are, too.
When it comes to why these two cohorts are interested in condos and multifamily homes the difference is obvious:
Boomers are downsizing
Millennials are purchasing a starter home
But, according to the article, there are many similarities when it comes to what they want:
A location that offers easy access to dining, retail and entertainment
Smaller homes that are in the city or in the immediate outskirt suburbs
Per David Wolf of ON Collaborative, a marketing and sales firm specializing in residential real estate, the era of “snazzy” has passed and these two groups want more:
“To date, multifamily developers have relied on snazzy Wi-Fi lounges, complimentary gourmet coffee bars, and lush community gardens to seduce both cohorts,” Wolf wrote. “It’s time to wake up. These features have gone from exceptional to conventional in the last five years. Instead, beefed-up basics and attention-grabbing extras now reign supreme.”
Regardless if you are selling multifamily, 55+ or Senior Living, one thing is sure: marketers need to have a significant understanding of the desires of their target market. Do your homework so you know who you are targeting and what their preferences are when it comes to home style, location and more. The more you know the more successful you will be.
There are three factors that influence eCommerce purchases, per an article from Clutch. You are probably wondering why we categorize this as mature marketing news. As I regularly share with my clients, the best innovators are constantly looking outside of their respective industries for marketing inspirations.
So what can we draw from this piece?
There are three things that consumers value about all else when it comes to what drives eCommerce purchases:
For marketers who target mature consumers these are three elements that are mission-critical to create interest. When Creating Results conducted Social, Silver Surfers, our national survey on the attitudes of 40+ers towards websites, we discovered that the mature consumer can visit your website up to seven times before they ever walk into your community. The more insights you can provide and the more excitement you can create the better, and that includes descriptions and photos that paint the picture of the lifestyle residents will enjoy and the spaces they will call home. And, let them hear first-hand the happy homeowner stories of people who have already moved. There is no better way to showcase what makes your community special.