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In part one of our Understanding ROI in Senior Living Sales series, we explored ways in which marketers could better understand and measure ROI. We also discussed the importance of setting goals that you want your tactics to achieve.

For marketers in the senior living industry, this could include:
• Increasing awareness of your senior living or active adult community
• Expanding the lead database with new prospects
• Increasing revenue and profit
Once you’ve determined what the goal of the campaign is, have established your benchmark cost-per-lead (CPL), and have tracked and measured the return of your tactics, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck from your marketing. Below, we’ve provided insights on four effective ways to improve ROI.

1. Use More Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Let’s say your goal is to increase leads for the sales teams at your community, something that will be measured by the number of new inquiries your tactics generate. Perhaps initially you tried a digital ad-only route and the CPL is acceptable, but you are still short of your lead goal. There are several additional tactics you could add to the mix. Consider adding:
• Direct Mail
• Print Ads
• Purchased and database emails
• Social media campaigns
Having one consistent campaign that is adapted to multiple channels will amplify your results compared to if you only use one of these channels in isolation. Be sure to also monitor your organic lift and organic leads, as you should expect this category to increase with more tactics in the market. Assume and allocate a percentage of the new organic results to your marketing tactics as well.

2. Don’t be Afraid to Experiment to Increase ROI

A/B testing is an effective method for optimizing your marketing campaigns. For example, you can A/B test several aspects of an email campaign to determine what’s resonating with your prospect.

It could be as simple as designing one email, but sending it to half of the email list with one subject line and the other half with a different subject line. When evaluating open rates, if there is a large percentage difference between the opens using one subject line compared to the other, that’s an indicator that you should use the subject line with the higher open rate in future emails.

A/B testing can also be done with ad creative, graphic elements, landing pages, copy and several other creative aspects of any campaign in order to gain better results.

3. Remarket to Your Audience

We’ve all had it happen to us. We visit a website for a couple of minutes and then leave and go to another website. Yet, once on a new website, ads from the site we were on previously continue to be served to us, begging us to go back and tend to our abandoned shopping carts. This tactic can be effective in re-capturing the attention of prospects who has previously been exposed to a community’s marketing in some form. If this wasn’t added in your initial digital tactics, this could intensify your digital lead count and lower your CPL.

4. Adjust & Re-Allocate

Based on your ongoing ROI analysis, you should be able to determine which channels are providing the ROI you expected, or whether it may be time to experiment with new tactics. Don’t be afraid to cut your losses and try something new if a campaign isn’t yielding results. But also remember that some campaigns take time to optimize and produce the desired outcome. The key is being patient and knowing when to take action.

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The post Understanding ROI in Senior Living Sales, Part 2 appeared first on Creating Results.

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May was the unofficial universal design and aging in place month here at Creating Results. From blog posts to webinars, we engaged in a lot of discourse about how to optimize living spaces for older adults — and the industry did, too. So what better way to round up last month’s most engaging content than by taking a look at what the industry is saying about one of our favorite topics? Find out more about from industry experts in this month’s roundup.

1. Aging in Place Not Without Its Risks

Aging-in-place experts Lauren Harrington and Ben Cangeleri educated seniors about universal design at the Clifton Park Senior Community Center in New York as part of Older Americans Month in May. During their presentation, titled “Home Modifications for Tomorrow,” they revealed the leading causes for seniors being hospitalized while still living in their own homes.

Find out more about the leading causes in the Saratogian News.

2. Room-by-Room Home Modifications for Aging in Place

By 2060, the number of adults ages 65 and over in America is expected to double to 96 million (as evidenced in the chart below). And yet, with the changing landscape of senior living options, programs that help seniors age in place are likely to grow in popularity.

source: United States Census Bureau

Universal design specialist Lynda Shrager reveals how each room in a home can modified for optimal accessibility in an article for The Altamont Enterprise.

3. The Silver Tsunami

The growth of Americans ages 65 and over, otherwise known as the “silver tsunami,” is predicted to have a large impact on the real estate market. New trends are expected to take shape as members of the silver tsunami decide where they will spend their golden years.

Find out which trends senior living professionals should be looking out for on Curbed.

4. Tips for Aging in Place

A lot of thought goes into modifying a home so that it meets the requirements for a suitable aging-in-place experience. Should you use ceramic tile or porcelain tile? Where is the ideal location for the mudroom? And should you declutter or downsize first?

Receive the answers to these questions and more in this Detroit News article.

5. Universal Design in Japan’s Auto Industry

Universal design isn’t just limited to housing. Increasing tourism is stretching Japan’s transportation system to its limit, but Toyota’s new JPN Taxi is believed to be the answer to the country’s commuting woes.

With Japan having the largest population of adults over age 65, Toyota has taken the steps necessary to ensure that the JPN Taxi meets the universal design needs of older adults.

Find out more in the Japan Times.

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The post Roundup: Aging in Place and Universal Design appeared first on Creating Results.

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Last week, Creating Results hosted a webinar featuring senior living and 55+ industry experts, moderated by Beth Mickey, our own certified aging-in-place specialist. During the webinar, our experts focused on universal design features in both 55+ active adult real estate and senior living.

View the Universal Design Webinar Recording

Beyond Aging in Place: How to Position Universal Design in 55+ and Senior Living - YouTube

View the Webinar Slideshare

Presenters included:

Beth Mickey, Creating Results

Jane O’Connor, 55PlusMarketing

Kate Ruddy, Atrio Home Care

See previous webinar recap

Stay Tuned for Our Next Webinar

Sign up for eNews for invitations to future webinars along with the latest mature marketing insights, as well as the latest trends in the 55+ and senior living industries.

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The post Universal Design in Senior Living and 55+: Webinar Recap appeared first on Creating Results.

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Many marketers have an “old vs. new” mentality when considering the marketing channels they should employ to capture their 55+ active adult prospects. Obviously digital is the present and the future — but is that where most of your budget should be spent? How effective are traditional channels like print and direct mail? Are they defunct and therefore a waste of money? And of course, the most important question of all: Where will you see the highest return on your investment? Read on for insights into how we successfully integrate all methods for our clients.

Reset Your Perception

Baby Boomers are more tech savvy than you think! Today’s active adults are not Luddites unwilling to use new technology; just the opposite — they are actively engaging in social media, utilizing search engines to research purchases and using more mobile technology than ever before.

In fact, according to a recent Pew Research Center study “smartphone adoption among seniors has nearly quadrupled in the last five years, and around a third of older adults use social media.”

The Pew Research Center determined Facebook to be the most widely used form of social media for seniors with 72 percent of adults aged 50 to 64, and 62 percent of those 65 and over, on the platform. This correlates with our own Social, Silver Surfers national study where we found that, more than ever before, Baby Boomers are on various multiple platforms and are willing to engage with brands via social media. This trend has been reflected in the increase in leads we have seen from online ads. For our clients targeting Boomers, Facebook advertising, Google AdWords and Bing Ads all work extremely well for generating high levels of interest at a low cost per lead.

More than ever before, mature consumers are even being influenced to purchase through social media; however, don’t forget that they are not millennials and still have reservations surrounding internet marketing and its motives. Be cognizant that you will need to nurture these leads differently.

Don’t Forget the Tried & True

Digital marketing is here to stay, there is no doubt about that. While we found in our Social, Silver Surfers research that the internet is the first place mature consumers turn to when beginning their home purchase journey, it is not the only place. With its low cost per lead, it can be tempting to shift your plan and just use digital avenues.

Don’t fall into the trap! It would be a mistake to entirely trade in the tried-and-true traditional channels for the younger, flashier digital model.

We believe in a strong integrated marketing strategy; digital is a very important piece, but it is not the only (or even always the best) way to target older adults.

Direct mail, print ads, paid content, radio ad spots and even billboards are all extremely effective channels; don’t discount their power. It can sometimes feel that these “old” methods are not providing any return on your investment because so many of the leads they generate are organic or hard to assign to one specific tactic.

Cut down on the ambiguity by using unique landing pages and a call tracking service so you can more accurately determine where your leads are coming from. This will help you when it comes time to budget and plan for the next year.

Because we measure all our tactics, we know that print ads and paid content still gain a lot of traction with the 55+ market, but they must be the right sections in the right publications. For example, we recently placed an advertorial for a client that resulted in over 75 calls in one day!

Are you using different channels effectively?

When planning, create a strategic, integrated marketing program in which offline and online channels work together. Utilizing this approach casts a wider net and allows you to capture active adults through whatever medium they choose.

So, how did we successfully use an integrated strategy for that client with the great advertorial response? Subsequent ads and advertorials, in coordination with targeted Facebook ads and email campaigns garnered over 500 RSVPs to their recent information session and their list of leads grows daily.

When it comes to reaching Baby Boomers old and new channels working synchronously is the best way to maximize your return on investment.

Join Us for a Webinar!

On Wednesday, May 30, at 2 p.m. Eastern, Creating Results is teaming up with industry experts from both 55+ and senior living for Beyond Aging in Place: How to Position Universal Design to 55+ vs. Senior Living Prospects. Don’t miss it!

Register Now

The post Traditional vs. Digital: Which Channel Wins Over Boomers? appeared first on Creating Results.

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Return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important metrics businesses use when determining how to allocate their budget. As marketers, it can seem like we spend most of our time strategizing about the tactics that will yield the best results at the lowest cost to keep key decision-makers happy.

Thankfully, there are many ways for you to maximize your ROI. Let’s take a look at some simple steps marketers should be taking in order to get the most value out of their campaigns.

Understanding ROI

In simple terms, return on investment represents the cost of doing something in order to achieve a desired outcome. But a “good” ROI doesn’t always have to be directly tied to sales and revenue. Depending on what the goals of the campaign are, other leading metrics, including the amount of traffic generated or the number of new leads acquired, can also be good indicators of whether your marketing is effective or not.

In the senior living space, the most common goal our clients have is generating more leads for their sales teams to work. So, the ROI measurement for those clients is based on the marketing tactic’s ability to generate leads.

It’s important to remember that it’s seldom possible to calculate ROI overnight. It takes time (think three months, six months or even a year) to determine the true value of some marketing initiatives. And even then, ROI can be difficult to calculate due to the amount of variables involved.

With that being said, it’s important to set benchmarks for marketing tactics before they launch to help you evaluate whether your investment is paying off. As mentioned earlier, most often the measurement is based on leads.

As such, a common benchmark practice we use is setting cost-per-lead (CPL) goals. According to Enquire Solutions’ latest benchmark report, the senior living communities they partner with saw an average advertisement CPL of $564. Direct mail averaged a CPL of $757. These CPLs are in line with what we typically see for clients as well. Set your own CPL goals so you will have a benchmark to track your results against.

Measuring ROI

Ensuring Measurability

To determine whether your marketing tactics are successful, you have to be able to measure them. It’s a simple thought, but can be complicated to do if you haven’t prepared to measure your tactics correctly.

First, take a look at all of your tactics – your marketing plan – and determine how inquiries will come in (online forms, phone calls, community visits). Then, make sure you put the following measurement efforts in place before the tactics even launch.

  • Ensure Google Analytics is set up throughout your website and landing pages. Be sure that all online form submissions have been set up as a goal completion.
  • Obtain call tracking phone numbers to be used on traditional marketing (print ads, direct mails, etc.), as well as on the landing pages you are directing your marketing efforts to.
  • Be sure that you have entered the source of lead names into your CRM for all marketing tactics so that all inquiries (call in, walk in or online) can be entered accurately into the CRM by sales team members.
  • Keep track of all your marketing tactics along with the costs for implementing them. This could be a simple excel spreadsheet or a more formal marketing plan, but this is a key component for calculating the return on investment when the time comes.

  . 

The Results Are In!

It’s important to monitor your tactics regularly to ensure they are working well for you and to ensure your tracking efforts are tracking accurately. Once tactics start to launch, results will be seen immediately via Google Analytics and your call tracking provider reports.

After you’ve confirmed inquiries are being generated and tracked, be sure to give the tactics enough time to perform before analyzing the return. Most tactics begin to produce the desired results within a three-month period. It’s recommended that you create a simple ROI report indicating:

  • Each marketing tactic
  • Cost of each tactic during the time frame being analyzed
  • Number of tracked leads generated during that time frame
  • Resulting CPL calculation (cost of tactic / number of leads)

Compare your tactic CPL results to your pre-established benchmarks. Try not to be extremely reactive after one ROI analysis and stop something cold turkey just because you experience a lower CPL than the benchmark you set. There are many ways to improve your ROI before scrapping tactics entirely. Be on the lookout for part II of this series where we’ll provide insights on the most effective ways to get the most out of your marketing efforts!

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The post Understanding ROI in Senior Living Sales appeared first on Creating Results.

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If you’ve been following our blog recently, you probably know that we’re in full conference swing. You may have also noticed that LeadingAge has a theme this year with their state annual meetings: Life on Purpose. LeadingAge Massachusetts is no different. From scenario planning to intergenerational living, I’d like to share with you some of the ways the members and the presenters at this year’s conference are bringing purpose to the people of their communities or living their own “life on purpose.”

2030 Aging Services: Scenario Planning

First, LeadingAge President and CEO, Katie Smith Sloan, kicked off the Annual LeadingAge Massachusetts Conference with a Q&A on what’s happening at a national level for the organization. She outlined the 2030 Aging Service Scenario Planning, a white paper provided to LeadingAge members. It provides a report and goal-planning tools for the future of not-for-profit senior living. There are four scenarios:

  1. Bills Come Due: Aging and Unprepared
  2. Troubled Times: Economic and Social Regression
  3. A Bright Horizon: Mindful and Connected Aging
  4. A Thriving System: Technology Abounds

The full white paper can be found on the LeadingAge website, which details the four scenarios and questions to consider in preparation for what’s to come by the year 2030.

“The future is not going to look anything like the present.” — Katie Smith Sloan

LeadingAge Massachusetts: What Matters Most

A big highlight of the LeadingAge Massachusetts conference was not just about what we can do to prepare for the future, but also what communities should be doing now to provide the opportunities for its residents to live a “life on purpose.” That was particularly apparent in the session around person-centered care.

It’s quite a buzz word around the industry these days to focus on being person-centered. But what does that mean? And what are communities doing about it?

Three representatives from different organizations talked about what they are currently doing to support the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care. This includes having everyone — residents, staff and family members — aligned and providing health care that honors the individual’s goals, values and preferences.

The common thread throughout all the community examples was “What Matters Most.” It’s a simple, but powerful concept: Asking what is important to families and their loved one and making a plan around whatever the answer is. This planning allows is for more open communication and fewer uncomfortable conversations.

Intergenerational Living — A Case Study

Another hot topic is providing intergenerational living opportunities within communities. Whether it’s visits from the local schools or events that enable children or teens to interact with community residents, many CCRCs have found intergenerational programs enhance the lives of residents and visitors alike.

St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Residence in Portland, Maine, has brought it to a whole new level. Starting in January 2017, they took an old assisted living wing that was no longer in operation and converted it into housing for local students. They currently have 13 certified nursing assistants living with the residents. Their program was based on the Humanitas program in the Netherlands as well as Judson Senior Living in Cleveland, Ohio. St Joseph’s is just the third organization in the world to have younger and older adults living under one roof!

For communities considering starting their own intergenerational living programs, tips included:

  • Screening students in the same way as employees
  • Banning toasters (you can probably guess why)
  • Offering a meal plan
  • Establishing a clear policy and code of conduct for students (St. Joseph’s Sample Code of Conduct)
The Voices of Individuals Living with Dementia

One of the most powerful parts of the day was the closing session. A representative from the Massachusetts chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and three people diagnosed with early-onset dementia spoke. They provided an enlightening peek into a day in their lives.

Ranging in age from late-40s to early 50s, the panelists talked about what the signs were, their diagnosis, the challenges they face. They also talked about what we as members can be doing to help, such as helping residents stay engaged socially.

“The first prescription that should be written for people after getting a diagnosis of dementia should be social engagement.” — Mike (panelist)

Were you at the LeadingAge Massachusetts conference last week? Did you attend any other sessions not highlighted here?  Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.

For the latest mature marketing insights and to continue to follow us on the conference trail, subscribe to our enewsletter.

The post Life on Purpose: LeadingAge Massachusetts 2018 appeared first on Creating Results.

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Several members of the Creating Results team have been asking the same question this week: Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday the team was preparing for LeadingAge Massachusetts’ 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition, and now, the team is getting ready to return for the 2018 conference on May 10 in Boxborough, MA.

Jessica Ruhle, Client Services Director, Creating Results

One of the reasons why we look forward to the Leading Age Massachusetts Annual Conference & Exposition each year is because the programs go beyond discussions of brick and mortar services and sales in the senior living industry. Professionals from all parts of the industry come together to examine, debate and theorize the ways in which we can have a positive impact on the life of older adults and how we can help re-write the rules of aging.

We correspond with many of you daily — through email, phone, video conferencing and other media — but despite all the innovation in communication technology, we’ve found that the best conversations are had face-to-face.

Creating Results’ Client Services Director, Jessica Ruhle, will be attending the conference and would love the opportunity to re-connect with friends and familiar faces, as well as become acquainted with new faces.

New Creating Results’ Team Member: Emilie Williamson Emilie Williamson, VP of Selling Strategies, Creating Results

Speaking of new faces, we’re proud to announce the newest member of the Creating Results team, Emilie Williamson, who will be bringing close to two decades of sales expertise to the team as Vice President of Selling Strategies. Emilie has created results for various players in both the senior living and real estate industries, including Valet Living, MatrixCare and Senior Housing Net. She’ll also be at the conference with Jessica and looks forward meeting as many of you as possible.

The LeadingAge Massachusetts Annual Conference & Expo is yet another opportunity for us all to learn, share knowledge, form partnerships and solve some of the industry’s most pressing issues through discourse and real-world application.

If you’re attending LeadingAge Massachusetts and would like to chat ahead of time to schedule a time to meet, you can reach out to Emilie by calling 404-406-2505.

The post Sales and Marketing with Purpose at LeadingAge MA appeared first on Creating Results.

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As a 55+ homebuilder, how do you capture 55+ active adult prospects, stay top of mind and ultimately convert them to a sale, given the plethora of housing options for mature consumers? Through our latest Social Silver Surfers study, we found out the best (and worst) strategies straight from your prospective homeowners themselves.

Surefire Strategies for Capturing 55+ Active Adults: 1. Start With Digital.

For nearly half of all Mature Movers (our study used a nationally representative sample of Americans over age 40), the internet is the first place they turn when beginning their purchase journey. From awareness to action, 55+ homebuyers will continue to return to the web page again and again — which is an important insight to apply to integrated marketing plans.

Mature Movers go online because of a diverse array of triggers (direct mail, print ads, a referral from a friend, etc.) at various points in their journey. Prospects may go digital first, and while digital often has the lowest cost per lead — don’t rely on digital alone!

Just because they seek out digital first doesn’t mean other channels are ineffective at capturing your target segment. Don’t discount the power of non-digital avenues — we find that print ads still gain a lot of traction with the 55+ active adult market. When planning, create a strategic, integrated marketing program in which offline and online channels work together.

2. Showcase Product Information.

Would you hide the floor plans in your showroom? Of course not! So why hide them on your website? It’s especially disappointing to prospects when a website fails to provide the information they seek, and 38% of our respondents say they cannot find floor plans when navigating homebuilders’ websites. Is your website guilty of this error?

Make your product information the star of the show. It should be clear and easy to find floor plans and pricing, and do so in a way that makes active adult prospects want to visit and engage, not feel like they’re just getting basic information.

We often hear about prospects placing deposits holding print-outs from the website, showing exactly where they plan on placing their furniture in the new home, which illustrates that having those floor plans on your website definitely pays off!

3. Use Innovative Technology.

Virtual 360-degree tours are more than just a trend; they are here to stay. In fact, they’re becoming expected on homebuilder websites, so don’t get left behind. Of those who moved to a 55+ community, 53% utilized a virtual tour at some point in their homebuying journey. The younger the mover, the more they love the feature. Don’t lose out on potential prospects because you’re not giving them enough of a feel for the community — a 360-degree tour may be the difference between someone making an in-person visit and moving on to your competitor.

Fortunately, technology has become more user-friendly and affordable than ever before. Investigate how you can add this feature to your community website. It’s a great way to proactively answer questions about lifestyle and fit, while showcasing both product features and amenities.

Destructive Strategies Driving 55+ Active Adult Prospects Away: 1. Mystery Prices.

Don’t make figuring out your prices a game of Clue® for your prospects! The No. 1 frustration older adults have with housing websites is that they “don’t say what the price actually is.” In this edition of the Social Silver Surfers study, 68% of Movers voiced this frustration. If we translate this to the real world, it would be the equivalent to having a prospect ask again and again about fees, while the sales counselor responds with information about the pool.

Be transparent. Share your prices or price ranges for more complex products/services. At the very least, explain how your pricing is structured, what’s included and what’s not.

Posting your prices will also help with the quality of your leads. It allows visitors to self-qualify; they will know if your community aligns with their finances. This saves their time and yours, which makes for a more effective and enjoyable experience for everyone.

2. Annoying, Clunky and Outdated Websites.

Just because your prospects are older doesn’t mean your website should be — that goes for both the front-end and the back-end.

On the back-end, make sure that you’re using an intuitive CMS platform — we recommend one that’s easily supported and updated. A modern infrastructure will save you time and money when changes are needed, especially when they’re time-sensitive.

In addition, be sure to review your website’s data analytics. If set up well, analytics can be a powerful tool beyond just measuring the traffic and unique users. For example, review valuable insights about home types, price levels and other selects most often viewed and searched, which will enable you to plan, build and promote accordingly. Analytics analysis should not end once your communities are built: Your sales team can gain a wealth of information that allows them to have more productive meetings with prospects, which has the potential to speed up the buying journey.

On the front-end, make your site user-friendly for your 55+ active adult prospects. It should be easy to navigate and easy to read. Don’t make your prospects jump through hoops to get the information they are looking for. This includes making them sign up for everything before releasing any information. The benefits of a registration form are many, and should be used, but use them judiciously. 65% of recent movers said requiring them to sign up was their biggest website pet peeve.

3. Treating Prospects Like Automatons.

Your mature homebuying targets aren’t robots programmed to have identical likes and dislikes, or to follow the same buying journey — so don’t treat everyone exactly the same!

Visitors returning to your website have different priorities than those who are just becoming aware of your brand. Create pages and features that speak to both, and guide them along their decision-making journey.

That also goes for individual, personal communications. Ensure your sales staff nurtures their leads throughout the process and understands what each individual prospect wants in their new home and community. Building genuine, trustworthy relationships where prospects feel valued and connected reinforces your brand, and can speed up time to sale.

Is Your Marketing Effectively Capturing Mature Consumers?

The profile of a typical 55+ active adult prospect is becoming more web savvy. To keep up, you may need to change too. Consider your approach to marketing and assess if you practice the best (or the worst) strategies, and what you can do to continuously improve your integrated marketing plans so they are effective as possible.

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The post 3 Ways to Engage 55+ Active Adult Buyers (And 3 Ways Not To!) appeared first on Creating Results.

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As a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and through my 10 years of working in the 55+ and Senior Living space, I’m constantly working with clients who are searching for the best way to aid the aging population. More and more older adults want to find ways to make their next move their last — which makes an impact on the marketability of both active adult and senior living communities. What exactly does universal design and aging in place mean? And how can builders and providers adapt to this growing trend among mature consumers?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aging in place is “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.” For builders out there, this is also known as universal design.

Facts About Consumers, Aging in Place and Universal Design

According to a recent AARP survey, 90% of those 65 and over would prefer to remain in their own homes as they get older. And, per Home Advisor:
• As of 2035, 1 in 5 people will be 65 years old.
• Only 43% of survey participants know what aging in place means, but many are completing “future-thinking home projects” without connecting it to the purpose of aging in place.
• 50% of homeowners 75 and over will be renovating their homes so they can get around easier.

Icons: Consumers are using universal design to age in place Why Is Aging in Place Awareness Important?

Let’s face it, from the minute we are born we begin to age in place (whether we want to admit it or not). Per the National Association of Home Builders, two-thirds of homes in the U.S. were built before 1980 — before ADA standards were established. And older homes mean stairs, narrow doorways, hallways and more, which all present possible challenges that can make navigating the home difficult as we age. For homebuilders, the opportunity lies in building a new home to address the evolution of needs or modify the existing. For Senior Living, this opens the door for a potential At Home prospect who would benefit from the home changes as well as wellness needs that may exist.

Marketing Aging in Place for 55+ Active Adult Communities Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist seal

As a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist and long-time marketer to mature consumers, I’ve learned that while aging-in-place accessibility features will no doubt be beneficial to homeowners as they age, they aren’t features that drive sales (or even desire) among prospects.

Why? This is a stage where the individual desires a lifestyle where they can have it all and do what they want. These desires include traveling, exploring second careers or new hobbies and making the most of their time — their way. It doesn’t include thinking about how they would remain in their dream home if they had an injury or medical issue that would require them to adapt what they do and how they live.

From a builder standpoint, we’re seeing many universal design elements becoming more and more commonplace within 55+ communities: walk-in showers, smart home technology, wider doors and hallways, wall reinforcement (blocking) to allow for future grab bar installation or stacking closets in case an elevator is required later.

Because this cohort has no immediate need for features associated with aging in place, the approach to marketing is markedly different:
• Highlight value for others: e.g., wider hallways are perfect for grandkids in strollers.
• Position the design and construction modifications in terms of making the home more inviting for entertaining (open floorplans, more room within kitchen around island and so on).
• Focus on everyday uses and conveniences regardless of age or ability: cabinet pullouts in the kitchen make it easier for anyone to access items.

Per a Professional Builder article:
“While UD in a 55+ community is still about age (and less about the universality of the design), the hope is that the children of those Boomers will visit, see how easy it is to live in the homes, and start to demand the same elements.”

Marketing Aging in Place for Senior Living Communities

As opposed to Boomers, seniors acknowledge their needs, but are often in homes that don’t always allow for ease of transition. Older prospects are not only more open to embracing the changing health needs that may arise, but they’re also typically already living it or have friends who are experiencing challenges that they want to avoid. The message to reach your target market is a simple one: These services and products are THE solution to help you navigate and address any issues or concerns you may have now or in the future.

For many senior living communities offering an at home solution, the home is just one part of the prospect need to address. While communities are uniquely qualified to speak to the socialization and wellness needs of at home participants, it’s incredibly important to partner with trusted professionals (OTs, financial specialists, rehab facilities, etc.) who are best suited to advise and help address how to best adapt the home. Then, bring in a CAPS-certified remodeler to help make the needed changes a reality. This knowledge can also help existing communities looking to enhance their independent living options within the community, as many are older and need to address some basic elements to make their options more livable and allow residents to remain independent longer. CAPS designees can also be an important member of your construction team when approaching an expansion or renovation.

Aging in Place Is Ageless

Regardless of whether you’re targeting boomers or seniors, aging in place really is ageless. The key is anticipating not only what will appeal to consumers now, but also what will help them live their best lives possible for years to come. Each day, new advancements are made for technology and construction adaptions that make life easier. My hope (and the hope of my CAPS counterparts) is that people of all ages see the benefits.

Join Us for a Webinar!

On Wednesday, May 30, at 2 p.m. Eastern, Creating Results is teaming up with industry experts from both 55+ and senior living for Beyond Aging in Place: How to Position Universal Design to 55+ vs. Senior Living Prospects. Don’t miss it!

Register Now

The post 55+ and Senior Living: Embrace Aging in Place with Universal Design appeared first on Creating Results.

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For many baby boomers, retirement is only the beginning. While people may look forward to all the free time that retirement offers, many seniors are finding that they’ve become too accustomed to the work hard, play hard lifestyle after decades in the workforce.

So, it’s no surprise that a growing number of seniors are spending their “retirement” working encore careers. Whether freelancing, starting a business, volunteering or heading back into the office, this month’s roundup takes a deeper look at Baby Boomers’ desire to remain a part of the workforce, even after leaving it.

1. Baby Boomers Make the Perfect Freelancers

Despite having to combat stereotypes of being technological laggards, a growing number of Baby Boomers are making a name for themselves as freelancers in the lucrative tech sector. Surprisingly, 49% of all tech freelancers are over age 50, according to a 2018 self-employment survey conducted by Freshbooks.

Learn the five reasons why Baby Boomers are excelling in their encore careers in the tech sector on Entrepreneur.

2. Discovering New Talents in an Encore Career

Some people find their professional calling a little later than others; real estate executives turn into photographers and doctors trade in their stethoscopes for a law enforcement badge. In this article, writer Ana Veciana-Suarez reveals the passion that led to her encore career: acting.

Read more about Veciana-Suarez’s acting pursuits in the Miami Herald.

3. How Different Generations Think About Retirement

Here’s a statistic for you: 52% of people across all generations want to do something during their retirement years, whether it’s working in an encore career, starting their own business or dedicating their time to volunteering. Despite this similarity, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials all have different priorities in retirement.

Find out more on The Street.

4. Retirees Look to Non-Profits in Encore Years

While they may still be C-level executive, directors and managers now, 21 million adults between ages 50 and 70 said they would like their next career to address social needs, according to a 2014 study conducted by Encore.org and market research firm Penn Schoen Berland. Suzanne Armstrong, 69, is one of many Boomers who have already left the business world for the hourly pay of the non-profit sector.

Find out more about how Armstrong is making a difference in the non-profit sector in this article from Kiplinger.

5. Many Boomers Still Waiting for the Joy in Retirement

Seemingly everyone looks forward to the joys of retirement, but when they finally reach this stage in their life, they’re unprepared for the idleness after spending 40+ years in the workforce.

Retirement is a chance for older adults to re-discover who they are and dedicate that renewed sense of purpose toward the next phase of their life, be it an encore career or volunteer opportunities.

Read more about how older adults are re-building their identities during retirement in this article from Market Watch.

Takeaways and Insights

This generation of older adults is re-shaping their thoughts on retirement. Are senior living industry professionals doing the same? While visions of unlimited relaxation are nice, it seems as though they don’t resonate with Baby Boomers in the same way they did with previous generations of retirees.

When trying to appeal to prospects (especially those on the younger side) consider positioning your community as a place where they can live, work and enjoy the benefits of being retired. Be their leading resources for encore career and volunteer opportunities, while offering programs and amenities that they will enjoy for the times when they would rather enjoy some of the more traditional aspects for retirement.

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Sign up for eNews to keep up with the latest mature marketing insights, as well as the latest trends in the 55+ and senior living industries.

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The post Roundup: Baby Boomers and Their Encore Careers appeared first on Creating Results.

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