4 Senior Living Marketing Secrets to Prepare for the Silver Tsunami
by McKenna Hogan, on Dec 9, 2019 8:30:00 AM
Although the Silver Tsunami is still ten years in the future, senior living providers will need to start preparing as soon as possible - and we’re here to let you in on some senior living marketing secrets to aptly prepare for this overwhelming change.
1. Aging Baby Boomers know what they want
Gone are the days of senior living communities providing just the essentials for their tenants. Baby Boomers have aged in an era where they’ve seen the possibilities, and they want it all.
By now we all know technology is actually extremely common among older individuals, and according to recent studies, they are seeking out communities that implement some type of advanced technology within their community.
Most popular, however, are tools that make searching and living in a community much easier for aging adults - essentially making them autonomous. The most common home technology these days are dubbed “homesmart” features.
These often include tools that connect all of the house functions in one easy-to-access place, like an iWatch or remote to control lights, door locks, temperature, etc.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is increasing in popularity, especially among older individuals.
With obstacles ranging from immobility to loneliness, IoT allows seniors to function well enough for them to feel independent - which is a characteristic 80% of seniors are looking for - and still in a fun community setting.
And since health care providers are at an all-time low, having AI technology could decrease the amount residents rely on faculty to conduct day to day tasks.
More on what Baby Boomers want below.
2. Include the entire family in the senior housing search
According to Care.com, adult children are involved in their parents’ senior living transition 73% of the time. That’s why it’s increasingly important for marketers to incorporate strategies that involve the entire family.
In fact, Baby Boomers are shockingly close to younger relatives, often preferring to live near children and grandchildren when they retire, and even opting for multigenerational housing.
Knowing that family is extremely important to this demographic already solidifies the need to appeal to seniors and their relatives.
According to Fast Company, up to 41% of American households consider accomodating an elderly parent , which goes to show just how active family members are during this process - and adds to the competition.
Ways to include the family that may encourage deciding on a community include making the home search process an easy and interactive event.
It goes without saying that getting a senior and their family to an in-person tour of a community can be next to impossible. Scheduling, physical ailments, and current geographic location are common obstacles in these situations.
So an entirely digital home search can allow families to easily and efficiently choose the right community for their loved one (more on this below).
3. BE PREPARED
The years to come will prove just how essential preparedness and conscientiousness are in senior living.
As we stated, more communities are popping up because of this. However, aging individuals are actually more inclined to remain in their current community, which poses a threat to health care providers.
This makes it essential that communities consider where seniors want to live, and why.
Bisnow states, “Creating multigenerational developments, more senior housing in cities and placing ambulatory care services in retail strips are among the ways executives said they are preparing for the crush of seniors expected to hit the market in the coming years.”
Along with increased technology, Baby Boomers are looking for a more modern senior living environment. They don’t want to feel like they’re aging.
Although it’s hard to dictate where you set up shop for a development, modernizing already established communities is a huge way to appeal to these seniors.
This can be done by partnering with businesses such as retail, ride sharing, or even farms for farm to table restaurants - and of course, digital content.
Another big thing that’s been popping up over the past decade is an increase in activities and social gatherings for seniors. What Baby Boomers truly want is independence as well as the feeling of a community, which helps when there’s more to do than just gather around a TV.
Moral of the story, be prepared by knowing what to bring to the table.
4. Cater to what retirement communities are calling “halfbacks”
With the increase in demand for senior housing, “retirement states” aren’t really a thing anymore.
Now that senior living communities are popping up all over the country, seniors are seen moving halfway back home from their residing state, hence the term, “halfback.”
Because of this, it’s become increasingly important that senior living providers cater to out of state prospects by allowing them to view their community from afar.
Basically, if you think your community will fill vacancies with no digital content, you’re absolutely wrong. Expecting any individual -especially a senior- to have the means and physical health to go on an in-person tour of your community won’t be feasible during this influx of aging individuals.
That being said, with all of the new senior living communities popping up, 3D renderings will play a huge part in making a decision for seniors and their families. Having photorealistic scenes, a 3D virtual tour, or real-time availability tools like stacking plans can replicate the entire home search process, without having to move an inch.
And if your community is already established, it won’t hurt to update any old photography, or look into virtual tours to showcase exactly why your community is special.
Main takeaway: be prepared for highly selective residents
In the best way possible, these days, seniors know what they want and what they deserve. If that means more work for senior living marketers, then so be it.
Baby Boomers are an entirely different renter than any senior that we’ve seen in the past, so old marketing strategies won’t work like they used to. The most effective tactics will be the ones that show, not tell, how much they care about seniors needs.
Are you a senior housing provider? Contact us today to enhance your senior living digital content.