Define What Makes Your Community Different

A Shift Within The Senior Living Industry

If you are part of a team within a senior living community and/or corporate headquarters, you know that competition is increasing across the country. It seems no matter where you turn, the opportunity for senior housing is expanding and evolving. If you’re a seasoned pro within the industry, you’ve probably been noticing a shift in how you need to address your competition. Experts credit the retirement of the baby boomer generation for the growth, as well as the demand of better services; no matter how you explain it, the fact remains that if you want to stay on top, you need to step it up.


Changing The Way Your Community Approaches Messaging

Defining the key differentiators of your community is one of the most important aspects of a successful community marketing strategy. Here at Model55, we work with a number of corporate senior living providers, as well as their individual communities throughout the country. And, although we offer servicestothesenior living industry, and notfromthe senior living industry, time and again we have seen communities fall short of their goals despite the fact that they are doing most everything right. So where, might you ask, do these communities fall short? The answer is always in there messaging.


Understanding The Need For Key Differentiators

The truth of the matter is that no matter what you’re doing to make your community the best option for senior housing within your area, if you aren’t putting the message out there in the right way at the right time, all of that extra effort will fall short of your initial investments. One thing that we have done atModel55to ensure our messaging is a tool, which can be used to set us apart from other designers and vendors, servicing senior living communities throughout the U.S. and Canada, is to define our key differentiators. Key differentiators are somewhat like a value proposition, in that they help to define what makes an organization different from others within its field. The difference is that a value proposition is a general description of why your community is great, whereas your differentiators are put in place to describe the various aspects of your community that other senior housing providers simply do not offer or do as well as you.


Defining Your Community’s Differentiators

If you’re wondering how to go about defining what your key differentiators are, a survey of current residents is a great place to start. For example, you might send out a community inquiry, asking residents what they feel are the best aspects of where they live. Take the most widely given answers and compare them to what your team believes your community excels at. Is it the meals you prepare, the technology you implement, the transportation you provide, or the social and physical services you offer? Start small, focusing on as few as a couple, and no more than five main bullet points – be sure to include your team’s thoughts about what they feel makes your community a more attractive choice than nearby competitors.


Creating Your List of Community Differentiators

Once you have a general sense of what your staff and residents appreciate most about your community, you can apply that information to honing a definitive list of key differentiators. Take the aspects that stand out in the minds’ eye of those most involved in your community on a daily basis, and define if, or how they are different than anything, anyone else has to offer. For example, if a handful of your residents say that the convenience of transportation organized by the community is an attractive aspect of living there, you might take that service and look at why and how you do it better than the community down the street:Not only do we offer shuttle transportation every day of the week, but we also schedule free, private rides for doctors appointments.


If updated facilities and technology are attractive offerings to those you surveyed, you might want to say,not only do we provide the top technology our residents need to simplify their daily lives, but we also offer training and tutorials for how to use our smart programs every other Saturday.


The Difference Your Promise Is The Key To Your Success

At the end of the day, defining your community’s key differentiators is important to your success and growth. As competition increases, your potential residents and/or their adult-child decision makers, are going to be looking for the specific values that set you apart from other communities they have toured.


For inspiration, be sure to check outModel55’s differentiators, and follow us onTwitterandFacebookfor more marketing advice.


Amanda Beausoleil

Model55 purchases, designs and installs model apartments quickly and efficiently, reducing the cost and time of setting up your own model apartment.

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