Marketing & Activities of a senior community

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Marketing & Activities of a senior community

Posted on June 18, 2009

While our economy is slowly recovering, prospective residents of senior communities are still taking more time to move in and competition is on the rise. Waiting lists have disappeared in most places and everyone is doing their best to market their facilities with reduced budgets and more demanding management. On top of this, nearby competitors with comparable services can make things tougher. There is an easy and low cost way to market a facility, something that already exists and just needs to be talked about more or better: Activities.

Activities are anything that residents do during their stay that is not purely medical. Most of the time, these occupations are organized by activity directors. The important aspect of activities is that it is a good representation of the quality of life in a facility, especially when a lot of places look similar and offer the same level of service. Finally, activities directors are under pressure from more demanding residents and families.

Marketing activities or doing it better can greatly improve exposure and help get more publicity. In order to do so, one needs to understand three key facts:

Marketing is anything that is visible, anything that sells a product, even if it is free:

This can be the activities calendar on the company’s website, a visit of the local firefighters or volunteer actions of a nearby school. The point is that seeing a group of happy residents touring a museum can be more powerful than placing an ad in a magazine. In this sense, communications of any sorts helps market the community and,

It is important for activities to offer more visibility on the work they do:

By listing and reporting events or actions, activities can show off their value and be better understood as a marketing partner. For example, any documented article in the local media or picture taken during events listed on the company’s website represents an outreach and has a marketing value.

Doing this will gradually give more importance to activities directors. Moreover, this will raise awareness and respect within the organization regarding the responsibilities of the activity department. Obviously, this can only work if:

There is a strong relationship between activities and marketing directors:

In order to market and promote activities correctly, the marketing directors needs to have a sense of what residents do during their stay and that information needs to come from the activity staff. Marketing people on their end, can also serve as a connection between needs from prospecting residents and report what activities are being offered at other communities. This information can provide activities with invaluable ideas and feedback.