11 Marketing Ideas for Retirement Communities
Choosing a retirement community is an emotional, exciting, and significant life decision.
Retirees want to enjoy their golden years in active, safe, social, and beautiful retirement communities. Make sure you equip your community with enjoyable amenities, innovative technology, beautiful living spaces, first-rate staff, and various interesting social and recreational opportunities.
The demand for retirement communities is expected to grow over the next five years, giving older adults plenty of retirement living options. Why should they choose your retirement community? Your retirement community has to stand out from your competitors. If you're unsure, you’ve got a problem, and research is needed.
If you’re confident, your community is the best choice in your area! How can you communicate this to your prospects? By implementing effective marketing strategies. A robust and innovative marketing plan is the most effective way to set your retirement community apart from other options.
These 11 marketing ideas for retirement communities will boost brand awareness, increase occupancy rates, and ensure happy long-term residents.
1. Partner with Local Businesses
Chances are your retirement community is surrounded by other successful businesses and attractions.
Restaurants, golf courses, churches, museums, fitness centers, radio stations, healthcare providers, local news networks, and community centers are viable places to connect with prospects. Being involved in your community and collaborating with local business owners establishes your credibility, builds trust, and creates beneficial partnerships. Attend and participate as a vendor at community, civic, and social events.
Set up a booth with colorful images of your community, include brochures, prizes, promotional items, or set up tours of your community. Make sure you have staff and existing happy residents on-site to answer questions.
Partner with popular fitness centers that cater to older adults. A partnership with a healthcare provider is also a good source for referrals as well as creating relationships with local churches who have a senior-focused ministry.
Promoting your community with others is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
2. Inbound Marketing
The senior living industry is about building trust and taking care of people.
When someone decides to retire, they’re choosing a home for the second half of their life. They may be selling the home where they raised their children or moving from a beloved neighborhood or city where long-term friends or family members live.
This is a life-changing decision, and as a retirement community owner or operator, you have to create meaningful relationships with prospective, current residents and their families.
Implementing inbound marketing is a brilliant way to achieve this. Inbound marketing is the process of growing your business by building long-term relationships with consumers, prospects, and current customers.
Inbound marketing is about helping people solve problems, answer questions, and achieve their goals. It’s not about bombarding people with ads or high-pressure sales tactics. When done correctly, inbound marketing will not only attract and convert customers, but these customers will happily promote your brand and refer you to others. When someone visits your website, they’re looking for something (a retirement community), and it’s your job to show them why your community is perfect.
How do you accomplish this?
- Create high-quality content that solves a problem, answers questions, or informs site visitors
- Share your content on social media channels, especially Facebook
- Engage with your social media followers
- Create content that’s relevant to customers (i.e., tips for choosing a retirement community, how to pay for retirement, retirement tips)
3. Feature Amenities & Services
Seniors looking for retirement communities are traditionally active and social. They’re looking for communities with various amenities and services.
Pools, spas and salons, bistros or cafes, golf courses, unique dining options, state-of-the-art fitness centers, spacious living options, innovative technology, gorgeous outdoor spaces, puzzle rooms, social events, and recreational activities are expected in thriving retirement communities. Showcasing your amenities in every one of your marketing tools is a must!
Highlight your amenities & services by implementing the following marketing strategies:
- Include beautiful professional images of amenities on your website
- Feature amenities in digital and printed marketing materials
- Post photos on social media of residents enjoying their home
- Create digital content featuring amenities
- Highlight outdoor dining options
- Create a virtual tour video
- Share videos or host a live event of residents participating in social activities or classes on your website or social media channels
Amenities and services are your most significant and valuable selling point. Retirees want bustling retirement communities where they can enjoy retirement with their peers. You want to give every potential prospect an idea of how fulfilling life would be in your community.
4. Create a Referral Program
Your current (happy) residents are a powerful marketing asset. Start a resident referral program that rewards residents and their families for referring their friends. A glowing recommendation from current residents is the best way to increase occupancy rates.
Allow residents to submit or share testimonials explaining why they enjoy living in your retirement community. Make sure you have permission to post their comments on your website and social media platforms.
5. Video Marketing
Nothing creates a personal connection with potential customers more than video. Video marketing is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to showcase your retirement community.
Integrating video into your marketing strategy provides a unique opportunity to reach the growing number of consumers who prefer video content.
According to Wyzowl’s 2022 State of Video Marketing report, 88% of people say they’ve purchased a product or service by watching a brand’s video, and 73% prefer video to get information about a product or service.
You can incorporate video into your marketing strategy by creating the following videos:
- Resident testimonials
- Resident spotlights
- Staff and team member testimonials
- Virtual tours of your community
- Images of residents enjoying social events and activities
- Q & A session with your community director, staff, and residents
Remember to post videos on your social media platforms and website.
6. Host an Open House
An open house is a perfect way to allow your community and prospective residents to experience your retirement community. Invite friends and family members of current residents, send invitations that target seniors in your area, and make announcements on your website and social media platforms. Inviting other business owners in your community is also a great way to increase awareness.
During the open house, take visitors on a tour of your community. Allow them the opportunity to use and experience amenities and services such as pools, fitness centers, social events, personal living spaces, and activities. Your staff should be available to answer questions, schedule personal tours, and enroll interested parties.
Make it fun with refreshments, food, and music!
7. Promote Health & Wellness
Today’s seniors are healthy, active, and enjoying long, fulfilling lives!
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, all baby boomers will be age 65 or older by 2030, and by 2034 seniors will outnumber young people for the first time in U.S. history. This unique group of seniors are adopting healthy lifestyles more than ever before. According to an AARP report, this focus on health and wellness will continue.
Health-conscious seniors eat healthier, exercise more, practice self-care, and protect their mental health. They’re choosing retirement communities that offer services and amenities that make it easy to live a healthy lifestyle.
Retirement communities can support health and wellness by:
- Offering a variety of group and virtual fitness classes
- Building and equipping high quality fitness studios
- Supporting mental health with guided yoga and meditation classes
- Outdoor walking and bike trails
- A variety of delicious and nutritious meals
- Offering vegan and plant-based diet options
- Telehealth options for general doctor appointments and minor illnesses
- Continued learning opportunities and courses
- Luxury amenities such as lap pools, therapy pools, saunas, and spas
- Outdoor dining options
- Outdoor courts like tennis and pickleball
- Beautiful patios and lush gardens
Supporting the health and wellness of your residents is a win-win situation that leads to increased occupancy and healthy, happy residents.
8. Create an E-Book
E-books are books in digital form. E-books can be read on any digital device such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
From a marketing perspective, writing an e-book and offering it to leads has many benefits:
- Establishes you as an expert in your field
- A convenient way to read at any time and in any location
- Easy to create and upload to your website
- Allows you to inform and educate potential and current customers
- It is an inexpensive marketing tool that makes a significant impact
Remember, you’re an expert on retirement community living; your e-book should provide relevant, helpful information for your reader. You could create an e-book giving tips and advice to individuals or family members looking for retirement communities. Include information highlighting retirement living features and benefits, moving tips, costs, ways to pay, typical amenities, and services.
Creating an ebook is also a great way to ask for contact information from interested visitors in exchange for downloading the ebook.
9. Use a CRM System to Manage Leads
A customer relationship management (CRM) system manages your interactions with potential and current customers. Leads are critical to the growth of your business. Therefore, your sales team must contact, analyze, build relationships, and track every lead.
In addition, CRM technology lets you store prospect and customer information, identify sales opportunities, manage marketing campaigns, and track data in one central location. CRM systems also facilitate collaboration and increase productivity within your entire organization. Your marketing plan aims to attract and convert prospects; understanding what motivates your potential and current customers can help everyone from sales and marketing to customer service.
A full-service marketing agency like Solinity Marketing can help you manage and improve your sales process with custom-built marketing workflows and automation.
10. Optimize Your Website
Your website is the most effective way to market your retirement community if used correctly.
Having a website is not enough; your website must be created and maintained to highlight the benefits of your retirement community, attract and engage prospects, and convert them into long-term residents.
Your website should always include the following:
- A clean and modern design that’s easy to navigate
- Lots of valuable, consistent, relevant content that informs and helps your visitors
- Clear professional images of your retirement communities amenities and services
- Relevant keywords on landing pages and throughout your content
- Location and contact information
- A FAQ section
- An informative community information page
- Content and landing pages that use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve Google rankings
Your website is easily the most important idea on this list. If you need help building a website or need to update your current website, Solinty Marketing can design a custom, fully optimized website for your community.
11. Track ROI
You invest a lot of time and money into marketing. And you want to make sure you’re getting the most from your efforts. Return on investment (ROI) is an important performance measure used by businesses to evaluate the efficiency of an investment.
In simple terms, return on investment represents how much you paid for an investment (i.e., website) vs. how much profit or loss your investment has earned. Of course, you should always experiment and implement different marketing methods. Making sure you’re tracking each process is essential to evaluate its effectiveness and profitability.
This invaluable information is critical for determining where to invest future marketing dollars.
ROI can be used to:
- Identify the amount of traffic generated from a specific marketing tool
- Analyze the number of leads received and converted
- Provide critical information on where you should invest future marketing dollars
As previously discussed, a customer relationship management system will also provide valuable information you can use to determine your return on investment.
So What’s Next?
Operating and managing a retirement community requires a lot of time and passion. You and your team spend hours making sure you have a well-run community that is a thoughtful, compassionate, inviting next home for your residents.
You want to consistently attract and convert leads to residents who will benefit from living in a retirement community. Implementing a strategy that includes innovative and proven marketing techniques is the best way to grow your organization and distinguish yourself from other options.
Successful marketing will increase brand awareness and establish your business as the best choice in your town. These 11 marketing ideas are a great place to start.
Whether you implement all or a few of these ideas, continuously monitor and update your marketing strategy as needed.
For additional help with marketing, set up a free discovery call with Solinity Marketing, and for more information about the senior living industry, subscribe to Bridge the Gap Podcast.