Moving Beyond The Pandemic – Tough Times Call For Innovation, Creativity And Collaboration

Moving Beyond The Pandemic – Tough Times Call For Innovation, Creativity And Collaboration

For most of 2020, the senior living sector has operated in crisis mode. Challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have been incredible.  Rightfully, the focus has been on keeping residents and staff safe and healthy.  When in crisis, it is easy to deem previously important things as seemingly “non-essential,” however, it’s time to put a focus back on the other important things that make a successful senior living community.  Those things include resident engagement and marketing.

According to Seniors Better Together Managing Director, DeAnne Clune, “We’ve identified the top three marketing approaches for communities to not only survive, but also thrive, during the pandemic and come out better on the other side.”

Top Marketing Tips

  • Happy residents equal good referrals and positive buzz in the community at large.  That is why our number one marketing tip is to innovate ways to keep residents engaged with attention to mind, body, and spirit.  It is essential to overall resident health and well-being and one’s ability to enjoy a longer, happier life while living in community.  Of course, maintaining safety protocols that prevent the spread of COVID-19, while finding meaningful ways to support engagement is also critical.  No doubt resident programming took a hit in 2020, but it is not too late to regroup on this.  (Note – one of the missions of Seniors Better Together is to share messages of positivity about senior living with senior consumers, so share your innovations in resident engagement with us and we will amplify your stories to a bigger audience.) 
  • The value of good communication is oftentimes underestimated; therefore, our number two marketing tip is to communicate, communicate, communicate! Most prospects (and current residents and family members) are less distracted and more open to a variety of communication methods than ever before.  Regular and frequent communication with prospects via phone calls, text messages, emails, direct mail, and social media are all relatively low cost and highly effective.  Plus, if you’ve done a good job on resident engagement, that will give you even more compelling stories to share with your prospects.  (Note – Seniors Better Together features resident and family member testimonials on our website and regularly promotes them on our social media pages, reaching hundreds more people than a single community can reach on their own.)
  • Making every dollar count is always important, but now that operational costs have skyrocketed it’s more important than ever to invest wisely. That’s why our number three marketing tip is to make marketing budget decisions based on your return on investment!  There are lots of ways to measure ROI, but we suggest evaluating the expense as it relates to the potential to influence new residents to move in and compare that cost to the value of each new resident.  For example, if the average monthly fees at your community are $4,000 and the average length of residency is two years, the value of each new resident would be calculated at $96,000.  (Note – Leading Age Washington members can join Seniors Better Together for half price, which is only $1,800 for the entire year of 2021.  Obviously, if you can attribute even one move in to participating in the program, then you would recoup your entire expense within the first month of their residency!)

Collaboration is Key

Right now, senior living is faced with its greatest challenge and the best way through a problem is together.  By teaming up, joining forces, sharing ideas, and pooling resources we can reach bigger audiences and influence more senior consumers to consider a congregate living environment.

Help make 2021 better and brighter for seniors across the state and help to ensure your community’s success in the new year and beyond. 

Contact Seniors Better Together to learn more and join the movement.


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DeAnne Clune, Managing Director

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January 6, 2021