1. Onsite Sales Trailer
2. Model Rooms in the property 3-6 months prior to the opening
3. Go Viral
4. Open House
5. Decorator Show House
Business plans have wonderful data that if you ask most businesses never comes true, or rarely how it was supposed to. Expectations are often too lofty, and little emphasis is placed on how much money will be lost on a daily basis if the building does not open on time, or fill at the rate that was dictated in the proforma to make the numbers work, and obtain financing.
I am not saying that people manipulate numbers to get financing. The numbers are researched and well thought out, but often bogus. The data comes from self-reporting, and everyone wants to look good, so it’s like asking a woman how much she weighs……….you’re never going to get the truth even if you’re looking at the scale!
The most brilliant ways I have seen to get your home full as fast as possible are deceptively simple. What is it that they say? “Don’t confuse simple with easy”.
Onsite marketing Trailer
Why do you need an onsite sales trailer? American’s (or at least the majority of them) prefer to see, touch and feel prior to buying. That’s why we have so many car dealerships. We love to build and see the progress and there is no better view than from the parking lot of the new senior living home.
The key is to make the trailer not feel like a trailer. Fit it out with the same carpet, wall covering, drapes, artwork and furniture that will be in the home. Deck out the exterior with shutters, plants and easy access. Give them a taste of what their new home will be and start a dialog of trust. This is not a scam where their deposit will never be seen again! This is reality and care has been taken in design even though this is temporary space.
Model Rooms in the property 3-6 months prior to the opening
Building out a portion of the new senior living for tours is not easy. Contractors, Designers and code officials all need to coordinate to accomplish this. Temporary walls need to go in place as well as safe entrance access that may need to be torn up later. Furniture, Wall covering, Artwork, Flooring, Drapes and accessories all need to be ordered ahead of schedule and coordinated.
The result however is exponentially better than a sales trailer that can be hooked up to a truck and disappear in minutes. This is REAL. No guessing, No Excuses. Potential residents will see exactly what they will get and this helps to seal the deal for those still on the fence. The Model rooms also have another benefit. They serve as a full scale mock-up to work out all the design details up front which makes the senior living home even better. Think of a Marketing trailer as seeing the clothes on the rack and the Model Rooms as being able to try on the clothes.
Seniors are one of the largest growing markets on the internet. Photos of progress and even a live web cam will be shared from early residents to all of their friends (your target market) and family via Facebook, and email if you give them access.
Build excitement and celebrate those who have made the decision to move out of their home and go on their journey with you. Facebook was created to connect roommates prior to moving in together. It’s perfect for this move from being alone to reconnecting with other people who will be on the same journey.
There are three types of open houses – don’t confuse them.
· Open Houses for potential residents
· Open houses for potential staff
· Open houses for referrals of potential residents
When you mix up the true intended guests of the party you will get lack luster results and then sit back and say that open houses don’t work and are a waste of time and money. You need to make them feel special and have the guest speakers, food, entertainment, time and date perfect for who you are targeting.
Decorator’s Show House
I am aware that this has not been done. You’re showing off a new home right? Why not make it into a Decorator's Show house giving local decorator's apartments to mock up and show how wonderful their new home could be? You could get TV and Radio coverage and have a ton of fun in the process.
Have speakers stationed throughout the home on topics like: Downsizing, Working out, Computer Skills, Banking and Retirement, Wii Bowling, Senior Supplements, Hearing, Moving, etc. Think of anything or anybody that a senior may need to have a wonderful quality of life. The speakers can even help to underwrite the event. If done well this could be a breakthrough event for potential residents that may have never considered themselves a fit for senior living.