The holy grail of senior living marketing is to get younger prospects to move into your community. At Applewood, a Life Plan Community in Freehold, New Jersey, the average age of recent move-ins has dropped four years, from 87 to 83, since 2014. What’s more, the number of couples moving in has quadrupled over that same time period. What’s the secret sauce?
Eric Eichhorst, Applewood’s Director of Sales and Marketing, credits a more strategic approach to events and more targeted direct mail for driving a younger crowd to Applewood, “and younger typically means more couples.” Solutions Advisors has provided marketing and sales consulting to Applewood for two years with a focus on sales, brand positioning and strategic events that showcase the community’s Engaged Living program. Along with creating more targeted and contemporary-looking direct mail pieces, collateral materials and website, Solutions Advisors helped the sales team transition from transactional selling to prospect-centered selling, a philosophy which focuses on the prospect’s stage of readiness. The switch to Sherpa CRM helped to reinforce this change in selling style. Sherpa helps the team keep track of quality measures like the prospect’s stage of readiness to move, time spent in the selling zone and advances rather than just the number of tasks completed.
In addition to drawing a younger resident, year-end results showed an increase in initial inquiries from 139 in 2014 to 725 in 2016, resulting in 236 initial tours, 58 deposits and 37 move-ins for 2016. Applewood’s forward momentum was further advanced by a floor-to-ceiling redesign of community spaces, new outdoor amenities and a commitment to culinary excellence through its innovative Culinary Institute of Applewood program.