During the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, a suburban Philadelphia active adult community managed to increase occupancy by 34%, ending the year at 76 % occupancy due, in part, to a strong focus on building a sales culture and adapting new platforms to communicate with prospects. Canvas Valley Forge, managed by The Bozzuto Group, offers spacious open apartment floor plans and top-notch amenities in a favorable suburban setting near Philadelphia, but struggled to compete in a market crowded with traditional CCRCs and multi-family housing options. Solutions Advisors was retained in 2017 to conduct a sales and marketing assessment for Canvas Valley Forge and again in 2019 to execute recommendations and act as overall advisor for sales and marketing strategies. The sales assessment uncovered two key opportunities: one, provide a customized sales training program to create a true sales culture focused on customer needs and arming the sales team with strategies and messaging to properly position the community in the marketplace and communicate the value of “rent versus own.” Secondly, improve lead generation with more targeted digital, Search Engine Marketing and Optimization campaigns combined with a more robust direct mail advertising and events campaign. Solutions Advisors maintained an on-site consultant six days per month, augmented by regular telephone support to review the sales pipeline and brainstorm on-going strategies. When the pandemic put in-person meetings and tours on hold, Solutions Advisors quickly helped the sales team pivot to platforms like OneDay videos to connect with prospects and conduct live virtual tours. A series of virtual events included cooking demonstrations, painting classes, introduction to Tai Chi and even a virtual tailgate party to demonstrate the lifestyle of the community. Late summer through fall 2020 saw more than 30 move-ins even as the pandemic continues to circulate throughout the region.
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