A CCRC Client:
All Hands on Deck for a Multi-Faceted Fast-Track Success
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
In Spring 2012, ABHOW, an established nonprofit senior living organization with 8 CCRCs in four states, had suffered during the Great Recession, but had withstood the harshest effects. However, many seniors were still relunctant to move into one of ABHOW’s CCRCs for fear that they wouldn’t be able to sell their own homes in a sluggish real estate market.
Because of an increase in attrition that resulted in declining occupancy, ABHOW faced the loss of thousands of dollars each month for every empty apartment. Leaders at ABHOW needed to boost the number of new residents coming to the communities.
We didn’t want a promotion that looked like a fire sale, which would cause
uncertainty among both potential and current residents.
The promotion also needed to fit the unique circumstances of each campus.
ABHOW turned to Seniority Inc. to help develop something they had never done before –– a sales incentive program that would surpass sales goals in 30, 60 and 90-day increments –– for these higher end communities.
Seniority introduced a “Season of Savings” campaign to invigorate sales at each community, focusing on pre-sales of CCRCs for eight campuses.
“Previously used sales programs were not sufficient to meet this latest challenge,” said Teri Conklin, then a Seniority Vice President. “Instead, the situation called for a bold, all-hands-on-deck, multi-tactical approach.”
Seniority set a multi-faceted goal with marketing communications; sales incentives (30/60/90 days; bonuses and fees); and costs for advertising to establish a goal of 165 move-ins within six months; plus incentives (deposits and move-ins by specific dates).
- Creating a corporate-wide program that engaged the operations and sales teams in meeting specific community goals and a corporate goal.
- Offering a variety of discounts to potential residents, including a significant financial incentive and a move-in discount to encourage potential residents to move early.
- Giving sales teams the chance to earn incentives.
- Creating a strong marketing push with weekly mailings to generate leads on a regular basis.
- Emphasizing that this was a rare, significant opportunity for prospective residents, without detailing pricing or mentioning “sale” in order to avoid the impression that the investment was devalued.
- Tracking all data and providing frequent, regular feedback on progress to all ABHOW leaders.
Involving all communities in a daily countdown to the goal of 165.
- Communicating with current residents and including them in the activities and encouraging them to refer friends and family.
- Hosting weekly events that brought prospective residents to the campuses to learn more about senior living.
“ABHOW has relied on Seniority’s sales and marketing expertise since inception in 1997,” said Pamela Claassen, ABHOW Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “We strongly believe that Seniority offers high-quality service with creative ideas and an attractive price,” she added.
Seniority’s approach made all the difference. “The response to this program exceeded our expectations,” said Ms. Claassen, with ABHOW achieving 100% of its goal. As a result of this “Season of Savings”, ABHOW projects that the entrance fees collected this fiscal year will exceed budget by more than $4 million.
The goal well surpassed ABHOW’s previous six-month move-in success rate by 25%!
Conklin added, “The key to success was developing a plan within specific goals that were measured frequently and that involved all members of the communities. This created a sense of excitement, anticipation and accomplishment, and not of desperation.”
“It was vital to tailor the marketing to each community’s specific needs. Some locations offered discounts for one style of inventory while others offered more significant discounts for the quickest move-in.”
– Pamela Claassen, CFO, HumanGood (formerly ABHOW)