A Closer Look at Renting by Choice
Every Monday, we recap the most engaging content from the previous week.
This week, insights via the Houston Chronicle into why more Baby Boomers are opting to forgo homeownership in favor of renting. Also, you can never have too many leads in the senior living industry. McKnight’s Senior Living introduces a new referral source for senior living communities.
Most Clicked: More Boomers Discovering Lifestyle as Renters
Last week, Nancy Sarnoff and Erin Mulvaney of the Houston Chronicle wrote a brief article about a growing trend amongst Baby Boomers and shared a corresponding episode of the Chronicle’s “Looped In” real estate podcast.
The podcast features Dwight Silverman, a senior producer for premium products on the Houston Chronicle site. He discusses why he and his wife gave up the homeowner lifestyle in favor of a more simple apartment-renter lifestyle.
The Silvermans are what the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University would call “renters by choice.”
After raising a family in Northwest Houston for the better part of their adult lives, they sought to be free from the stresses of homeownership, such as mowing the lawn and raking the leaves.
The apartment that they currently rent has allowed them to “rightsize” their lives to only the amount of space they need. it is within walking distance to many of the city’s restaurants, wine bars and other area attractions.
For marketers of 55+ / age-qualified communities and senior living, the Silvermans’ reasons for transitioning to apartment living may sound very familiar.
Many communities for older adults emphasize location, lifestyle and amenities in their marketing materials, as you’ll see below in a recent print ad we created for our client, Traditions of America.
This less hands-on living situation allows the Silvermans to invest more time in their professional lives and less time enduring the burden of home ownership, including the ever-fluctuating housing market and dreaded home maintenance.
Marketers should remember to hammer this point home with prospective 55+ residents.
While different features and amenities will definitely help in making your community stand out, they key selling point is that you are taking a weight off their shoulders. You are by providing a home in which they can continue to live the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to (or even a better lifestyle!), WITHOUT all of the homeowner hassles.
Also worth taking into consideration in marketing age-qualified housing is whether your community offers both rental and buy in options for prospective residents. Renters would receive some but not all of the same benefits that homeowners in the community receive. Based on current housing trends, this could be a more appealing option for some of the younger residents.
Click here to read the article and listen to the “Looped In” podcast.
Most Shared: New Referral Site Launches for Senior Living Communities
It looks like another lead source has been introduced to the senior living industry, according to McKnight’s Senior Living.
The site, SeniorCaring.com, benefits both the provider (community developers/marketers) and care-seeker (the elders) sides of senior living.
For care-seekers, the site introduces them to communities that are a potential match for them based on their unique needs. Providers can find qualified families on the site and communicate with them through the website.
According to Oliver Feakins, President and co-founder of Track 5 Media (the developer of SeniorCaring.com), “Care-seekers who come to our website will be able browse communities without providing personal information.”
SeniorCaring.com also will serve as somewhat of a customer relationship management software for sales counselors at communities that have partnered with and been verified by the site. The site will allow sales counselors to communicate with advisers, and monitor the status of each referral.
Senior living communities such as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) should consider whether partnering with SeniorCaring.com is a viable option for them.
- This service could expand a community’s reach in terms of capturing leads.
- Partner communities are regularly vetted by the site, and being accepted would add further credibility to your community.
- SeniorCaring.com’s added level of privacy could make it more appealing to care-seekers than current directory options or communicating with a provider directly.
To that last point, Creating Results’ most recent survey showed how reluctant older adults are to be captured as leads online.
Social, Silver Surfers found that only 22% of ALL recent, 40+ movers say they’ve filled out a form on a community website. Those who helped an older adult with a move are slightly more comfortable with this; 29% of move helpers reported filling out a form on a community website.
Either way, between 71% and 78% of prospects are unwilling to communicate directly with a provider via their online forms.
- For every referral that becomes a resident through SeniorCaring.com, the community must pay a one-time fee negotiable to a portion of that resident’s first month’s rent.
For many, that fee will be a small price to pay in order to ensure that occupancy goals are being met.
To read the full article and learn more about SeniorCaring.com, click here.