Latest industry developments Reporting Results

April/May/June peak tyre kicking months – get ready

The best time to go fishing is when the fish are jumping – and the retirement village buyers should be jumping for the next three months. But are they buyers?

Check out the graph above. This is the sales action for Aveo across about 80 villages for the last two years.

The tall mid blue column is the average weekly appointments potential customers make to visit a village for the three months of that quarter.

The light blue column is the average weekly seen appointments – the number of people who actually turn up.

The dark blue column is the average number of sales made.

We have circled in red the Fourth Quarter – April/May/June. You can see they get more potential customers ‘walking down the drive’.

However the actual sales rates don’t vary that much throughout the year.

For Aveo it averages 19 sales a month, every quarter.

This makes sense because things happen in people’s lives every month, causing them to consider downsizing from the family home to a safer, more supportive community.

The moral: treat every month as a peak selling month.

What should be the sales ratio to enquiry?

The Aveo figures are interesting. They currently get approximately 180 people each week making an appointment to visit a village. 120 people actually show up – that 66%. From those 120 people around 19 actually buy; that is 16% or just under one in every six that walks down the drive.

Compared to normal residential sales that is a really good ratio. Imagine a real estate agent who knew he only had to show six people a home to get a sale.

On the other hand, there are village marketers that average one in three inspections generates a sale. Maybe their villages present better.

In our opinion the key selling feature is you, the village manager. It makes sense that if you are positive and confident about the product you represent customers will be reassured they are making a good decision – especially as you will be staying with them in their journey, unlike most salespeople.

Key things to help you everyday What the research tells us

The important role of the Village Manager in the Sales Process, especially with slow sales

Early indications reveal Retirement Living sales will be slow in 2019.

Negative media, the impacts of a softening residential housing market, tightening of consumer lending, and let’s not forget the influence of the Aged Care Royal Commission.

We know your role as the Village Manager in the Sales Process is an important one, whether you are totally responsible for the sales function or whether you work alongside the marketing and sales teams.

The Village Managers is the face of the village – and first impressions count!

Here are some things to think about.

  1. You can prepare the village for potential customer visits:
  • Lead the Village team to focus on customer service so that first impressions count
  • Meet with prospective residents early in the process, to ensure a strong relationship can be built
  1. Residents and word-of-mouth in the local community is gold:
  • Maintain resident satisfaction and engagement, to encourage residents to also be a sound referral source for the village
  • Maintain a planned welcome process that encourages a smooth transition for new residents; home readiness, neighbour buddies, induction, meals, etc..
  • Build community relationships to influence local community members to become referral sources for the village
  1. You are on the spot and a local yourself. You understand what the market wants:
  • Assist with development planning with real, local information
  • Influence the marketing strategies by providing intelligence around the current resident socio-demographic

This is what you do every day -the marketers need to understand this and engage with you more this year than ever before.

Key things to help you everyday Latest industry developments Reporting Results

NSW government to limit weekly fees for departing residents – max.42 days

Do your village contracts require you to charge a departing resident or their family or their estate ongoing weekly fees until their village home has been reoccupied? Most do.

But if you are in New South Wales the limit is about to be fixed at six weeks (42 days).

This means that after six weeks the operator is likely to have to pay the fees for the vacancy unit into the village budget.

This is really going to hurt a lot of operators, especially with slow sales and building vacant stock.

The average village home now takes over 300 days from when it becomes vacant to being reoccupied. That is 43 weeks, meaning in NSW the operator will be paying 36 weeks worth of village fees. At $100 a week that is $3600, or $36,000 for a 100 unit village that has a 10% turnover a year.

Is this new government ruling fair? On paper, no. If a normal lease tenant departs before the lease is complete they are responsible for the fees until the property is relet. However there is an argument that operators both take their time to relet and because they control the sale process the departing resident has no chance to intervene.

Irrespective, it is likely other states will follow the New South Wales government.

Key things to help you everyday Latest industry developments Things to watch

Is your village listed on Act now and save $200

Do you have a pay promotion listing on our retirement village directory website, the N0.1 digital search and education directory?

If not, perhaps you should. Did you know that:

  • 870,000 people searched for a retirement village on in the past 12 months
  • Google ranks No.1 in most searches
  • educate visitors on retirement villages and contract with videos and expert education

The investment is $800 for 12 months for a full promotion listing, but rises to $1000 in July.

Why not search your suburb or town HERE, to check us out.

Need help with photos and words – we can do that for you.

Email us HERE or call Nathan on 02 9555, 9576.