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

Retirement Living touches 14% of all people aged over 40 – this is big business​

At times we need to take a step back and think of the sector we work in and the impact it makes on our community.

Our sister publication The SOURCE has been publishing some interesting analysis lately on how many people retirement living actually touches, and also how many new customers we need to bring on board each year.

See the chart above. You can see that across land lease communities and retirement villages we have 300,000 residents across Australia.

Our residents have placed their faith and wealth in our hands, so to speak, a great vote of trust.

At the same time, each resident has about three people that they are closely involved with, as friends, carers and supporters. Many of them will also be a beneficiary of the transition of wealth in the village home at some stage. So there is a financial ‘touch’ as well as an emotional touch.

This adds 900,000 people to a total of 1.2 million Australians that we have a touch point. Given all these ‘direct touch’ people will be aged over 40 years of age, we reach 14% of all people over 40, which is very powerful.

35,500 new sales a year required

In our own bubble, we don’t think of the big picture sales effort that is required to keep our sector humming.

From the chart below you can see that with rollovers and new builds, we need 35,500 new customers to sign up each year, or if you like, 97 every day of the year, including Christmas Day.

With an average village and LLC home now valued around $450,000 to buy in, we need to generate $16 billion in sales a year or $44 million every day.

We are BIG business! If each family home sold to buy into our sector is valued at say $600,000, then $21.3 billion in family home sales have to take place. Imagine all those young families upgrading – it is exciting we think.

As village professionals, we are vital to this ongoing sales process. We are the face and the brand of our community within our local community. It’s a big job.

(If you do not receive The SOURCE newsletter on a Tuesday, you can ask for a free subscription HERE – it’s the best news source on retirement living).

Key things to help you everyday

More villages going vertical – what does this mean for village managers?​

Apartments are the new normal for retirement villages.

While many big operators have been building apartments for about five years now in capital city locations, we are now seeing the traditional ‘horizontal village’ operators branch out to apartments.

Expanding village operator Oak Tree has announced the opening of its Pelican Waters on the Sunshine Coast village. It is a $15 million development of 60 units over four storeys.

Oak Tree now owns and operates 31 retirement villages across Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, mostly horizontal villages around 80 homes.

Managing this type of development is vastly different to a traditional village. For instance, residents don’t have their own outdoor space so the focus on activities is different.

Building management is also very different, but the skills will expand your professional credentials across areas such as building and strata management. All good news.


Sales Coordinator (Full Time) Award winning Over 55’s Village in Cooranbong, Lake Macquarie region

Seeking an exceptional Village Sales Professional to carry the sales function of our award-winning retirement village forward.

You are a skilled sales professional with Retirement Living experience, an energetic can-do approach, caring attitude and have all the skills to convert a qualified lead into an extremely satisfied new resident in this exceptional and rapidly expanding retirement community.

Further details:

Tracey Palser
General Manager, Catalina Lake Macquarie
0418 453 741

Latest industry developments

Increased retirement village regulations spreading across Australia – now Victoria

It’s a fight between QLD and NSW on which Government is going to introduce a new round of village regulations first, with other states copying and catching up.

This week has been Victoria’s turn and the Government is looking to embrace buybacks, following QLD which first introduced them, but also NSW in having different buyback periods depending on whether it’s a metro or regional village.

Village operators now have just a month to respond to the latest options paper from the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation on the proposed reforms to the Victorian Retirement Villages Act 1986 (Act).

You can read the paper here.

The 88-page paper lists 19 potential reforms for consideration, including:

  • Mandated buybacks for retirement village units not re-sold within a specified timeframe.
  • Amending the RV Act to clarify the definition of a retirement village.
  • Improving disclosure obligations, including requiring all fees to be disclosed in advertising materials.
  • Improving understanding of retirement village payment models by defining ‘deferred management fee’ and introducing yearly contract check-ups on request
  • Reforming the contract process by requiring contracts to be in plain English and introducing a requirement that residents must get legal advice before signing contracts.
  • Amending the Act to clarify all maintenance and repair requirements.
  • Extend the cooling-off period for retirement villages and/or introduce a settling-in period.
  • Amending the timeframe for charging fees to departing village residents for personal services and maintenance charges.
  • Clarifying reinstatement and renovation requirements for RV residents and operators.
  • Regulating the share of capital losses and gains.
  • Enhancing internal dispute resolution procedures, including removing the role of residents’ committees in resident disputes and/or mandating a Code of Conduct.
  • A new mandatory Code of Conduct to spell out the rights and responsibilities of RV operators and residents.
  • Clarifying the arrangements for residents’ committees.
  • Improving staff qualifications with mandatory qualifications for retirement village managers and staff.
  • Developing a compulsory village accreditation scheme.
  • Reforming the external dispute resolution process with mandatory conciliation and the establishment of an Industry Ombudsman.

The Government acknowledges concern from operators that mandated buybacks “would present significant financial challenges for operators, particularly for those operating in regional areas.”

Unsurprisingly, residents and advocacy organisations supported their introduction, but the report states there were “mixed views” about the length of time that should pass before a residence is bought back.

“Timeframes of six, 12 or 18 months would provide a starting point to further develop this option,” the paper says.

Operators have two options to respond – by responding to the paper or completing a survey.

Find out more here.

If you want to participate you will need to be quick though – submissions close 11.59pm Friday 14 May 2021.

Key things to help you everyday Things to watch

Your website is often your first impression

Our favourite marketing support is Joshua Hanchett. We asked him to write this piece on the very important subject of websites.

You only get one chance to make an excellent first impression.

In 2021, the website is usually the first introduction to prospective residents and employees so providing a consistent experience online that represents the organisation well is paramount. 

An excellent online experience starts with the following: 

  1. Keep your resident, not the organisation, in mind. Each page should keep them central in the written and visual content. 
  2. Make it easy to contact the right person in the organisation. If your organisation provides multiple services, have a direct line or email to the relevant person. 
  3. Be a guide to your website visitor on their retirement journey. Inform them to make a great decision. Don’t sell. 

With this in mind, what can you do every year to keep your website relevant and visitors coming back time and time again? Below is a short list, but if you don’t have the time, reach out to us. We are happy to help your organisation reach their customer online.

1. Safety and Security – Is your website safe and your organisation’s privacy policy relevant and accessible? Visitors are encouraged to take action on websites by filling in forms, and it’s reassuring to know data isn’t going to be stolen or shared. Security Certificates and Firewall software are easy to install and automate these days.

Tip: Make it a priority at the beginning of each year to ensure your certificates and software are installed, activated, and working.

2. Responsive experience – Does your website provide a wonderful experience on a desktop and a mobile device? With mobile overtaking desktop in multiple demographics, it’s important the user experience is consistent across devices.

Tip: Open the website on a desktop and your mobile device at the same time. How does it load? Is the experience consistent? Is it easy to read and take action?

3. Read and refresh pertinent information. Set reminders in your calendar to read through your website and other sites making up your digital presence, including Google my Business, Facebook, LinkedIn, and listing sites like Start simple. Are your Name, Address, Phone Number, and Email details correct? Is your pricing accurate on listing websites? 

Tip: Open an incognito window in your browser and do a Google search of your organisation’s name. What’s on display? 

4. Track search, time, and behaviour on your site. Use tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush. Answer these questions. 

Where are your site visitors coming from? Direct, organic, social, or paid? 

Are they leaving quickly or sticking around for a while? 

Where are they spending time on your site?

Tip: Allow this data to inform how you change your website. A better site experience will increase time on site and reduce bounce rate.

5. Focus on Quality content rather than Quantity. Organisations that know their customers well serve their customers well. Speak to their problems and display authentic images of your residents enjoying their newfound freedoms in the community. Quality content will rank well on search engines, keep customers on your site longer, and even keep them returning for more.

Tip:  Treat your website as a living, breathing asset to your organisation. Let your users search online for solutions to their problem. Focus your creative energy on providing answers in a meaningful way. Once on your website, share to your social channels and email list with links back to your website.

6. Ask website visitors to take action – a phone call, a form filled, a downloadable pdf guide.

Tip: Pop ups have their place, but they can often be overused and deter a prospect. Be creative and strategic with your placements of all buttons, forms, pop ups and pdfs. Remain customer centric.

With more and more people online and so many simple free tools available online, there’s never been a better time to pay attention to your organisation’s website – it’s so much more than a brochure.

Set a time to implement these things in your busy schedule. It will pay dividends and speak to your professionalism, credibility, and ability to provide solutions to the evolving needs of your customer.

If you need help reaching your customer online, please reach out to us.

Joshua Hanchett – Your Digital Partner

Key things to help you everyday

Your Circle of Influence – it may be smaller and better than you think​

Many of don’t think about who we influence, but we all spend time doing stuff that we think, well, that we are influencing people.

At the recent Leadership Masterclass, our DCMI Leadership Coach, Jacqui Perkins, explored a Stephen Covey tool from his bestseller ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’.

Jacqui explained the ‘Circle of Influence’. This tool is a simple concept which helps define and direct our efforts and energies into the areas that are important to us and where we can achieve optimum influence.

Circle of Concern: Areas that concern us but in which we generally have little or no control, such as the weather. While we might like to make the sun shine we can’t actually make it happen.

Circle of Influence: Things we have indirect control over, such as other peoples’ reactions, their thoughts. But, unlike the Circle of Concern, you can still influence action or change. For example, you may influence how an employee or team member works or acts, but you can’t directly control them.

Circle of Control: Are things we have direct control over, such as our own actions and responses to opportunities and challenges.

Jacqui explained successful leaders focus in on ‘the what’ they can influence.

The Circle of Influence is proactive…I proactively try to influence the situation.

The Circle of Concern is reactive…I’m just a passive recipient of what comes my way and react instead of thinking ahead and trying to proactively influence a different outcome.

So how can you determine if you are proactive or reactive?

Draw the three circles and identify a couple of points in each circle such as those below:

  • ‘Concern’: no direct influence on global warming, COVID-19, weather or the price of milk.
  • ‘Control’: we have control of own actions, our leadership style and workplace conduct and can us them for positive influence.
  • ‘Influence’: we can influence team culture, resident satisfaction and community engagement.

When we focus on our Circle of Influence, we are able to create long lasting and effective change in both ourselves, our team and our community.

And maybe take a tip and “Let it go….”