The hardest thing to achieve is getting ‘new money’ after budgets have been set, so now is the last chance to ‘ask’ for cash to support sales and marketing for the next 12 months.
Not the village budget, but the operator’s budget. Sales activity is the owner’s responsibility.
What should you be asking for? What is going to give you best bang for your buck, is easy to implement and cost efficient?
We all know that word-of-mouth referrals from residents to friends is the best sales tool, plus digital.
Here are three strong suggestions:
First up is the village newsletter. If you don’t have a budget, ask for $1,000. Then you have some cash to support a volunteer, resident or staff member to assemble it and cover any small costs that may come up – even postage of copies to recent sales enquiries.
Second is money for events. A sausage sizzle, wine and cheese night, donation to a local singing group to come in, a band for a Saturday night party. These help to build positive relations with residents, photos for newsletters, events to invite potential residents to, etc.
Check out this video discussion with Patrick Smith, owner of The Henley On Broadwater, a 145-unit retirement village on the Gold Coast. He says this is his best marketing investment – and he has no vacancies.
Ask for $5,000 (or more).
Third, we recommend our web site directory villages.com.au, the number one directory of retirement villages. Nearly 900,000 people a year search for every village in the country here.
This means close to 100% of all people who do a digital search do so on villages.com.au.
Every major village has a promotional listing – you may also. If not, the investment is $1,000 a year.
These three actions can add up to $7,000 for 12 months. If you need to ‘sell’, say, 10 homes a year at $300,000 each, that is $3,000,000 in sales. The $7,000 is equal to 0.2%!
Or you can add $600 to each property price.
The important thing in this difficult sales market is to keep doing things that keep the phone ringing and people ‘walking down the drive’.