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Key things to help you everyday

Location, location, location – why finding the right home for your village listing is so important

Filling village vacancies is one of the most important jobs for village, marketing and sales professionals.

Without direction this process can be inefficient and expensive.  

Our sister company villages.com.au offers a comprehensive hub to link vacant villages with potential residents.

We’ve discovered plenty of things along the way that help inform this process.

Here are four things to consider:

1. You need to be able to find the right people

There’s no use having an ad on the Gold Coast if your village is in the Hunter Valley.

Destination is a key driver for potential residents, so having a platform that lets you market to specific regions is crucial. This is why villages.com.au offers 87 regions across Australia.

2. You need to put your best foot forward

Potential residents like to have a good idea of what your village looks like, before they commit.

So villages.com.au offers strong image and description options for every paid listing.

villages.com.au provides listings with the chance to feature a 3D Virtual Tour, which delivers approximately 30% more leads. There’s a great example here.

3. Tracking and stats

Transparency is also important, and you want to be sure you’re advertising with a platform that gives you bang for your buck.

This is why villages.com.au regularly supplies everyone who’s been listed with updated statistics to see how their village ads are performing.

4. A trusted home

Moving into a retirement village is a big, sometimes expensive, exercise for potential residents.

So it makes sense that your village is listed on a platform people recognise and trust.

villages.com.au has established itself as a trusted knowledge resource for people looking for retirement villages with videos, articles and an Info Centre to support people in the journey.

Listing your village on a trusted platform builds authenticity and increases the chance of a sale.

For more information on listing villages, contact villages.com.au Head of Sales Solutions Carmella Rowsthorne here.  

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Key things to help you everyday

Sales are ‘not the thing’ over the next 12 months – it is MOMENTUM to settlement!

What will happen to sales over the next 12 months?  Who really knows? But lead management will be vital.

This means maintaining a link with buyers in their journey to finally commit to buying their village home, and then selling their family home and settling on their new village purchase!

At DCM we call this “momentum to settlement”!

Over the last few months I have been asked several times “what’s going to happen to sales” and “what should we be focusing on”. Oh, if only I had that crystal ball…

However, from my past experience opening a brand new village at the beginning of the GFC when sales just stopped, and my past professional experience of turning around stalled villages and villages in receivership, it is all about MAINTAINING MOMENTUM & HAVING A PLAN

It is vital that sales teams do not lose momentum and that means supporting them by maintaining strong campaigns to attract new enquiry. 

In difficult times we need to overfill the sales funnel, knowing even the most committed customer may find it hard to sell their own home, for a range of real reasons.

We also know that retirees can take up to 18 months to make their decision. Therefore it is vital that we maintain their interest in the retirement living solution, and particularly your village. 

Do we send an enquiry pack, invite them for a tour, and follow them up, only to be told they aren’t ready? The most common excuse for not buying!

I strongly believe there is no one size fits all solution here. There needs to be multiple lead management/engagement strategies working in unison. All with the objective of moving the prospects decision forward to purchasing, and sooner.

So what helps to do this, particularly in this COVID environment where physical contacts and events are trickier? 

Understanding and language

COVID has been with us now since late March – that’s four months. Even with the lockdowns and ‘no inspections’, we all have seen a change in the emotional drivers of the potential customers, and especially their children, who are now enquiring.

We need to understand these drivers and equip salespeople with the new language, the words that connect with these new customers.

Our DCM colleagues have research in the field now, asking 2,200 potential customers what are their emotions. They also have thousands of people sending emails from villages.com.au every month asking for information – and post COVID 70% of those people are the children, who are worried about isolation form mum and dad (see the research story following).

With this understanding and language, we can work on working with the potential customers.

Momentum to Settlement

It is vital to stay TOP OF MIND with your prospects, to build a relationship with them where they feel like they have an emotional connection with your organisation, and to continue to reinforce that this accommodation solution is the right choice for them.

Consider how technology can assist with your lead engagement activities:

  • Sign prospects up to your organisations blogs, newsletters, magazines, etc
     
  • Ask them or show them how to follow you on social media
     
  • Consider your digital advertising requirements (to ensure your advertising campaigns pop up in their feeds/adverts)
     
  • Consider short EDM campaigns (that can also be added to your website as blogs) to help their decision making (how to choose an agent, styling tips, maintaining independence, a resident case study, get to know the manager, services for seniors in the local area, etc.)
     
  • Use technology to your advantage
    • Touchnote is a great app to send a personalised postcard – construction update, renovation picture, residents enjoying the lifestyle
       
    • Use apps like Calendly to help schedule a return visit or a time for you to visit them
       
    • Make a short video on your phone of something of interest in the village
       
    • Consider sharing appropriate industry news/research
       
    • Send a video from the villages.com.au video library as an interest piece about retirement living
       
    • Use the Retirement Living Council’s Book of Wise Moves booklet as an opportunity to reach out

Be creative! But whatever you do, maintain the momentum to settlement!