We recently shared some long-term senior living marketing predictions for the next decade (in honor of our 10th anniversary). Now, we’re shining the light on some short-term marketing predictions for 2023. We’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them on LinkedIn and Facebook!
Prediction #1: The forecasted housing slump will impact senior living sales.
We’re coming off one of the wildest real estate markets in history. As CNN notes, “The pandemic boom, which sent prices into the stratosphere, is running out of steam and house prices now are falling from Canada to China, setting the stage for the broadest housing market slowdown since the global financial crisis.”
What does this housing slump mean for the senior living industry?
We predict it will give many older Americans pause about selling their homes in 2023 and moving into senior living.
What can senior living marketing and sales teams do to compensate for this possible slowdown?
Anticipate and plan accordingly. Revisit sales forecasts. Be prepared for marketing and sales cycles to stretch out even longer.
People will likely spend 2023 doing more research and visiting more communities as they wait out the year and monitor the real estate market. The communities that are willing to go the distance by providing engaging content and meaningful check-ins over the course of 12, 18, and even 24 months will reap the biggest rewards over the long term.
You need to accept that you’re running a marathon, not a sprint.
We know that’s easier said than done, especially if marketing and sales teams are feeling pressure from management to hit certain numbers.
The good news? This housing slump shouldn’t be like the 2008 crash.
Fingers crossed that the slump eases quickly. In the meantime, focus on your marketing fundamentals: producing excellent content, shoring up referral programs and other word-of-mouth activities, and hunkering down for long-haul marketing. Do those things right, and prospective buyers will remember you when the time comes for them to take the next step.
Prediction #2: Prospects will crave in-person events. (Yes, even if they’re not ready to buy in 2023.)
Expect 2023 to be the year that everyone gets back to in-person events. Sure, we’ve been seeing this happen ever since President Biden officially declared the pandemic over back in September.
But 2022 was still a mish-mash of masks, jabs, and extra precautions, especially for vulnerable populations like those over 65.
Now, we’re not suggesting that people will throw caution to the wind in 2023.
But we do expect that most folks—including older adults and their families—will be eager to participate in tours and other senior living events they haven’t done in three years. Think things like accepting invitations to wine-tasting events, joining you for a free lunch, or taking you up on an invite to join your community’s monthly book club.
In-person events are extremely important for building long-term relationships with prospects as they wait out a housing market slowdown.
This is why you should consider doing more of them—and opening them up to the general public. For example, maybe you host a weekly singer or band every Wednesday. You can promote the event in places where your target market hangs out, like the local senior center, the local library, and the local paper.
By giving people the opportunity to experience your community in such a relaxed manner, you’re planting the seed. And planting seeds is part of long-haul marketing!
Another example: If you’ve normally been hosting lunches once a month, maybe you shift to once a week—and you don’t limit repeat guests, either.
Remember, your job is to kindle the connection. Keep those fires burning.
The sales cycle is going to be long. Don’t expect someone who attends a luncheon to convert tomorrow or even six months from now—no matter how much they rave about the food.
Prediction #3: Google Analytics 4 will take some marketers by surprise. (Despite our best efforts!)
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) officially replaces Universal Analytics on July 1, 2023. We predict that some communities will have failed to act in time to set up GA4 and will be scrambling to do so at the last minute.
The good news? We can help you make the transition.
We offer training on what you need to know. Don’t procrastinate. Get in touch now and let’s get the ball rolling.
Prediction #4: Live industry events will make a BIG comeback next year.
In 2022, we saw more senior living marketing and sales professionals in attendance at state- and national-level events (like SMASH).
But we predict that 2023 will be bigger than ever before as people feel comfortable with flying and being around groups of people again.
Start planning now. Think about travel, lodging, and which people from your team are best suited for specific events and sessions.
Prediction #5: The popularity of call centers will continue to grow.
Being responsive to leads has always been important. But it’s going to be even more important next year since everyone will be competing aggressively for sales due to the housing slowdown, inflation, and a potential recession. As a result, we predict that more communities will turn to call centers to handle inbound inquiries faster.
But an important caveat: Not all call centers are created equal.
You want to work with people who understand senior living in general and your community in particular. And you want to work with a call center that’s adept at empowering prospects. (Because remember: the prospects are in charge of the sales cycle.)
Guess what? Senior Living SMART will be offering this service in 2023, so stay tuned. Or reach out directly if you want details now rather than later.
On behalf of all of us at Senior Living SMART, we wish you a happy and healthy new year!