By Steve Moran

I am spending a lot of time thinking about how we could make senior living more attractive to more people. WelcomeHome’s 2023 Year in Review shows a significant increase in the number of 65-75-year-olds who are exploring senior living. That’s the good news. The bad news is that those inquiries do not seem to be turning into tours and move-ins.

2 Challenges

We have twin challenges and don’t have enough data to know which is more critical. The first is that we are not telling the story in a way that is compelling to seniors and most older people and their families.

The second is more difficult to assess: Is the problem only the way we are telling the story, or is it also what we are offering? I suspect it is both. If we were getting the living experience right, more people would be talking about it and flocking to it, even if we were not telling the story or telling it well.

Lessons From Trader Joe’s

If you are a regular reader, you know I am a church guy — teaching fourth, fifth, and sixth graders each weekend — and have a deeply important spiritual and devotional life. The idea of how to tell the story better is a problem that churches and senior living have in common — hence the title.

Here is what makes Trader Joe’s so unique:

  • Every trip to TJ is a great adventure.
  • While you have some favorites at TJ, part of the reason you want to go back is that you know that nearly every time you visit, you will find some new delight.
  • You know that every single encounter with a TJ team member will be positive and helpful — that you will never be made to feel stupid or like you are a bother.
  • You will always spend more money than you planned on spending — and at the same time will feel like you got some real bargains.
  • When you leave the store, you will feel really good about your experience and already be anticipating your next trip there.
  • As you remember your visit (consume your products), you will be once again delighted with memories of your most recent trip to TJ’s.

How About Your Community?

Now I am going to ask you to evaluate your community in the context of the above list:

  • Does every visit to your community feel like a grand, wonderful adventure?
  • Will each visit result in some new delight?
  • Will every single encounter with a team member in your community be positive and helpful?
  • Do your visitors feel like your community is offering great value to its customers each and every time?
  • When people leave your community (family, visitors, prospects, team members), can they hardly wait to come back?
  • When visitors get home, or residents are back in their own apartments, do they look back at their day in your community with fondness, looking forward to the next day, the next visit?

This could be a great exercise to do with your team.

Note: We partnered with WelcomeHome for a webinar on their 2023 Year in Review findings. To stay in the know about future webinars, become a Foresight subscriber here!