Seniors Housing Communities Fall Short On Delivering Customers Need For Pricing
And Learn the 7 Actions to Implement Price Transparency
It’s easy to think that every pricing possibility in seniors housing has been exhausted and that innovations will be far and few between going forward. I challenge you keep exploring new ideas.
In the last three decades almost every sector from hotels, airlines, taxis, cable, cell service, and software has seen a disruption to their space in the form of pricing and product delivery. Even everyday items such as tires, power tools and consumer goods are being sold and priced differently.
Who would have ever predicted the demand for a razor subscription service where members who belonged to the club had razors delivered to their door! Unilever bought Dollar Shave Club for $1Billion after just four years of operation due to incredible consumer demand.
Just yesterday I went online and using Amazon Prime ordered a two-man tent, inflatable sleep pad and hammock in a matter of minutes for an upcoming camping trip; and didn’t pay a dime for shipping. I was able to read reviews, compare prices and get exactly what I was looking for. If you would have told me ten years ago, I would be doing that I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Imagine our purchase options ten years from now!
While I’ve spent Chapters one through seven talking about pricing options and how each relates specifically to seniors housing, it’s time to address one of the biggest problems we have: Lack of pricing transparency.
SENIORS HOUSING LACK’S PRICE TRANSPARENCY
Hermann started this chapter reminiscing about the good old days, when people had to call or visit a number of stores to get quotes or bids in order to compare pricing information. Whether purchasing a car, home, replacing a garage door or planning a vacation, this process was tedious, oftentimes difficult and time consuming for buyers. This is exactly what the buyer experience is like for in seniors housing still today.
No one wants to hear it; but price transparency is going to happen whether we want it to or not. Seniors housing is one of the last sectors to make pricing available online, yet consumers are going to demand it. Sooner or later it’s going to become the norm.
Price transparency, due to the Internet, has had the most far reaching impact of all pricing innovations to date across all product sectors.
Consider your most recent purchases. Odds are you did most of your research online and in many cases, made your actual purchase online too. Here are just a few things you can search, compare, read reviews of and purchase online that have a sizable price tag and that are incredibly personal:
- Automobiles: Pick just about any car and you will find an incredible buyer experience online. Buying a car used to be one of the most painful purchasing experiences an individual could go through especially if you are a woman. Today, it’s not only easy but fun! Visiting Land Rover’s website I can not only customize my car, get exact pricing and estimate payments but I can search their inventory!
- College Education: While graduating seniors used to visit one or two picks, it’s not uncommon for them to apply to five or six universities today. While this used to be a difficult and time consuming task, today college entrants can do most of their research online, narrowing it down fairly easily to their top two picks without ever having the leave their home. Comparing the University of Miami to University of South Florida, I can see that UM has just 11,000 students on campus while USF has over 32,000! The cost of tuition being $51,000 versus $6,500 per year also a drastic difference. While we take this for granted today, not too long ago this accessibility was not possible with such ease.
Not only am I more empowered as a consumer due to educating myself on the differences within these seemingly similar products, but the ease of information and detail provides a great buyer experience.
SENIORS HOUSING IS RIPE FOR PRICING DISRUPTION & TRANSPARENCY
Why do we continue to force prospective residents and their families to physically get in a car and visit eight to ten communities to understand their options? Even then we make the process so difficult that people actually end up more confused after their visits than before. Additionally, our consumer is elderly and in many cases frail; making it more difficult for them to go through this exercise.
All it will take is one large operator to take the first step and others will begin to follow suit. Imagine the transformation in the buyer experience if a prospect were able to go online, conduct a search within a 15 miles radius of their home, select communities of interest and digest pricing as well as what is included along with pictures of the community, various floor plans and other preferences? It would be a game changer.
TIME TO TAKE ACTION
Small steps can yield big results. Considering price transparency but not sure where to start? Here’s a short list for you.
- Hire a professional photographer to take photos of all floor plan models, with residents in the photos, living life (no empty rooms) to the fullest at your communities.
- Hire a professional copywriter to bring those spaces to life with short yet powerful content descriptions.
- Post rates for each of the floor plans alongside with what’s included, in detail.
- Create a list of ancillary services along with pricing so buyers can calculate total cost based on their needs.
- Consider an opt in where users provide their name, email and phone to access your pricing information; thus, creating a new lead in exchange for price transparency.
- Offer a Calendly link where buyers can schedule an appointment online immediately without having to call in.
- Be transparent in every way possible.
While there is more to do this is a good start. Imagine if a prospective buyer visits seven websites and you’re the only assisted living community to provide this information. It’s a game changer.
Overwhelmed, not sure where to start? My team can come up alongside you and pave the way to price transparency, asking for and getting market rate rent and improving the overall buyer experience. We can create the infrastructure, customize training progress and equip your corporate team with the tools to make it happen. Click here to schedule some time with myself and Jennifer Saxman or text 813.390.3349 to set up a call right now.
To Your Success,
Written by: Traci Bild, CEO of Bild & Co