Tips for Thriving

By on Mar 19, 2021 in Marketing, Senior Living

The senior housing industry is taking steps to transitioning from the COVID-19 era with policies that emphasize safety and resident service. Nicole Moberg, COO of Atlanta-based Thrive Senior Living, offers insight into successfully marketing senior communities during and after the pandemic. Below are excerpts from her recent interview with Multi-Housing News.

How has the outbreak impacted Thrive Senior Living communities?

Nicole Moberg, Thrive Senior Living

Moberg: From early on, we were one of the first senior living communities to prioritize testing—backing our belief that every resident and team member should be tested as often as possible for the safety of the residents as well as our community.

We also developed the “Take Off to Thrive” marketing concept, with a 30-day new resident communication checklist. This served to minimize resident isolation and loneliness and even included an adapted red carpet “landing day/move-in” experience.

We view our communities as the safest place to be [with our] proper training and education, personal protective equipment, disinfection procedures and aggressive COVID-19 testing programs.

How have your marketing strategies changed?

Moberg: We pivoted by creating COVID-19 sales strategies including altering our messaging to focus more on care and safety and how we can help people during challenging times.

Digitally, we worked to bring on a chief storyteller who showed a behind-the-scenes look at Thrive culture, created a YouTube channel to share online content to increase awareness when families could not visit and increased online presence as we allocated more toward digital spend to drive more traffic to our website. We saw increased sales throughout the pandemic with safely executed event activity.

What role does technology play in your marketing?

Moberg: We sourced a new video app that allows us to send videos to prospects as a follow-up; a platform to enhance virtual tours; a “thank you” app for sending gifts; a website chat feature—virtual sales assistant— and a DocuSign program to implement lease signings.

What do you consider to be the main marketing trends for senior living communities?

Moberg:There is an absolute need to be creative and to continue to have multiple touchpoints with prospects! The sales cycle is longer, so we need to ensure that we continue to engage prospects every step along their journey. Also, focusing more on care and safety is critical as the market is still very sensitive due to COVID-19.

What are the top challenges when it comes to marketing senior housing communities in a pandemic-driven economy?

Moberg: It is harder to make the same impact on prospects through virtual tours when you aren’t able to have an in-person human connection within our communities. The key lies in where you’re spending your dollars, how much you are spending and how your message is delivered so that you can show your differentiators.

What is your advice for senior living providers struggling to overcome the negative impacts of the pandemic?

Moberg: Start internally by working closely with your teams. Scheduling weekly one-on-one calls will always be the secret sauce. Digital spend should always increase when more people are making their decisions through online research. Your digital presence is critical. This includes PPC, social ads, banners, website chat features, virtual tours and online reviews which play a critical role in the decision-making process.

What are your expectations for the senior housing industry going forward?

Moberg: Our expectations are that we become even stronger teams, individual and leaders, given the challenges we have faced over the past year. This has proven our ability to continually and quickly adapt and pivot based on circumstances.

Read the full interview with Nicole Moberg. Learn how RENTCafé Senior Living keeps senior living community residents and their families stay connected.