Seniors have more options than ever regarding where they want to live as they get older and need help with daily activities–from cooking and cleaning to hobbies and socializing. As the population ages and senior living facilities become more commonplace in neighborhoods across the country, competition between facilities can be stiff.
Fortunately, there are many ways to set your senior living community apart from the competition while offering seniors in your area all the care they need at an affordable cost. Here are seven powerful ways to differentiate your senior living facility from the competition.
1. Keep a Pulse on Your Competition
You should always be aware of what your competitors are doing: the types of apartments they have available, how they price their apartments, their amenities, when they run promotions and special pricing, and more. To do this, you’ll need to conduct a thorough competitor analysis on the main competitors in your area. For each competitor, you’ll want to look at both their online presence, and what’s actually happening on site. Consider the following tips:
- Understand your competitiors' online presence. How do their website and social media compare to yours? What do their online reviews say? Where are they advertising, what features and amenities are they highlighting, and what promotions are they running?
- Use "mystery shoppers" to get an on-the-ground perspective. Just like in retail, mystery shopping can be a great way to see what your competitors are doing up-close and can help you understand how your competitors are creating value for residents day-to-day.
Ultimately, the more you know about what your competitors are doing, the easier it will be to present your facility as the best option for seniors and their families.
2. Clarify Your Customer Value Proposition
Once you understand your competition through and through, you need to be able to articulate–and prove–your differentiators.
- What do you do better than your competitors?
- Do you have any unique features, speciality programs, or amenities within your market?
- What metrics can you share that can build trust with your prospective tenant?
- What makes your community special?
- What do you do better than your competitors?
3. Make Your Facility Feel Like Home, Not an Institution
Setting yourself apart from the competition isn’t just about numbers. It’s also about how potential residents and their families feel when they enter the space. In fact, one of the best ways to differentiate your facility is by providing a warm and friendly environment. For example, consider incorporating home-like amenities and inviting community spaces such as an outdoor garden or a reading room. Residents should feel like they're at home, not in an institution. When you focus on creating a true home for your residents, you'll find that your residents will stay for reasons other than just health care.
4. Build Your Community
Another aspect of making your facility feel like a home to residents is creating a strong sense of community. You can accomplish this by hosting social activities that bring residents together, like family picnics, game or movie nights, craft workshops, and holiday parties. Inviting guests to cook together in the kitchen is another way to unite people in a way that builds bonds and memories between your residents, their families, and your staff.
5. Help Residents Stay Connected with Technology
With technology and connectivity as integral parts of life today, it can be challenging for seniors who live in traditional facilities to feel connected to the outside world. Becoming a digital-first facility can be an incredible advantage for the senior living facility that wants to stand out from the crowd.
Here are a few digital features that you can consider when building out a more vibrant and connected senior living facility:
- A mobile app with a staff directory that includes photos and contact information
- A community bulletin board where residents and their families can post messages and pictures
- Access to and support for mobile health and wellness technologies, like wearable health monitoring devices, to help your seniors live healthier and more productive lives
- Virtual reality (VR) solutions to help combat loneliness, improve mental health, and assist in physical rehab
- Telehealth options to make it possible for residents to meet with their care teams from the comfort of their new homes
- Access to an IT consultant who can answer resident questions about new technology
6. Create Efficiencies and Save Costs with IoT Tech
Leveraging tech doesn’t just make your senior living facility a more inviting and engaging place to live; it can also make it cleaner, healthier, and safer for your residents. For example, autonomous cleaning solutions like Whiz, the commercial robot vacuum, can keep your facility pristine in a fraction of the time and effort. That’s because vacuuming is one of those time-consuming tasks that is likely to be skipped or done quickly and ineffectively when staff simply don’t have enough time.
However, vacuuming is also one of the most important elements of any residential facility, as it not only keeps spaces visibly clean but is also crucial to maintaining high indoor air quality. Cleaning robots are also a powerful visual indication to senior living facility residents and their families that staff is taking action to surpass standard cleaning by providing constant, visible proof of cleaning.
7. Use Cleaning Automation to Deliver a Healthier Environment
Finally, while adding emerging tech features to your senior living facility might sound expensive, there are many ways that these technologies can actually save you money by increasing your efficiencies, reducing the need for overtime staff, and much more. For example, commercial robot vacuums like Whiz allow you to track key metrics, like where and how floors were vacuumed via the data collection dashboard, Whiz Connect. With this data, you can more easily identify challenges or bottlenecks that reduce your operational efficiency and pinpoint specific opportunities to optimize your operations.
What Makes Your Senior Living Community Special?
As an operator of a long-term care facility, you must keep up with the latest developments in senior care to provide the best quality of life possible to your residents.
Contact SoftBank Robotics to learn more about how IoT tech can help your facility stand out from the crowd.