Case Study

The Vista Senior Living Community – A Slow Start Accelerates to Stunning Sales Success

Non-Profit CCRC | The Vista | Wyckoff, NJ

Twenty years in the making, The Vista, a planned Christian Health senior living community in Wyckoff, New Jersey became a reality and received final approval in 2014 from the two townships and counties the project spans. Marketing was initiated for the over 160-unit apartment project, and The Vista broke ground in 2019.

In August 2017, Christian Health leadership retained the services of Solutions Advisors Group, a consulting firm specializing in senior living marketing and sales. Their objective was to evaluate the overall product and positioning of the proposed community with a focus on sales and marketing practices, as well as the strategies and tactics employed to market The Vista. A two-day assessment examined the site, floor plans, sales office, marketing plan and materials. Focus groups of priority depositors and interviews with the sales team provided valuable insights that would help drive strategic initiatives moving forward.

Solutions Advisors Group took over sales and marketing management of The Vista in early 2018 and initiated a strategic marketing plan to achieve the required 105 binding reservations by fall 2018. In addition to Solutions Advisors Group’s proprietary person-centered sales training, marketing focused on events tailored to prospects’ stage of readiness along with tactics implemented to reengage lost pros New sales advancement tools were introduced including personal proposals, creative follow-up, home visits and prospect case studies. Ambitious yet realistic goals were set for key indicators such as initial inquiry to tour, repeat tours and tour to deposit, in order to monitor productivity and adjust marketing strategies as needed.

A database analysis revealed more than 10,000 lost leads, which led to a deliberate strategy to reach out and reengage prospects through various methods, including both a print and email nurture campaign resulting in a 50% open rate and renewed interest from prospects. Additional database mining drove the sales team to reach back out to prospects who had never visited, had no follow-up scheduled or overdue activities. Partnering with Christian Health, quarterly marketing planning sessions were implemented to evaluate sales and marketing tactics and adjust plans based on strategy and results.

Another key strategy was to realign the marketing budget to allocate more resources for website and digital marketing. The website was critical to creating urgency — as popular floor plans sold out or were in short supply, urgency banners were added to the floor plan images. Over time it became clear that prospects were highly engaged with the website whenever new information was posted, which led to more digital initiatives to drive website visits. (A later move-in analysis showed that more than 50% of move-ins were driven by the website.)

The Vista opened its doors in June 2021, and by December of that year 62% of apartments were occupied. Data showed that direct mail, coupled with digital strategies, was effective at driving leads, while social media was useful in illustrating the lifestyle at The Vista, as were resident video testimonials. Naturally, the stunning architecture, gorgeous grounds and outstanding amenities helped showcase that The Vista was “the place” to go for a luxurious independent living lifestyle. Prospects, many of whom had been long lost in the database, reemerged as apartment supply dwindled.

Throughout 2022 and 2023, the sales team focused on conversion opportunities and events, even as new reservations were coming in. The sales team, now confident of the value of person-centered selling and tactics such as creative follow-up and home visits, were newly motivated to reach goals. Christian Health leadership was responsive and supportive of requests for more resources to buoy proven print and digital strategies. Residents, too, have become invaluable partners in marketing, eager to show off their apartments and participate in resident panels and prospecting events.

As 2024 begins, The Vista enjoys 96% occupancy, exceeding bond covenants. After nearly six years, Solutions Advisors Group will step back from its sales consulting role, confident in The Vista’s senior living sales team’s ability to continue the road to success — always the mark of a successful engagement.

If you need assistance with your community’s sales and marketing efforts, contact Solutions Advisors Group at 866-342-2267 today!

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