37% increase in potential retirement village customers year on year. Why? And will it translate into sales?

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Check out the two graphs above. They are our Google Analytics results on our educational and search directory villages.com.au.

For the week 5-11 May 2020, the search traffic was 37% up on the same week in 2019.

The actual number of people searching increased by 5,745 – nearly 1,000 each day – from 15,403 to 21,148.

This looks great for village operators, but the reality is that sales have ‘fallen off the cliff’ for most operators under COVID-19.

The real interest is there but going on the experience of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the fear of making a bad decision on the sale of the family home will infect potential buyers for up to three years.

Even worse will be the collapse of aged care operators that Ansell Strategic is predicting will commence this month thanks to COVID-19 costs and RAD refunds, as the public (and media) will confuse aged care homes with retirement villages.

It will be the Not For Profit operators that will be failing, mainly in the low margin regional areas where they dominate over private operators. This market risk should not be taken lightly.

The good news is this growth in our traffic and the depth of ‘education’ research – up to 12 pages per visitor – indicates a new breed of customer thanks to COVID-19.

See the rebound below in traffic after the March shutdown of the country.

Village operators will need to learn who these new customers are fast plus further cement trust in villages, or face a sales drought that will last years.

As the data shows, new demand is there. But it needs to be activated.

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