Village enquiry ahead of 2020 but research says work to be done

Published on

Good news for village marketers and sales people – village enquiry continues to be higher than 12 months ago.

Above is the Google Analytics for searches for villages on our portal, villages.com.au for December through to 20 January last year, and the same for this year up to yesterday, Monday 19 January.

The third week of January historically sees a big jump in enquiry. Last year it peaked at 3,690 searches on one day. But yesterday Google recorded 4,028 searches on villages.com.au – a 9% higher figure than last year.

This is good news for marketers.

43% feel increased vulnerability

Many village operators reported an up-kick in village sales after the initial hit of COVID restrictions. In fact, some operators recorded record breaking sales – great news for some.

It reflects the findings of our DCM Research program, in the field mid-last year, which identified that 43% of people aged 65+ had an increased sense of vulnerability due to COVID; villages were seen as a ‘safe harbour in a storm’.

But why are still many villages not achieving the same sales and what will be the impact of the vaccine rollout and people becoming more accustomed to COVID?

Negative village perceptions increase

The same DCM research identified that the village sector has an underlying perception challenge, with positive views of villages declining from 37% in 2018 to just 27% in 2020.

This is a substantial decline (27% in 24 months) that is due to the first wave of Baby Boomers reporting that they perceive villages to be expensive and the homes small – which they are less likely to accept.

Price and target local potential customers

The research clearly says to promote the price of homes wherever possible. Don’t allow negative perceptions and incorrect word of mouth grow.

And market locally, to get people into the village so they can see for themselves that village homes are not small.

The successful sales focused operators are utilising marketing dollars to fund resident events to generate ‘a positive vibe’ in the village, that spreads out. They are also promoting events on vilages.com.au – you can specify geographic regions for promotions of one to three months.

With Baby Boomers now turning 75 and enquiry levels up, now is the time to be marketing – hard.

Share.

About Author

Chris has been a journalist and weekly commentator on the retirement village and aged care sectors for 15 years. He has interviewed residents and management at over 250 villages nationally, plus visited aged care homes across the country and studied homes and management in America and Africa. As Co-founder of The DCM Group, he has guided the business growth and is a sought after advisor to operator boards and management.