Village newsletters – the most important tool for marketers, salespeople and operators.

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An old advertising statistic is that the biggest readers of press ads for motor vehicles are the actual owners of that vehicle.

The same is true for retirement villages, a fact that many marketers forget.

To my mind, the resident newsletter is one of the most important marketing tools you have. It serves several purposes.

It is a platform for you to remind your customers of the benefits they receive as a result of their joining a village.

Keep it simple with reminders such as a pull-out box next to a photograph of the men at Happy Hour. “You don’t have to worry about the police breathalyser every Friday night thanks to Happy Hour at the community centre bar”.

This indirectly points out that if the resident had still been in the family home they would not have had socialising events like this.

You can also remind residents of the financial terms of joining the village – the regular fees and what they cover compared to living in their family home.

“The cost of the emergency callout system has remained steady at $XX per month. This compares to a competitive domestic service of $YY per month”.

Why is this a good idea? Two reasons. Residents are your best ambassadors for future sales. And better-informed residents will reduce complaints and upset.

Consider this statistic. From our pilot research study in December of four retirement villages, in preparation for our larger January survey, 13% of the 247 residents did not understand the fees of their village.

In fact, just 15% felt they understood the fees ‘extremely well’, while 43% said ‘quite well’ and 29% ‘moderately well’.

This leaves plenty of ground for disgruntlement when in actual fact the residents may have good reason to be feeling really positive about the fee structures.

The second excellent element of newsletters is that you can provide them to potential customers as verification of what your village offers. The lifestyle, the community, the support.

One of the largest villages in the country, The Village Glen with over 600 units, reports its newsletter is the most important marketing tool it has (outside of villages.com.au). They have to sell 60 homes a month. They have over 10,000 non-resident recipients who follow what life in The Village Glen is all about.

The image above is from their website, prominently inviting potential customers to receive it.

Production of newsletters is easy these days. Here is a link to the (Australian) platform we use called Campaign Monitor. For most villages cost would be about $50 per month.

Chris

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