Lynne Moore headshot
Lynne Moore
Lynne Moore headshot
Lynne Moore

Q. Should we be transparent about our pricing?

A. The next generation of senior consumers will be more discerning about how and where to spend their money — and in their definition of value.

Although their community of choice should provide an attractive physical plant with modern living units and amenities, these individuals are focused on socialization, health/wellness and opportunities for an active and engaged lifestyle. They also expect to be able to find out what it costs so they can assess affordability and value.

Today’s consumers are more sophisticated and pragmatic about accessing information, and they likely will have some knowledge about your community as well as other senior living options in the area before visiting your community. To offer more transparency with respect to pricing, some operators now are providing starting prices or a general range of prices and floor plans on their websites, while reserving some information for more detailed discussions during marketing encounters.

In addition to published pricing at senior living communities, select “value-based” pricing strategies are being used to optimize revenue and fill up — for example, premium pricing for specific living units (with unique features, upgrades or layouts) or for signature programs that offer specialized services. Offering flexible services or customized bundling of services can accommodate various financial situations and generate additional revenue for the community. Conversely, limited situations could exist for which a concession might be appropriate, such as for a living unit with a problematic design or location.

Sales and marketing professionals should have a detailed understanding of the pricing strategies being executed and should be trained to explain specific situations to both prospective residents and residents, for the sake of consistency. In addition, your team members should understand the service offerings and pricing strategies of alternative senior living options that are available in the market area, because older adult consumers may view those other communities as competition to consider in the future.

Helping prospects sort out this competitive information will be key to communicating the market positioning and value perceptions of your community.

Lynne Moore is president of MDS Research Company Inc., a national senior living and healthcare consulting firm based in Fort Worth, TX, that has been serving clients for over 50 years. MDS is a two generation company – she is following in Jim Moore’s footsteps.  Ms. Moore is responsible for all MDS market research-related projects involving all aspects of Senior housing and health care.  Lynne Moore can be reached at (817) 731-4266 or [email protected].

The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living guest column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.

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