Photo by John Merkle shot at Autumn Leaves.

Marketing to the adult children and children-in-law of prospective residents is crucial to the success of senior living communities, according to an analysis that performed of referrals made through its Senior Care Directory and senior housing helpline.

Looking at four years’ worth of data, the website found that, overall, move-in rates are three times higher when an adult child or child-in-law rather than the older adult completes the online lead form and is referred to a community. The move-in rate is three-and-a-half times higher for independent living and two-and-a-half times higher for assisted living when adult children make inquiries versus when older adults look by themselves.

When it comes to getting people in the front door and keeping them, Vice President of Sales Katie Roper told McKnight’s Senior Living, it’s important to tailor the delivery of marketing messages to the audience. “Most people in the age 50-to-64 bracket do most of their research online now, so channels like social media and online directories work better than newspaper ads or direct mail, although the off-line media still work well for the older people,” she said.