Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, senior living operators appear to be once again spending more on advertising to reach prospective residents in new ways.
G5+Lease Labs, a digital marketing optimization firm and a division of software company RealPage, profiled large metropolitan markets to provide a deep dive on the current state of senior living nationwide.
Like all real estate markets, the senior housing industry faced great challenges from the pandemic but rebounded in the second-half of 2021, RealPage Director of Research and Analysis Carl Whitaker told Senior Housing News.
“We are still a long way from a fully-stabilized industry overview,” Whitaker said. “It was encouraging to see that the late 2021 trends appeared to show that the worst appears to be behind us and we are starting to make it towards a more stable point.”
With that stabilization came advertising spends.
The report found that of the top five markets profiled, three metro areas (Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami) saw high monthly advertising expenditures in 2021 even as populations in those areas declined slightly.
Denver also ranked in the top five, and is a metro market with significant population growth. Out of all the metros evaluated, Denver was second to Orlando in terms of population growth. Atlanta took the third spot, followed by Seattle.
“It’s interesting that some of those markets that had some of the bigger ad spends also correlated with areas where the most movement of people was happening,” Whitaker said.
The report was based on information gathered from digital marketing benchmarking statistics including year-over-year occupancy changes, YOY rent changes, average rent, inventory by units, market penetration and construction.
Total monthly ad spend by metro area
- Los Angeles: $2,311
- Denver: $2,136
- Chicago: $2,051
- Dallas-Fort Worth: $1,981
- Miami: $1,889
- Seattle: $1,814
- Orlando: $1,729
- San Diego: $1,503
- Atlanta: $1,454
- Portland: $1,427
- Detroit: $1,147
- Minneapolis: $1,073
- Philadelphia: $662
Still, there are various factors driving ad spending.
“There’s kind of a mix, there are some broader economic demographic shifts, but also some local characteristics, construction, occupancy rates, absorption rates, etc. that are also influencing those numbers,” Whitaker said.
Dallas-Fort Worth, for example, is a market where a lot of senior living construction is occurring, which naturally could drive ad spending up as providers compete for residents.
The G5 report comes as senior living owners and operators have reported consistent occupancy growth and historically high lead volume, reflecting resilient consumer demand. And, as the Covid-19 pandemic severely curtailed some traditional marketing methods such as in-person tours, senior living providers have allocated more resources to advertising through various channels.
“We’ve created new videos, digital and offline advertising tactics that showcase Belmont Village and, most importantly, this industry are resilient,” Belmont Village Chief Marketing Officer Carlene Motto told SHN in early 2021.
More recently, Houston-based Belmont Village earned a 1st Place recognition in the Senior Housing News Aspect Awards for a TV campaign dubbed “The Life You’ve Earned.” The unique campaign landing page logged more than 252,000 new visitors between May 2021 and December 2021.
Going forward, Whitaker said he hoped the G5 report would help senior living providers better understand the industry landscape when it comes to future marketing decisions.
“Some of these predictive analytics go beyond just a best guess and get to showing what this data means,” he said. ‘It’s a nice blend of the heavy data, the math, and the science of it all applied with some of the art of understanding of the industry. It’s a really nice marriage between those things.”
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