The senior living industry has gone through a difficult 18 months to say the least. That’s why it’s no better time to take a look at your senior center and determine how not only can you scale your organization, but also increase business revenue for your senior center.
How Do I Increase Revenue at My Senior Center?
Here are five actionable strategies you can use to boost your senior center’s revenue in 2021.
1. Improve Engagement
Fun activities to keep body and mind active are key to involved residents, and involved residents stay. Retention is fundamental to a thriving business and increased revenue.
According to McKnight Senior Living, the average cost per lead for senior care sales representatives is $431. Compare that to acquisition costs for medical or healthcare sales which average $286.82. That’s 51% less than senior care sales!
Instead, if you keep your current members happy, engaged, and attending events and classes, you’re more likely to keep them as paying members. So though you might need to invest in great content and packed activity calendars, it’s worth it to not have to start from scratch.
Even before the pandemic, up to 40% of seniors reported feelings of isolation and loneliness. And COVID made it worse: during the first few months of the pandemic, a poll from the University of Michigan showed that the number of seniors experiencing loneliness leapt to 56%.
Anything with music is always a big hit. Research gathered from studies around the world shows clear evidence that for seniors with any form of mild dementia, playing a musical instrument activates the portions of the brain that have yet to be damaged by disease.
These studies also showed that making music improves mood. Singing, karaoke, dancing, and even meditation with music are all ways to engage seniors members.
Fun fact: If you're throwing a virtual dance party, keep in mind that older seniors will have a totally different playlist than Baby Boomers. Think Bobby Darin vs. The Rolling Stones!
Of course, getting funding from sources in addition to memberships is incredibly important. Some ways to get funding to increase your senior center revenue?
Consider charging a small fee for some private events or classes. One of our partners, the City of Chandler provides primarily free events, but for some special classes, like expert drawing and painting sessions, they do charge tickets to the class to help offset the cost.
If you're a smaller facility, or just have a tight budget, you can still find technology funding to offset the costs. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law in March, includes a $1.43 B provision for senior centers to assist with nutrition, counseling and technology improvements. For other government funding opportunities, check out Grants.gov.
Think about implementing a simple bequest program. This allows clients or family members to leave a portion of their estate to your facility.
Another thing to explore is gifts-in-kind, but be prudent in what you accept. Make sure it's something you need and can use. Donors are required to assess the value of a gift-in-kind, rather than your team. If you're a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, research foundation funding opportunities. Some of the best resources are the Foundation Directory Online, Philanthropy News Digest (their RFP section is full of information) and Grant Gopher.
4. Pump Up Your Marketing
Don't assume seniors are technologically illiterate. People over 50 usually started using technology in their 20s or 30s, perhaps starting with the old AT computers or Apple's Lisa.
Tracking metrics is fundamental to your business’ success. Why should you spend good money on a class if only three people attend? Having CRM (customer relationship management) software is a necessity, not a nice-to-have. If you don’t have one, get one—your sales and marketing team will thank you. If your center is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, TechSoup offers deep discounts on all things tech, including several CRM packages.
Track engagement, too. If a person drops off a virtual event after 10 minutes, it's usually a red flag that something’s not going right. Review instructor ratings after the session. Look at chat logs—were people engaged and enthused? Over time, you’ll be able to see your “fans”—people who repeatedly show up (we call them our power users)!
Also, take a look at well-being metrics. Seniors can be vulnerable, so if Joe usually attends virtual yoga every Friday and drops off for several weeks, reach out and find out how he is.
At Televeda, we can help manage many of these challenges. We analyze core metrics and satisfaction levels to improve participant retention and longevity, and well as send data reports and feedback directly to you to help improve operational efficiencies.
How Do We Know So Much About Increasing Senior Center Revenue?
Televeda is a recreation management platform that empowers senior living and recreational centers to engage active and older adults through live, virtual/hybrid social activities that reduce social isolation. Schedule a free demo to see how we can help you reduce costs and increase revenue at your center.