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Marketing the Great Outdoors

An article written by Lois Bowers of McKnight’s Senior Living touches on the science behind older adults spending time outdoors. It’s a compelling piece, and it leads to a natural question – are communities doing everything they can to market their outdoor spaces? What are some marketing opportunities associated with the great outdoors? The answers lie within senior living communities across the country.

At one community on the East Coast, a resident had noticed some empty space outside and decided to work with others to turn it into a beautiful garden. What began with just an observation led to conversations with the executive director and a plan for improvement. Today, it’s an area that’s sure to catch the eye of prospective residents taking a tour. You can bet the sales and marketing team are quick to point it out.

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Other communities are beginning to commit land to fruit, vegetable and flower gardens, which benefit residents and serve as a nice tool in the communities’ marketing belt.

Butterfly gardens have also grown popular at senior living communities, often creating the potential for rewarding intergenerational partnerships with area schools, or even grandchildren of residents.

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Walking clubs are a trend, as well as healthy social activities in which residents meet as a group and get in those daily steps. It’s all happening as older adults spend time outdoors getting to know one another, and becoming reacquainted with nature.

This community even has a resident who’s given biking a whole new look.

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While there’s been a focus in senior living on providing technology that’s relevant to older adults, providing outdoor spaces and activities is important, too. Depending on the climate and the time of year, the great outdoors should be viewed as a selling point that may take your community from someone’s short list to calling it home.

Many prospective residents who were active outdoors for most of their lives may worry that community life will leave them stuck inside. A great way to ease those fears is to market what you’ve already got – spaces and activities that will meet the needs of every green thumb and open-air enthusiast that comes through your door.

How do you market outdoor spaces?

• Blog about them.

• Reach out to the media with stories of residents creating, sustaining or volunteering within these spaces.

• Use your social channels to virtually show the impact of gardens.

• Make your outdoor spaces part of a sales presentation topic.

What outdoor spaces have you made your own? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

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