It is time to bring the “Serenity Prayer” into the senior living industry
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
So, you built a fabulous community but now lease-up is slowing down and the real estate market is not strong. What can you control? This is a critical question that deserves brainstorming by your team. Then, prioritizing, resource allocation, and establishing time frames.
As we have learned, the real estate market is back to 2002 levels on average throughout the country.
Stop panicking. Start breathing. Most of our buyers have lived in their homes 15 years or more. So… they are still able to make a decent return on their investment. The best strategy for them to access the value of their home is to sell now, move to your community, and invest the rest.
Also, it is time to contact the condo sales experts in your market. What are they doing to make the sale happen? You may not be able to copy all their methods, but if you learn of just one or two ways they are helping get buyers to the table, that could be key. Some approaches I have seen lately include a price freeze on the monthly condo fee; guarantees of equal money back if the buyer sells a property in the first five years, and give-aways of condo upgrades (and even cars!) if people act. Lots of creativity.
What about renting? One interesting outcome of a market where people are struggling to sell is that more and more people are opting to rent their homes. In markets like Washington DC, Chicago, and Seattle, renting is fetching a very decent monthly income, and renters have to act quickly in order to get a home that may be of interest as demand for rentals is high.
Focus on what you can control and find success waiting for you along with a pleasant dose of serenity.