What are the essential components of a successful middle-market product?
Start with the price point
By Bryon Cohron
Vice President, Market Analysis, Business Development
We see countless developers initially planning to serve the middle market, yet once development and operational costs are taken into account, the final product becomes unaffordable to that segment. Ensuring the development is affordable to your target market is key. Working from price points backwards may be the best strategy.
From a consumer perspective, ensure that despite a lower price point, your product is still attractive to your intended customer. Less affluent households may not be able to pay for top-of-the-line features, but they are still looking for well-designed residences.
Understand your consumer
By John Hartmayer
EVP, Chief Operating Officer
Benchmark Senior Living
We need to ensure that the middle-market community of the future is aligned with consumer expectations. We won’t be successful in meeting this demographic’s needs by simple tweaks to square footage, dining and program offerings.
The equation must change. Does that mean repurposing existing buildings, offering apartments with shared common areas or rethinking the breadth of programming? Yes — and probably much more. That’s particularly true for companies in parts of the country like the Northeast, where costs — from workforce to real estate — are prohibitive. That said, everything begins with understanding the consumer’s wants and needs.
Demand will continue to rise
By Erin Shvetzoff Hennessey
Chief Executive Officer
Health Dimensions Group
Current economic challenges impacting investment income and home prices will drive middle-market senior living demand even higher than many have predicted. Successful products will blend affordability with lifestyle from development to long-term operations. Successful developers will thoughtfully design and build for usability and value.
These communities may have fewer, but more universally used, amenities and programs. Operators who are successful in the long run will have health and wellness services that give residents and families peace of mind to safely age in place in middle-market communities.
Technology will be key
By Kim Gaskell
Vice President of Operations
One of the most successful components to a middle-market product is going to have to be technology and the many ways to leverage that to address business realities and a changing consumer.
If our middle-market developers are investing in the right technologies now, they can remain competitive. Technology will enhance engagement and experience in ways that could also allow our middle markets to also reduce the need for human staffing.