The 4 Keys to Maximizing Your Sponsorship Expenditures

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Apr 3, 2018 5:59:00 PM

Companies invest a lot of money in sponsoring membership associations. And for good reason: These associations can be ideal markets for companies, and companies that align with associations as sponsors can increase the likelihood of achieving their business goals with the association’s members. The power of affinity is significant.


Seems like an ideal situation. What can go wrong? Confidential interviews with sponsors of several leading associations are revealing:

· “Often we didn’t utilize the sponsorship benefits.”

· “As much as we would like to be a sounding board in the blogs or publicity at events as a sponsor, we did not always have the time to allot.”

· “We didn’t ask enough of the association. I could have asked more.”

  • “Our company’s challenge was taking advantage of what was available to us as a sponsor.”


download (1)

For most companies, sponsorships are a marketing expense, not a philanthropic expense. If sponsorship was a philanthropic expense, companies would sponsor because it was the right thing to do, it was supporting a good cause, and the company executives want to feel good about their contribution.


Marketing expenditures, on the other hand, require a much more rigorous justification. Based on the way your company justifies its marketing expenditures, here are four ways to maximize the value of your sponsorships. 

1. Understand your company’s sponsorship value proposition. Based on the association’s membership; communications to members; opportunities to engage with association leaders and other sponsors; etc., determine why your company wants to be a sponsor and what your company expects to gain as a sponsor. Be specific, including metrics if possible.f your sponsorships:

2. Negotiate with associations. Whether associations offer a standard list of benefits or a customized program, your company is in a position to negotiate. Based on your sponsorship value proposition described above, suggest to the association benefits that will help you fulfill your goals (while adhering to the association’s mission).

3. Appoint a liaison. Identify someone on your internal or outside marketing team to be accountable for implementing the sponsorship program for your company. This person should be knowledgeable about your company’s sponsorship value proposition and the association your company is sponsoring.

 4. Implement the sponsorship. To have a successful sponsorship, work with the association’s staff to develop a plan with action items and deadlines. Then devote the time and resources (human and otherwise) necessary to implement the plan.


Some companies view sponsorships passively. Sponsorship jargon for implementing sponsorship benefits is activate. Companies should activate sponsorships with the same methodological approach they would use to implement a marketing campaign or advertising campaign.


If you would like more information about how your company can maximize your association sponsorship expenditures, contact Quantum Age.


Read More

Topics: Associations,

The Dollars and Sense of the Business of Aging

Posted by CC Andrews

Mar 16, 2018 5:08:19 PM

In 2014, L’Oreal made a bold move in the ever-youthful beauty industry. The cosmetics company launched a splashy new line of anti-aging products and hired Diane Keaton, then 68, as the spokeswoman. L’Oreal realized that older women were an underserved market with money to spend.

More companies are starting to realize that being age friendly isn’t just good business, it’s also good for business. Seniors are redefining the aging process


and are forcing companies to rethink aging from both a customer and workforce perspective, according to “Turning Silver into Gold: The Business of Aging,” a report produced by the Milken Institute as part of the 2017 Summit on Business and the Future of Aging.

Seen by some as the world’s most compelling business opportunity, the 60-plus population will double to more than 2 billion by 2050. Seniors bring highly desired disposable income and growing needs as customers while offering experience, wisdom and institutional knowledge as employees. The fastest-growing demographic is unrivaled both by what it has—and has to offer. Now, it’s up to companies to realize the lucrative opportunity at their doorstep.

But to capture these emerging markets, businesses need to imagine a new future of aging. “How can we rewire, not retire? Reboot not retread? Turn recreation in to re-creation? The business sector can play a key role—and provide important leadership—in all of these areas,” notes Peter Mullin, chair of the M Center of Excellence, quoted in the report.

Businesses need to understand how today’s seniors differ from previous generations, and their willingness to learn can impact the bottom line. Older adults are a human capital resource pool that can contribute as entrepreneurs, employees, mentors and leaders. They can also train the next generation of workers, thereby helping to avoid a brain drain that would be detrimental to the economy.

The business community must embrace the undervalued and underutilized talents of older workers to realize “opportunities too compelling to ignore,” the report warns.


Spending power

Consider this: baby boomers account for half of all consumer packaged-goods dollars, but marketing tends to stop courting customers at the “cutoff” age of 49. “(But) older adults are “the most marketing friendly generation in U.S. history,” notes market research company Nielsen, quoted in the report. “They are healthy and growing, not broken and dying.”


Campaigns that target boomers are twice as likely to be successful as those targeting millennials, according to University of Michigan researchers. While younger generations are merely liking and sharing on social media, boomers are buying.


Other highlights from the Milken Institute report show the global power of the silver wallet:


  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts project that by 2020, annual consumer spending by adults age 60+ globally will reach $15 trillion.
  • Americans age 50 and up account for $7.6 trillion in direct spending and related economic activity, a figure surpassing the gross domestic product of every nation except the United States and China. However, fewer than half of companies are taking global aging into account in their strategic planning.
  • In developed countries, the 60 and older demographic is projected to generate half of all urban consumption growth between 2015 and 2030, significantly fueled by health care spending, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
  • In the United States, adults age 60 and older control 70 percent of disposable income.


Redefining retirement

Older adults want to continue living productive and meaningful lives. A growing number of workers are working well into retirement years and redefining retirement expectations.

Current trends suggest it will become increasingly unusual for retirees to leave the workforce altogether. That’s a boon to companies facing a brain drain as their most experienced and knowledgeable workers retire. And, recent research bolsters the argument for older workers by disproving the stereotype that productivity declines with age.

Older adults who remain working beyond age 55 are having significant and wide-ranging impacts on the U.S. workforce already, the Milken Institute report emphasizes:

  • Workers age 55 and older have driven nearly all the labor force growth in recent years, growing from the smallest to largest segment of U.S. labor.
  • By 2024, nearly 25 percent of American workers will be age 55+, up from just 12 percent in 1994.
  • Almost 9 million Americans age 65 or older are working, nearly twice the number of teens who work.
  • Even so, the overall U.S. labor force has declined in recent years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Without proper foresight and preparation, these two challenges will combine to create an unprecedented and potentially crippling talent crisis in the coming decade,” notes the Baxter Consulting Group, publisher of the 2017 “Managing the New Multi-Generational Workforce.”



The times are changing, and businesses have to change right along with them, the report urges. Embrace the promise and possibilities of an older workforce and develop policies and practices that reflect changing demographics for both customers and employees. Changes today will positively influence profits and position companies for a more diverse and prosperous longevity economy.

As Michael Hodin, CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging, notes in the report, “We know that over half of workers report they want to work longer and differently, which tells us the megatrend of the aging of society is beginning to have huge impact on 21st century life. The question remains: are institutions of society, including employers, ready to deal with these transformative changes?”

If you want a focused approach to staying relevant in the longevity economy, facilitated by experts in the senior living field, contact Quantum Age today.



Read More

Topics: older adults, 55+, longevity, Business

Recognizing the Loneliness Crisis Among Older Adults Is a Vital First Step 

Posted by CC Andrews

Mar 4, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Being lonely is not a new phenomenon, just think of all the pop songs with the word lonely in them or the melodramas that play out on television and film in which characters feel isolated or lost in their own world. When it comes to reality and the issues of loneliness among older adults, however, the repercussions are rife with physical and emotional costs and are not cured by pep talks or Hollywood happy endings.

Nursing Home Stays_1920 copyA new study from the IBM Institute for Business Value and the IBM Aging Strategic Initiative puts the human and economic price of loneliness in perspective as a way to not only deal with the psychic toll of being lonely, but also to offer ideas to help limit the problem.

IBM’s research revealed, among other things, that families and caregivers of those affected by loneliness leaves them feeling overwhelmed by the chore of filling in for the social gaps in their loved one’s or patient’s life, while at the same time ensuring their medical care is top priority.

“Frequent visits by older adults to their physicians for social interaction also strain limited health care resources by diverting them from other acute needs,” IBM found. Often, this process leads to what doctors call “somaticizing,” which is defined as a person who converts anxiety into physical symptoms. There is no underlying ailment to cure, as the interaction with a doctor is instead a cry for social interaction.

Even with the knowledge of what loneliness does to older adults, there are barriers to knowing how to proceed, the report says, running the gamut from the stigma associated with the condition, the lack of a screening process, and inaccurate assumptions prioritizing technology over the personal and customized.

But, there is always hope. And, many communities around the country and world are offering solutions like in England where postal workers are trained to do call and checks to see how isolated residents are doing, or in Japan where specific communities are being constructed to cater to more social interaction allowing residents to age in place.

Professor Hiroko Akiyama of the Institute of Gerontology at University of Tokyo said in the report that society needs an entire redesign in order to address loneliness. Akiyama also noted that there is tremendous potential to engage with new and existing industries, organizations, and agencies to create more holistic solutions that better support the aging population and help them maintain social connections. Examples include:

  • Intergenerational living: Co-housing programs, as explained in a previous post, are shared living areas for older adults and younger generations can contribute to the exchange of support and companionship between residents.
  • Post-retirement careers and education opportunities: New partnerships among employers, universities, and government agencies that can create new work options, in addition to the opportunity to build new skills and associations.
  • Autonomous transportation: Older adults may be the most enthusiastic early adopters of self-driving vehicles, claims the report. This mobility option can restore their independence and re-open social engagement with the community.

All told, it’s going to take a new kind of village to make loneliness less prevalent, the report implies. In the longevity economy, that village must include entities that can come together to find solutions.

If you want a focused approach to staying relevant in the longevity economy that is facilitated by experts in the senior living field, contact Quantum Age today. 

Read More

Topics: longevity economy, Business

SNF Survival Depends on Understanding the New Hospital Landscape, Among Other Factors

Posted by CC Andrews

Feb 15, 2018 12:00:00 AM

A recent report from CliftonLarsonAllen paints a stark picture for the future of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), highlighting what stakeholders likely know, which is that operating margins are tighter than ever and there are fundamental shifts in how the flow of referrals reach facility doors.Hospital_photo

The good news is that providers can overcome these challenges to a large degree by—as you may have guessed—harnessing big data. “By embracing big data, SNFs can demonstrate their value to referral sources in a meaningful way,” the report says. “And by continuously improving outcomes, SNFs can position themselves to provide clinical services in a sustainable, profitable manner.”

The report, which is the 32nd of its kind published by CLA, is divided into two sections: one includes analyses of SNF financial and operating conditions by region and the other provides cost analyses tables displaying a variety of SNF cost data.

Hospitals Impacting SNF Admissions

According to CLA, hospital behavior is having an impact on SNFs in a negative way. Outpatient is the name of the game now (versus inpatient), resulting in fewer hospitalizations and thus fewer SNF admissions. This is mainly because, in a broad sense, the world of managed care, Medicare Advantage, and value-based care favors a process that gets people in and out of institutional care as quickly as possible, with the home care option seen as optimal.

Within this construct, CLA says this scenario is not necessarily dire for SNFs, if, and only if, long-term and post-acute care operators understand what they are up against. This makes it even more vital, they say, for SNFs to have their clinical, marketing, and data tools in top shape in order to make themselves attractive to an acute-care world where cost management is paramount. As this trend continues for fewer hospitalizations, the result will be that more SNFs face insolvency while at the same time others thrive.

This gap in how SNFs perform will be a feature of the industry for years to come and amounts to a Darwinian outlook where the difference between those facilities doing well and those doing not so well is wider and wider, CLA says.

Occupancy on the Decline

Diving a little deeper into the data points, CLA notes that in addition to the slowing of admissions from referrals there are shorter lengths of stay when people arrive. Case in point: there was a 120 basis point reduction in occupancy rates for SNFs between 2015 and 2016, according to the report. “Reduced occupancy is impacting all regions of the United States, and the overall occupancy median is now at 85 percent,” the report states.

This pressure can only continue with post-acute networks narrowing and solidifying, causing the thrive-or-die variances for SNFs. For instance, CLA says their numbers show the 25th percentile of SNFs experienced a 170 basis point reduction in occupancy, while the 75th percentile only saw a 50 basis point decline in occupancy levels. The Darwin movement is in action, CLA says, with those providers already in the mix of the new referral world seeing less of a hit, while those on the outside experiencing a larger loss of business.

Outcomes, Quality, and Efficiency

Options for providers are few, but the status quo is decidedly not one of those options. There must be a managed effort to gather information showing clinical success, which starts, of course, with positive outcomes for residents and patients.

There is a future for SNFs, CLA stresses, but there is a thin line, or margin if you will, between making it work and failing to keep up with a hyper-competitive marketplace that values results more than ever. Not to overstate the obvious, but “SNFs must demonstrate outcomes, quality metrics, and cost efficiency,” in order rise above in this environment, says the report says.

If you want a focused approach to staying on top of industry data and trends that is facilitated by experts in the senior living field, contact Quantum Age today.

Read More

Topics: long term care, quality, data, skilled nursing

Intergenerational Programming Popular But Not Substantive in Senior Housing Communities

Posted by CC Andrews

Feb 1, 2018 10:20:25 PM

Despite the fact that many senior housing providers have incorporated intergenerational activities into their overall programming and see positive benefits for residents and youths, most of those programs are short-term or one-time events that don’t require a major commitment of time. So says a recent report from reading-with-grandmother-in-wheelchair-1432646-638x425Generations United and LeadingAge that distills the results of a year-long study on the nature and extent of intergeneration programming in senior housing.

Titled Intergenerational Programming in Senior Housing: From Promise to Practice, this long overdue initiative examines why, how, and what providers are doing to implement intergenerational programs, including partnerships, activities, participant engagement, evaluation, staffing, and funding/sustainability.

The most common activities taking place at provider communities are “friendly visiting,” arts programming, health and wellness activities, oral history/reminiscence interviewing, and language/literacy programs.

Here are some more key findings:

  • Most housing sites, with some exceptions, focus on engaging residents in specific activities, rather than employing more general strategies to foster cross-age relationships.
  • Residents engage in both active and passive activities and, although residents at some properties are actively involved in planning and implementing programs, members of the housing team plan most activities.
  • Most providers have not identified clear outcomes for older adults or youth, nor have they conducted formal program evaluations.
  • There is limited training of staff and volunteers.

The report also identifies both challenges and effective strategies for overcoming barriers to implementing IG program. Some of those challenges are as follows:

  • Insufficient staffing dedicated to IG programming;
  • Difficulties with engaging older adults;
  • Transportation for both youth and elders; and
  • Lack of time to plan activities with partners due to other responsibilities.

Among the most valuable components of the report are the effective strategies that providers have identified in helping them overcome challenges. Here is a sampling:

  • Utilizing a Volunteer Coordinator or Outreach Manager to develop partnerships and oversee intergenerational-related work has helped to alleviate staffing concerns.
  • Recruiting and training “Lead Volunteers” who can help with activities.
  • Involving staff from partner organizations in planning and facilitating activities.
  • Creating an intergenerational advisory group to help plan and implement programs.
  • Including the marketing department in planning so it can market the program as a property asset.
  • Allowing the community’s property van to pick students up from school.
  • Engaging all partners in short and long-term planning to enhance the quality of programs and ensure that those programs meet the needs of all age groups.
  • Holding regular meetings to provide partners an opportunity to creatively address logistical concerns that could prevent a program’s successful implementation.
  • Planning meaningful programs and activities that are explicitly designed to address the needs, interests and knowledge/skills of participants.
  • Finding partners that have shared interests and values, or a common need that can be met through

The conclusion of the report—which is not difficult to surmise based on the findings—is that while many senior housing providers are engaged in intergenerational programming, it appears the majority of the programs do not rise to the level of being high-quality.

As someone who has long advocated for intergenerational programs in senior living, I hope this will change in the near future, as we continue to hurdle ever so rapidly toward a world where elders will dominate the population.

If you want a focused approach to staying on top of industry trends that is facilitated by experts in the senior living field, contact Quantum Age today.


Read More

Topics: senior housing, intergenerational

Your Cheat Sheet for 2018 Senior Living Trends & Predictions

Posted by Meg LaPorte

Jan 18, 2018 12:00:00 AM

It’s another new year and that means new forecasts about trends in aging services. Instead of making my own crystal ball predictions, I examined some trusted sources and digested them for you. Following is my take on 2018, based on the many predictions put forth already:

Predictions 2018

1. Staffing and Workforce Issues

Lisa McCracken, senior vice president of senior living research and development for specialty bank Ziegler, offered her projections for McKnight’s Senior Living. She found that while it may not be a surprise that staffing and workforce issues will remain at the forefront of challenges for providers, she believes that skilled nursing and post-acute providers face a “’perfect storm’ of an increasing minimum wage, numerous retirements, and evolving staffing requirements due to changes in the resident/patient mix, healthcare reform, and other issues.” To address the problem, she cites operators that have created pools of staff members from which they can draw as needed. While this sounds like a modified staffing agency (the chronic use of which is generally frowned upon), they may be onto something. A recently launched company known as CareForce Elite is a staffing firm that caters only to long-term and post-acute care. Founded by two former nursing home CNAs, the company specializes in training their CNAs in geriatrics and long term care. Whether this represents a trend, I am not certain, but it does represent an innovative solution to an age-old challenge.

Also weighing in on workforce concerns in the year ahead was Andy Smith, president and CEO of Brookdale Senior Living, who told Senior Housing News that demand for talented, dedicated employees will keep growing in 2018. “We are in an environment where new jobs are being created and unemployment rates are dropping, so companies will have to step up to improve and communicate about the employee value proposition they offer,” he said. “This employee value proposition is not just about the job, the wages or the benefits, but also about the culture, growth opportunities, and the leadership offered.”

Doug Leidig, president and CEO of Asbury Communities, also gave a nod to staffing and workforce issues in 2018 with a prediction that companies will offer “creative adjustments and changes in benefits to attract a new workforce.”

2. Technology

Surprise, surprise—the continued adoption of technology among senior living operators is also in the forecast—and for good reason. One source suggests that the ubiquity of wearables, watches, gaming consoles, Alexa, Siri, Sonos, Netflix, and other streaming services will require throttling, or intentionally slowing down of community networks, in order to minimize bandwidth congestion on a campus or within a building. The byproduct of this could be tiered pricing of services, a la cable companies, the source suggests. Another factor that could have an impact on such services is the reversal of net-neutrality, as it will bring greater uncertainty around how content is delivered to senior living communities and its residents.

3. Design

Senior Housing News notes that with such dramatic shifts for owners and operators in 2017, skilled nursing is “rebooting” thanks to aging skilled nursing buildings that are motivating owners, operators, and developers to “rethink how to use these obsolete buildings to propel future 

growth and adjust strategies for their existing buildings and campuses.” While not an earth-shattering discovery, the author believes that “SNF 3.0 may mean repurposing or converting existing nursing homes into assisted living and memory care units.”

Another points to new campus developments that are designed and completed without the SNF component “to round out the continuum of care as operators are choosing instead to partner with local skilled nursing and post-acute providers.”

Yet another soothsayer envisions that builders and operators will continue to seek innovative alternatives to traditional housing models. According to a Senior Housing News survey, this means units that are getting smaller, not bigger. The end result of this approach is ostensibly more affordability. The examples offered include Benchmark Living’s newest community in North Attleboro, Mass., where two resident units share a common space, “creating roommate dwellings the company likens to college suitemates.” Another example is Dr. Bill Thomas’ Minka project, which is a small, modular home with a universal design. Thomas is promoting Minka as part of his MAGIC approach (multi-ability/multi-generational inclusive communities)—small dwellings that will be constructed at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.

4. Dining
It’s also not a surprise that innovations in dining have been a major focus for operators across all sectors within the industry, with some believing that it will continue to be a drive for marketing and satisfaction ratings. In my opinion, the takeaway here is that many dining operations are now beginning to mirror their local restaurant counterparts. “No longer is the restaurant-style approach a nice-to-have, it’s a need-to-have in order to remain competitive,” Senior Housing News reports. In other words, a cheap rip-off of Starbucks will not cut it. That said, the authors cited a CCRC that opened its station-style restaurant to the surrounding community for paid lunches. One assisted living community in California holds its own “Taste of” event each year. “Those who stop by for a sample of the food are motivated to ask where they can get a sit-down meal—and presto!” The idea is that such endeavors can create excellent leads.

Another clever marketing effort is the use of branding as a way to stand out from the crowd. Apparently, some senior living companies are creating house-branded coffee, wine, signature sauces, desserts, and more, thus “inciting pride among residents who enjoy an exclusive and individual experiences.”

5. Partnerships and Collaboration

Sean Kelly, president and CEO of the Kendal Corporation, believes that providers will be compelled by market forces to “establish deeper partnerships with hospital systems, institutions of higher learning, and community organizations.” He alludes to the importance of fostering communities on or off of a campus “where residents and staff are engaged in meaningful ways with one another and the wider world.”

Asbury’s Leidig suggested that more and more competitors will take on partnerships. For example, he says, CCRCs “will join together to offer services both on their campuses and outside the walls to reduce duplication of services, create efficiencies, and increase market share.” He says he expects much more actual collaboration activity between hospitals and CCRCs, “versus just talking about it.”

My own prediction: Innovative intergenerational programs that involve individuals of all ages will explode within the senior living sector, especially in assisted living. As my colleague cites in another post, the most common activities taking place in this sector are “friendly visiting,” arts programming, health and wellness activities, oral history/reminiscence interviewing, and language/literacy programs.” These are great but there needs to be more substantive and innovative approaches, such as new housing models and new collaborations, to bringing generations today.

If you want a focused approach to staying on top of industry trends that is facilitated by experts in the senior living field, contact Quantum Age today.

Read More

5 Ways to Obtain Brand Differentiation with Membership and Trade Associations

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Jan 11, 2018 10:42:00 AM

In two recent blog posts , I reported the results of a study by a large trade association of its corporate partners. Interviews with corporate partners revealed that the companies expected three value propositions from the association: positioning as a knowledge leader; business development opportunities, and brand differentiation. The previous blog posts addressed how companies can be positioned as knowledge leaders and how companies can obtain business development opportunities with associations.

How does a company—especially a company that is a corporate sponsor or partner with an association—achieve brand differentiation?

The first step is to identify the brand identify or differentiation you’d like to achieve. What might the association’s members misunderstand or misperceive about your company? What would you like the association’s members to know and say about your company?

Second, how do you differentiate your company from your competition? What is your company’s “edge”?

Third, identify your company’s biggest challenges in getting the message about your company’s brand identity to members of the association.


Approach your contact on the staff of each association your company supports and ask about opportunities to assert brand differentiation:

1. Establish your company’s brand on the association’s

website and other digital media. Ask if the association will create a presence for your company to recognize your expertise and products/services for members. Consider including a video about the solutions your company offers to members.

2. Gain brand visibility among attendees at the association’s conferences. Ask if there are any special activities, events, or features at the conference that your company can brand or co-brand with the association. Are there are opportunities to introduce a general session speaker or moderate education sessions? Perhaps your company can sponsor the conference app, charging stations, entertainment, coffee break, fitness/wellness activity, name badge lanyards, shuttle buses, or wi-fi service. It will be beneficial if you can customize the opportunity—for example providing coffee cup sleeves including your company’s logo at the coffee break. Or connect the opportunity to your company’s services, such as a healthcare company sponsoring the fitness/wellness activity.

3. Seek ongoing brand visibility among the association’s members. Ask if any naming rights are available, for example, a conference room in the association’s office, an annual award might include your brand’s name, or a new initiative might be available for cobranding.

4. Dominate in established resources. If the association has a business directory, ask about enhanced listing or preferred online search result placement to focus more attention on your company.

5. Gain visibility through recognition. Identify award programs that might be a fit for the nomination of your company. Ask the association to nominate you, or perhaps your company and the association can submit an award nomination together for a joint project.

Remember, brand building starts at home: Consider what your company can do with its existing resources to gain recognition for your support of an association. For example, include information about your support of and collaboration with the association on your company website and in your communications with your customers or clients. If there is an approved seal, incorporate it into your materials. If you have a showroom or meeting room that is frequented by customers or clients, post a sign noting your proud support of the association. Ensure that customers and prospects affiliated with an association are aware of your support. It can be an influencer when it comes time to select you over your competition.

If you would like more information on how your company can position itself to achieve your brand differentiation goals with associations and their members, please contact Quantum Age today.

To learn more about the benefits of partnering with associations, read:[6 Ways to Achieve your Business Development Goals with Membership and Trade Associations]

#1 Knowledge Leader

#2 Business Development

Read More

Topics: Associations,, Branding, Business

Up and Coming Housing Options for Older Adults are Making their Mark in the Longevity Economy

Posted by CC Andrews

Jan 4, 2018 12:00:00 AM

The future of senior housing is at a turning point in history: traditional bricks and mortar, campus-like communities (a la CCRCs) are waning in popularity

milagro2005 cohousing

and baby boomers aren’t waiting around to see what’s next. A burgeoning cadre of alternative housing options for older adults is gaining in popularity and those in the business of building and managing massive CCRCs may want to take another look at their tried and true models.

From cohousing to roommate matching, entrepreneurs and startups are capitalizing on the longevity economy with the creation of more innovative options for seniors, some of which are creating new markets. Herewith, a selection of some emerging models causing a stir:

1. Cohousing. Probably the most well established housing alternative for older adults, cohousing communities are “intentional, collaborative neighborhoods created with a little ingenuity,” according to the Cohousing Association of the United States (Coho/US), which maintains an inventory of cohousing sites around the country and offers resources in the form of blogs, videos, and policy. Described as bringing together “the value of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living,” the cohousing model is an intentional community where residents are enlisted to participate in the design and operation of their neighborhoods and share common facilities. In the United States, the majority of cohousing communities range in size from 20 to 40 units, with others comprising between seven and 67 homes.

The popularity of cohousing communities that intentionally include older adults is gradually increasing. These are age-friendly communities that are proactively designed, or retrofitted to support aging in community and some level of co-care for aging members. According to Coho/US, the grounds and buildings of intentional senior cohousing communities incorporate universal design and an outreach/advocacy program is put in place. What’s more, the community policies are written or changed to easily adapt to the changing needs and abilities of community members, regardless of their age or circumstance.

2. Coliving According to, this model is defined as “shared housing designed to support a purpose-driven life.” More specifically, coliving residents unite around a common interest to collaboratively manage a space, share resources, and coordinate activities that contribute creatively and intellectually to the world around them. Coliving houses typically offer short-term accommodations and host “outward facing events” that connect residents with the broader community. Among the people who choose coliving, the site explains, are professionals, makers, entrepreneurs, artists, and creatives.

Soon to be added to that list are aging baby boomers, if coliving startup Ollie is any indication. With just three sites in operation—two in New York City and one in Pittsburgh—Ollie Founder Chris Bledsoe says about 20 percent of their customers are baby boomers, while 30 to 35 percent are non-Millennials (meaning GenXers and older). He says his model is “changing the definition of what it is to be a neighbor.” How so? “We’re creating and fostering those connections with neighbors in our communities,” he says, noting that Ollie is built around the following values: inclusiveness, wellness, sustainability, and discovery. Discovery, he says, is the pursuit of lifelong learning and getaway excursions such as rafting or hiking—the outward facing events that foster connectivity within communities.

Also appealing to baby boomers (and soon GenXers), is a vision that Bledsoe has for the company. Once he has established coliving communities in a number of cities around the country (Boston, Los Angeles, and possibly D.C. are on the list) he would like to see customers utilize the communities as a network that enables them to visit each city for several months at a time.

3. Airbnb. This is obviously a brand, but the company’s pioneer model has set the standard for creating short-term housing that accommodates travelers who are looking for a more authentic experience in the city of their destination. In a post last month, I note that Chip Conley, former global head of hospitality and strategy for Airbnb, who spoke at a recent conference on the longevity economy, noted that the fastest-growing group of Aribnb hosts is adults 50 years and older. The reason behind this is that many people who are over 50 own their own home, are empty nesters, have extra rooms in their homes, and want to add to their retirement income. (These Airbnb hosts also have the highest guest ratings, Conley said.)

The Airbnb model has opened the door for other short-term housing models to step into and create a niche for older adults who are, perhaps, looking for a nomadic retirement.

4. Silvernest. Simply put, Silvernest is a roommate matching service on steroids. I view it as a combination of dating site and Craigslist. An older adult who is looking for a perfect roommate to fill their empty nest completes a profile. Silvernest then conducts an “in-depth” background check and employs a proprietary matching tool that “puts roommate compatibility first.” Once you are “matched” with a roommate, Silvernest offers a range of services, from “hassle-free lease drafting” to automated rent collection.

Silvernest is now active in 15 cities, eight of which are in Colorado, five in California, and one each in Florida and Arizona. The company has plans to expand to four additional cities: East Lansing, Mich.; San Francisco; Boston; and Seattle.

Bill Thomas, founder of the Eden Alternative and the Green House Project, recently launched a new initiative he calls MAGIC. According to a Senior Housing News article, the acronym stands for multi-ability/multi-generational inclusive communities. The first MAGIC development is being constructed at the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville.

There are no doubt more models in the works, and some on the brink of invention. If I were a senior living owner or operator, I would watch and learn from these innovators and perhaps take a lesson or two in thinking outside the box.

If you want a focused approach to staying on top of industry trends that is facilitated by experts in the senior living field, contact Quantum Age today.

Read More

6 Ways to Achieve your Business Development Goals with Membership and Trade Associations

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Dec 29, 2017 10:34:00 AM

In a recent blog post, I reported the results of a study by a large trade association of its corporate partners. Interviews with corporate partners revealed that the companies expected three value propositions from the association: positioning as a knowledge leader; business development opportunities, and brand differentiation. The previous blog post addressed how companies can be positioned as knowledge leaders with associations.

How does a company—especially a company that is a corporate sponsor or partner with an association—obtain business development opportunities?

The first step is to identify your business development goals related to members of the association. What are your sales goals? What is your return on investment goal?

Second, identify your company’s biggest challenges, barriers, and obstacles when it comes to marketing to the association’s members.

Working Hard-1.jpg

Third, identify the business development strategies that have proven most effective for your company. For example, is your sales team most successful with trade shows, advertising, direct marketing, webinars, content marketing, events, social media, etc.?

Armed with this information, it’s time to approach your contact on the staff of each association your company supports. Ask about opportunities that could result in business development for your company, with the following six tactics in mind. Note: Although the desired end result is new business, be sure that the content you provide for the first three strategies below should be educational in nature, not sales pitches.

1. Reach a targeted group of members. For example, you may determine that members with a certain title; in a particular business sector; or with a particular area of interest (technology or quality improvement perhaps) are your best prospects. Explore doing a presentation on a topic of interest for this group at one of their face-to-face meetings or perhaps via webinar (or both).

2. The association might have listservs of members that are part of a particular group or share an interest in a topic. Provide the listserv’s members with a white paper or other information on a topic that would appeal to the group.

3. If you are interested in reaching members in a particular metropolitan area, the association might work with your company to convene some of these members for a seminar or forum in their city.

4. Identify association members that are—and are not—your customers. Ask the association if they can cross-match their membership list with your client list to identify prospective new customers.

5. Arrange to have a private conversation with a prospective client at a large conference. Big conference hotels and convention centers are often not conducive to small, private meetings. Ask the association if they can provide you with access to a meeting room in a convenient location.

6. Consider doing business with the association’s other corporate partners. Perhaps you offer a product or service that other corporate partners would want to purchase for their company or their employees. Or maybe you could engage in a joint marketing venture with one of the association’s other corporate partners. Ask the association if they would introduce you to particular partners or arrange for a meeting of all the association’s corporate partners.

By working with your association partners in a strategic and methodical way, you should notice a solid uptick in business development opportunities attributable to the relationship.

If you would like more information on how your company can position itself to achieve your business develop goals with associations and their members, please contact Quantum Age today.

To learn more about the benefits of association affiliations, read:

[Why and How to Position Your Company as a Knowledge Leader through Associations]

#1 Knowledge Leader

#3 Brand Differentiation

Read More

Topics: Associations,, Branding, Business

Why and How to Position Your Company as a Knowledge Leader through Associations

Posted by Bruce Rosenthal

Dec 19, 2017 10:18:00 AM

Several years ago, a large trade association hired a consultant to interview each of the association’s corporate sponsors to determine their level of satisfaction in their engagement with the organization. Some of the results were quite revealing.

 The consultant reported that all of the association’s corporate sponsors were in almost complete agreement on the three value propositions they expected from the association. All of the companies desired business development opportunities and brand differentiation as a top-level sponsor. No big surprise.

 BLOCKS (1).jpgThe next big reason these companies sponsored the association was knowledge leadership. They wanted to be positioned as problem solvers and idea generators in addition to selling products and services. They wanted to help members face challenges and improve operations.

How does a company position itself as a knowledge leader with associations that represent the company’s customers and prospective customers?

The first step is to sincerely position yourself as a knowledge leader. If you “wave the knowledge leader banner” while hawking your product or service, you probably won’t succeed. The association’s staff and members can smell sales pitches a mile away.

Positioning your company as a knowledge leader may ultimately lead to sales, however, if your primary goal is selling, you won’t be viewed as a knowledge leader.

Next, you’ll want to find out what kinds of knowledge the association and its members need. Ask your contact at each association you’re engaged with if they or someone else on staff can talk with you about key issues facing members. The “what keeps members up at night?” issues. The latest regulatory issues? Shifts in payment models? Changing demographics and consumer expectations?

Ask the association’s staff person if the organization has conducted surveys of members and/or conference attendees that reveal members’ “pain points.” Are staff in the Member Services or Education Departments aware of challenges facing members?

Armed with this information about what the members need at each association, identify alignment with your company’s expertise.

Here are five ways to position your company as a knowledge leader:

1. Write a white paper or case study. Ask the associations if they will distribute it to their members; you can also distribute it to your customers and prospective customers.

2. Develop content for a webinar. Ask the associations if they will contribute content and/or co-present the webinar with you for their members; you can also present the webinar to your customers and prospective customers.

3. Ask the associations if they have a gap in the educational programming for their conference; maybe your company has an expert on the topic who could be on the faculty or a panel discussion. If the education program is based on proposals, ask association staff if they would provide you with guidance on developing a strong proposal.

4. Ask the associations if they have state affiliates that would be interested in your white paper, webinar, and education session.

  • Find out if the associations have committees, task forces, or councils that are in need of expertise available from your company. You could offer to serve on the group or make a presentation to them.

The three reasons companies support associations are closely related. Companies that are effective knowledge leaders become trusted resources for members. As a result, these companies achieve brand differentiation compared to their competitors. And the outcome is these companies are more likely to gain new business.

It’s a win-win-win. Your company is better positioned in the marketplace. Members of the associations receive much-needed information. The associations gain added value for their members and the companies that support their members.

If you would like more information on how your company can position itself as a knowledge leader with trade and professional associations and their members, contact Quantum Age today.

To learn more about the benefits of association affiliations, read:

[[need to hyperlink when web address is available]]

#2 Business Development

#3 Brand Differentiation

Read More

Topics: Associations,, Branding, Business

Connect with QA