It’s been almost a year since the coronavirus pandemic was declared and, despite the good news of more than 59 million Americans being vaccinated, many states in the US still have lockdown restrictions. These restrictions are expected to last at least until end of spring and have had a major impact on our industry.
There is a general perception that seniors are less tech savvy, but the pandemic has changed that perception. The loneliness and prolonged isolation caused by the pandemic has expanded older adult’s tech literacy that will no doubt stay with them once the pandemic is over. Among seniors, online shopping and connecting with family via Zoom or Google is now becoming a trend. In other words, social distancing has given seniors no other option than turn to technology in order to adjust to whatever the ‘new normal’ may be.
This trend is also supported by Pew Research Center’s finding: “… In the wake of the global outbreak, people’s relationship with technology will deepen as larger segments of the population come to rely more on digital connections for work, education, health care, daily commercial transactions and essential social interactions.”
Downsizing seniors are moving into condos
Standard condominiums and 55+ communities are an increasingly popular choice for seniors wanting to downsize, or retirees to ‘age in place’. Besides the affordability, access to a wide range of amenities, and being part of an engaged community, are reasons seniors choose condo living.
The fact is that technology has become a must have, and the good news for those managing 55+ communities is that there are easy and cost-effective solutions available, such as Concierge Plus. Imagine seniors with reduced mobility having to visit the property management office every time an amenity booking (games rooms, fitness activities, etc.) is needed. Imagine seniors with reduced mobility having to pick up their parcels or medicine from the front desk at a time set by the front desk staff. These types of scenarios are not acceptable and are examples of a bad residence experience.
Providing superior resident experiences to seniors
Providing superior resident experiences is the goal for any community manager. But how can this be achieved in a 55+ community?
Concierge Plus’ Resident Experience Management platform is built for the needs and challenges of community managers including 55+ community residents. Our platform employs an agile set of features designed to enhance the well-being of seniors and allows them to live independently as long as possible.
Here are some of our features/modules that enhances the resident experience for 55+ community residents:
- Amenity Bookings. As mentioned earlier, seniors choose condo living due to the many amenities being available. 55+ communities have extensive programming for fitness, crafts, classes and group social activities. Our Amenity Bookings feature comes with a detailed list of common amenities and a calendar view of their availability. Furthermore, for amenities where multiple concurrent bookings are needed (such as class, or space where access is limited because of social distancing), it is possible to set the maximum number of bookings the system will accept.
- Discussion Forums. Seniors choose condo living as they want to be part of a connected community. Our Discussion Forum feature is a platform for dialogue that creates a sense of belonging, which is enormously impactful for seniors who may otherwise feel isolated and alone in their individual condo unit.
- Community Calendar. Constant community events and engaging social activities are very important elements in older adults’ well-being and elevates the resident experience. Our Community Calendar lets residents see upcoming events while your team can keep track of building-related events such as scheduled maintenance or important board meetings.
- Real-time updates. Transparency is part of great resident experiences and helps build trust. With our Service Request feature residents can see the most recent updates on repairs and ongoing maintenance with just a few clicks. They can be kept in-the-loop every step of the way with email alerts and online notifications when a request is created, amended, or updated. This is particularly helpful for elderly residents with mobility issues.
- Package Delivery. In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, residents should avoid any person-to-person contact with delivery drivers. Food delivery, medicine or packages should instead be managed by the front-desk staff. With our Package Delivery module, staff can efficiently scan packages with our barcode scanner once the courier truck pulls up. Staff can notify residents about the arrival of their packages via email, automated phone call, or SMS text. Our solution can also integrate with 3rd party smart locker providers, which means that delivery personnel can store deliveries into a smart locker. Seniors with mobility issues can retrieve their packages from such lockers whenever ready, instead of having to visit the lobby during certain opening hours.
- Digital Signage. Residents see property managers as trusted advisors and expect relevant information that can help them make the right decisions, especially during a pandemic. Screens are an excellent communication tool that be used to push through important and real-time messages to residents. We offer beautifully designed, digital lobby display screens which you can use to push out urgent announcements and parcel deliveries. We also integrate with leading digital signage companies that can help you deliver superior resident experiences.
- Visitor Management. The goal of visitor management is to provide security and limit larger gatherings, especially during outbreaks. Our Entry Instructions feature is an easy and very cost-effective solution for managing authorized access to suites. Residents and staff can manage instructions on a per unit basis, and allow access to friends, family, and caregivers. Residents can also choose to be notified by email, text message, and/or phone call when their guest checks in. This is useful in situations like a housekeeper or dog walker arriving while they are away.
The pandemic has highlighted that seniors are tech savvy, and that property management technology will be used by seniors if implemented. In fact, seniors would welcome the investment of such technology. This means that board members and community managers should avoid using manual processes and instead invest in a Resident Experience Management platform. By implementing Concierge Plus’ Resident Experience Management platform, community managers can achieve overall business objectives and deliver the ultimate residents experience in a 55+ community. Not only will they ensure navigating today’s challenges from the health crisis but also succeed in the new world where seniors are tech savvy just like other segments of the population.