If your community defines you, what should it be saying?

Last week we held a marketing meeting with residents from The Residences at 910 to get their feedback on our website, postcards, and other marketing materials. They had lots to tell us. They especially liked sharing their individual journeys that led them to move to The Residences, and what they thought might look like hurdles to those thinking about moving from their homes.

In this session the residents also critiqued our marketing materials — including the latest postcard for The Residences at 910. Overall they were pleased, but they had a question about how we described The Residences. On this postcard we had used the term, “55+ Community.” They asked “Should you mention an age for those coming here?”

How to describe our community?

We explained that we had tried out the term “55+ Community” on this postcard because we weren’t satisfied with other common terms to describe this kind of community. There are many other terms we have used in the past: “independent living”, “senior living,” “residential living,” “retirement community,” and more. There are actually even more terms that could define the amenities we have at The Residences, which we have not used, such as “congregate housing” or “senior housing.” We also explained that The Residences at 910 is for those who want particular amenities — such as weekly housekeeping, dining services, transportation to church and cultural events, and planned activities. And that it is usually retired individuals who are seeking those amenities.

Tell us what you think

We asked our residents to suggest terms they would feel comfortable with. And we are also interested in what your take is on defining The Residences.

For now we have settled on “Christian Science community.” So you will see that on our next postcard.

Interestingly enough we are not the only ones who are wrestling with the question of terminology. Try googling “unretirement” or “seniorpreneur.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Reply below or you can contact me directly at:
jtoler@chbenevolent.org

4 Responses to If your community defines you, what should it be saying?

  1. Sue Oakes says:

    My husband and I stayed at CHB last summer while on vacation to see the Mother Church. I suggest you consider eliminating the age-related thinking about Christian Scientists that might be attracted to those beautiful grounds, housing, and atmosphere. Why wouldn’t single or married adult Scientist want the freedom from cooking and house-cleaning, along with the ease of into-Boston transportation? I’d have loved it! And since it is not a home “purchase”, it offers those individuals flexibility to live there as long as it’s right for them. No children, obviously. And are you planning a covered parking area for residents? We didn’t see that….a must in winter for those preferring to drive themselves. Open up; you’ve a wonderous gift to offer the Christian Science community nationwide!?

  2. CQ says:

    What I didn’t realize until reading your blog post and the above comment is that one doesn’t HAVE to be 55 or older to live there.

    So, yes, dropping mention of age will remove the confusion from the thought of anyone who sees, as I incorrectly did, “55+” as a stipulation.

  3. Jan says:

    The usual term is “apartments with concierge service”. We have looked at several places for parents over the years. Those that don’t offer attached covered parking do offer retrieval service. You call the front desk as you are ready to go and a nice person goes for your car, cleans it off if needed, and drives it to the front door and helps you in. Same upon return with help with packages. I hope this is helpful.

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