Love it or List it: The Parallels to Senior Living Sales

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all experienced escapism “TV” in a whole new way. I am not a big television watcher, but there is one show on HGTV that I do like if I am looking for a bit of escapism. The show is called “Love it or List It”.

Love It or List It - HGTV TV Show
Love It or List It Co-Hosts: Hilary Farr and David Visentin.

This show has so many parallels to senior living sales. Senior living and marketing professionals can learn a lot from this TV series as well.

Let me further explain. There are two co-hosts, Hilary Farr and David Visentin. They work with homeowners that realize that their home no longer works for them and they need to decide whether they should renovate or find a new home that works better for them.  Hilary is the designer that helps reconfigure the home to meet their needs to the best of her ability and budget and David is the real estate agent that investigates and shows homes for sale in the area. In the end, the homeowners have to decide on whether to “love it” and stay or “list it” and move.  That moment where they verbalize their decision always fascinates me. 

There are so many parallels to senior living. Each of the homeowners goes through their list of needs and criteria and why they think they should stay or move:

  1. Emotional attachment to their current home and not wanting to move.
  2. Neighborhood and access to family and friends.
  3. Proximity to lifestyle activities, commute, restaurants, stores, etc.
  4. Physical attributes of the home and whether it fits their lifestyle and needs.
  5. Consideration of their future needs and dreams.
  6. Financial considerations – investment in the home, etc.

David finds the homeowner’s new homes that match their needs perfectly and Hilary completes a spectacular renovation of their existing home. I always sit on the edge of my seat trying to guess which way they will go with their decision.  

Early on in each episode, they have a discovery meeting with the homeowners. Hilary asks what the must-haves are to stay and David asks what they must have to make a move. What I realized is that in the end, there is only one question that is truly answered. The question is “Can the homeowners see themselves living there?” Once Hilary reconfigures their existing house to meet the homeowner’s needs, they are emotionally overwhelmed and in many cases see themselves staying. In other cases, David finds a new home that allows the homeowners to see what can be, prompting a move.

But in the end, just like senior living, the question ultimately is “Can I see myself living there?”. 

Bob Kramer, the founder of Nexus Insights and former CEO of NIC, is a formal advisor to AgingChoices and we have had conversations around how “Lifestyle” will impact the future of senior living.

In the end, moving into senior living is a complex decision. A senior living sales professional needs to ask the right questions and provide the right answers to the questions being asked so that the family can see their loved one living in the community or an older adult can see themselves living there. It is a complex sale and a sale that requires relationship building, understanding a customer’s needs, and trust. It is incredibly personal. The decisions are sometimes based on immediate need and sometimes based on choice. Either way, food for thought. Check out “Love it or List It” and think about how you as a senior living professional can personalize the experience and help a consumer see themselves living in your community.

Say you have a blank canvas, how can you help your leads/prospects/website visitors paint a vision of themselves living in your community? Share your ideas in our comment section down below. We look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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