Staging an assisted living apartment well can be the difference between making a sale and losing a prospect. But for senior living providers, finding the right furniture and accessories to stage an apartment in a way that conveys its true potential can be challenging. Perhaps you have little experience in interior design, or maybe your assisted living community doesn’t have the budget to splash out on luxury, instead relying on pieces that have been left behind by previous residents. Thankfully, whatever your financial situation and personal experience, there are a whole host of simple things you can do to stage an apartment that appeals to prospective clients and their family caregivers.
Why is Knowing how to Stage an Apartment Important in Senior Living?
As an experienced senior living marketing agency, we have seen first-hand the impact that knowing how to stage an apartment can make for assisted living communities. Many seniors feel apprehensive about moving to assisted living – creating a warm, homely and inviting mood can take a senior from feeling that this is something they ‘need’ to do, to something they can look forward to. Let’s take a look at just a few simple and cost-effective ways you can use staging to improve your senior apartment marketing strategy.
Choose Colors That Evoke the Right Mood
Color has been shown to influence our actions, mood and even physiological reactions. Color psychology is a fascinating subject area, and one with obvious implications for interior design. It’s not news that certain colors can give rise to specific emotions; for example, it’s common to associate red with anger, passion or love.
Colors and their meanings:
- Blue is associated with sincerity and inspiration, and can make a room appear larger.
- Green is associated with calm, tranquillity, optimism and nature.
- Yellow is associated with energy and cheerfulness.
- White is associated with new beginnings and simplicity.
- Pink is associated with creativity, femininity, joy and vibrance.
When choosing colors for senior apartment marketing, it’s important to consider more than broad theory, because context is important, too. For instance, though white can be considered as fresh and symbolic of new beginnings, it may also be interpreted as cold and clinical in the context of senior living. Or, if you are staging an apartment in a memory care facility, contrasting colors may be preferable to help seniors with dementia identify objects and areas more easily. Though color theory can offer insight into the general effects of color, these reactions will always be highly individualized based on a person’s experiences and preferences. Therefore, it may be useful to utilize more subtle, muted colors when staging an apartment to cater to a wider range of tastes.
Top Tip: Colors can be used to define spaces in smaller apartments. For example, in a studio apartment, you might opt for fresh green or blue in the kitchenette, with a cozy beige in the living area.
Arrange Furniture with Care and Consideration
The furniture you select and how you place it is of vital importance when staging an apartment. If possible, select appropriately sized items for the space available (smaller pieces of furniture can make a tighter space look larger), but try not to sacrifice functionality in your quest for roominess. By moving to an assisted living community, many seniors are downsizing from much larger homes. Striking the right balance between showcasing plenty of storage space and avoiding clutter can be done by incorporating smart storage solutions. Closet organization features like shoe racks, drawers or baskets will help seniors visualize how their possessions will fit into their new apartment.
Top Tip: Hanging a mirror can make a space appear larger, while also allowing natural light to be reflected around the room for an airier, more open feel.
Showcase Personal Touches
Adding personal touches like cushions, a throw or rug, plants, blankets and artwork when staging an apartment will help demonstrate its true potential. Of course, everyone has their own personal tastes and preferences, but even if the décor you choose isn’t quite what a senior would opt for themselves, it will still add a homely feel to the space. It’s a common misconception that assisted living means dull, lifeless and clinical living spaces – make sure you know how to stage an apartment to combat this preconception.
Appeal to all the Senses
Life is experienced through all 5 senses, so aim to make an impact on the whole sensory experience when selling assisted living. Use an air freshener or diffuser to emit a pleasant, welcoming scent for visitors (think cozy vanilla or calming lavender, for example), and ensure the apartment is warm and well-lit before your prospective resident arrives. Consider the time of day that the tour is being conducted; during the daytime, you might wish to open the window to let in air and flood the room with natural daylight for a fresh feel. If it’s later in the day, close the curtains and set a cozier mood with a soft, warm lamp.
Incorporate an Essence of Life in Your Community
Staging an apartment for prospective residents and their families to view is an excellent opportunity to give them a flavor of daily life in your senior living community. When staging an apartment, think about the lifestyle your residents are able to live. Leave an open diary or calendar with on-site activities scheduled or an invite to a social event. Stock the bathroom with luxurious toiletries, or brew some fresh coffee in the kitchen with two cups on the counter. Our home is a reflection of our lifestyle, and you want prospective residents to know that your community will offer them a life of luxury, comfort, and opportunity.
To find out more about how a senior living marketing agency like SMCG can help you upgrade your senior apartment marketing, get in touch to arrange a consultation today.
Contributing Expert: Jana Crane is the owner and designer for Chrysalis Interiors. She has had a passion for design and believes that a beautifully decorated home that is warm and inviting is an important part of our identity as people.