By Graham Hughes, Chief Customer Officer at Taylor Morrison, Inc.
As we build the NEXTadventure™ home, I’ve been talking a lot about the people in 55 and Better communities: why they matter, why they are different, and what makes them happy.
This is a unique market segment on which we’ve been working. We started by developing an age-qualified community at Skyestone in Colorado. With each iteration, we’ve gotten better and better. They are smaller, more boutique, and specific to the area.
While there are many amenities on-site, we’ve made also made sure that these communities are located in areas that are easily accessible to local entertainment, shopping, and natural beauty. We brand these very specific developments as “An Inspired Living Experience by Taylor Morrison.”
The NEXTadventure™ home takes that 55+ community model and amps it up. We’re so excited about our architect Deryl Patterson and how she has taken our Lazio floor plan and innovated it in collaboration with the builder and the interior design team at Lita Dirks & Co. This is not the Home of the Future, but it is the home of the savvy and sophisticated!
At our 55+ communities, we treat people the way that they deserve to be treated.
In each market, before the plans or drawn or the ground is broken, we conducted deep market research. We hosted a multitude of focus groups with homeowners and realtors. We tested product designs, marketing campaigns, and amenity packages.
How do we know what this group of people really want in a new home or community? We asked them. The results were clear.
- Every 55 and better buyer is not the same.
- We were able to identify 5 distinct groups of people and develop psychographic profiles for each.
- Social activities need to be more organic, and less structured, than traditional “active adult” communities.
- Blending the outdoors and indoors is a metaphor for boomer life. No boundaries!
- Organization and space are key to an inspired living experience.
- People in this category are working longer, because they enjoy work or need the money. These folks do not consider themselves to be “retired.”
- There is a perception of being much younger than they actually are. Themes of strong independence, a desire to try new things, a priority on feeling connected and sharing common interests.
We’ve learned a lot from the process of a startup.
It’s a massively different experience for our industry. We’ve been doing something the same way and then BAM! — we start doing things a bit different, and that made people happier. In this case, we’ve taken the sequential sales process and modified it to fit within the customer’s timeline and comfort level, not ours.
We are not in the HOME BUILDING game so much as the RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT game.
How did we translate our findings in focus groups, market research, and digital media channels into real world applications?
- Our Welcome Centers have larger seating areas, stocked coffee, and snacks are set up so our customers can hang out longer and get to know us. We are not in the home building game so much as the relationship development game.
- We focused on open floor plans and flex space. We gave our floor plan lots of windows to bring in as much natural light as possible. We wanted every room to have a view.
- Our 55+ communities are small, intimate, and boutique rather than large and sprawling.
- We discovered what is missing in current age restricted communities: a sense of community, opportunities to connect with neighbors, natural greenspaces, room to garden, and dog parks.
- We made “must haves” and “wows” a reality with hiking trails, lap pools, wireless connectivity, game rooms, spa treatments, and community gardens.
Now THAT’S inspired living.