At Brecht Associates, we distinguish between two types of competitors. “Competitive” communities provide the amenities and services that will be attractive to the clientele you are hoping to attract. “Comparable” communities have had an impact on the market place and offer services, programming, living environments or common amenities that you will be compared to. For both community types we can compare your unit plans and sizes, your amenities, your services and the difference in how you and they position themselves in the market place.
Depending on the type of study you ask us to conduct the information gathered may be as simple as “top line” where we gather data on year of opening, number of units by level of care, range of monthly fees, occupancy and plans to develop. This basic information allows us to conduct a demand analysis.
More detailed competitive analyses can include any of the following in addition to what we gather for a “top line” study:
- First Impression – what feeling do you get when you first walk into a community? What are the first impressions of a visitor?
- Common Amenities – a description that includes perception of the type of furnishings, finishes, lighting, and ease of access for residents.
- Fees by unit type and by size of unit – and what incentives the community offers; when and where are they willing to negotiate. And if contracts are offered, what is the most popular type?
- Unit Amenities – apartments or homes – is there enough closet space, are the kitchens up to date, is the laundry room adequate; windows, ceiling heights, type of doors and storage are all considered. There are vast strides being made in the design of assisted living and memory care communities and Brecht considers all of this and more when visiting a competitive community.
- Services – what is included in the basic fee and how often, and what are the additional fees?
- Programming – especially important in assisted living and memory care.
- Product Positioning – what clientele are you seeking to attract? Does this differ from your current resident base?
- Partnerships and Social Engagement – what intergenerational and life-long learning opportunities are provided and are your residents participating? Are residents participating actively in alliances with cultural, religious or educational facilities or is the connection window dressing?
- Expansion plans and recent renovations
In the more detailed competitive analysis we include site visits. Actual visits to competitive properties allow us to collect much more detailed information than is possible through telephone surveys. This is particularly true with regard to both the physical attributes of the competitive communities and the way in which they are positioned in terms of their location, marketing and staff focus, and overall impression of the community. In addition to the gathering of quantitative information, these in-person surveys allow us to compare the Project in numerous ways resulting in a clearer, more concise picture of all elements of the competitive environment.