The arrival of coronavirus vaccines is having a positive impact on customer confidence in senior housing.
More than 2.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other senior living settings as of January 26, according to the latest executive survey insights report conducted by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). The latest wave includes responses collected between January 11 and January 24 from owners and executives of 92 seniors housing and skilled nursing operators from across the nation.
The survey reveals that 80% of respondents have had their first vaccination clinic, 66% of residents and 47% of staff on average received the first dose of the vaccine, and 90% anticipate that all residents willing to take the vaccine will be vaccinated within two months.
“More consumers having access to the vaccine in an environment where infection mitigation is the highest priority may encourage prospective residents to move in and improve future occupancy rates,” NIC Senior Principal Lana Peck wrote.
The arrival of vaccines appears to be contributing to an increase in consumer confidence in the product. The number of respondents citing resident and family member concerns as causing a deceleration in move-ins decreased from 74% in the previous survey to 38%. And, 64% cited a slowdown in lead conversions to sales as reasons for a deceleration of move-ins over the past 30 days, compared with 79% in the previous wave of the survey.
Additionally, 31% of respondents reported a backlog of residents waiting to move in, just shy of the previous high point reported in the Wave 16 survey conducted in mid-November 2020.
But, while consumer concerns about senior living are abating, the competition to win their business is ramping up in the form of rent concessions. Among survey respondents, 32% with multiple properties offered rent concessions in more than half of their properties, and 26% offered concessions across their entire portfolios.
Overall, the number of respondents offering rent concessions ranged between 50% and 60% since NIC began asking the question with its Wave 13 survey, conducted in late September 2020 to early October 2020.