NIC releases Vol. II of National Housing Survey ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Here at NREI we preach endlessly about the positive and negative aspects of "branding" in other industry segments, including hotel, office, retail and apartment (see related story on p. 14 of this month's Hotel Strategies). Now there is further evidence that the same discipline needs to come to fruition in the seniors housing industry.

The National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industries (NIC) has released results of the NIC National Housing Survey of Adults Age 60+ (Vol. II), an update of the landmark national study designed to identify the characteristics of consumers most likely to move to seniors housing.

While the study found that demand for seniors housing remains strong (with 23% of the age 60+ households surveyed reporting that they would consider a move to seniors housing in the future), it also found that the greatest proportion of households with demand for seniors housing occurs at the lowest income levels. Only 28.6% of households living in seniors housing that provide support services reported annual incomes greater than $25,000.

And here's the crux: While overall demand remains strong, awareness of and knowledge about seniors housing is still quite low, as one-third to one-half of those surveyed did not know about specific product types, according to the research.

The report recommended that the industry help consumers better understand and differentiate terms such as "active adult community," "continuing care retirement community," "assisted living community," and "congregate living community."

"This study builds on our earlier research and contains valuable information about the growing market for seniors housing," says Robert G. Kramer, executive director of NIC. "The study also points out that in order to capitalize on the demand for seniors housing and tap into its true potential, we need to do a better job of educating consumers about our industry and explaining the various housing options that are currently available," Kramer says.

The study also delves into two more critical items concerning the relative importance of ADLs (activities of daily living) and income as predictors of someone's likelihood of moving to seniors housing.

Complete details are available in the NIC National Housing Survey of Adults Age 60+ (Vol. II), which is available for purchase through NIC for $95. You can contact NIC via its Website at www.NICinfo.org or call (410) 267-0504.