Ashburn, Virginia--Worldwide, the arrival of COVID-19 ushered in the advent of a new "normal," complete with carefully thought out safety precautions and protocols. For the sales team at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living managed senior living community in Ashburn, keeping residents safe and happy meant readjusting traditional work responsibilities to best serve the community.
In the months since the phased reopening of the community, the sales team is, once again, returning to their original roles, while continuing to serve both community members and future residents.
"While the last few months are unique, they have brought with them an unprecedented demand for the Erickson Living lifestyle," says Ashby Ponds' Sales Director Holly Henderson.
Recently, Henderson shared the most common questions her sales team is receiving now that Ashby Ponds is receiving prospective residents on campus.
Q: How did Ashby Ponds respond to people planning to, or interested in, moving to the community during the COVID-19 shelter in place directive?
A: With the utmost care. With numerous safety protocols in place and working directly with our on-site medical center, our sales team was able to safely move new residents into their homes. And while the majority of our team filled untraditional roles during this time—including working for our concierge delivery, contact tracing, or meal delivery—two team members were always in the sales office. We wanted to ensure that there was someone available to answer incoming calls. Our team facilitated virtual tours of apartment homes and on-campus amenities. Many times, this meant using Zoom or FaceTime as our team members walked through the campus, with the prospective resident watching and asking questions on the other end. Since June, we have opened once again to on campus visits as the result of our secure screening program. We are also able to offer home visits again to prospective residents, depending on the comfort level of each individual. For those who prefer, we use Zoom to "tour" a prospective resident's current house to make suggestions and help prepare them to sell.
Q: What changes did you see in the demand for the Ashby Ponds lifestyle during this time?
A: We definitely saw a huge increase in the number of people wanting to move to Ashby Ponds from out of state. Many of the calls we received were from people with family members in Loudoun County, who, because of the environment, wanted to move closer to their loved ones. As a result, we are now helping people move from Florida, Mississippi and California. We also saw a substantial increase in resident referrals. As our community members connected with friends, they were able to share just how safe life is at Ashby Ponds and the many efforts taken to keep people engaged and happy. Sheltering at home was by no means the easiest of times, but it was evident to those not living on campus that our community was making the best out of a tough situation. As a result of all these things, we are currently facing a scarcity of available apartment homes, something we never would have suspected in the early days of COVID-19.
Q: What is your advice to someone who is interested in learning more about a future move to Ashby Ponds?
A: Please give us a call. We understand that circumstances are changing every day, and our number one goal is to work with each individual in a way that is both comfortable for them while ensuring both their safety and the safety of our community members. This includes scheduling visits, by appointment only, or meeting via telephone or video.
Written by Kelly A. Shue
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia. The not-for-profit community of more than 1,650 residents and 550 employees is governed by its own board of directors, affiliated with National Senior Campuses, who provide independent financial and operational oversight of Ashby Ponds. Additional information can be found at AshbyPonds.com.