3 Components of a Senior Housing Feasibility Study

Housing developers and financial lending institutions often partner with Drive Research on market research studies. Several of these studies center around assessing the feasibility of senior housing or senior market-rate apartments in a specific geographical area.

The client is often interested in understanding: (1) demographic shifts in the target market area and changes in elderly populations impacting success of the concept, (2) competitive senior apartment offerings, rates, amenities, and occupancy rates, and (3) appeal, demand, and monthly rental rates for the concept from potential residents.

These and other secondary objectives are covered in a senior housing feasibility study.

A feasibility study on senior housing offers a lot of data and insight to help guide your concept to a more successful outcome.

To address the objectives at-hand for senior housing, Drive Research typically recommends a 3 component market research study. The feasibility study combines both qualitative and quantitative research to provide the client with a comprehensive overview of the concept for the property focusing on senior market-rate apartments.

The 3 recommended best-practice components which make-up the approach include:

(1) A market analysis including demographic analysis and trends review
(2) A competitive assessment of like-properties in the market
(3) An online survey

These are detailed below.

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Component 1: Market Analysis and Demographic Trends

This component of the market research will utilize U.S. Census Bureau demographic information and our proprietary Alteryx Analytics software to understand population trends and demographic shifts in the market impacting the concept.

A primary market area (PMA) and secondary market area (SMA) will be created for analysis to understand populations the units will draw from (10-mile, 25-mile, 50-mile, etc.) Demographic data will include populations, households, genders, ages, household incomes, children in household, ages of children, and several other secondary Census and American Community Survey (ACS) statistics. This will help the client determine the available supply of audience and understand the changing demographics of targeted market areas.

Drive Research will not only report on this market analysis data but interpret it, make conclusions, and offer consultative suggestions for the client based on the themes which emerge in the data sets. This secondary market research will further inform and provide context to insights gained in the future components. Results will be tied together to tell a cohesive story about the potential success of the concept.

Component 2: Competitive Assessment

This component of the market research will generate an in-depth look at other like
senior housing complexes in the market area. Several best-in-class senior apartment complexes outside of the area may be reviewed if the market does not have a strong presence of this concept already.

The competitive assessment typically analyzes a set of up to 8 to 10 properties for review. This research will include mystery shopping calls and emails to collect costs, amenities, geographies the properties draw from, and other key competitive data. Secondary research will also be conducted to pull in other news and information about each property online. A separate profile will be created in the report for each competitive property giving the client an in-depth look at other offerings to help educate operational and marketing strategies.

Component 3: Online Survey

The final piece of the market research study will examine interest, appeal, and likelihood to reside at the senior housing community. The online survey will be customized to the needs of client and driven by the findings from the first 2 components of the feasibility study.

The online survey will help in: (1) identifying profiles of likely users, (2) factors in choice, (3) geographic draws for the property, and (4) other secondary objectives. In addition to interest, appeal, and potential usage of the land, the survey will address barriers, awareness of competitors who offer similar services, and lend insight into other marketing and strategies.

Drive Research will utilize the feedback obtained from the kickoff meeting to create a draft survey document in Word. The survey document can undergo as many edits as needed to finalize before online programming begins. Once the online survey document is finalized, it will be programmed into our online survey software and tested. The survey will be PC, mobile, and tablet-friendly. The test link will also be sent to the client for review so the team can view the survey as if they were a respondent participating.

The survey is expected to take 3 minutes to complete and will include up to 12 to 15 questions including 1 open-ended question. Open-ended questions are free text responses with no button selections for respondents. These open ended questions are proofed, categorized, and coded in the final report and take considerable time to read through and analyze. The survey will raffle off 5 $50 Amazon gift cards.

The survey will be completed through a combination of targeted email lists and through Facebook paid advertisements to reach participants in the target demographic and market area. Several options for levels of completed surveys have been provided on the agreement page. The survey results will be compiled into an executive summary of themes with recommendations as well as a question-by-question breakdowns.


The entire market research study takes between 4 and 8 weeks to complete. A more accurate timeline is suggested once our team fully understands your objectives and scope.

Drive Research is a senior housing feasibility company located in Syracuse, NY. We work with developers and investors all across the country to assist with feasibility studies of all types beyond just senior housing.

Questions about an upcoming project? Contact us 1 of 4 ways:

Message us on our website
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Call us at 888-725-DATA
Text us at 315-303-2040

Feasibility Studies