Social Media, Weather-Based Irrigation and GPS-Integrated Busses Among Keys to Staying Relevant in Increasingly Technologically-Savvy Market
LAKE FOREST, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — August 25, 2011 — In today’s youth-obsessed media culture, people may not envision active adult communities at the vanguard of high-tech innovation. But for PCM Inc. the Management Company at Laguna Woods Village, an 18,000-resident active adult community in south Orange County, technological enhancements have proved vital to staying relevant in a competitive and rapidly-growing senior living market.
Jerry Storage, Vice President of Professional Community Management and General Manager of Laguna Woods Village, detailed many of that community’s recent innovations during a July 21 presentation to the Orange County Building Industry Association’s 55+ Housing Council in Newport Beach. He also warned those companies hoping to compete in today’s active adult communities that underestimating residents’ technological savvy is a costly mistake.
“These aren’t your grandparents’ aging adults,” explained Storage. “Many of our residents reached the height of their careers by expertly utilizing Web-based tools and digital business solutions, and they arrive in our communities with increasingly greater demands for access to and employment of such technologies.”
Expanding Technology to Enhance Resident Services
Not only does Laguna Woods Village offer the standard menu of broadband services including high-definition cable television and high-speed Internet for resident enjoyment, it employs the latest in technological innovations and green technologies in its community management operations.
For example, Storage outlined how the community’s computerized weather-based irrigation system uses real-time climate data to deliver the precise amount of water, keeping the Village’s parks green while saving thousands of gallons each year.
He and his team also recognize that social media and web-based communications aren’t only for teens. Leveraging the fact that the 55+ demographic is one of social media’s fast growing segments, the Village has developed a user-friendly social media presence to help deliver its message through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Combined, these three mediums deliver important community updates in a timely and entertaining manner.
Perhaps most beneficial to its residents, the Village has also deployed an exciting GPS/GIS-integrated bus program to more effectively and efficiently transport residents to nearby shopping and services.
This innovative system uses the latest in satellite technology to track bus status and schedules. The GIS component ensures that the most direct routes will be utilized to save time and fuel. But there is also a green component to the Village’s bus system: the entire 17-bus fleet is fueled with biodiesel, making it an environmentally sensitive transportation option.
Keeping the Momentum Going
Storage was also excited to discuss some long-term planning efforts to help increase the Village’s level of service and efficiency. On the horizon at Laguna Woods Village is a new Golf Clubhouse that is designed as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Project.
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Laguna Woods Village officials hope investments in such innovative technological solutions will reap benefits not just for today’s residents but far down the road.
“In the coming decades, prospective residents will only get more and more savvy when it comes to the latest technologies,” concluded Storage. “Our goal between now and then is to stay well ahead of the technological curve so we can continue providing cost-efficient residential services.”
About Professional Community Management of California
Professional Community Management of California, Inc. (PCM) specializes in the management of Common Interest Developments of homeowner associations for family oriented master-planned developments, resort-style master-planned communities, active-adult master-planned communities, condominium associations and boutique communities throughout Southern California. PCM manages a portfolio of nearly 113,000 units in approximately 300 community associations, representing a combined real estate value in excess of $45 billion.
With headquarters in Lake Forest, Calif., PCM and its companies employ a dedicated staff of more than 1,500 professionals. PCM has offices serving all of Southern California and has been recognized by the Multi-Housing Council as one of the County’s largest managers of common interest developments. Management services by PCM are backed by state-of-the art Internet technology, and comprehensive financial and management systems. For additional information, please contact PCM at 800.369.7260 or at www.pcminternet.com.
Professional Community Management of California, Inc.
Mike Suydam, 949-981-5008