A new virtual reality tour option is available at The Canopy at Boynton Ridge, the newest senior living community to open in Catoosa County.
Originally piloted as a way to safely tour communities during the pandemic, the management company for the community, SRI Management, has seen such a positive response to the convenience of this technology, they are continuing to grow the program throughout all of their facilities, making it a way for prospective residents and families to get a look at the state-of-the-art community.
Providing goggles and handheld controllers, The Canopy at Boynton Ridge sales team members guide the VR tour program. The unique technology allows the team to open the eyes of seniors considering senior living and involve their families in the process, all without asking them or their families to leave their respective homes.
With an official ribbon cutting planned for the end of June, The Canopy at Boynton Ridge is located on nearly six acres of land within the rapidly-growing, six-county Chattanooga metropolitan area. The community encompasses both assisted living and memory care apartments in an amenity-rich, resort style environment.
“The coronavirus pandemic has challenged the senior living industry as a whole to consider sales, and accessibility in safe, creative ways,” said Shelley Kaiser, chief operations officer, SRI Management. “We are taking much of what we have learned in the last year about how our customers and residents wish to interact with one another and providing an immersive virtual reality option to meet these needs.”
Initial feedback from the SRI Management pilot program indicated this new touring option helps those interested in senior housing but are hesitant to take the first step. One 86-year-old test user shared she enjoyed the virtual tour and is now more likely to want to visit in-person.
“I just didn’t know what to expect, but it’s amazing because you really do feel like you’re there,” said Maye Walker. “I had no idea your communities were this nice. After the virtual tour, I’m now interested in learning more and seeing the community in-person.”
As the program training is implemented across communities, Ms. Kaiser is finding the equipment may have an additional purpose outside of sales. “In the past year, we have used iPads in some of our communities to engage residents and allow for virtual travel," said Ms. Kaiser. "With the VR goggles and programming, we see the possibility of growing this even more. Imagine giving our residents the chance to tour the Australian Outback or visit Paris, all without leaving their community.”