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Introducing Tallgrass Creek

What exactly happens at that first meeting?

Created date

July 21st, 2014
sales counselor with resident in apartment

One of the first people potential residents of Creek meet is Judy Baxter, Tallgrass Creek’s sales counselor and personal moving consultant, and one of the longest-termed, locally hired employees on the community’s staff.

“I’ve had the honor of personally assisting almost all of the more than 300 Tallgrass Creek residents with their move as well as advising many people on the priority list,” says Baxter, who joined the Tallgrass Creek team in 2007 while the community was still under construction. “I absolutely love this job.” 

And it shows. As one priority list member remarked, “Judy answers questions you didn’t know you had.”

We caught up with Baxter recently to find out what potential residents can expect from that very first meeting.

Tribune: How do potential residents find out about Tallgrass Creek?

Baxter: There are several ways. First, our wonderful location. So many people see this beautifully maintained and landscaped campus that sits back from Metcalf Avenue and wonder what it is. We get a lot of response from local advertising and the Tribune, which is mailed to many people in the area, but the best is word of mouth. Our residents frequently recommend Tallgrass Creek to their friends. 

I believe the most unusual way was from sixth-grader Cale Allen, the grandson of two of our priority list members, Pam and Jim Allen. His choral group sang at different retirement communities in the area, and after performing at Tallgrass, he was so impressed he told his grandparents to check it out. They did, and they will move in soon.   

Tribune: What is the main thing you wish to communicate during the initial meeting? 

Baxter: Everyone’s motivation and personal, financial, and social situations are different, so every meeting is different. I do a lot of listening.  

We cover a lot of things—some personal, such as finances. We always cover Erickson Realty and Moving Services (a popular, complimentary service available to priority list members), how active the community is, and one of the biggest interest items: food! We love to host visitors at lunch or dinner so they can experience the Blue Sky Restaurant and all the different dining choices our residents enjoy. 

We also talk about the potential timeframe for a move and how current living space is now used and designed. That leads to a discussion of our many floor plans and what the priority list is all about.  

We offer interested visitors a complimentary program called “Experience the Life,” which is a couple of nights’ stay in one of our guest rooms. They can dine in the Blue Sky Restaurant, visit with other residents, and just get a feel for life at Tallgrass Creek.  

Tribune: What is the priority list? 

Baxter: The priority list is comprised of people who plan to move to an Erickson Living community like Tallgrass Creek. All it takes is a fully refundable $1,000 deposit and a $150-per-person, nonrefundable application fee to reserve a home.

When prospective residents submit their deposit, that date is noted as their priority list date. Once their preferred floor plan becomes available, the sales team gives first right of refusal to priority list members based on their joining date. 

Tribune: How long is a typical meeting? 

Baxter: A visit and tour will usually take around one to two hours, but I’m very cognizant of people’s time. I want our visitors to feel their questions are answered, but I never ignore their schedules for that day. 

Tribune: What does a tour include?

Baxter: We show our visitors a couple of different apartments so they can see how uniquely they’re decorated and how modern and roomy they are. We usually stop by some of the hot spots such as the clubhouse, living room, fitness center, Marketplace (coffee shop and convenience store), Blue Sky Restaurant, and Sunflower Bistro. If there is an interest, we’ll stop into the woodshop, which our local woodworkers enjoy; the art room where our resident artists spend time; or by the indoor, climate-controlled pool. Visitors are always impressed with the panoramic view from the second floor of the clubhouse.   

Tribune: Does everyone get something to take away?

Baxter: You bet. Our visitors leave with a beautiful, spiral-bound brochure that is very informative. They also are given a personalized informational packet that outlines, step by step, the process—from beginning to think about moving to Tallgrass Creek to actually moving here. The packet includes a lot of things such as our monthly activity calendar, which illustrates the more than 60 clubs, committees, and activities our residents enjoy, as well as all the learning and social opportunities. 

Tribune: What is the biggest challenge of your job?

Baxter: Many times, it’s a hard decision to sell a much-loved family home and rightsize to a retirement community. Being the first contact many people have with Tallgrass Creek, I want to develop a meaningful relationship with people so as they go through what can be a tough transition, they feel a sense of comfort and trust that what we promise, we deliver. 

Tribune: How do you want visitors to feel when they leave?

Baxter: I want visitors to see how special Tallgrass Creek is. They always comment on the friendliness of people around the entire community, its overall beauty both inside and outside, and our active residents. Tallgrass Creek is a special, special place that truly sells itself.