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The real skinny

An insider’s look into the Ashby Ponds marketing luncheons

Created date

November 23rd, 2018
Ashby Ponds marketing luncheon guests enjoy a pressure-free opportunity to learn more about the popular campus while enjoying a delicious, chef-prepared meal.

Ashby Ponds marketing luncheon guests enjoy a pressure-free opportunity to learn more about the popular campus while enjoying a delicious, chef-prepared meal.

Each month after discovering Ashby Ponds from a friend, the Erickson Living website, or the popular Facebook page, dozens of people decide to learn more about the community by reserving a spot at one of the monthly marketing luncheons. These no-pressure visits provide an unparalleled opportunity to tour the Ashby Ponds campus, meet current residents, and enjoy a delicious chef-prepared meal.

“The Ashby Ponds luncheons provide an excellent and most pleasant opportunity to see what living in a premier CCRC [continuing care retirement community] is like—from the people living here to how they spend their time to the numerous amenities they enjoy, all while being feted to the fine dining that is available to residents every day,” says community member Al Beyer. “If ever there were a painless learning experience, an Ashby Ponds marketing luncheon surely tops the list.”

Prior to their 2008 move, Al and his wife Marilynn attended an Ashby Ponds marketing luncheon and found the experience to be informative, fun, and pressure-free. Now, Al volunteers his time as a resident ambassador, meeting with luncheon guests and sharing his personal experiences.

“The luncheon was our first exposure to the Erickson philosophy and lifestyle,” he says. “Because Ashby Ponds was under construction at the time, our luncheon was held in a marketing trailer in the middle of an open field. Yet despite the surroundings, we were impressed enough to join the priority list, something we’d not done at any of the other northern Virginia CCRCs we’d visited.”

Starting off right

Each Ashby Ponds luncheon begins with a comprehensive tour starting at Cardinal Clubhouse. Each tour group is kept intentionally small to encourage questions and enable participants to get to know their fellow attendees.

Director of Sales Holly Henderson and her experienced team, having over 80 years collectively with Erickson Living, lead the tours.

“In addition to being informative, the tours are a lot of fun and always pressure-free,” says Henderson. “We start by exploring many of the popular community areas including the restaurants and fitness center. We finish the tours by stepping inside two or three resident apartments. The residents who live in the apartments are on hand to answer questions and share their own unique experiences.”

Julian Cole attended a marketing luncheon before he moved to Ashby Ponds. He appreciates the impact visiting a resident apartment can make on the decision-making process. As a result, like Al, Julian now serves as a resident ambassador.

“While attending an Ashby Ponds luncheon, I was impressed by the professionalism of the sales staff, the obviously good relationships between the staff and residents, and the friendly atmosphere exhibited by the residents,” he says. “I feel the luncheons are important because they provide the opportunity to get ‘the real skinny’ as told by the people who live here. I found that to be much more beneficial than a traditional presentation.”

A taste of the good life

Following the tours, guests sit for a delicious luncheon prepared by the Ashby Ponds culinary team. This month, luncheon guests will be treated to a hearty winter menu, including a harvest salad, a choice between maple-glazed pork tenderloin or mustard-crusted salmon, roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus, and an apple tart for dessert.

“The food offered at the luncheon is truly representative of what is available on the daily menus,” says Julian.

“The menu options in our six dining venues are varied, nutritional, and delicious,” Al agrees. “Even the most discriminating palette will surely be satisfied, for the soups, salads, entrées, desserts, and drink choices are numerous. On top of that, each dining facility offers its own unique atmosphere designed to make each dining experience enjoyable.”

Throughout the lunch, a resident ambassador is seated at each table to provide an additional opportunity to ask questions. Once everyone has completed their entrée, representatives of the marketing team, including resident ambassadors, address a variety of different topics including finances, affordability, availability, activities and clubs, and future construction plans.

“The most important takeaway from the luncheon I’d like all guests to know is that what they are experiencing, seeing, and hearing from staff and residents is not a show but a fact,” says Al. “Living at Ashby Ponds is akin to being on a cruise. Needs are anticipated or quickly met, residents and staff members are friendly and outgoing, life here can be as active or serene as one wishes, and a decision to make Ashby Ponds home will unquestionably be the best decision possible.”