By Karen Hodge - Monday, November 3, 2014


Fall 2014 marks the 6th year that Karen Hodge, president of Senior Marketing Solutions LLC, has been requested as a guest speaker at Virginia Tech’s property management program.


Dr. Rosemary Goss, founder of the property management program, has been nationally recognized for her contributions to property management education (Fall 2014 article VT Spheres). Dr. Goss served as an advisory team member for Karen’s thesis, The Effectiveness of Virginia Building Codes, which completed her master’s degree in Housing and Resource Management.


Part of Virginia Tech’s housing curriculum includes a course on Housing for the Elderly and a visit to see Warm Hearth Village, a continuing care retirement community in Blacksburg, Va.


“I enjoy speaking to the students regarding the changing dynamics of the senior consumer, referencing Ageless Marketing by David Wolfe and Robert Snyder,” says Karen. “And with permission from Warm Hearth Village and Brooks Adams Research, I also share sections of the marketing research conducted for Woods Edge, Blacksburg’s first active adult community.”


“Karen’s insight on marketing to seniors includes a sample case study of marketing research,” states Dr. Goss. “The students find this interesting, as they realize they will be dealing with various generations in their housing management careers.”


Senior Marketing Solutions LLC is approaching its 11th year in business and draws on  Karen’s 30 years of experience in healthcare and senior housing. After completing graduate school, Karen combined her seven years of work in property management with her bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and master’s degree in Housing and Resource Management into a skill set that she brought to Medical Facilities of America in Roanoke , Va. There, she worked for five years with the Certificate of Need process for nursing homes as well as research and design for retirement center expansion,  marketing for home health agencies, and sales for Retirement Unlimited, the company’s retirement division. Later, Karen brought her experience and knowledge to successfully assist clients such as United Healthcare in Milwaukee, Wisc., Walker Methodist in Minneapolis, Minn., The Asbury Group in Germantown, Md., The Forest at Duke in Durham, N.C., and Wesley Woods Senior Living, an affiliate of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Ga.


“Looking back, all of this experience provided me with a solid foundation for working with teams — from the initial research and design phase through the successful sales phase and on to the expanding market of community-based services,” explains Karen. “I love returning to my hometown of Blacksburg to speak at Virginia Tech, and one day, would love to combine consulting with teaching at a college level.”