Generating sales in senior living communities has always been a challenge, and the events of the past year have only made it more so. In the first quarter of 2021, senior housing occupancy rates hit a record low of nearly 79%. Because of this, the market is becoming increasingly competitive as more facilities struggle to hit their goals.
However, times like these also provide a great opportunity to take a step back, rethink your current sales and marketing strategy, and make changes that will increase your occupancy now and position your community for growth into the future.
We’ve put together a few tips and strategies to help you attract future residents and move them through the buyer’s journey in an increasingly competitive market.
Make your website shine
Most of your future residents and their families will start researching your community by going straight to the source — your website.
In addition to providing the information prospects need to make their decision and reach out to your team, your website should showcase the expertise of your staff, the quality of care they provide, and what it’s like to live in your community.
But this content won’t be helpful if your prospects can’t find it. Regardless of their comfort level with technology, visitors should also be able to easily navigate through and interact with your site.
Read our latest senior housing sales and marketing benchmark report for data on web inquiries by type of community.
Share information, invite conversation
Although your website might be the first place they visit, prospects who are trying to decide if your community is a good fit will likely hop onto social channels to see what others have to say.
That’s why it’s important to monitor online reviews and conversations about your brand, as well as respond quickly to posted questions, concerns, and praise.
Don’t be afraid to start conversations, too. Use your social platforms to invite questions and discussions, promote important research and resources, or ask your followers to share their stories. You can even consider holding online events like informative webinars, live Q&As, and opportunities to virtually meet your caregivers.
Let your residents do the talking
If you want to show your prospects what it’s really like to live in your community, stock photos and standard messaging won’t do. Your leads will be much more interested in seeing and hearing from your current residents.
Regularly ask your residents to share testimonials and feedback. They can help you continue to improve your community and will become your best brand ambassadors. Use their voices to tell stories, create “day in the life” videos, take prospects on virtual tours, and more.
You can provide the perfect resident experience and still have a poor sales process that leaves your leads feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Moving into a senior living community is not only a big investment, it can be a stressful and emotional step for new residents and their families.
Family members who are considering leaving their loved ones in your community’s care will want assurance that they’re making the right decision. They’ll feel more comfortable moving forward if the sales team is patient with their questions and concerns, helps them navigate the complexities of the process, and, most importantly, shows empathy for their situation.
Take advantage of technology
No matter how great your sales and marketing teams are, they’re going to need some help winning the race against your competitors. And staying competitive in the digital age is all about selecting the right technology.
Adopting a customer relationship management (CRM) software is the perfect starting place. The right CRM will help you streamline your sales efforts by automating tasks like capturing lead data, tracking communications, generating follow-up responses, and reporting outcomes.
Pairing your CRM solution with marketing automation allows you to see which tactics are getting the most traction, so you can fine-tune your marketing strategy and ensure you’re sending the right information to the right people at the right time.
For more info, read “How Technology Drives Successful Senior Living Marketing.”
Never miss an opportunity to connect
You don’t want to leave potential residents on the line — if you don’t get back to them in time, they might reach out to a more responsive community. A contact center can help you ensure timely follow-up of all leads, whether they come from calls, web inquiries, or referrals.
You can also add a live chat function on your website, so visitors can reach out immediately while the questions are fresh in their minds. Looking for more senior living sales and marketing insights? Visit our Resources page.