Marketing senior living communities including assisted living and memory care communities to potential new residents takes extra special efforts.
We always remind our clients that their customers aren’t sitting by the telephone with their suitcases packed and waiting to move.
Here are ten useful tips:
- Know thyself. It’s critical to assess the first impressions a community makes on a prospective resident. Regardless of tight budgets, pay attention to landscaping and flower beds, signage, working entry gates, painted guard houses and front entry doors. Look at the exterior of your community as a first time customer.
- Directors of First Impressions are both receptionists and security guards. Coordination with these people is essential so they can anticipate visitors and welcome them to the community. This may slip through the cracks as communities get comfortable with procedures.
- Know thy Competition. Shop competitor communities more frequently and update information. Knowing their census and current concessions is important. If you are well known in your marketplace, it may be useful to utilize mystery shoppers to glean information. Put this information on an EXCEL spread sheet for continual updating.
- Brainstorm with your team and update strengths of your community against competition. A community which is about 10 years old promotes their apartments as being just like new: appliances, carpeting, paint and re-grouted or replaced bathroom tiles. There is on-going preventative maintenance underway and the community always looks sparkling.
- Conduct informational focus groups with more recent residents and solicit their opinions experienced during first six months to a year.
- Utilize exit interviews with previous residents and/or families. While it may be impossible to have them return, this sensitive customer service approach opens the door for feedback on what the community either did well or not. People value a listening ear and like to share with unbiased listener.
- Evaluate the web site. Does your web site have a personality and reflect your potential buyers’ persona or does it look like every other senior community web site? Use words that talk your customer’s language. Think how the site relates to singles and couples as well as families.
- Treat every customer as an individual. We tend to generalize about customers but everyone has their own distinct personality, needs and timetable. This is when we want sales people who are compassionate listeners and can offer reassurance.
- Encourage sales people to court their customers. Spend time visiting their home and discover their family legacies and traditions. The time invested to become a family friend will be treasured and will catapult leasing results.
- Provide positive reinforcement to sales people with constructive and on-going training. Correcting a golf swing takes more than one session with an instructor and similarly every sales person needs coaching and mentoring.
# # #