Do You Have Proactive or Reactive Marketing?

One of the reasons your occupancy may be down is because you may have reactive marketing. What does this mean? Do any of the following scenarios happen at your community?

  • You walk into Bored Brad’s marketing office and he’s sorting paper clips. He just wants to give a tour but no one is coming in or calling the community.
  • When you stop by Blabby Barbara’s office, she is on the phone, but you quickly determine that she’s talking to a friend and not a potential resident.
  • Residents complain to management that phone calls to the marketing department are not returned in a timely fashion to friends they have referred and who are prospective residents. You march right over to Moody Marbella on your marketing team to address the residents’ concerns. She responds by changing the subject and, worse, blaming you with her explanation, “Events won’t work. Low occupancy is not my fault.” Do you think she missed the point?

Does this really happen? Yes! Reactive marketing people truly exist and I have worked with some of them. It can be a challenge to determine if the new team you are managing is reactive, but once you know the symptoms it’s easy to identify:

Symptom 1) Reactive marketing does not have programs or policies in place to make a certain number of outbound phone calls per day. This means every day.

Symptom 2) After conducting a tour, reactive marketing people wait for prospects to call them back to say they are interested in moving in. This is really the function of an order taker and not the attitude of a professional salesperson.

Symptom 3) Reactive marketers urge spending money on advertising because they claim they don’t have any leads and therefore no new sales.

Symptom 4) Reactive marketers exhibit a lack of urgency to answer the phone within two rings.

Symptom 5) Reactive marketers have a lackadaisical attitude returning phone, web, and social media inquiries.

These reactive marketing teams are waiting for walk-ins and call-ins. They believe the customer should just say, “Yep, here’s my deposit. Let’s call the moving company right now.”

Spending money on new leads is a waste of the marketing budget for a reactive marketing team. Many prospects can be slow (which is normal) to make a decision.  A reactive marketer does not initiate calls with the non-hot prospects, so a cool or lukewarm prospect will never be contacted again. This means that 20 percent to 30 percent of sales can just slip through the fingers of this type of marketer. This really does happen, and it can be affecting your financial performance.   Is it?

This was an excerpt from “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at  If your curiosity is piqued to inquire on Diane’s availability to coach your senior living marketing team (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) or have her put on a sales retreat for your organization – please call: 206-853-6655 or email  For more information: Twitter: @market2seniors Web: Blog: