How Many Sales Are Sitting in Your Senior Living Database?

First, you need to have a database!  Second, after each inquiry calls in or walks in, the contact information (senior and/or baby boomer adult children) needs to be captured in your database.  Most retirement communities have a database of 1,500 to 15,000 names (please note that real leads are somewhere in the department of 3,000 names or less).

I recommend that your leads be sorted into hot, warm and cool.  Hot leads will move into the community in the next two months, warm leads will move in about six months and cool leads are beyond a six-month move-in.  Hot leads should be touched weekly.  Warm leads should be touched bi-monthly depending on their situation.  Cool leads should be touched quarterly.

Typically, most senior housing organizations also have a large group of people who are not interested now and just want to be on the mailing list.  These need to be organized too!  Even when someone says, just put me on the mailing list and don’t call – I still schedule a call once a year with him or her.  Some of you may say, “No way – I will go by their wishes to never call!”  Well, what the senior is really saying is don’t bug me all the time, but I am interested in staying in touch.  NO one has ever been bothered by a yearly call from anyone on my teams!

Almost every lead in your database should be touched on a quarterly basis by telephone and by mail.  If the senior living sales person is making a minimum of 15 calls per day, that becomes 75 calls a week or 300 phone calls a month.  Three sales people can easily generate 900 calls a month or 2,700 calls on a quarterly basis.  Now with this amount of calls, it WILL GENERATE TOURS to your community.  Tours can turn into sales and sales will become move-ins.

If your community made all these calls for three months, it should generate 5 – 10 move-ins – just from your database.  It really works.

So why aren’t the sales people doing this now?  They need to be coached and directed!  Maybe the number of calls they are making needs to be added to their job description?  They need to be held accountable.  It is much easier to shoot the breeze with a resident and not make calls.  Calls can equal lots of rejections and no’s.

My book, “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” teaches senior living sales people how to overcome this fear and be persistent.   One little trick I share is counting your calls with hash marks on a piece of paper.  By the time someone talks to 20 people they should have scheduled 2 tours.  It may be the 19th and 20th calls – so don’t give up.  Good luck and start watching your occupancy increase!

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 speak at a senior housing conference (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email  Diane is currently consulting in Southern California for Freedom Management Company, the proud debt-free owners of Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  For more information: Twitter: @market2seniors Web: Blog: