6 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Senior Housing Co-workers To Lunch

6 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Senior Housing Co-workers To Lunch

Senior Housing Co-worker LunchAre you so busy selling at work, that you thank a co-worker for their help as you race down the hall to your next appointment?  Sales and marketing in senior housing cannot exist without operational support.  To pull off a fantastic event, it takes great dining services, housekeeping and maintenance teams.  Often the activity department is helping out too.

When moving residents into an apartment, it’s a collaborative effort between sales, maintenance and housekeeping.  Once the resident moves into their new home at your retirement community, it takes the integration of the dining and activities team to help the senior feel settled.  Take a moment to slow down and invite a few key department heads to lunch this week.

6 Tips when you take your senior housing co-workers to lunch:

  1. Appreciate how each department wants the senior residents to have a great life.  Ultimately, all the department heads love the residents and want to do a great job serving them.
  2. Explain how sales and marketing appreciates the other departments. Share a few stories of how residents have shared with sales and marketing about how they have been helped by maintenance staff, housekeeping or had an incredible dining experience…
  3. Develop a deeper working relationship.  Your lunch will create a shared experience.  Ask – what are their biggest challenges now?  Share what marketing challenges have happened recently and how many calls or appointments you do on weekly or monthly basis.  (They may think you just sit in your office and chat with people on the phone or in person.  How hard can that be?)
  4. Solve an on-going challenge without being in someone’s office or “territory.”  For example: Every community could use better collaboration and communication in regards to apartment renovations.
  5. Take a moment to laugh.  Show that sales and marketing is human and wants to enjoy the journey with them!
  6. Pick up the check and say thank you again!   The other department heads will love you and feel appreciated.

How does your maintenance, housekeeping and sales teams coordinate to have the apartments ready for a move-ins?  Are you organized enough to have 50 or 100 move-ins this year?  Figure out how to improve as a senior community team over lunch.  My meeting is scheduled for Monday…

Please comment to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com.  Masson’s book will be required reading at George Mason University in the Fall as part of the marketing curriculum.  She is currently consulting with Seniors For Living and two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California. Connection and partnership opportunities: Email: diane@marketing2seniors.net


  1. Does anyone know how we can do this for our servers, housekeepers and home health assistants? Typically they cannot go out for lunch.

  2. LinkedIn LeadingAge

    Diane makes some excellent points in her post. Successful marketing in senior living is the result of a total team effort. Understanding how each department contributes to the overall effort and also understanding how everyone works together to complete the sale and ultimately the move in is critical to successful marketing. Showing appreciation to your fellow team members is also valuable in keeping the team unified, especially when things don’t go as planned.

    As my former CEO used to say, “We are all in Marketing!”
    By Steve Wittman

  3. LinkedIn LeadingAge

    Successful marketing of senior living communities is truly a team effort. After uncovering a potential residents needs in the discovery process, I would make sure that I introduced them to the appropriate department head to talk about their area of expertise. This is a good way for the potential resident to meet some of the important members of the community and gain an appreciation of the quality of their new home. I found that department heads love to talk up their area and be involved in helping the sales process and really helped in closing the sale.
    By Mark Sinclair, MBA, CALA

  4. LinkedIn Alzheimer s Association

    Great article and suggestions Diane!
    By Kelly Singleton-Myers

  5. LinkedIN Long Term Care Group

    We often forget that it is the housekeeper that usually finds out alot about the resident because they spend time in the residents room and the resident sees them as someone to confide in because the housekeeper isn’t making them do anything.
    By Wolgamott Jackie

  6. LinkedIn CCRC’s – Continuing Care Retirement Communities

    Staff at the campus may only have 30 minutes for lunch. Very common. An alternative to taking them out would be to make a breakfast or lunch for them!! Pick a certain day, especially a day like National Sandwich Day or National Dessert day, a fun day and then build around that. Your community staff will love to see you preparing the items and then “serving” them. If the logistics don’t work for that, bring in a soup/chili meal in a crock pot that can be served over several lunch periods. Add some rolls or cornbread, etc. Use colorful napkins and other items to create a festive table. Or make it a cupcake party, Help cultivate ambassadors among the staff who are not only willing but happy to give tours when the sales team is not there. Give them some training and then create a reward for their support. Give away movie tickets, a gas card, McDonad’s gift card, etc. Something that almost everyone can use. You can give away a card after each tour or have a drawing every month. Sales teams are generally bonused so the cost for this can come from the sales bonus of the sales team. If a tour turns into a sale, they will surely get a bonus or get closer to their sales goal. If the budget does not permit this, then create a certificate, a thank you, a recognition of some sort so that the community staff realizes how important their role in sales can be.
    By Carolyn Lookabill

  7. At our senior community, I find housekeeping, dinning staff and front desk employees to be my much needed support. Since housekeepers and dinning staff usually eat in our employee cafe it’s been the perfect opportunity for me to sit with them and enjoy lunch together, just talking and bonding. I often bring treats. The front desk staff can be taken to lunch or sometimes I order pizza. The very best way to communicate your appreciation is a sincere “thank You” always and often.

  8. LinkedIn Senior Assisted Living Sales, Marketing & Operations

    Yes, I believe not only in Senior industry but in many businesses we are so busy, we lose sight of the others and the other departments that help us accomplish our goal. We need to stop a moment and THANK the many individuals who help us. I really like your idea of a way of building that intra department teamwork and strategy of showing appreciation. Thanks for the reminder!
    By Shaun Tabor