3 Simple Holiday Impressions to Increase or Maintain Occupancy

3 Simple Holiday Impressions to Increase or Maintain Occupancy

First Impressions in Senior LivingBoomers flock from all areas of the country to visit their senior parents during the holidays.  Many will come to your senior living community…are you ready?  One of two things will happen after the visit: they will either decide to support their parents moving into your community or they will move them out of your retirement community.  First impressions for Boomer children are critical to your occupancy.

Here are 3 simple tips to either increase occupancy or maintain occupancy over the holidays:

  1. Have the receptionist stand to greet all visitors with a welcoming smile.  If the receptionist is engaged on the phone, a warm smile and eye contact will acknowledge the guest.   When a Boomer says they are visiting his or her mom, inquire who the parent is and give a positive comment about your resident.  Ask if you can give the Boomer easy directions to the resident’s apartment or have someone escort them if it hard to find.  Make them feel 100% important.
  2. Be ready to have someone give a “wow” tour at all times.  A staff person or resident should be on call.  Don’t make someone wait 15 minutes as you call around the community sounding desperate on the phone.  It makes the guest feel guilty and makes them wonder what kind of care you would give his or her parent.
  3. Ensure that a huge stack of brochures is available at the front desk.  It’s very tacky to say that you are out of brochures and the marketing department will be here the next day…the sale is lost.

Finally, if you have a fireplace in your lobby, it is a huge asset this time of year.  It creates the warm ambiance of home.  What are your other tips?

Please share your successes, failures or comment below 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 at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Most recently Masson was recruited to consult for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.



    Great article. The best part of the Holiday Season is visiting family and friends. If this entails a flock of loved ones converging on your residence, be sure that it looks, feels, sounds and smells like home… Festive decor, cheery music or carol singing, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and mulled apple cider at the ready with their aromas enticing and welcoming… and a bustle of jovial people enjoying each other’s company in the lobby will seal the deal….and don’t forget the Christmas sweaters… this may be the only place they are truly appreciated.

    Thanks for sharing!
    By James Burchell

    • James, thanks for contributing great ideas to make a community feel like home. I LOVE seeing Christmas sweaters too!

      • Wonderful article and ideas-I went right into work and made sure our fireplaces were on!
        By Carol Harvey

        • Yahoo Carol! You are lucky that you have a fireplace. What part of the country is community located?

  2. Linked In CCRC Sales & Marketing

    Great advice, Diane! We should always be on this state of hospitality in a perfect world!
    By Cindy Janssen

    • It is needed year round!

  3. LInked In Senior Care Services Companies

    I really enjoy reading about someone who ‘gets it’ regarding 1st impressions and customer service.
    By Charles Lewis

    • Thanks Charles! First impressions are a key to increase the occupancy!

  4. Linked In LeadingAge

    Diane: all 3 are great tips – BUT, and I say this respectfully, should these be standard every day? What makes this time of year any different?
    By John Durkee

    • MANY marketers slack off this time of year. This tips are always needed, but what we do in December will fill the building in January. It is not a time to coast…

      • Linked In LeadingAge

        Diane: except for those in retail, who are working about 150% of the time right now, I have seen this trend in various industries. Holidays arrive and people slack off. Not sure why, but agree that happens.
        Since I’m really new in this Sr home care industry, guess I’m missing something. Seems most companies I have spoken to are telling me not only are they ‘full’ but they have a waiting list for folks to move in. Many I speak with talk about their new buildings to be ready in next year, in ’15 and even ’16 and I read the construction reports. Seems there is way more demand than supply. Maybe ‘marketers’ take off during the holiday’s because they can ?
        By John Durkee

        • Hey John, it all depends on where the community is located in the country, how much competition is in the area, if it’s urban and rural and finally the size (some communities are 50 apartments and others are 300.) I network with a lot of sales people and everyone is not full.

  5. Linked in Link·age Marketing Senior Living

    Diane offers three simple steps to improve the sales process during the holidays. The holiday season provides a great opportunity to showcase your community to people that may only see it one time per year. Do what you can to take advantage of that opportunity!
    By Steve Wittman

    • Yes Steve, I love your comment on showcasing the retirement community. You can only make a first impression once.