MANY senior living sales professionals selling continuing care and retirement communities make three common mistakes:
- Believing only older need driven seniors will move into an independent retirement setting.
- Only focusing on seniors who want to move now.
- Not doing enough “discovery” to tailor a tour to a senior’s lifestyle.
After the financial world turned upside in 2008 and real estate took a dive, younger seniors remained in their own homes. Now, younger seniors are moving into retirement communities again. Senior living communities must have amenities and lifestyle choices that attract younger seniors. Does yours?? As a sales person, you must believe that younger seniors will move in too! I have acutally heard a senior living sales person say, “They are only 83 years old and not ready yet.”
Only 20% of seniors will walk in and say, “I am ready to move in now.” The order taker marketers love this type of prospect. Well guess what? The majority of seniors need handholding and relationship building over a period of time. They need to come into your senior living community four to six times to visualize themselves living the lifestyle.
Discovering the passions, pursuits and interests of a senior seems so obvious to the “A” player senior living sales professional. This allows the sales person to tailor the “Wow Tour” to each senior. It may mean having the senior meet other residents who share their common interests. It could involve meeting and touring each adult child, so they can support their parents moving into your community.
Senior living sales takes more time and effort than it did six years ago. Why do so many senior living sales people simply give a tour? What have you witnessed or experienced?
Please share your strategies, 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. Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of 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.