How Are You Feeding Your Mind?

How Are You Feeding Your Mind?

What Diane Is Reading

What Diane Is Reading

Success in sales coming from a good attitude.  Negative news sells newspapers and TV commercials.  News commentators get paid to glamorize fear and a collapsing world.  Overcome this fear by turning off the news and feeding your brain with positive thoughts and energy.

  • What book(s) are you currently reading?
  • How often do you read?
  • Is there a certain time of day that works best for you?
  • Do you read one chapter a day or multiple chapters?

It seems like there are readers and nonreaders in the world.  Do you have a friend who is always starting or finishing a great book?  Hint: I bet they are more positive than your friends who don’t read regularly.

These are my current go to books for working in senior living:

How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie.  I have read this classic about five times, just finished it with one sales team and currently on part two, chapter one with another team.  This is one of the greatest books ever.

Live Your Life Like It Matters,” by Scott V. Black.  This book has sparked ideas for me to create team sales meetings and most recently an entire marketing retreat.  I just finished this book and the last two chapters are due for a team review in the next two weeks.

The Sales Bible,” by Jeffrey Gitomer.  I have read this great book twice, just selected it for our book review at two Continuing Care Retirement Communities and chapter one is due next week.

How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success Through Selling,” by Frank Bettger. Another classic that I have read several times, currently assigned this to a successful senior living sales person to pull them out of rut and chapter one is due next week.

Ego vs EQ,” by Jen Shirkani.   I am really excited about this new book to improve myself and grow, just finished chapter one last night.

Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” By Diane Masson (me).  I just used excerpts from “Chapter 10 – Internal Customers – No need to worry about them, right?  Wrong!” for a concierge/receptionist training.  It is the best book for training new sales team members and can help all communities increase their occupancy.

Current personal books:

The Better Part, A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer,” by John Bartunek, LC, THD.  This is my daily bible reading with outstanding reflections.

Los Angeles, San Diego and Southern California,” by Lonely Planet.  This is a resource I use to travel through Southern California, since I have lived here less than two years.  We are going to L.A. tomorrow for a Lakers game and wanted to learn what else that my husband and I could explore.

The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything – A Spirituality for Real Life,” by James Martin, SJ.  A friend gave me this book for Christmas and I have been slowly absorbing the recommendations for simplifying my life for the past three months.  This book has really helped me.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” by Jamie Ford.  Another friend let me borrow this book and I want to start it this weekend.

Typically I read my daily bible reflection daily, several chapters a week from my other personal books and one chapter a week from each of my books for work.

Would you be willing to share your current reading list or favorite books?

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 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.

© 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 For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.

Great Events Can Fill Your Building

Are you afraid of events or do you embrace them? How innovative are your events? Are they attracting qualified prospects to your community? The sole purpose of events is to have new prospects walk in your door and say, “Wow! This is where I want to live.” This chapter goes into detail on ideas and how to put on a great event.

What is your definition of an event? For example, the community picnic is a wonderful celebration for all residents and their families. It is not an appropriate event to invite prospects because they don’t want to see the sea of wheelchairs and walkers from the assisted living and skilled nursing residents. Please do not call this a marketing event. The community picnic is an event for existing residents and should be handled by resident services/activity directors. Marketing directors can help, but they need to stay focused on new sales or there won’t be any.

So how many marketing events should you be having? My recommendations:

  • Large events should be held three to four times a year.
  • Small events should be one to two times a month, depending on occupancy needs and your ability to attract new faces.

Let’s break each of them down from start to finish for ideas and planning to produce effective events.

A large event draws one hundred to three hundred attendees. Who do you invite? First on your guest list is your wait list. There are people percolating on your wait list who just need a subtle push to call the moving van and order change of address cards. If your event is done properly, it should result in three to five move-ins in the next quarter. Secondly, one-third of your guests must be new faces. These will come from two sources: advertising and resident referrals. I recommend a quarter page ad in your local newspaper. Please see recommendations for a newspaper ad in Media Buying, Advertising, Public Relations, and Community Building with a Skinny Piggy Bank. The third group to invite is friends of the residents. Many communities get 50 percent or more of their new leads from resident referrals.

Tip: The best way to get resident referrals is to let residents know that they have an opportunity to attend this fabulous event if they bring a guest who is interested in moving to your community. Hello? Knock, knock? Many of your residents’ friends probably qualify age-wise and financially to move to your community. Start informing the residents two months ahead of the event.

Tip: Make the event something exciting enough that residents will be able to enthusiastically endorse it and want their friends to attend. Do not have the CEO or a botanist describing the cross section of a leaf to be the main speaker. You may as well have an event to watch your newly painted walls dry. No offense to CEOs, but you are not a big enough draw. A resident’s Disney family vacation slide shows are for the residents to see, not your prospects. That theme will make your guest feel grumpy, dopey, and sleepy. Now if you wanted to invite the real Mickey Mouse and give away a trip for two to Disneyland…but that might be too expensive and that would be goofy.

To summarize your event attendance goals:

  • Approximately one-third new faces
  • One-third wait list members
  • One-sixth will be second looks (their second time in your community)
  • Less than one-sixth will be residents (who have invited a new face guest)

Planning should start a minimum of three months before the event date. Begin planning with the end result in mind. An event starts with an idea…

This was an excerpt from “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.” The book has step by step instructions on how to have an excellent event.

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:

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: