“We Are Half Sold Out!” – Seriously?

“We Are Half Sold Out!” – Seriously?

We are already half sold out ticketsIf a senior living sales person or ANYONE said to you, “We are half sold out,” what would be your first thought? I bet, it would not create urgency for you to act now.

When I was considering buying comedy tickets at the Improv last night, I inquired if the event was already sold out. The salesperson divulged, “We are half sold out. Getting tickets should be no problem. We are really surprised that only half the tickets have sold two days before the event.” I thought, oh, this comedian is not as popular as I thought. I will wait to buy my tickets. I was actually disappointed that the salesperson did not create urgency for a famous comic.

It was shocking to me that she would be so forth coming and I walked away disheartened. I told her that I would come back later and did. But I decided to not buy the tickets, because apparently I could just show up in a couple of days and buy the tickets on the day of the event. Her over sharing will continue to affect sales until a manager catches it.

The comedy club sales person over shared. What could she have said instead? “Gosh, let me check, I might be able to get you some tickets. It’s very unusual to have this comic coming to our location. How many tickets would you like?” I would have bought the tickets instantly.

Remember that famous Beanie Baby craze of the 1980’s? It was all about urgency for stuffed toys. Yes, I am the proud owner of 100 Ty bears and still like them.

What are your senior living sales people saying? Is your independent living, assisted living, or skilled nursing sales people saying, “I have quite a few rooms to choose from…”? Cough, cough… You will never fill up with this language. Everyone wants something that they can’t have. There is such a thing as divulging too much information. If a family is given the opportunity to put off the decision to move, they will. Ninety-six percent of seniors end up staying in their own home and not moving. Why encourage them to stay home? How about creating a solution for their needs and offering them the perfect apartment in your senior living community?

Every apartment is unique in some respect, such as the floor plan, the view or where it is situated in the building. Create value for every single senior living apartment. Teach urgency and watch your occupancy rise. I go into a lot more detail in my book, “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.”

Senior living communities have heavy attrition these days, so it can take two or three more move-ins than move-outs to move up one percent in occupancy. It’s always nice to see the arrow sliding up to 100% full.

So have you encountered too much honesty like me? Do you think it is stupid?

Everyone of us knows at least one senior that needs to move now.  Here is a resource to help you or them make an informed decision.  Diane Twohy Masson’s new guide book for seniors, “Your Senior Housing Options,”  is available on Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  It reveals a proactive approach to navigating the complex maze of senior housing options. It will help you understand the costs and consequences of planning ahead or waiting too long.  Learn firsthand tips from someone who is currently advocating for three aging parents.

Among the thousands of seniors she and her teams have assisted in finding the right senior living community, the most difficult case has been helping her own parent. Masson spent two years exploring senior housing options with her mother before finding the ideal Continuing Care Retirement Community for her. After eight years in this independent living setting, she helped her mother transition into an assisted living community. Seven years later, even as a senior housing expert, Masson struggled with the decision to move her mother into a skilled nursing community.

More related articles by Diane can be found at  Tips2Seniors.com or like Tips 2 Seniors on Facebook.

Diane Twohy Masson has worked in senior housing since 1999. She is an award-winning certified aging services professional and the author of Senior Housing Marketing: How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full for senior living professionals.

How to Make Your Personal Sales Goals Multiply by 10!

How to Make Your Personal Sales Goals Multiply by 10!

Multiply Sales Goals By 10!

Multiply Sales Goals By 10!

Do you have a personal sales goal for 2014 in your head?  There are huge benefits if you write it down on a piece of paper.  According to a Harvard study and sales guru Brian Tracy, only 3% of people have written goals and these people accomplish 10 times as much.

If you want to accomplish 10 times as much this year, take 15 or 30 minutes to focus on your goals.  Do you want to hit the minimum move-in number required by your retirement organization?  Are you better than average?  What is realistic?  What is possible?

Writing down your goals is a key to accomplishing them, but what if you make it fun by animating your goals?  If your goals could stand up on your desk and dance around, what would they look like?  Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Cut out pictures from magazines and make a collage of your goals.
  • Draw a picture of your goals.
  • Turn a piece of clay or silly putty into your goal.
  • Write your goals with Crayola washable window markers or lipstick on your your bathroom mirror.
  • Make a short power point of your goals.

Whichever method you select, keep your goals visually front and center on a daily basis.  Speak them into existence and have a prosperous 2014.

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.  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 http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
Getting Ahead of the Curve of Senior Living Attrition

Getting Ahead of the Curve of Senior Living Attrition

Senior Housing MarketingEvery organization approaches goals a little differently.  Some senior living communities set sales and occupancy goals that are never achieved.   Each month and year the occupancy dips a little lower with constant resident attrition.  How do you get ahead of the curve?

Well, someone needs to create a sales and marketing strategic plan for your individual independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care or Continuing Care Retirement Community.  The plan needs to be implemented and every sales person and operational team member needs to be on board.  The focus should be on the simultaneous goals of serving the existing residents and increasing the occupancy with new move-ins.

There are twelve keys that I have developed to increase the occupancy of all types of senior housing.  Some keys can be implemented immediately for quick results and other keys are a process that can take some time to develop and execute.   The bottom line is these twelve keys work and it is my joy to reach 100% occupancy.  Here are the keys in a nutshell; the details are contained in my book called Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full:

Key 1 – Attitude toward Occupancy – Turn Your Change into Dollars

  • Occupancy-driven Marketing Reports that will Wow Your CFO

Key 2 – Quit Blabbing! Control the Flow of Information

  • Tip: Five Steps to Controlling the Flow of Information
  • Decreasing Apartment Availability
  • Create Urgency for the Wait List

Key 3 – Dare to Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition

  • Keep the Waiting List FULL through Branding

Key 4 – Do You Have Proactive or Reactive Marketing?

  • Effective Follow-Up Inquiry Goals
  • The Typical Behavior of the Average Prospective Resident
  • Follow Up – When and How Much?

Key 5 – Building Value for Your Community – Giving a Wow Experience!

  • “How much does an apartment cost?”
  • Let them push up the price point

Key 6 – Great Events can fill Your Building

  • What is the timing of an effective program?
  • Step-By-Step Event Planner Guidelines

Key 7 – Never Say to the Customer…

  • Use health services words that add value and differentiate you from the competition!

Key 8 – Selling to Personalities

  • Are you selling to their personality type—or yours?

Key 9 – Hard or Soft Closing?

  • Hot Buttons
  • Objections
  • Recognizing Buying Questions
  • Types of Closes
  • Make Urgency!

Key 10 – Internal Customers – no need to worry about them, right? Wrong!

Key 11 – Join the Twenty-first Century with your Website, E-mail Blasts, and Social Media

  • How can you save money building a website?
  • “I just don’t have time to be responsible for social media…”

Key 12 – Media Buying, Public Relations, and Community Relations with a Skinny Piggy Bank

  • Keeping the costs affordable in the marketing plan
  • The magic three to build attendance at an event

Please share your success, 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.
How Self-Image Can Effect Your Senior Living Occupancy

How Self-Image Can Effect Your Senior Living Occupancy

Self-Image Can Effect Your Senior Living OccupancyWhich type of self-image describes you or your senior living sales team members?

Low Self-Image

  • “I don’t have anyone interested in moving in.”
  • Sits in their office and complains about a lack of leads and has no energy.
  • They feel frustrated and think all the prospects walking in the door are poor quality.
  • When a senior says they are not ready yet, this senior living sales person believes them 100% and will put them at the bottom of the database.

Average Self-Image

  • “I have a few people interested in moving here.”
  • They have part time enthusiasm in the office.
  • This person has a desire to build relationships with prospective senior residents and nurture move-ins.
  • When a senior says they are not ready yet, they “kind of” believe them.

Great Self-Image

  • “I have a lot of great leads, they just need to come back to our retirement community a few more times and fall in love with the residents – then they will move in.”
  • Looks forward to each walk-in appointment or call in – as a possible quick move in.
  • Believes in themselves and sales ability to help anyone move in.
  • When a senior says they are not ready yet, they know the senior is just scared and continue nurturing the relationship to build trust.

As a manager, you can coach someone with an average self-image.   A sales person with a great self-image can be coached to be a super star in sales.  A senior living sales person with low self-image will not increase your occupancy.  Let them go…

Please share your success, failures or 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 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

A Simple Mind Shift to Increase the Senior Housing Occupancy

A Simple Mind Shift to Increase the Senior Housing Occupancy

A Simple Mind Shift to Increase the Senior Housing OccupancyOne of the most common mistakes in senior living sales is believing the potential senior resident when they say, “I’m not ready yet!”.  Please, please, please – don’t believe them.  When you hear those four common words, simply change them to “I am scared”.  It is so hard for a senior to give up their home of 30, 40 or 50 years and make a move.  Just the idea of packing up all of their worldly possessions can be overwhelming.

Be professional, reassuring and always ask them their timeline for making a move.  If they say they will move in a year, it will really be 6 months.  If they say 5 years, it’s really about 2 or 3 years.  You simply take the number they say and cut it in half, then you nurture that relationship with a touch every 3 months.  If you do this already – way to go!  Congratulations, because you are in the minority of senior living sales people.

Most senior living sales people, hear “I’m not ready yet” and bury that lead in their database.  In our world of instant gratification, sales people just want to grab the people who say, I am ready now.  Well guess what?  Those are only 20% of the sales, so if your occupancy is down – here is probably why!  80% of seniors need to be listened to, nurtured and coddled into moving in.

Increase your senior housing occupancy today with this simple mind shift!

Please share your success, failures or 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 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

13 Quick Tips to Increase the Occupancy by 3%!

13 Quick Tips to Increase the Occupancy by 3%!

  1. 13 Quick Tips in Senior LivingFocus on personal and team occupancy goals (visualize success).
  2. Expect the entire senior living sales team to have a good attitude.
  3. Treat every initial lead as hot until they cool off.
  4. Listen to prospective residents and solve their problems.
  5. Don’t listen when they say, “I am not ready yet.”
  6. Give a wow tour!
  7. Introduce prospective residents to multiple residents and staff.
  8. Always inquire about a senior’s timeline on making a move.
  9. Ask for the deposit – every time.
  10. Have fun.
  11. Represent a beautiful and clean retirement community.
  12. Call potential senior residents or their boomer children the next day after the tour.
  13. The sales team needs to believe and treat every walk-in or Internet lead as though they are ready to move in now!

Please share your success, failures or 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 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