Trying to Evaluate Senior Housing Internet Referral Choices?

Trying to Evaluate Senior Housing Internet Referral Choices?

Every one of us is so busy in senior living sales and marketing.  Some of you are pure sales and others are juggling marketing with sales.  With walk-ins, tours, and phone inquiries happening constantly, who has time to research Internet exposure and lead referral companies?  Maybe I can help…I have been looking into this for a few weeks and have learned a lot.

You can do “Pay for Click,” which means you buy high placement for key words that show up in a Google search.  Ever wonder how companies get in the colored box at the top of the screen with a Google search or have placement on the right hand side of your screen?  Every time someone clicks on that link, you pay, no matter what.  If someone is looking for a job, the phone number to your community to talk to a resident or simply click but have no interest, it can cost you 50 cents to $5.00 or more.  When I looked into it, there were almost 400 versions of the keywords independent living, senior living and senior housing.  The cost was going to be almost $1000 a month for a ten-mile radius.  Are you kidding me?   They had not even included key words such as assisted living, skilled nursing care or a Continuing Care Retirement Community yet!

Another easier choice for those of us in senior housing seems to be the Internet lead referral companies.  They buy all the clicks and key words, so they take all the risk.  Most of them have a live person talking to the inquiries, so by the time we get the lead at our community, we may have a viable person who is interested in our senior living community.

There are three main types of Internet lead referral companies:

  • Pay after a move-in
  • Pay-per-lead
  • Monthly subscription

The quality varies through my experience depending on which company you select and your type of senior housing.   There are pluses and minuses to all three choices.  The plus to paying after a move-in is, obviously, paying for performance only.  The minus is this can be the most expensive option with the cost generally being one month of rent.  Pay-per-lead companies charge between $35-$45 a lead.  The plus is that most of the companies have a person confirming which type of senior housing the prospect is interested in and making sure they understand it is private pay.  The down side is most of them have around a 2% conversion rate into a sale.  Monthly subscriptions can charge around $150 a month, so the cost is good, but they don’t have a live person filtering the leads, so you can receive a lot more garbage leads.

One benefit of all Internet referral companies is finding their sites in the paid search boxes on Google.  People searching online have hit key words regarding senior housing and start exploring their options through Internet referral sources.  You can add photos, videos, a description of your community, prices, floor plans and some Internet referral sources even link back to your website or your social media.

So what’s the purpose of adding Internet leads into your marketing mix?  More people are finding senior housing online than ever before and when someone is doing a search online – you want to be found.

Check back in a couple of weeks and I will be sharing which Internet lead referral companies I believe are the most effective and the best value for the money spent.

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: