What is EGG-STRA Special this week at your Retirement Community?

What is EGG-STRA Special this week at your Retirement Community?

EGG-STRA Special Retirement CommunityHas your Retirement Community done anything EGG-STRA special for your residents lately?  Well, please share!  If you posted a picture on your Facebook page, then share the link so we can go see it and LIKE your Facebook page.

Here is link to something EGG-STRA special The Village residents in Hemet enjoyed for Easter brunch.  Click on the link to see the photo.

Your turn to share…

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.
Surprise Visit to my Mom’s Skilled Nursing Care

Surprise Visit to my Mom’s Skilled Nursing Care

Surprise Visit to my Mom's Skilled NursingI can’t stop thinking about my surprise visit with my mom yesterday.  I arrived Sunday afternoon about 2:30 PM to Freedom Village Healthcare Center in California.  She was not in her usual places – where was she?  A caregiver said, “Oh, your mom is down in the activity room.”  I said to my husband Chris, “We really need to pay more attention to the activity calendar, so we don’t visit during those times.  I want her to enjoy all the social times and I can visit her when nothing else is going on.”

We happened upon the activity calendar and all the activities were done for the day.  So what was she doing?  As we turned the corner, we saw my mom’s beaming face.  She was playing bingo.  The caregiver smiled at me and said, “Oh, do you want to take your mom?”  I said, “Absolutely not, let her enjoy herself.”  It was great to see pure joy – when she said, “Bingo!”

What was interesting to me was her interacting with the other residents and helping them play too.  My mom has severe vascular dementia.  When she speaks it is about 70% non-reality.  What a great activity to really stimulate her brain.  The caregiver said to me, “We decided to put on a bingo game for them, they like it and it gives them something to do.”

Well, bless those two caregivers who created an unscheduled resident activity to help with the resident’s quality of life.  This was a huge “Wow” for me and I can’t stop thinking about how happy my mom was.  For those of you who follow my blog, I moved my mom 1000 miles to be near me about three months ago.  This was the best day of my mom’s life here in California.

After each resident said bingo, the caregiver would call the resident by name and say, “You won a cookie.”  No cookies appeared.  I thought to myself, well the residents have dementia – they won’t remember the cookie promise.  To my utter surprise – cookies appeared at the end of the last game.  One cookie for each resident.  When the caregiver was handing out the last cookie, the resident said, “I don’t get one – I didn’t win.”  The caregiver said, “That’s okay, you are a winner for even being here.”  There are tears in my eyes writing this, because these staff went above and beyond!

As the afternoon progressed – my mom continued being animated and talking nonstop.  It did not matter that 60% was non-reality.  She was having a great time and I loved spending quality time with her.  Some people think people with dementia have nothing to offer in life, well, they are 100% wrong.

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 Do You Pamper Your New Move-Ins?

How Do You Pamper Your New Move-Ins?

Treating Seniors Like RoyaltyDo you treat them like royalty?  Yesterday at Disney World they introduced the 11th princess, Merida (from Brave), and you know what they did?  All the other princesses came out to meet her and make her feel welcome publicly.

Some of you work in rental communities, where senior residents can give a 30 days notice at the drop of a hat –- if they are not happy.  Those of you with entrance fee Continuing Care Retirement Communities typically have a 90-day 100% refund – if the resident is not satisfied.

Recently, I have seen seniors moving from one senior living community to another, because the resident had poor transportation service, bad hamburgers or care promises not kept.  Seriously??!!??  Why aren’t senior living providers working harder to keep their clients?

Remember the first day of high school?  Walking into the cafeteria for the first time and wondering who to sit with or who would accept you?  Residents can feel the same way, when they move to a new senior housing community.  This fear can easily be off set by arranging dinners with different resident hosts for the first week.

How are you rolling out the red carpet at your retirement community for new residents?

Do you have someone dedicated to greeting new move-ins?  Are other residents reaching out to them and showing them the ropes on how to order in the dining room or the other little nuances of your community?  How are new move-ins integrating with the other residents?  Is there a focus on treating the new residents like royalty?  Do your maintenance, housekeeping and dining service teams all reach out with special services on the first day?  If not, they should be…

What do you do to pamper your new move-ins?

Please 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 Seniors For Living and 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

Deciding To Use Incentives Or Not In Senior Living?

Deciding To Use Incentives Or Not In Senior Living?

Incentives in Senior HousingWhat Is The Best Incentive You Have Ever Given In Senior Living?

Discounting can be the owner’s operational nightmare and the sales persons best friend.  Incentives cost the company money and affect the bottom line.  Just giving away one month of rent can cost $2000 – $6000 depending on the retirement community.  Yet, empty apartments are losing revenue month-after-month.  Should you or should you not use incentives?

I believe that incentives can permanently ruin some sales people.  Some sales people can ONLY sell apartments with incentives.  When the gravy train stops they don’t know how to just simply sell an apartment at regular price to a senior.  Seriously?!?  In my opinion, this is right up there with someone who is simply an order taker in senior living.

The benefit of incentives is bumping up the occupancy to get ahead of the move outs in a very short period of time.  Every senior living community has to look at their financials and determine what is best for them.  If you have more two-bedrooms than one-bedrooms, an incentive on two-bedrooms can create balance again in your inventory.  It is a funny thing in our industry – how every five years the surplus of a certain size apartment switches.  Right now everyone seems to want a one bedroom…

Here are some common assisted living and independent living incentives:

  • One free month
  • The fourth month free
  • No move in fee or a discount on the community fee
  • A free TV
  • A moving or downsizing allowance

Continuing Care Retirement Communities can use the same or different incentives:

  • 90 – 100% Returnable entrance fees
  • A percentage off future healthcare
  • Paying for the move completely
  • Discounting apartments that are the farthest walk from the dining room
  • A discount off the entrance fee if a prospect commits to moving in within a short period of time

Do you use incentives?  Which ones?  Which incentive in your career resulted in the biggest flurry of sales for your retirement community?  My favorite incentive of all time was a 100% returnable entrance fee at a new community that I opened.  It worked like a charm!  Within months, 70% of the building was spoken for, so we could start construction.

Please 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 Seniors For Living and 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

6 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Senior Housing Co-workers To Lunch

6 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Senior Housing Co-workers To Lunch

Senior Housing Co-worker LunchAre you so busy selling at work, that you thank a co-worker for their help as you race down the hall to your next appointment?  Sales and marketing in senior housing cannot exist without operational support.  To pull off a fantastic event, it takes great dining services, housekeeping and maintenance teams.  Often the activity department is helping out too.

When moving residents into an apartment, it’s a collaborative effort between sales, maintenance and housekeeping.  Once the resident moves into their new home at your retirement community, it takes the integration of the dining and activities team to help the senior feel settled.  Take a moment to slow down and invite a few key department heads to lunch this week.

6 Tips when you take your senior housing co-workers to lunch:

  1. Appreciate how each department wants the senior residents to have a great life.  Ultimately, all the department heads love the residents and want to do a great job serving them.
  2. Explain how sales and marketing appreciates the other departments. Share a few stories of how residents have shared with sales and marketing about how they have been helped by maintenance staff, housekeeping or had an incredible dining experience…
  3. Develop a deeper working relationship.  Your lunch will create a shared experience.  Ask – what are their biggest challenges now?  Share what marketing challenges have happened recently and how many calls or appointments you do on weekly or monthly basis.  (They may think you just sit in your office and chat with people on the phone or in person.  How hard can that be?)
  4. Solve an on-going challenge without being in someone’s office or “territory.”  For example: Every community could use better collaboration and communication in regards to apartment renovations.
  5. Take a moment to laugh.  Show that sales and marketing is human and wants to enjoy the journey with them!
  6. Pick up the check and say thank you again!   The other department heads will love you and feel appreciated.

How does your maintenance, housekeeping and sales teams coordinate to have the apartments ready for a move-ins?  Are you organized enough to have 50 or 100 move-ins this year?  Figure out how to improve as a senior community team over lunch.  My meeting is scheduled for Monday…

Please 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 Seniors For Living and 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

Give Your Residents a Hug Today – Happy Holidays!

Give Your Residents a Hug Today – Happy Holidays!

Give your resident a hug today!The smiles and tears were so joyful to see!  My entire senior living marketing staff presented a small beautifully wrapped Christmas tin (with chocolate inside) to each resident ambassador who helped marketing in the last year!  Maybe they gave a tour on a weekend, had lunch with a prospective resident, helped new residents feel welcome, spoke at a marketing event or allowed marketing to show their home.

As we gave each gift, we EACH said thank you and gave them a hug!  The residents loved it and were just blown away!  They each had five hugs!

It is not too late for your senior living community to do this!  Show your appreciation to your resident ambassadors this week with a New Year’s gift…it only cost $3.00 per resident.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com.  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@marketing2seniors.net.  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: www.marketing2seniors.net Blog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/