Or is it easier to say, “I am too busy!” And you work through lunch again?
Burnt out employees in senior living can become cranky and irritable. It can affect the quality of service to senior residents. The grouchiness can wash into home life too.
Do yourself a favor and invest in yourself and your team.
Start a new book review with your senior living sales or operations team. Read one chapter a week or two chapters a month. Select a book and have each person apply the principles in each chapter to his or her senior living position.
One of my teams is reading, “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full.” Its focus is written for retirement communities, but the principles can easily be converted to assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care communities. Feedback from teams on a nationwide basis has insisted this book has helped their occupancy grow.
My sales teams are currently reading, “How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling,” and, “The Greatest Salesman in the World.” “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” book has you read a scroll three times a day for one month before you move onto the subsequent scroll with the next principle. This is the third time in my life reading this book daily for 10 months. Each time it changed my life in a positive significant way.
Start growing yourself and your team! Watch your attitude soar! The occupancy will follow in an upward direction. It is guaranteed!
Diane Masson has worked in senior housing for 18 years and is the regional marketing director for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern CA (Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet). Her first book “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” is being utilized by senior housing professionals across the country. Both her first book and second book, “Your Senior Housing Options,” have 5-star ratings on Amazon.com.
“Your Senior Housing Options” Available Now!
“Your Senior Housing Options” is available now on Amazon.com.
As we age, it’s never easy to face the prospect of what to do when we need living assistance. But the reality is that two-thirds of today’s seniors will eventually need long-term care, with 20 percent needing it for longer than five years. If you are a retirement-age baby boomer or senior, don’t wait for a health crisis to occur. You owe it to yourself—and your family—to plan for the future today.
Although we’ve all heard horror stories, great facilities where residents are treated like gold are out there. How do you find them? You have to do your homework, ask the right questions, and look beyond the superficial to find what’s right for you.
With experience as both an industry expert and a loving daughter, Diane Twohy Masson is passionate about helping seniors find the retirement community that fits their price range, lifestyle, and needs. This brand new guidebook offers a proactive approach to navigating the complex maze of senior housing options. It will help you understand the costs and consequences of the various possibilities including home care, independent living, assisted living, group homes, memory care, and skilled nursing care facilities.
Order a copy of this valuable new resource by clicking HERE.
A valuable source of information by someone who works in the trenches. Whether you or a loved one are currently facing challenges, or if you simply want to be prepared for what you may face in the future, this provides the necessary tools. Knowledge is power.
Steve Fairfax, Currently helping my neighbor who has dementia
Diane answers questions most of us have not even thought of but desperately need to know. You will find valuable insight into the later years of life.
Dr. Jim Gwinn, Former President, CRISTA Ministries
As accountants, we can crunch the numbers. But Diane has outlined many issues we would never know, but which clearly need to be considered. This is an important resource in understanding key senior living issues.
Craig Huish, CPA, Waterfront CPA Group
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.
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 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.
For more information, visit: www.tips2eniors.com or follow Tips 2 Seniors on Facebook.
Every 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
- 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.
Occupancy is down, the pressure is up and your retirement counselor or marketing director is not performing like they used to… The economy and the presidential election are just excuses for low occupancy.
The first thing is to check the sales person attitude. Do they smile as they exit their office on the way to meet a walk-in tour? Can you observe their enthusiasm as they show a prospective resident the retirement community? When you walk by their office, can you hear animation and passion in their voice as they explain the community and invite someone to come visit?
If the answer is no to any of the above, I suggest that you actually accompany them on a real tour. Find out exactly what is going on… During the tour be a silent rock and don’t interject at all. Even if you see or hear mistakes, just take notes… If you interrupt, the sales person will lose their flow, become more nervous and you won’t get a true picture of a tour from start to finish. The opening of a conversation is just as important as the close at the completion.
Did they steer the customer toward making a decision? Were they listening more than they talked? Did they find out what prompted the visit to your community? How was the warm up and discovery? Could you say it was conversational? At what point did they ask the prospective resident or family member how they felt about their current situation or being at the community? Ultimately, did the prospect open up?
Was the tour tailored to the customer’s desire or needs? When pricing and costs came up, did they build value for the senior living community first? Did the sales person introduce the guests to department heads, other staff and residents?
At the end, did the sales person steer them into sitting down one more time to answer any remaining questions? Did they solve the customer’s problem? Is your community a better choice than living in his or her own home? The most important question to ask is – what their time frame is for wanting to make a move! If the time frame was less than three months, did they ask for the deposit for that “one of a kind” apartment they really liked? If you are a Continuing Care Retirement Community, did they build urgency for the wait list? Was a plan made for them to come back again to have another meal, bring another family member or attend an event?
After the customer goes home, walk through your observations with the sales person. Remember to share something positive first, then any negatives and always end on a positive note. If it was a great tour, maybe you just don’t have enough walk-ins and leads in your database. If the tour was terrible, maybe you need to let them go. If the tour was mediocre, maybe you want to invest in some sales training or mandate that they start reading a senior living book that can help them improve in all areas of the sales process.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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/
Does your team need to recharge their enthusiasm? Has the marketing team gotten off track? Do you need to sharpen your sales techniques?
Try a weekly marketing book review. Whether your senior living team is one sales person and the executive director or your team consists of three to six marketing people, it’s time to get the creative juices flowing again! If a sales team is not learning and growing, it becomes complacent and stagnant.
First, select a book to review. There are lots of great choices out there. Look around on Amazon.com, ask your sales people for ideas or get suggestions at senior housing conferences. My marketing teams are currently reading “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” by Diane Twohy Masson. (Yes, this is my book.) We have completed four chapters in five weeks. Our next book review conference call is chapter five scheduled for Tuesday.
It has been wonderful to watch the teams grow together. Participants include entrance fee sales people for independent living in Continuing Care Retirement Communities, assisted living marketers and skilled nursing admissions. They come from five areas and as the weeks progress the team members feel freer to share what has worked or has not worked in their area and other team members benefit from their experience.
We have had some great discussions including how many calls (in the existing database) it takes to get X amount of tours or people coming to the community for events. Best practice numbers for one team member were 157 voice-to-voice calls in 3 weeks, which resulted in 23 families coming into view the community. These are great numbers and after the call, other team members started asking for help on how to do this themselves. It seemed to bring out a natural – healthy – competiveness amongst the team.
Everyone starts thinking team and has a better understanding of the goals, because they are discussed at the weekly book review meeting (if you have multiple teams – do a conference call). Executive directors, regional marketing directors and directors of sales and marketing in senior housing often assume that everyone on the team knows the goals. Maybe they do or maybe they don’t. Why not review the goals weekly during your team book review? The number one goal is to have 100% occupancy, but what do they need to do this day or week in order to hit that goal this month or this year? Break it down for them and be their coach and mentor during the book review…try it… it works like a charm!
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 email@example.com. 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/
Is this you? Is this your senior living sales person? Unless you have 10 to 15 tours a week, you have time to make follow up phone calls. Some people share this song and dance with only having one or two tours for the week – really? Come on…what are you really doing?
A legitimize excuse, for not making calls, would be having five move-ins for the week! That’s a lot of paperwork! If you were organizing a health fair with twenty venders to generate more leads – would also be worthy of a pass.
Time management is a beautiful thing and not everyone has this gift. Sales people need coaching, goals and daily targets to achieve. Break it down, to connecting with 15 people in a day. Recent averages for my successful sales people would be about 30 phone calls in a day to achieve 15 voice-to-voice contacts (this can include call-ins, but mostly call-outs). Out of the 15 voice contacts, they averaged scheduling 3 to 6 appointments per day for prospective residents to come to the community. Two people, who were called in one day, were actually interested in moving in soon. One person said, “The timing of your call was perfect, it’s time that I move into a retirement community.”
Phone calling success in senior housing includes inviting them to exciting events at the community, which you should have on at least a monthly basis. Chapter six in my book Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full is Great Events Can Fill Your Building.
An almost imperceptible time drain can include taking too much time talking to residents and/or helping residents. We love them so much and it’s so much easier to shoot the breeze with residents instead of hearing another “no” on the telephone from our database. Our residents deserve dignity and respect. But let’s look at all the employees at your senior living community… 97% or more of the employees are hired to take care of the residents. Less than 3% handle the marketing to fill the building. Marketers should redirect the resident to the 97% or more of the operational employees who are being paid to serve them. I believe in the two-minute rule, any resident can have one to two minutes and then say, “I would love to talk longer, but I have a phone call, meeting or tour that I need to do,” (whatever is really true).
The bottom line is that proactive marketers make follow up phone calls the next day after a tour and on a regular basis communicate with their database. Start increasing your occupancy today…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.netBlog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/