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 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

Your Marketing Reputation – Implications and Promises

Your Marketing Reputation – Implications and Promises

Reputations in Senior LivingDo you and your retirement community’s reputation align?  I love it when I hire a senior living sales person and they say, “I want to make sure this community will deliver what I promise to the customer.”  Then they may go on to share a horror story of a previous senior living provider and how this was not the case.  It’s hard to imagine these sad stories and how seniors can be mistreated.

In today’s world of social media, blog posts and online commenting – operations at senior living organizations have to work hard to maintain an excellent reputation.  Around 97% of a retirement community’s employees are operations (taking care of the residents) and 3% are the friendly faces to increase the occupancy.  Sales and marketing represent the good faith promise of taking care of a senior or someone’s parent in a compassionate, respectful and timely fashion.

I believe longevity of staff plays a key role in providing consistent quality care and services in independent living and Continuing Care Retirement Communities settings.  A well run operational team is even more important in the higher levels of care like assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care where the senior residents are most vulnerable.

Does the right hand always know what the left hand is doing?

Executive directors (E.D.) and administrators can be the glue that connects operations and sales.  An excellent operations team is a key to enjoying a great reputation of quality care with local hospitals and doctors.  Residents and guests will always speak out about the food quality; this can make or break new sales.  A great E.D. will have operations focus on sales and marketing.  This includes excellent customer service for all senior residents and guests (in every department).  On the other side of the coin, sales and marketing need to accurately represent what the community really provides (don’t promise more than what can be delivered with your licensing).

It’s easy to spot the good quality teams!  Just walk down the hall of any retirement community and see the faces of the employees.  Smiles and happy dispositions indicate that they enjoy their work and have a team spirit.   Sour faces already speak negatively to the quality of care provided for the residents.

I hope you and your retirement community enjoy a good reputation…

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