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.
1) A great Olympic attitude – every single day! The attitude of a senior living sales person can literally increase or decrease your occupancy. Every gold medalist Olympian has an amazing story of adversity that they overcame with a great attitude. Some of the new Olympians even gave up on their sport for a year or more and then came back to win with a positive team spirit and an amazing coach! Does the senior living sales coach at your organization have a winning attitude that is contagious to the team? Can you feel the energy in the office and at your retirement community marketing events?
2) Believing like an Olympian in the community with 100% conviction! If the targeted occupancy goal is 95 percent at your assisted living and you are running at 90 percent, 85 percent, or less, how can you function under this pressure? How can you keep this stressor out of your interactions with the customer? Are you Unbelieving Ursula—wringing your hands and scratching your head? Or are you Believing Betty—charming prospects by painting a pretty picture of their potential lifestyle in your amazing community?
3) Having the work ethic of an Olympian! Move-ins don’t happen without follow up calls and tours period. Are you personal texting and chatting with residents or making 15 to 20 calls a day – EVERY DAY! This will result in a minimum of 5 tours a week! With enough potential residents walking in the door of your Continuing Care Retirement Community, it’s just a matter of them recognizing that your community is the best! Olympic senior living sales people ALWAYS ask for the deposit at every single appointment!
4) Emulating a selfless attitude like an Olympian! One hundred percent of the marketing team’s focus should be listening to customers and understanding their needs. This information is helpful in customizing your retirement community’s features and services to satisfy those needs. There’s no greater fulfillment in life than to help other people improve their lives. If you bring this attitude to every appointment, and there are enough people walking through your doors, occupancy will take care of itself. Many sales people believe their work is more than a job. They consider it a social service or a ministry. These folks are making a difference in the world, building one relationship at a time. Are you this type of senior housing marketer?
Your prospective customers will feel your Olympic attitude and passion. This alone will intrigue them and keep communication progressing with strength. They know intuitively if you are looking out for their best interests or merely want to fill the building for a commission. Your verbal and nonverbal communication in a customer meeting says it all. If you’re listening 100 percent, you don’t have time to talk about yourself. Every word that comes out of your mouth will be for the prospective resident’s benefit.
Please share how you or your senior living team is performing to a gold medal standard of excellence!
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/