One of the most common mistakes in senior living sales is believing the potential senior resident when they say, “I’m not ready yet!”. Please, please, please – don’t believe them. When you hear those four common words, simply change them to “I am scared”. It is so hard for a senior to give up their home of 30, 40 or 50 years and make a move. Just the idea of packing up all of their worldly possessions can be overwhelming.
Be professional, reassuring and always ask them their timeline for making a move. If they say they will move in a year, it will really be 6 months. If they say 5 years, it’s really about 2 or 3 years. You simply take the number they say and cut it in half, then you nurture that relationship with a touch every 3 months. If you do this already – way to go! Congratulations, because you are in the minority of senior living sales people.
Most senior living sales people, hear “I’m not ready yet” and bury that lead in their database. In our world of instant gratification, sales people just want to grab the people who say, I am ready now. Well guess what? Those are only 20% of the sales, so if your occupancy is down – here is probably why! 80% of seniors need to be listened to, nurtured and coddled into moving in.
Increase your senior housing occupancy today with this simple mind shift!
Please share your success, failures or 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.netBlog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/
After working in senior housing for 13 years, I thought the majority of skilled nursing communities had broken the mold of institutionalized care from the past. After recently touring three skilled nursing communities in one day for my mom, I have changed my mind. The old skilled nursing concept of institutionalized seniors that helplessly live boring lives of eating, bathing and sleeping – still seems to exist. The admission folks did not paint a picture of any type of lifestyle such as: music to lift spirits, social activities to engage the mind or fellowship with other residents, volunteers or staff… I was shocked and discouraged. So in my examples, I have to call them facilities and not communities.
The first facility offered to show me their only available bed. It was down a dark hallway with no natural light. The available bed was the middle bed of three-bed ward. Almost everyone was in bed at 2 PM in the afternoon with the curtains shut. Everyone else was in a wheel chair. The dining room had no chairs. There were institutional lifts and medical carts in the hallway. This tour guide did not mention how my mom could enjoy anything! She did not offer an activity program or talk about the quality of care. All she said was, “You will be lucky to get a bed and take it when it comes available.” I had to ask to see the dining room and had to request an activity program and menu.
The second facility had a slightly friendlier admission person. This person showed us an available bed and then proceeded to talk about the majority of residents wearing diapers. He actually said, “Don’t worry that the two-bed rooms only have one bathroom, most residents don’t use them – because they wear diapers.” What??? Are you kidding me? Why would you tell us this? Then we were shown the dining room with an activity happening – a funeral. We were told they had a monthly funeral for all the residents that were gone. Wow, that sounds like a depressing activity to look forward to every month. I thought he would follow up by talking about some vibrant activity, but he did not. He did not talk about the lifestyle my mom could enjoy, how they keep residents engaged or the quality of the care that my mom could enjoy. I had to request an activity program and menu.
The third facility had the most unwelcoming receptionist. I said, “Hi, can we have a tour?” She said, “Oh, you want a tour?” (In a very bored voice, like maybe we would not want a tour). I said, “Yes, is a tour possible?” She said, “Well — Mary can help you with that, she’s in that room.” She pointed us toward a doorway, so we had to approach the room… They did not accept Medicaid, even though several websites said they did – so no tour was offered.
Several years ago, my sales and marketing office was located in a skilled nursing community. Some residents were very ill, but others led lives with hope and purpose through wonderful activities. I personally saw the joy and loved the ice cream cones served by volunteers every Friday afternoon. The admissions person was a lovely woman who painted the picture of living the best quality of life that someone could with the best possible care.
So my number one question, after touring three skilled nursing facilities, is do skilled nursing communities currently describe lifestyle for incoming long-term care residents? Thank goodness we were not in rush to place my mom immediately, since she is safely in an assisted living community.
Diane Twohy Masson’s top 10 ways to discuss lifestyle for long-term care residents in the skilled care nursing admissions process will be coming in part 2.
Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com. For volume discount pricing or to inquire on Diane’s availability to coach and/or train your senior living marketing team (CCRC, independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care) – please call: 206-853-6655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information: Twitter: @market2seniors Blog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/ Web: www.marketing2seniors.net
I say, “Bah, humbug.” Anytime can be a great time to sell senior housing, if you BELIEVE. It’s all about attitude!
When family members get together during the holidays, this is when they might notice that mom or dad has really slowed down. A son or daughter might look around and see the dust bunnies collecting in the corner, the pie doesn’t quite taste the same or a parent keeps repeating himself or herself.
The siblings might say, “What do we do now, mom and dad should not be on their own anymore?” A son may have flown in from across the country and only be in town for the week. They may call your assisted living or memory care community and hope that someone will direct them through this transition, so they can secure their parent before they leave in five days.
Will your marketer be the compassionate educator and create an immediate solution to this adult child’s dilemma? Or will negative Nellie say, “No one wants to move during the holidays!” I know a senior living marketer who prides himself on 48-hour move-ins. This can be one of the best times of the year to fill the building, if you BELIEVE.
Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available for sale at Amazon.com. For volume discount pricing or to inquire on Diane’s availability to coach and/or train your senior living marketing team – please contact Diane Twohy Masson directly at 206-853-6655 or email email@example.com. Diane Twohy Masson is a seasoned senior living marketing coach with most recent experience as Corporate Director of Sales for 14 retirement communities in Washington, Utah and California. For more information: Web: www.marketing2seniors.net Blog: http://marketing2seniors.net/blog/ Twitter: @market2seniors
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Diane Twohy Masson is a seasoned senior living marketing coach with most recent experience as Corporate Director of Sales for 14 retirement communities in Washington, Utah and California. For the holiday special, volume discount pricing or to inquire on Diane’s availability to coach or train your senior living marketing team – please contact Diane Twohy Masson directly at 206-853-6655 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full is also available for sale at Amazon.com for $39.95.
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