Are Your Senior Living Prospects Dying?

Are Your Senior Living Prospects Dying?

129413596436283875Morgue.svg.medSenior living sales people fall into two different categories:

  • Proactive
  • Reactive

Proactive sales people in senior housing call their database  – the hot ones, the warm ones and yes even the older cold leads.  Reaching out and touching a senior every three to four months can fill your building.

Did you know that a senior’s life can change dramatically every six months?  It’s true.  They may have just been diagnosed with a degenerate disease like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes or some type of cancer.  Suddenly they realize that they are vulnerable and may need to live in a more supportive environment in the immediate future.

A senior who once told you it would be at least five years until they move, can suddenly turn into a one month move-in.  For those of you that call your database regularly, your phone call will spur the prospect into moving to your community sooner.  For those of you that don’t call your database, you are missing out.  That prospect will move somewhere and the community who advertises to them first will probably get the business.

Anyone who has been in this business for any length of time has had a prospective resident die.  It sucks and you feel horrible for them.  Congratulations, you know they died, because you are a proactive sales person.

Yesterday, one of my retirement counselors shared that his hottest prospect, he toured last week, had died.  He found out after he called and left a message.  The woman’s son called him back to say his mom had passed away.  The good news was by the end of that same day the retirement counselor had holds for two other apartments.  They are putting deposits down next week.   Your occupancy can increase with phone calls period.  Do you know if your prospects are dying?

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.

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No hot leads?  Seriously?!!?

No hot leads? Seriously?!!?

Hot LeadsAre hot leads attitude or reality?  I say attitude!  Some senior living sales people expect a prospective resident to walk in and say, “I have my house on the market and I’m ready to move into your retirement community.”  How often does this happen?  It could happen 20% of the time.  This means 80% of the time, a sales person needs to build a relationship, document it in the database and do the dreaded follow up phone calls.  Oh yeah, it’s called work.  If it was easy selling senior living, retirement counselors would be paid minimum wage.

With proper nurturing, over time, a cool lead can become warm and a warm lead can become hot!

Too many senior living sales people say they don’t have any hot leads.  Yet, if you were a little mouse on their shoulder, while they met with a senior….  This is what you might hear the prospective senior resident say, “I’m not ready yet (NRY).”

In sales they say, don’t listen to the first no.  Well I say, don’t listen to the first 10 NRY!  The senior can still be a hot lead (ready to move in a few months)!

NRY simply translated means I am scared.   It’s hard for a senior to give up their home of 30, 40 or 50 years and move.  It’s a lot of work.  The more time they spend at your retirement community the better.  They will fall in love with your residents.  Then the senior can decide they will gain more by moving into your retirement community, than what they are giving up.

The mindset of the sales person dictates how many hot leads they have.    Believe – truly believe the seniors are ready to move in sooner than what the prospective resident actually says to you.  Typically just cut the time frame a senior says in half.

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 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

Misclassifying Leads Can Decrease Move Ins

Misclassifying Leads Can Decrease Move Ins

Misclassifying Senior Living SalesAfter the initial tour are you or your senior living sales people classifying the lead correctly in your database and following up with the prospective resident appropriately?

What is your retirement community’s definition of a hot lead?

Many senior housing professionals only classify a lead as HOT if:

  1. The senior says they want to move someplace right away.
  2. They tell you their home is on the market.
  3. The adult child says their mom or dad is in the hospital and can’t move back home.

Here are some more lead situations that I would classify as hot (Even if they say – “I AM NOT READY YET!”):

  1. The senior is considering putting their home on the market.
  2. Someone wondering how long they should continue living in their home.
  3. Telling you they are about a year away, but also saying it has been difficult managing in a two story home.
  4. My spouse has just been diagnosed with…

Prospects don’t jump up and down and say I am an easy sale.  Senior Living Sales is an art and it’s up to us to read between the lines.  If someone comes to see you in person, they should be a warm or hot lead until they clearly indicate they are not.  They walked into your senior living community for a reason…

Post-analyze their situation in the quiet of your office.  This can help you strategize how you can help move someone forward the next time you talk to them.  Some sales people (particularly green sales people) can benefit from strategizing with their boss to determine the next course of action with a prospective resident.

Can anyone share how they read between the lines, helped a senior solve their problem and it resulted in a move in?

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

A Short Fun Senior Living Sales New Year’s Poem

A Short Fun Senior Living Sales New Year’s Poem

Is it time to grow your retirement community’s census,

Or just entertain the residents and be festive?

It takes sales stamina and focus,

To accept some sales no’s with no fuss.

Give your determination a sense of finality,

To rise above “the get by” mentality.

Keep calling the database,

Don’t pause on the hot lead chase.

Because seniors just need some education,

To deter each and every objection.

Ultimately, your senior living community will win,

Because making a great sales commission is not a sin!

It’s your choice to be a senior housing hero!

Let the competition end up with a big fat zero!

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/