When it comes to finding new residents to live in your senior living community, it can be difficult to know where to look for them. There are many ways to approach building up your occupancy and increasing the cash flow for your senior living operation. Here are four tips to help you acquire new residents for your senior living community.
You Need to Know Your Product
While you might think you are selling a place to live for your senior living residents, you are really selling them a lifestyle. You need to get clear on that lifestyle and understand what it is that your potential residents are looking for in a senior living community. You can get better acquainted with your product and service by talking to your current residents and asking them what they like about their current living situation and what they would like to see more of, or what they want to see improved.
You can also reach out to the families of your senior living residents and ask them the same questions. It’s essential to have an in-depth understanding of your product, and one of the biggest mistakes people make in senior living sales and marketing is that they underestimate their product. They assume they know what senior living is and what it means to those outside of their organization, but it is your job to make sure people have a clear picture of what your senior living operation is all about beyond shelter and food.
If you like this article so far please share to Facebook and LinkedIn
Build Relationships with Prospects
It is important for senior living operators to understand that it is a lengthy and often complicated decision for seniors and their families to make when they are deciding on a senior living community that is right for them. Your mission as the sales and marketing person is to be there every step of the way to make the potential residents and their families feel comfortable and confident in their decision-making process.
Putting everyone at ease is not going to happen the first time you meet a prospective resident. Senior living communities are built on trust and compassion, service and integrity, and people won’t be able to judge your level of commitment during an initial meeting. You’ll want to work hard to keep the relationship alive by providing them with follow-up phone calls, emails, and informational packets to answer any questions and provide them a high level of comfort.
Roy Barker of Moore Diversified Services and seniorlivingsalesandmarketing.com knows that building relationships takes time and he works with senior living communities to show them how to cultivate that trust and build those relationships right from the start.
Consistent Message for Your Brand and Community
Mixed messages can kill an organization quickly. If a potential client phones your senior living community and talks to one person and then phones back and gets a different answer from a different person, this can create a level of discomfort that may be difficult to overcome.
Starbucks is famous for their branding, and they have made it imperative in their brand that every single person in the company walks the walk and talks the talk to shine the best light on the company and its brand. You want your senior living community to be the community of choice because of the care and compassion, integrity and commitment are evident throughout your entire organization. From the top down, everyone needs to know what the community is all about and what the goals of the organization are so they can work in concert to help make those goals a reality.
Don’t overlook the people working behind the scenes to help you bring your brand to life: housekeeping staff, cooks, waitstaff, receptionists, and other workers can help you bring your senior living community to a place where the brand and community are known for being the best. You can’t buy a reputation like that; it has to be created and earned.
A common mistake amongst assisted living communities is that they stop trying to “sell” their residents on their services. They assume that once a resident has moved into their senior living community that the work is over when in reality, it has just begun. There is nothing stopping that resident from wanting to up and leave if they find that your community is not delivering on its promises.
You need to deliver on what you promise continually, and Roy Barker knows what it takes to get and keep residents happy and healthy in their new home. Going out of your way to check in on residents, ensuring staff is working with everyone’s best interest in mind, and being consistent with your follow-up on residents will make them feel like you care and they have made a good choice.
Staying connected, setting expectations, delivering on those expectations, and getting clear about your product are all ways you can grow your occupancy over time. While you might not “make the sale” the first go around, you will be building your reputation as a senior living community that goes the extra mile and cares about the work it is doing. Potential residents and their families will come to trust and recognize your brand because of your consistency, and that will result in a more significant influx of residents for your senior living community over time.