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INBOUND MARKETING

What is Inbound Marketing? And Do I Need It? [Webinar]

Inbound marketing is the tool used to meet today’s customer where they spend most of their time – on the internet. Inbound marketing is all about attracting prospects through relevant and helpful content. It allows senior living communities to add value at every stage in your prospective resident’s journey. It pulls together content marketing, blogs, events, SEO, social media and more to attract prospects to your website.

 

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Senior Living Websites: Why Do a Website Audit?

My dad would always tell me, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And when it came to my 1979 beat up Dodge Aspen, his advice made perfect sense. But when it comes to your senior living website, you must anticipate the broken bits (ideally, before they happen or just as they’re happening) so you can nip them in the proverbial bud.

How?

By conducting regular website audits.

Why do a website audit? Here are three reasons why you need to make this a part of your ongoing web marketing strategy:

1. Improved website performance will lead to better user experience (and happier users make for happier leads/customers).

Even your website needs a yearly physical to see how the systems are running. A website audit will help you determine your website’s technical performance. Think framework and infrastructure, page speed/load time, and navigation—all of which affects the user experience (UX). When auditing your site, pay close attention to the following:

  • Is your website mobile-friendly? According to @similiarweb, mobile drives 56% of all traffic.
  • Is your website error free? Dead ends and broken links can be frustrating to the user.
  • Is your page size below 9.5 mb? The heavier the site page, the slower the load time.
  • Do your web pages load within three seconds? Any slower and visitors will abandon your site, reducing conversions and sales.

2. Enhancing your search engine optimization (SEO) means your site stands a better chance of coming up in organic searches.

By conducting an SEO site checkup, you’ll be able to identify any missed SEO opportunities and remedy any mistakes.

  • Does your website have XML sitemap files? This tells Google and other search engines what pages on your site you want crawled and indexed.
  • Do you have a title tag and how long is it? The title tag is an HTML title that is used to briefly and accurately describe the topic and theme of an online listing. Your title tag should be no longer than 65 characters in length.
  • Are your page titles optimized? Remember, 60% of all organic clicks go to the top three organic search results. Optimize your page titles and use a compelling meta description to get off on the right foot.
  • Are you reviewing your keywords? Look at your keyword performance. Find out which keywords are giving you the biggest gains in traffic and leads and make sure you are adding relevant content to your website that targets those keywords.

3. Reviewing and tweaking conversion paths will help you boost overall visitor-to-leads and leads-to-customers.

A website audit enables you to re-evaluate your lead generation and conversion funnels.

  • Are you providing high quality content on your website that provides value to your prospects? Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic and 70% more leads than those that don’t. Blogging is the best way to reach your target audience with useful, educational information they’re out there looking for. Not to mention how much it helps your search rankings.
  • Do you have a variety of content that appeals to all your different prospects (e.g., potential resident, adult child), including where they are in their journey (e.g., research, planning)? Understanding your buyers by developing (and regularly revisiting!) personas will help you create targeted content that speaks to them and gets them to act.
  • Do you have a system of following up with your leads and keeping them engaged in your content and brand? Calls-to-action, marketing offers, and landing pages play a major role in the performance of your website.

Let’s Audit Your Website!

Ready to find out how your senior living website is doing? Get started here.

5 Marketing Trends That Can Generate 5-7 New Move-Ins

5 Marketing Trends That Can Generate 5-7 New Move-Ins! Webinar

This webinar will provide best practices on how to use your event marketing to increase your lead generation and move-ins!

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Senior Living Websites: 3 Proven Ways To Improve Your Lead Conversions

Five seconds. That’s all the time most people spend on a web page before exiting, according to Jason McCloud, now Director of Digital Marketing at Benchmark Senior Living, and presenter at the 2016 Senior Care Marketing Sales Summit (SMASH). Luckily, there are easy ways for senior living websites to effectively capture anonymous site visitors and convert them to leads, McCloud noted.

The most important takeaway from this session is to optimize visitors’ time with a three-step strategy: Design your landing page for conversion rate optimization, add compelling imagery and calls to action, and conduct A/B testing to pick the design that produces the most favorable responses.

1. Design Your Senior Living Website to Optimize Your Conversion Rates.

Use eye-tracking “heat map” software as a “quick and easy way” to assess where website visitors look. People generally scan web pages in either an “F” or a “Z” pattern. Providers should design their landing pages accordingly.

In addition, consider how folks are going to scan: The right information needs to be in the right place. Place logos in the top left corner, with a prominent call to action and other important information in the web page’s “hot spots,” where people’s eyes—followed by their mouse—are generally drawn. And when it comes to information, less is more. Stick with the basics: Company logo, relevant photos, a phone number, pricing.

Most of the tracking software is affordable, according to McCloud, and some even offer free 30-day trials.

2. Add Quality Images and Compelling Calls to Action.

Design should revolve around what shoppers want to see: What the community looks like, and how much it costs. Here is McCloud’s advice for images and design:

  • Invest in professional photography. Choose renderings over lifestyle images, and limit use of stock photos. Adult influencers shopping for a senior living community for their parents don’t want to see generic photos of smiling seniors — they want to see what the community actually looks like. If you post a gallery of photos, allow for manual click-through rather than quick-paced auto-rotation to let visitors peruse at their own pace.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t make it difficult for a visitor to perform the desired action. McCloud noted that you “always want your main call to action — what you want them to do, whether it’s calling a phone number or filling out a web form — within three clicks of any given entry page.”
  • Create a sense of urgency. Compel action by using language that denotes a sense of urgency, with phrases like “Check availability and pricing today” over “Contact us” or “Request a brochure.” Similarly, for forms, swap out the “Submit” button for “Request Information Now.”
  • Train your team to make leads count. If you’re going to the trouble of designing or redesigning your page to maximize lead conversion, your team must be properly trained to handle inquiries. Make sure the person answering the phone is qualified to take the lead and transmit it properly to the sales or marketing team. In other words, don’t let the lead die on the vine.
  • Don’t forget the smartphones. Many adult influencers are glued to their phones. Your landing page design strategy should expand beyond desktops to mobile devices as well.

3. Test Which Design Works Best

If there are two web page designs that you’re having trouble choosing between, test them both. For example, if you’re not sure whether to utilize the F or the Z pattern design, you can experiment to see which one gets better conversion rates.

McCloud also suggested testing each design for one to two weeks, then choosing the data-driven winner. Converting existing web traffic into a lead is more valuable than spending resources on trying to generate more traffic.

If you drive traffic to your page without capturing people’s attention for more than five seconds, you’re flushing money down the drain, McCloud said, advising providers to “work on bettering conversion rates before spending more money to drive traffic.”

Need help doing any of the above? That’s where WE come in.

We’re experts in marketing and senior living website design. Plus, we have decades of senior living industry experience to boot. Let’s chat about your website.

Testimonials to Increase Leads, Tours & Move-ins

Senior Living Marketing: Use Video Testimonials to Increase Leads, Tours & Move-ins

Want to boost your senior living marketing BIG time? Think video testimonials!

You already know that people are more likely to believe statements made by current residents and families rather than slick marketing copy saying how fabulous your community. This is why review sites have so much sway, after all.

But what’s more compelling than written reviews? When people talk on video about your community. Why? Well, hearing a real person’s voice makes an emotional connection. In fact, according to this report on testimonials,”42% of people say testimonial videos are effective because they showcase an actual person and help the viewer understand their story.”

Testimonial Videos for the Win!

As you consider your senior living marketing strategy, make sure testimonial videos are a part of the mix. By taking a few extra steps, your residents and their families can tell prospects why they selected your community and why it’s so special.

Testimonial Video Production: Casual or Professional?

You can choose to have videos professionally shot. Or you can use a smartphone (or a mix between the two). Today’s phones  make editing super easy (and you can often add captions and calls-to-action). A nice mix of “candid” videos and pro videos is a good overall strategy. (Because people respond well to videos they deem authentic…we can all tell if a video is too slick.)

Testimonial Video Production: How Long is Too Long?

Think short. And be mindful of how you title the videos. In our experience, people will not watch a 5- to 10-minute video. However, they will watch five short videos, especially if they have descriptive titles that accurately explain what people are in for.

Of course, simply having video testimonials isn’t enough. You need to use them wisely.

Use Video Testimonials to Bolster your Overall Senior Living Marketing Strategy.

Check out these tips and real-life examples. Note: you can watch these video testimonials here. Below, we’re providing written excerpts.

1. Email a testimonial video to a family before they come in for a tour.

Make sure the video has quotes, not just compliments. A compliment would sound like this: “The community is friendly.” A quote is a specific statement sharing a unique way you made them feel welcomed.

Here’s a great example from The Kensington of White Plains:

“Ever since she’s moved in she’s improved. She has multiple things wrong with her. She had the stroke. She has diabetes. She has heart disease. And through all their care, everything has been stabilized and she’s probably the healthiest she’s been in quite a few years. She’s lost weight. She does a lot of physical therapy. She participates with the exercise and all the different activities they have there. And she’s having a really great time. I believe her mind has gotten better. Her physical body has definitely gotten better. And her attitude has definitely gotten better as well.”

Bonus: Putting videos in emails can go a long way in helping engage with people. In fact, according to Uscreen, including the word “video” in an email subject line was shown to increase open rates by 19%. Click-throughs jumped an astonishing 65%.

2. Use testimonials for creative follow-up.

It’s best if each video is short and tells specifically why families chose your community. In addition, ask people to focus on sharing specifics and their emotions.

Here’s a great one we gathered for The Kensington:

“You should have your parent go to The Kensington because they will treat your parents with the utmost respect and dignity and they will also become better than they could by themselves. We’ve been able to have a better relationship overall just sitting, chatting, having lunch, having dinner, just going to visit. It’s a place where even my kids can come and feel comfortable. The people there go way above and beyond to really take care of her and keep her healthy. The physical therapists there are spectacular. Nurses just take care of her like she was their mother and it’s very, very sweet. They’ll do anything for her.”

3. Overcome objections (and share far and wide on social media).

What objections are you getting? Create videos for each objection. Again, the videos should be short (1 to 2 minutes long) and have quotes from a few different people. That way you can tailor which videos to email to prospective families.

For example, a common objection is that the prospective resident is a picky eater or requires a special diet and they won’t like the food at the community.

Check out this great testimonial from The Kensington and how it overcomes an objection.

“Oh, the food is amazing. Norm, who’s in charge of the dining room, does a great job. He listens to the residents whenever they have any comments. He’s always walking around making sure that everybody’s okay. There are multiple options for whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat eater or anywhere in between and even some cultural dishes as well. Everything is done very carefully and with care and with good, fresh ingredients.”

Don’t forget to share your videos on social media! Videos are great for Facebook and Instagram. In fact, consider playing around with Facebook Live. Finally, make sure you embed the best videos on key areas of your site. For example, the home page, blog posts, pages of about resident life, and contact pages.

Need help creating and sharing video testimonials? That’s what we’re here for!

We’re not simply a marketing agency. We’re a senior living marketing agency. We’ve worked in the industry for decades, so we understand what resonates with prospects. Let us help you redefine your marketing. Get in touch!

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Senior Living Marketing – 5 Ways To Roll Out Red Carpet Customer Service

So, you got the deposit check! Yes! Congratulations. Your sales process for this prospect has come to a close.

Or has it?

Make no mistake, the real sale begins after you collect the check.

You may have (or be) an amazing salesperson who brings in new residents right and left. If you do, bravo! Now’s the time for you to decide: Is it uphill or downhill from here? As Don Draper in the television show, Mad Men puts it, “The day you sign the client is the day you start losing them.”

It’s now up to you and your entire team to turn this new resident into a raving fan and referral source for your community. There’s a link between sales and service. When you roll out the red carpet for your customers, they run out and tell everyone they know.

Here are five ways you can deliver a red carpet experience, excerpted from the book, 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers.

  1. Get Red Carpet Ready. How do you get hourly workers to deliver red-carpet service if they’ve never received red-carpet service? You must model it for them and you must set up a structure that supports them in their service efforts. Be very clear about what your service standards are and give people the training and the tools they need to act on them. Refrain from assuming that customer service is common sense. As one participant told me after a recent training program, “These are not skills I learned at home. So, when they tell me I have to improve my hospitality skills, but don’t train me, I don’t know what to do. Thanks to your training, I now know what to do differently.” WOW! You can’t expect people to deliver on expectations they don’t know you have, or standards you haven’t trained them on.

Get Red-Carpet Ready by defining your service standards and providing your team with training.

  1. Make Red-Carpet First and Last Impressions. You want to have them at hello and Give your team training on hospitality skills, and your entire front line team turns into an integral part of your sales force. Ed Eynon, VP of Human Resources for KSL Resorts, suggests the following behaviors:
    • Smile, make eye contact and greet people warmly before they greet you.
    • Open doors for guests and residents.
    • Learn to read people who look lost so you can assist them.
    • Use their name.
    • Always ask, “While I’m here, is there anything else I can do for you?”

Remember the telephone is often where that first impression is made. Make sure everyone who answers the phone knows how to do so in a professional, upbeat manner. Make sure there is someone knowledgeable to answer the phone. It’s frustrating to check on a parent in your community or facility and hear the phone ring and ring.

The last impression is important, too. Send guests home with an invitation to come back. Follow up to ensure a problem was resolved. Or send someone a handwritten thank-you note. Or stay in touch after someone’s parent has passed away.

  1. Make “Movie Moments.” There are moments in the best movies that we always remember: when Sandy and Danny drove off in Greased Lightning when Rocky Balboa ran up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, and when Luke learned the identity of his real father in Star Wars. These are moments that take us by surprise. They delight us and cause an emotional reaction so strong that we just have to talk about them.

Empower your team to create “Movie Moments” for your residents and other customers. For instance, one of the many Movie Moments the team at Mather LifeWays creates for their new residents is to have their favorite song playing in their new apartment the first time they walk in. What unique red carpet experiences could you create to WOW your new resident when they move into your community?

  1. Cut! Take-Two. Strive for flawless service, but give your people the tools they need to recover when human mistakes happen. Recover with style by TREATing upset customers to red-carpet service.
  • Tune In and Listen
  • Respond with Empathy and Regret
  • Explore Solutions and Fix the Issue
  • Add a little Extra
  • Thank the Customer

Report frequent occurrences to a manager. If you keep hearing the same complaints repeatedly, it means that something needs to be fixed.

  1. Give Standing Ovations to Your Staff: Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, says, “Train people well enough that they can leave, but treat them well enough they don’t want to.” Your staff needs a little star treatment too! Dawn Winder, community director for the Allegro at Tarpon Springs, recently put her leadership team through my “21 Days of Thank You” exercise. Every day, for 21 consecutive workdays, they intentionally showed appreciation to staff members. “We’re having a great time,” she said, “and the team building is an added bonus!”

There’s never been a better time than now to focus on improving the customer experience. Your residents and other customers have more choices and louder voices than ever before. Make sure they are choosing you and bringing friends by rolling out the red carpet for them in the new year!

Donna Cutting, CSP is the author of two books on customer service, including the recently released 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers: Easy to Implement Ideas to Inspire Loyalty, Get New Customers and Leave a Lasting Impression. She and her team work with senior living organizations to turn their team into an integral part of their sales force through the delivery of red-carpet customer service. Learn more here »

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Top 4 “Must Haves” Memory Care Benefits

By the time that families start researching memory care communities, they have usually done everything humanly possible to keep their loved one safely at home.  They have worked their way through adult day care, homecare, household safety retrofits, support groups and huge doses of family participation in meal preparation, personal care, transportation, medication management and socialization.  At some point, their heroic efforts leave them exhausted, stressed out, frustrated, and open to other solutions.  That is when our phones ring.

Our job is to listen, empathize and understand that each person and their story because each situation is unique.  It is important to acknowledge the family involvement and honor their successes.  It is a very emotional decision to entrust a precious loved one who lacks the ability to advocate for themselves to unrelated caregivers.

Here are some benefits that every memory care program must have to reassure families as they work through this difficult decision.

1. An Environment That Supports The Success of The Residents

It is very difficult to adapt a typical residential home environment for seniors with Alzheimer’s as it progresses since the disease creates unique impairments requiring a specialized environment.  Residents thrive when they can navigate their environment independently and successfully.  Visual impairments can be a barrier so ensuring that lighting, floor covering, color contrast and appropriate tableware & utensils are integrated into the environment is key.

It is best to avoid:

  • Carpets with flowers or patterns (residents may perceive these as something to pick up)
  • Wallpaper and murals (residents may perceive these as something to pick at)
  • Carpets with borders (residents may perceive these as holes or gaps)

It is best to include:

  • Adaptive lighting to simulate natural outdoor lighting patterns to reduce sundowning.
  • Even lighting so there are no dark patches in the hallways.
  • Contrasting paint color behind toilets, & contrasting toilet seats to visually distinguish the toilet and sink to encourage independence & success.
  • Contrasting table cloths and dishware to encourage independence & success during meals.

2. A Memory Care Culture of Choice and Accessibility

As much as possible, present opportunities for the residents to make choices to foster independence and respect – even non-verbal residents can point.  We had one resident who wanted only to wear her favorite yellow dress and became agitated and unhappy if it was in the laundry.  So we had her family go shopping for a selection of yellow dresses and take home everything else.  Every morning she was able to choose from a selection of yellow dresses and that solved the problem.  Choices should be allowed about when to get up in the morning, what to wear, what to eat and drink and how to spend their day.  Resident Choice Dining involves preparing two plates and offering options for residents to select.  It takes a small amount of time and effort to set up, but once it is implemented, food costs and labor is budget neutral.  Likewise, always keep back up supplies to make a sandwich, toast or a snack and have these available for the overnight shift in case a resident wakes up hungry at night.

3. Personalized Programming Based on Each Resident’s Background & Life Story

One of the greatest fears expressed by families is that the staff will not know or understand the needs of their loved one.  They are convinced that no one will be able to care for their loved one like the family does.  We had a resident who opened the first pre-school in town and every morning she would wander the halls looking for the children.  The program director went to a yard sale and picked up an old school desk & chair and reading primers.  She also encouraged the staff to bring in their children’s artwork and homework so there was always something waiting on her desk that was placed right outside her apartment door.  Mornings were much better for this resident and the staff. So, it is important to have tools and systems in place to capture the essence of every resident including:

  • Meeting with the family to capture a personal life history to learn the familiar people, places, hobbies, routines, schedule, interests, career, family members, and social and spiritual preferences.  Use this to create a personalized care plan & schedule.
  • Keeping a binder of the life stories for the staff to review, and coach them on how to incorporate this in personalizing the approach for care and interaction.
  • Have a pre-move-in team meeting to plan a successful transition.

4. Dedicated and Trained Memory Care Staff

Families work hard to provide care with little formal training, previous experience or respite.  It is easier for them to entrust their loved one to a community with dedicated, trained staff rather than a rotating schedule of changing relationships.  Being able to demonstrate that staff is selected to work with memory-impaired residents and that there is comprehensive and ongoing training provided will increase confidence.  Technology is great, but nothing comes close to the impact of a caring, committed staff with the skills and competency to manage residents throughout the disease process.

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 Does your community have difficulty performing any of these “must have” benefits? Let’s Chat!

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Do You Know Your Senior Living Net Promoter Score?

Let’s talk about customer satisfaction. At the end of the day, isn’t it all about how the residents and families feel about the services and care they receive in your community? So let’s first answer the question, “Why conduct satisfaction surveys?”

Word of Mouth

Residents and families are talking about you – to friends, relatives, neighbors, and healthcare professionals. Do you know what they are saying?

Customer Issues are a Great Way to Make a Positive Impact

Listening to customer concerns and following through on making positive changes, can turn unhappy customers into loyal customers.

Gain Insight into Your Customer

Asking your customers for ideas and identifying patterns based on their responses, gives you insight into opportunities that can benefit current and future residents. These insights can give you a competitive edge.

The knowledge from customer surveys can help assure that you don’t lose customers and that your reputation doesn’t prevent you from winning new customers. Your customer experience has a direct impact on your occupancy. There is a simple question that is found on most surveys that provides valuable insight and directly impacts your business results.

“How likely is it that you would recommend your community to a friend or colleague?”

 

This is your Net Promoter Score. The Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, is based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.

  • Promoters

    (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.

  • Passives

    (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.

  • Detractors

    (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

To calculate your company’s NPS, take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors. Now what? Once you know your number– What do you do with this information?

Lynn Ackerman, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Delight Officer at Sensight Surveys offers insight into how to translate the number into a plan that positively impacts your customer experience and business results.

“Your net promoter score basically represents the percentage of customers who are willing to advocate for your community offset by potential naysayers.  This number can be very useful, but by itself holds little value.  Your survey process should include the collection of more detailed information to help you pinpoint customer experiences and views that drive your net promoter score and allow you to take targeted action.

There are three things you can do:

  1. Include questions on your survey that ask customers to rate specific areas of service.
  2. Provide comment space on your survey, so customers can back up their willingness to recommend you with a positive comment or recommendation for improvement.
  3. Hold feedback sessions with your customers as part of post-survey action planning to understand their specific accolades, concerns, and ideas for improvement.

With this additional information, you will have what you need to identify top improvement opportunities and implement a targeted plan of action.”

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Senior Living Leads: The Real ROI of Internet Leads

Internet leads represent 50% of all new lead generation in the senior living industry. There are many flavors, including organic lead generation from your own website, subscription (monthly flat fee) models, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-move-in options. If you need to increase lead generation, which model should you choose and how do you measure the ROI?

Here are the results from a six-month evaluation of every internet lead model, the financial results, the occupancy impact, and lessons learned about internet lead management.

Senior Living Leads: Evaluation Structure

We formed two groups of communities representing every possible combination of IL, AL, ALZ & CCRCs. One group received senior living leads from every internet lead model and managed the leads on their own. Another group received leads from the identical sources. A call center managed their leads for 30 days. Our goals were to measure the cost per lead, the cost per qualified lead, the cost per tour, and ultimately the cost per move-in. We also wanted to measure the impact of allocating dedicated resources to responding to internet leads on conversions, revenue, and occupancy. The two groups had almost identical occupancy (an average of 83.75%).

Senior Living Leads: Lessons Learned

If we skip to the end of the story, the call center results were significantly better than the community results – even though the call center staff had no experience in senior living. What they did have was a mindset to . . .

  • Respond immediately to every lead
  • Believe that every lead was viable (no pre-conceived beliefs that internet leads were low quality)
  • Ask every question on the Discovery form
  • Follow a 30-day lead nurturing process to look for opportunities if the prospect was not ready to tour on the first interaction

Here are some lessons learned from the call center results:

  • Day-one immediate response is critical for internet leads.
  • Having dedicated resources available 7 days a week led to improved opportunity.
  • 56% of “connects” (voice-to-voice contact for Discovery) happened on Day 1 (Day 2 dropped to 10%).
  • 53% of tours scheduled occurred on Day 1 (8.6% Day 2).
  • Quick response allowed the call center to connect with more urgent leads (28% looking within 30 days).
  • Following a consistent process for follow up with call outs & email nurturing for 30 days creates opportunity.
  • Although 75% of tours were scheduled in the first 7 days, 131 tours were booked Days 8- 30.

Senior Living Leads: Show Me The Money!

The communities who had the call center support grew their occupancy by 52 units in the six-month pilot. The communities that managed their own leads lost 28 Units of ADU.  This translated into over $3.5 million dollars in estimated revenue for the call center cohort based on an 18-month length of stay – even after paying the call center expenses.

Which Internet Lead Model Produced the Best Results?

The best results are always generated from organic senior living leads. Prospects who visit your website are not only interested in senior living, they are also interested in your community. The lowest cost to lead, tour and move-in and the highest conversions are from organic leads.  This is why investing in SEO and live chat on your website is a great investment.

Pay-per-move-in models performed significantly better than either subscription or pay-per-lead.  A Place For Mom produced the very best conversion rates across the board.  The cost per move-in ranged from a low of about $3700 to a high of over $11,000 so it is important to choose wisely!

Need help getting the most out of your community’s senior living leads? Let’s Chat!

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Senior Living CRM Software: 6 Things To Consider When Choosing

It is such an exciting time in the senior living industry with the influx of innovation. One area of growth is in senior living CRM software. Of course, with more choice, you can have more confusion. Below, you’ll find six things to keep in mind when choosing your system.

1. Avoid retrofitted CRMs of yesterday.

CRMs were primarily designed for either the multi-family housing or real estate industries. Then, they were adapted for senior housing use. Retrofits tend to have clunky user interfaces, multiple entries of duplicate information, and clumsy navigation. AVOID!

2. Choose a senior living CRM.

In other words, choose senior living software developed by senior living operators, sales trainers, and experienced thought leaders. How to tell? Visit the industry section on the CRM website. Or look for case studies that highlight use in senior living industries. It’s OK if the CRM company caters to several target markets. Just make sure senior living is among them.

3. Decide between a stand-alone or integrated CRM.

An integrated CRM is connected to a suite of software resources, including clinical and billing/accounting functions. (And sometimes pharmacy, staffing, HR & payroll.)  The upside: the flow of data between departments. The downside is that usually there is one area of strength (strong in accounting/ GL/ financial reporting and budgets) but is weak in the clinical or CRM component – or both.  But once you choose integration, you are stuck with the entire suite leaving some stakeholders frustrated.

A stand-alone CRM only manages the lead base and sales process. The upside is that there are some great choices that match a preferred sales method or philosophy. Also, because it is built specifically for sales, there are usually features included that are not standard in integrated solutions. The downside: once the sale closes, resident information has to be re-entered into clinical and billing/financial systems creating a duplication of effort and an extra investment of time.

4. Evaluate your current situation.

Finding the right senior living CRM software requires an honest analysis of where your community/company is today with both the existing resource, the sales culture, the user comfort level with technology, and training/implementation resources. Begin by getting feedback from stakeholders at every level. What do they think works about the current solution? The goal: to retain the positives of your current solution.

5. Begin with the end in mind.

Once you understand the above, the next step involves evaluating the gaps and what you want to accomplish with the change.  Community, regional, and corporate users will have different priorities. So, it’s important to create a work group representing different roles.

6. Participate in demos of senior living CRM software.

Equipped with a “wish list” and workgroup, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices. Schedule demos with the senior living CRMs that match your requirements. In addition to demos, request access to a test site or sandbox so your users can take the software for a test drive.

Some features sound great, but if they’re too complex for an average user, why bother?  Ask lots of questions. This is a high value purchase. A thoughtful and deliberate decision making process is a worthy investment.

When considering the cost, be sure to find out if pricing is based on the number of users, priced by community with unlimited users, a subscription, etc. Ask if there’s an additional cost to migrate data from your current system to the new software. You might be facing set-up fees and training & support fees as well.

Work with an agency that can help you select and implement your CRM.

That would be us! :) We can help you find the perfect CRM for your needs. We have some favorites that we work with (like Sherpa CRM). Plus, we can show you how to get the most out of it. Let’s chat!