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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.

 

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!

use big data, targeted events and direct mail campaigns to increase qualified prospects and drive occupancy

Using Big Data and Direct Mail Best Practices to Drive Occupancy

By Valerie Whitman, Leading Response and Senior Living SMART

In this information-packed presentation, you’ll learn how to develop immediate move-ins and create a pipeline of exclusive, qualified leads. Reduce reliance on third-party lead generation and use big data, targeted events and direct mail campaigns to increase qualified prospects and reduce resident acquisition costs.

NEED HELP TRYING NEW IDEAS? WE’RE THE APP FOR THAT! 🙂

Seriously, we’ve been in your shoes, and we can help. We keep our eyes on the latest and greatest technology and get a sense of if and how it could work for the senior living industry before we recommend it to our clients. Get in touch and let’s talk about how we can help.

 

Mystery Shopping as a Coaching Tool Webinar

Mystery Shopping as a Coaching Tool

This webinar will provide best practices on how to use your mystery shopping as a coaching tool, and take your sales skills to the next level.

Senior Living Sales: Creative Pricing Strategies for 2017

Senior Living Sales: Creative Pricing Strategies for 2017

Well, it’s budget time once again. Time to reevaluate pricing, analyze trends, and build 2017 business plans, tactics, and strategies. Setting rates usually starts with an analysis of occupancy and vacancy by unit type; calculating rent, care, and community fee averages; evaluating current resident rates; and comparing competitor pricing.

Here are some creative senior living sales strategies to think about for 2017:

Value/ Premium Pricing

This strategy allows a pricing spread throughout the community, offering greater pricing elasticity to meet a wider range of financial options for prospects without eroding rate.

Select an equal number of…

  • Value Apartments with undesirable locations (end of long hallways, upper floors); undesirable views (parking lot, dumpster, mechanical units); or with a lack of amenities (dark, small, limited closet space)
  • Premium Apartments with a premium location (near elevator, on the first floor, near dining room, etc.); premium view; or with premium amenities (upgrades, closet space, square footage)

Set Value and Premium Rates

  • Price the Value Apartments a dollar amount lower than the average rate per unit.
  • Price the Premium Apartments a matching dollar amount higher than the average rate per unit.
  • This creates three price points for each apartment type and leaves the overall rate unchanged.

Value/Premium Pricing is Most Effective With…

This strategy works well in communities with 10 or fewer vacant apartments with undesirable views, locations, or amenities that are not selling. This short-term pricing strategy does not erode rate as the additional rate gained in Premium units offsets the discounts offered in the Value apartments.

Variable Pricing

Much like paying points on a mortgage, the greater the upfront move-in fee, the lower the monthly base rent.

For example, for every $2000 more paid up front, the resident base rent is reduced by $200.

Variable pricing benefits:

  • This gives the community good cash flow up front
  • The advantage for the resident is that the investment is paid back within 10 months and all future increases are based on the lower rate.

This strategy provides solutions for prospects who:

  • Have good liquidity from the sale of their home or from strong investments, but they do not have much income. (They can put up a large move-in fee and buy down their monthly price that is within their income range.)
  • Have a strong income but do not have upfront cash (waiting to sell their home, money tied up in annuities, CDs, or other investments).

Variable Pricing is Most Effective With…

Rental CCRC/ IL where the length of stay is longest. It competes well against the buy-in model, as it offers control of the rate to the resident without requiring a large buy-in fee. It pays back the investment in the present where the buy-in model only pays back at the end of the stay.

It also works well in economically fragile markets where people need more options in order to create a financial solution. It also works well in more sophisticated metro markets where the buyer wants to be in control and is always looking for a deal.

Volume Pricing

This short-term strategy establishes a “can’t walk away from” price to move a volume of apartments quickly. Establish a defined time frame or a number of apartments offered to limit rate erosion. This approach trades rate for occupancy until the community reaches an occupancy percentage to turn the rate lever back on.

The best strategy is to identify a specific type of unit, such as studios, or a specific location, such as upper floor location that have been vacant for a long time.

Most Effective With…

Works well with communities under 80% occupied where the cost of vacancy outweighs the erosion of rate. This strategy also works with communities who are convinced that their only barrier is rate. Using volume pricing for 60 – 90 days will confirm or dispel the rate barrier theory. If no one buys at the volume rate, it’s not a pricing issue, so keep digging.

Check out other sales and occupancy growth resources in our Senior Living Marketplace »

5 Things We Learned About Employee Engagement from Market Basket

5 Things We Learned About Employee Engagement from Market Basket

Starting on June 23, 2014, when the Board of Directors of DeMoulas Super Markets (the company that runs Market Basket chain of supermarkets) fired President and CEO Arthur T. Demoulas through August 27, 2014, the country got a lesson on what employee engagement and loyalty can look like.

The firing of Arthur T. Demoulas started a cascade of events that would eventually force his cousin and rival to sell the company to him. It started with the resignation of six high level managers, which resulted in a rally of 300 employees at the Market Basket flagship store. The protesters were not only protecting their rights, but also the rights of the Market Basket customers. In addition to fearing that the new leadership would cut benefits, wages, profit sharing, and bonuses, they were also concerned about losing customers through price increases.

The word on the street was that the firing of Arthur T. Demoulas was the first step in the process of selling the company. The 25,000 employees, many with decades of service, knew they needed to fight for their Market Basket. The protest grew as the employees made their concerns and demands known to the Board of Directors. The protest was peaceful, professional but pervasive. Customers joined in support and stopped shopping at Market Basket. Whether due to loyalty or declining sales, several retailers also cut ties with Market Basket.

After six weeks of protest, with intervention from Massachusetts and New Hampshire governors and much publicity, a deal was brokered for Arthur T. Demoulas to purchase the company.

OK, so what did we learn from this so-called “Market Basket Effect”? Plenty.

Loyalty is Earned

Loyalty is built through a positive relationship with your supervisor, confidence in senior leadership, and a belief in the company’s vision and values. Arthur T. Demoulas goes into the stores, talks to employees, and gets in the trenches. He knows his employees and personally calls them when a family member is sick, injured, or in need. He cares.

Benefits Matter

Market Basket employees are given a living wage, profit sharing, health and retirement benefits, and college scholarships to name a few.

Happy Customers Are Loyal to Happy Employees

During the protests, shoppers stopped shopping at Market Basket even though it cost them more to do so. Customers boycotted Market Basket and went elsewhere. Then, they took the time to tape their receipts from competing stores on Market Basket doors.

It Didn’t Take a Union

The employees’ conviction and loyalty makes them stronger than any union.

Nothing Good Comes When the Corporate Office is Disconnected from the Field

The Board of Directors had no idea of the impact that the loyalty of the employees to Arthur T. Demoulas would have on profitability. They also did not know what was of importance to their employees and their customers.

The Value of a Stakeholder Versus a Shareholder Focus

Senior leaders too often forget that companies should benefit all of its stakeholders: owners, shareholders, employees, customers, and the community versus making money for its owners and shareholders.

There are no shortcuts to gaining loyalty, but Arthur T. Demoulas was—and is—doing something right.

YOU can do right by your senior living employees and customers as well. To learn more, logged-in Members may download our free guide, “Recruitment, Engagement, and Culture: Best Practices” while non-members can grab the resource by filling out the brief form below:

Network Resource Download

opt-in download access for white papers, ebooks, case studies, and more.
website review

Turn Your Website Into a Lead Generation Machine [Webinar]

87% of all senior housing sales begin online, making websites the #1 sales tool for lead generation. Prospects visit a community website an average of 7.8 times during their buying journey. This webinar will demonstrate how to convert anonymous website visitors into exclusive and unshared qualified leads.

Free Website Audit

What’s your website already doing well? What can it do better? We start where you are so we can develop a plan to optimize the good while nixing the bad and the ugly.

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!

Senior Living Sales: How Does Your Team Follow Up?

Senior Living Sales Strategies: How Does Your Team Follow Up?

I have spoken at countless conferences across the country on the topic of selling in the senior living industry. One of the most common questions I receive after a speech is this: “What are three senior living sales strategies that we can implement in our communities and start seeing an immediate impact?” Without the slightest bit of hesitation, my response begins with “follow up.”

Look at the facts (to the right) regarding follow-up. If you do not feel like you’ve been double-punched to the gut, then you might want to check your pulse.

As an industry, we do a poor job when it comes to following up with our prospects, and I attribute that to two main reasons:

First, as senior living salespeople, we want and desire instant gratification. We believe that the low hanging fruit is the new lead that just came in, when in all actuality, the hottest leads are already in your CRM. If we don’t “see” interest from the prospect after a couple of times of following up, our tendency is to dump them in the “cold lead” bucket.

Second, we are inundated with new leads. The senior living sales industry spends millions of dollars on marketing for new leads. As a result, we don’t have the time to spend quality time on creative follow-up. Our sales process becomes more of a quantitative approach as opposed to a qualitative approach.

Last year, we conducted research on the effectiveness of follow-up in about 60 communities over a six-month timeframe. Using our Post Tour Digital Comment Cards (DCC), we were able to prove that follow-up is critical to the success of your senior living sales process. Below are some key findings that we discovered from our research.

  • Response Rates. Once a prospect completed a tour of the community, the sales counselor sent a follow-up email with a link to the Post Tour DCC – an online comment card that captures the prospect’s experience. We limited the survey to 5-10 questions, as we did not want the respondent to get survey fatigue. Our response rate was 50%!
  • Move-In Rates. We were blown away by the response rates, but what was even more amazing was the number of move-ins. Out of the 50% that completed the Post Tour DCC, 23% of them actually moved into the respective communities.
  • The Driver. We know that these prospects did not move in just because of the Digital Comment Card. So we took a deep look into the CRM to see if a pattern existed. We found that the sales counselors followed up with the DCC respondents 5-10x more than they did with those who did not respond to the DCC.

The research proved what most sales trainers have been preaching for decades: following up is critical. Let’s take that a step further. It’s not enough to just follow up; you must provide creative and personal follow-up. When you take the time to really get to know your prospects, the creative follow-up becomes much easier (and you might actually have fun).

When it comes to effective senior living sales strategies, it begins with how your reps follow up.

The first question you have to ask is if your sales teams are even following up. The second question you have to ask is how creative is their follow-up. The bottom line is that if you are following up more than three times, you are doing more than 95% of your colleagues. You should be proud. But if you really want to move the needle, focus on how you follow up. Not only will you achieve superstar status, but more importantly, it will show that you care.

About the author: Mike Miller is the CEO of Primo Solutions, a full service mystery shopping, training, and consulting company that provides quality follow-up and follow-through measurement tools. Learn more at www.PrimoSolutions.com »

 

How Senior Living Can Build Better Referral Pipelines

Full story from Senior Housing News →

Excerpt:

Senior living providers tend to have complicated relationships with third-party referral agents. Some providers may see the choice as avoiding them altogether and running the risk of losing leads, or employing their services and incurring sometimes hefty referral fees. But the smartest approach may be a middle ground, in which third-party agents are one part of a more varied referral pipeline.

Other industry leaders have voiced similar sentiments, and they have been heard by companies such as Senior Living Smart, which is framing a new pay-per-tour offering as an alternative to third-party referrals.

As a solutions network aimed at curating resources to help operators improve occupancy, revenue and service delivery, Senior Living Smart has provided its approximately 400 members access to a free 24/7 live chat service on their websites as a means of generating more exclusive leads.

“People are looking to reduce reliance on third-party lead aggregators,” Senior Living Smart CEO Debbie Howard tells Senior Housing News. “Our members are interested in the model because it’s no risk. It doesn’t cost them anything unless we produce results.”

Full story from Senior Housing News →