Tips for Creating Virtual Sales Experiences in Senior Living
EDITOR’S NOTE: Like everyone else around the globe, we’re struggling with this new reality due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Heartbreaking stories of loss and grief and a world economy inching towards recession are just some of the things keeping us up at night.
As a marketing agency focused solely on the senior living industry, we’ve been thinking about all our clients as they face these unprecedented times. It’s hard to see past this pandemic since we’re only in the early stages, but at some point, we know we’ll begin to adjust to this “new normal.” The articles we’ll be providing during this time are designed to help senior living sales and marketing teams when they’re ready to move forward.
Virtual & Interactive Sales Experiences
The current “no touch” reality due to COVID-19 will require creative approaches for senior living sales teams. Several states have suspended move-ins and on-site visits. As a result, occupancy rates can only go down until these restrictions are lifted.
No doubt, the last thing on most people’s minds is marketing or sales, but it’s important to keep initiatives going—in a thoughtful and compassionate way, of course. For the foreseeable future, tours, events, and perhaps even home visits will not be options, so here are some ideas for creating effective (and, bottom line, SAFE) sales experience for prospective residents.
Your New Front Door
People might not be able to physically enter your community, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide them a glimpse inside. Remember, your website has always served as your virtual front door. And, for the time being anyway, it is THE entry point into all that your community offers. Everything that people would usually come into the community to experience must be available on your website.
Here’s a quick list of must-haves to create an interactive experience:
- Live Chat. Real human chat “hosts” should personally welcome website visitors, answer questions, provide information, and generate leads. Your human “hosts” can work from the safety of their own homes.
- Video Conferencing. Meeting “face-to-face” in this new reality is possible, thanks to virtual conferencing options. Skype is free and widely accessible. Paid options like Zoom are budget-friendly.
- Downloadable brochures (gate this with a form so you can gather contact information and follow up). Here is an example.
- Video Tours. If you don’t have professional video tours, invest in a technology such as HeartLegacy and have the sales team create videos to highlight the community. Here is a sample.
- Interactive Surveys such as Roobrik allow prospects to find their best senior housing and care option.
- Floor Plans and Interactive Room Planners. Here is an example.
- Testimonials to show the experience of living in the community. Check out these examples.
- Links to Facebook to highlight all the positive stories within each community.
- A Robust Resources Section. Think blogs, guides, videos, links to COVID-19 articles, and guidelines to show that you are well prepared, caring, and reassuring.
Taking these steps won’t be in vain, either. Since most searches for senior living begin online, creating a strong virtual experience for people is something that will help your community for the long term.