Every retirement community and marketing/sales team has the same goal — book more tours, increase census and grow waitlists. The key in that three-step plan is to convert potential residents and their adult children from tourers to residents and community fans. While the experience you provide on the tour will have a large impact on whether or not a tour results in a booked room or apartment, the experience you provide before and after the tour has just as big of an impact.
Think about a time that you’ve experienced amazing automated customer service before and after a service or product you purchased. For me, it was purchasing food from a local food truck. This particular food truck was located in an area with few seating options. So I was worried about (1) hearing my name called for my food and (2) grabbing an open table before it was gone. This food truck solved this problem because they took my phone number, entered it into their system, and told me I would receive a text when it was ready. It was a flawless experience. I grabbed a table and 10 minutes later, I received an automated text telling me that my food was ready.
If your senior living community can provide a similar experience with technology, your tours will improve and you’ll stand out from your competitors. Here are four ways you can implement technology to create a better tour experience:
Implement text and email reminders about the tour
When a potential resident or adult child books a tour through your website, you need to capture their phone number and email address. With this information, you can automatically send them reminder emails and texts about the tour. We recommend immediately having an automated email sent to them right after the form is submitted with important information they will need like the address, a phone number if they have further questions, and a three-step plan that displays how booking a tour is step one and moving into your community is the final step. Including this three-step plan simplifies the process for them.
Studies show that text messages have a 98% open rate, which makes sense, right? Who leaves an unopened text message on their phone? Another study found that companies who implemented automated text message appointment reminders had a 38% lower no-show rate. A no-show is a revenue killer. You prepare for tour, you say “no” to other tours who want to book that time, and then they don’t show up — that is wasting time and money.
So, to sum up this first point, you need an automated email that is sent immediately after someone books a tour on your website. You also need to send a text reminder to the person touring so that you save time and money and so that you create a better tour experience.
Send an automated email summary of the tour
You need to create an automated email that is scheduled to be sent after the tour is complete. This email should include a simple review of what you went over in your tour. If the tour is for a potential assisted living resident, be sure that it’s targeted to that person; you don’t want someone who toured for memory care to be sent information about independent living. That would be information they (1) don’t want and would (2) fine useless. You do not want to put your potential resident or their adult child in that position.
As a senior living marketer, you know for certain that your leads aren’t just touring your community. They’re considering at least three others at a minimum — probably a lot more than that depending on where you live.
By sending a summary of your tour, you’re helping them remember all of the positive aspects of your community and your residents. This one action item will give you a leg up on your competitors.
Send an automated review request text or email
You most likely deliver amazing tours and showcase your star residents to the potential residents and their adult children. So, if those you tour receive 5-star treatment, we think you should at least get a 5-star review!
Here’s how this works — set up an automated email or text to be sent after your tour (ensure it’s setup for a different time than your automated email summary). In that automated message, say something like, “We hope you enjoyed the 5-star treatment we do our best to offer everyone who walks through our doors. Your thoughts about the tour would really help others who are considering our community. Could you help us out by posting a Google review? Click here to start your review.”
This will get you more reviews, a better website ranking, more tours, and you’ll begin to see your census increase.
Set up them for an email drip campaign
This last action step is for those who really want to take their marketing to the next level. We’re talking about email drip campaigns, drip marketing, automated email marketing, or whatever else you want to call it.
Here’s how it works. Once you get a lead’s email, you enter it in your drip campaign software, and the lead begins to receive automated emails from you. You need to set up emails that have content they want, not bullet points of amenities you want to push on them.
For example, an assisted living move-in checklist would probably be very valuable to the person who just toured an assisted living apartment in your building. Or an ebook about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid would most likely be very helpful to someone considering skilled nursing in your community.
You get the idea. Find pain points or areas where they’re struggling, and then send emails with content that addresses those pain points. You’ll be amazed at the result, and you’ll be utilizing technology that very few if any of your senior living competitors are using.
If you want to get this kind of technology activated for you and your marketing, just book a call. We’ll get it in place for you so you can book more tours, increase census, and grow a waitlist.