How to help your teams reach 100% occupancy in 2023

2023 is just days away and chances are you already have a solid 2023 marketing plan. But take a quick look at the list below to be sure these items are on your list:

Put a synced tour calendar on your websites

If you don’t do anything else in 2023, do this.

Please get rid of the forms on your Schedule A Tour, Book A Visit, and Schedule A Visit pages. If you’re relying on your marketing directors to respond to inquiries after they submit a tour request form, you’re losing tours and move-ins.

You need to put an actual calendar on your website for users to choose a specific day and time. And that calendar should be synced to your marketing director’s calendar. 

Once the lead confirms the tour, it is automatically added to your director’s calendar, and the lead should begin receiving reminder messages before the tour.

If you want something like this for your website, just contact us. We make it really easy to get this up and going. 

Fix your speed to lead

It’s really sad that this is still a big problem in the senior living industry when it doesn’t have to be. We mystery shopped thousands of community websites this year, and here are a few of the disappointing highlights:

  • 49% of the communities never replied to our inquiry (we track calls, emails, and texts).
  • Of those that did respond, it took them
    • 48 hours to respond via email.
    • 83 hours to respond via text.
    • 80 hours to respond via call.

These numbers tell us that (1) we’re not serving families and their loved ones like we should and (2) we’re leaving thousands and millions of dollars on the table. 

That’s the bad news. But there is good news. It doesn’t have to be this way, the solution is cheap, and it can be implemented overnight. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

The way many communities respond to new leads is the way they responded to new leads 20 years ago. But you and I both know the landscape has drastically changed so the way we did things 20 years ago will not work today. 

You need to implement automation in your follow-up because good automation will follow-up at the right time every time. Humans will follow up whenever they can — which, for many busy sales people in your community, may honestly be 48 hours later (which is not good enough). 

Before we go any further, I will acknowledge that the word automation might conjure up memories of frustrating chat bots you’ve used in the past. Some companies still use chat bots like that, but there is fantastic automation that is available. It’s personable, feels like a human, and won’t annoy your leads. 

The solution is cheap.

Every website lead should be contacted in two minutes or less (because there is a lot of data that shows why this is important). And you may think something like that would be pricey. But it’s not. 

Our tool that follows up with every lead in two minutes or less is $297 a month per community. 

It can be implemented overnight.

I recently heard a leader in the senior living marketing and sales world say that they wanted to implement a good speed-to-lead solution but that it “couldn’t be implemented overnight.” 

That’s not true. 

We can put our tools on your website, and they’re ready to go. You can pay today, we give our tools to your web team, they put the tools on your website, and your speed-to-lead is fixed. 

Follow up consistently, more often, with better messaging.

Not only did our mystery shops show us that speed-to-lead was bad, but the frequency of follow-up was terrible, and the messaging did not connect. 

You need consistent follow-up

It’s one thing to follow-up fast; it’s another thing to do it consistently. The best way to be able to measure the effectiveness of your follow-up is to rely on automation to do it the exact same way every time. Then, a couple of months later, you can look at the results, tweak, set goals for the next couple of months. It’s impossible to know how effective your follow-up is if you’re doing it differently every time. Automation solves that problem.

You need to follow-up more

Our mystery shopping shows us that senior living communities don’t follow-up enough. During the first seven days, of the communities that did respond to our inquiries, we usually only received one follow-up message (text, email, and call included). That’s not nearly enough. Through the first seven days, you should aim for 4–5 touches.

Your follow-up messaging needs to connect

A lot of the messaging we’ve seen doesn’t do a good job of connecting with the problems that the spouse or adult child is dealing with. The responses to our inquiry are filled with industry jargon, way too many PDF attachments of brochures, and long paragraphs of text. 

When we follow-up like that, we overwhelm people. What they really need is for someone to say, “This is Luke at Pine Greens. I just received a notice that you viewed our pricing. Can you tell me a little more about what led you to view our pricing today?”

Use connection videos and testimonial videos

We all know video is killing it these days so let’s do something about it!

When it comes to connecting with your leads, there are many great tools in the industry like OneDay, SalesMail, and others. These apps make it really easy to send personalized videos to leads. We received some in response to our inquiries, and they are impressive!

The next thing you need to put on your website is video testimonials from family members, residents, and team members. Before you start thinking about how difficult that may be too accomplish, I promise you it’s really easy. Just reach out to us to use our brand new video testimonial generation platform, or we can recommend some other options to you. 

Quick Recap

Here is what you need to do to help your marketers reach 100% occupancy in 2023

  • Put a synced tour calendar on your websites.
  • Fix your speed to lead.
  • Follow up consistently, more often, with better messaging.
  • Use connection videos and testimonial videos.

If you do those four things, you’ll find increased occupancy and happier sales people.