By Leigh Ann Hubbard

What if you could convert more than 20% of your qualified online leads into move-ins?

Some communities are not only meeting that sales goal, they’re exceeding it!

In a recent webinar about best practices for converting internet leads, shared data from just one region of the country, highlighting the 10 highest-performing communities there. The average conversion rate was 24%, and a couple of communities converted a third or more of the referrals they received from Caring! The lowest-performing 10 communities in that same region each received 19-21 qualified referrals and converted none.

Why such a difference? Peter Droubay has looked into what separates the high performers from the low ones. He’s director of business development, sales, and training for (a Foresight partner). He’s found a marked difference in sales techniques. Communities with the highest conversions tend to use certain methods consistently.

Peter shared details in the webinar, including the following three tips he’s seen pan out time and again. (You can hear all of his advice here.) 

1. Know your unique selling propositions.

Peter and others on Caring’s Partner Success team often consult with communities to help them raise their move-in rates. (Sales and marketing guidance is included in Caring’s partner program.) “Sometimes I say, ‘Well, why would somebody move to you guys? What’s unique about you guys?’” he says in the webinar. And they respond, “Nothing.”

It’s essential to know your “unique selling propositions”— what makes your community special. For example, does it have the best price, floor plans, activities, amenities, staff, location? Does its small size make it cozy and homelike? Does its large size mean it’s bustling and friendly?

“If you don’t have a list of your unique selling propositions and how they compare to your competition, then you need to back up and do a little research,” Peter says. “Shop your competitors. Know what they offer.” And know what makes your community stand out.

2. Make sure your online image is strong and improving.

“I can’t tell you how often this is missed,” Peter says. These days, people make decisions before ever talking to you — in what he calls the modern-day drive-by. 

“People used to drive by, and some people would decide not to get out of the car based on what they saw,” he says. “Well, guess what. The drive-by is still happening, but it’s not happening in a car. It’s happening online.”

In the modern version, one thing that makes a huge impact is reviews. 71% of Americans 55 and older read reviews of local businesses, and 52% won’t use a business with fewer than four stars, according to a 2019 BrightLocal survey cited in the webinar.

So you need to cultivate and manage reviews carefully. For senior living communities, that means paying special attention to your listing. This site “is the largest consumer review site for senior care by far, and you need to make sure that you are constantly working those reviews,” Peter says. Partners get tools to help them do that.

The webinar also covers other things that affect your online image, like photos, social networking, media coverage, and videos.

3. Have high call cadence and depth, with a great nurture system.

Persistence wins these days. In 2007, it took businesses an average of 3.68 calls to connect with a consumer, Peter says. In 2017, it took eight.

“If you’re not making at least 10 calls, there’s a lot of people you won’t reach,” he says.

And once you get someone on the phone, know that that’s just the beginning. You’ll probably need to make contact a number of other times before the move-in happens. But if you keep it up, you may end up being the only community left in the game. In general, by the time a business connects with someone just three times, 80% of the competition has given up, Peter says.

And phone calls aren’t the only effective way to get in touch. Texts, emails, and even social media should also be worked in. In the webinar, Peter gives a sample one-week schedule you can try.

Seven More Best Practices

The hour-long webinar packs in tons of actionable advice, with seven more keys to converting leads to move-ins. This is one you’ll want to make time for. 

Caring shared with Senior Living Foresight that over 700 senior living executives nationwide accessed this session. Here’s some of the feedback from attendees:

  • “Very informative presentation. One of the best webinars I’ve watched lately.”
  • “New ideas and a great refresher to remind you about certain strategies you have stopped using for one reason or another and should bring back into your sales strategy.”
  • “The content was spot on, and the speaker definitely knew what he was talking about.”

If you’re not up to speed on these insights and your competitors are, you could be missing out on move-ins. Watch the webinar here, and download the slides here. Caring’s Digital Marketing Academy hosts these types of sessions regularly and has them archived as well.

Need More Help?

If you’re a Caring partner, please contact [email protected] to discuss your community’s account and how you can further optimize your partnership with Caring. 

If you’re not yet a partner, contact [email protected] to learn more about how to grow your business on the platform (and please mention that you read this article on Senior Living Foresight).

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