By Jen Lovely

I’ve seen tremendous development in the senior living industry over the past 11 years. Improvements include increased investment in new communities, stronger protocols and technologies to keep seniors safe, and amenities that meet the needs of active residents.

The next phase of industry growth is using marketing technology and a hustle mindset to capture prospects, connect with leads, and convert leads into move-ins. Here are three ways your team can increase your leads-to-move-ins ratio while cultivating a human-centered approach

1. Leverage Technology To Craft a Better Sales Experience

When anonymous website visitors are ready to connect with you, having multiple lead capture options on your website will increase qualified leads. Beyond contact information, lead capture modules can uncover how a prospect arrived at your website, how many interactions they had with your website before becoming a lead, and the ability to schedule tours and claim offers. These insights indicate which lead generation campaigns are performing the best and enable your team to create a personalized sales experience.

Here’s an example: Jane Smith is a senior interested in Greenfield Community. She found Greenfield through a search ad with the search terms “senior living amenities pool.” Jane claimed a free birthday month offer, and when scheduling a tour, she answered questions that revealed her monthly income, desired floor plan, and favorite amenities. Before Jane arrives for her appointment, the team member can create a personalized tour that highlights amenities Jane is interested in and show her floor plans in her budget. The meeting leaves Jane feeling important and appreciated, because the entire presentation is customized to her desires and needs.

2. Speed To The Lead

In our fast-paced internet world, prospects need a quick response after connecting with your community. During office hours, it’s critical to return a call or respond to an email as soon as possible. After office hours, having a chat option to answer common questions or schedule a tour gives you the opportunity to connect to a lead before your competition does. 

Another tip is knowing the decision-makers in a senior’s life. I have experienced this scenario many times: A senior is on the cusp of signing move-in paperwork when the process grinds to a halt. An unknown decision-maker, such as extended family, has objections that were never addressed, which can slow down and jeopardize the move-in process. By knowing the decision-makers upfront, you can stay one step ahead, alleviating any concerns, keeping the process on track to close the lead. 

3. Don’t Close Leads Too Early

Senior living move-ins vary widely from “My dad needs a room tomorrow” to “I’m looking for a community to call home in the next year or two.” Leads with immediate needs have a short sales cycle that depends on occupancy, while those with a longer time horizon need nurturing strategies that connect them to your community. When it’s time for seniors and their loved ones to make a decision, you want to be their first choice. Consider these strategies to nurture leads: 

  • Schedule check-ins: Ask to stay in touch on a quarterly basis or another time frame that makes sense. Invite the lead to contact you or the community with questions, if they need suggestions or someone to bounce ideas off of during their research.
  • Send a monthly email newsletter: Feature a resident’s biography; highlight community activities or improvements and upgrades.
  • Invite to virtual events: Book clubs, painting class (send them complimentary supplies ahead of time), bingo, or yoga class.
  • Invite to volunteer: When it’s safe, invite seniors to volunteer to assist staff, teach a class, or help with an event. This enables seniors to identify with your community and potentially be an influencer for those seeking a new home.  

These actionable strategies continue the conversation with seniors, keeping your community top of mind as they consider their options.

Jen Lovely is the executive vice president of sales and a partner at Conversion Logix. Since the company started in 2010, she has built a thriving senior living team that delivers qualified traffic to clients’ websites to accelerate their leads, tours, and move-ins. Prior to Conversion Logix, Jen spent 20 years in the hospitality business as an executive in sales and marketing. Jen enjoys providing strategic, high-touch account management to her clients daily to enable them to reach census.