Several months ago I attended a breakout session on senior living sales and marketing presented by a sales/marketing executive who works for a well-known senior living provider. During the question and answer portion of the presentation someone in the audience asked the presenter (nope, not even giving you the gender) about the role of the internet in getting communities full and keeping them that way. The presenter’s immediate response was that, while it was necessary to have some type of webpage, it wasn’t all that important because the selling process was all about the relationship.

Just Plain Wrong

This person was just plain wrong about the importance of an internet presence for senior living. While the close itself is an interpersonal experience, we know that around 80% of the time, when a prospect walks through the door of your senior community for the first time, they will have checked you out on the internet. Not only does every single senior living company need a dedicated web page, they also need a Facebook page and a robust and active email list.

Consumers Love Aggregation Sites

Your own webpage and Facebook page just barely gets you in the game. To gain real success you absolutely need to be partnered with a lead aggregator like (a Senior Housing Forum Partner). The biggest single reason you need this relationship is that consumers love and trust aggregator sites way more than they trust your website or Facebook page. Here’s why:

1. They Rank High in Web Searches – This means they are easy to use and easy to access. In fact, they are so prominent they are hard to avoid. You can be 100% certain that, if a consumer has looked on the internet, they will have visited a senior living aggregation site.

2. They Tell the Whole Truth – or at least a lot more of the truth. We all know that, to a greater or lesser degree, all senior living websites use the same stock photos and the same tried and true language (if you doubt it, see my recent article on restaurant dining). The data on aggregated websites has enough granularity to be able to see all the differences between the various communities.

3. They Have Prices – There continues to be a huge debate about whether or not senior living communities should post prices. They should and you should, but you probably don’t. Good aggregation sites like provide useful pricing information in a consolidated, functional fashion.

4. They Have Reviews – Well not all of them . . . but one of the big appeals of sites like Amazon and TripAdvisor is that you can see what other real people (as opposed to marketing people) have to say about whatever they are looking for. Because a senior living choice is such a major life decision, reviews provide extra value and that is hugely important to prospects. has hard, quantifiable data that demonstrates senior living communities that have reviews, even when they are not perfect, get 14 times more leads than those that don’t have reviews.

What’s In It for You?

The bottom line is more screened leads, which means more move-ins. And that means more happiness for everyone. has created one page guide titled: “5 Ways to Help Make Your Directory Listing Attract Great Prospects” exclusively for the readers of Senior Housing Forum. 5 Ways to Help Make Your Directory Listing Attract Great Prospects

In your own experience, what percentage of your prospects have checked you out on the web before walking through the door?   Steve Moran If you like this article (or even if you don’t) it would be a great honor to have you subscribe to our mailing list HERE