.By Kent Mulkey
Here are nine facts about senior living sales counselors that you may not know.
1. They are emotionally spent at the end of the day.
It can be very taxing for sales counselors to engage prospects who are looking for senior living, as they are listening to and asking questions of older adults who are considering making what may be the biggest decision of their lives.
2. They do a ton more than just sit and talk with people.
One of the chief criticisms of senior living counselors is that their job is easy — all they do is sit and talk with people, then walk around the building. Well, there is paperwork, phone calls, database entry, emails, meetings, home visits, etc. There are often not enough hours in the day.
3. They are not in the business of simply renting apartments.
People who move to senior living are about to undergo a significant life change. They are considering having new neighbors, eating in a dining room, living in the community, giving up their house of 40 years, and facing the reality that they are getting older. There are enormous losses they are navigating, and the sales counselor is there to come alongside as a guide.
4. They feel more occupancy pressure than you can imagine.
Even without any external expectations from the home office, the sales counselors I have worked with feel the pressure every day to increase occupancy and get the building to 100%. I have been fortunate to work with some very driven and competitive sales counselors.
5. They don’t make as much money as you might think.
Of course, we all know that sales counselors earn commissions and bonuses. But they’re paid a very small fraction of the revenue generated per move-in, about $70,000 over the life of the resident’s length of stay.
6. They work virtually all the time.
For years, I heard comments about sales counselors leaving work “early” or arriving “late.” In sales, there is no such thing. What you don’t see is that they take phone calls on nights and weekends, do tours on their day off, and meet prospects at a local Starbucks.
7. They need the whole team to be successful.
It takes a village, the whole team, for a sales counselor to be successful: the concierge, nurse, dining, maintenance, life enrichment, and housekeeping. No one is more or less important than another. A maintenance director I worked with conducted some of the best tours of anyone in the community.
8. They move into the community about 20% of all inquirers.
It is often shocking for non-sales counselors to learn that 80% of people who inquire about their community don’t move in (Sherpa CRM). In fact, most seniors stay home and don’t move anywhere. And did you know that 90% of older adults won’t even consider moving to a senior community and won’t even inquire (John Cochrane)?
9. They often spend months working with prospects before they move in.
It takes several months or even years for a prospect to move into a senior community. Life-changing decisions take time, and our job is to follow their timeline. Only about 5% of prospects are ready to move in the next 30 days (Sherpa CRM).
Jump in and help. Your part in sales is very important!