Both tour visits I did this week were pretty good and yet I wonder if good, is good enough.

I skipped a tour post last week not because I didn’t do a tour but because it just wasn’t all that interesting . . . but . . . then had the same experience this week so I got to thinking some more about the experiences . . .

The Communities

  • One was assisted living
  • The other independent living
  • One was owned by a moderate sized regional operator
  • The other was operated by a large national company
  • One was located in the State of Nevada
  • The other in the State of Washington


  • Both had good, clearly marked easy access parking that was very close to the front entrance.
  • In both communities I was immediately greeted by the front desk person. They both immediately went to work finding someone to give me a tour.
  • I was offered drinks and immediately got the coffee I asked for.
  • Both had complete marketing packages that included detailed pricing.
  • In one community I passed on the tour because they had stuff going on and I felt it would have been unfair to take people away from residents and family members.  They saw me as a prospect and offered maybe three times to give me a tour using just the right amount of pressure/encouragement. In addition the team member I was talking to pressed about as hard as she could for a phone number or email address which I gently and politely refused to give.

The Question I Was Left With . . .

In a very real sense it would be impossible to fault the team members I interacted with. In fact if I were an executive director I would be delighted to hire either one of them. I would say they were substantially above average. And yet, the thing that was lacking was “The Story”.

What I mean by this is that I am convinced that every senior living community has (or should have) multiple stories about what makes them unique and amazing compared to at least every other senior living community in their marketplace and perhaps in the whole world. Developing a set of stories is something that takes training, thinking and skills.

While story telling is something that is deeply embedded in our DNA, telling stories for marketing purposes is not such any easy thing to do. The best way to develop a culture of marketing stories is for staff to tell stories at their stand-up meetings, which should be attended by sales and marketing. It is ultimately the stories that say . . . “we are better at this thing we do than anyone else in the whole world.”

Don’t believe me?

We are rushing into conference season. Every single keynote speaker who is worth their fee will tell you stories that will amaze and inspire you. They are stories that are true but very specifically crafted to evoke those emotions in you. This is a good thing not a manipulative thing.

What’s your story?

Steve Moran