By Susan Saldibar

Years ago when I got laid off, there was an upside.

Well, sort of.

Gas was expensive, and I no longer had a 45-minute commute. No more Starbucks en route (we all know how that adds up). Oh, and I would no longer be going out to lunches with my colleagues. Cha-ching. Potentially hundreds of dollars saved.

C’mon. I still had to pay my bills. Who am I kidding?

But, I kid you not, it reminds me of the kind of mentality surrounding the empty bed problem in this industry.

No need for CNAs to go in to those empty rooms, no need for OTs, maintenance crew, no need for anybody in your care chain.

But you still have to pay your bills.

In my case I got off my butt and got to work pounding the pavement until I got hired again.

What are you doing? Hopefully more marketing, not less.

Steve Moran recently had a conversation with Han Hwang and Holly Rehbock of (a Foresight partner). It’s a great video which you can watch here.

This is when a tool like can really help. You probably know their model: 

  • You handle your listing and details. Caring does all the advertising for you.
  • You don’t pay a dime until you actually get a move-in.
  • Then you pay them. (And probably complain about it.)
  • But your occupancy goes up. You filled a bed.

Han and Holly were very candid and open about the perceived expensiveness of And yet using it gets communities leads they might not otherwise have. They get to piggyback off of Caring’s huge online presence without spending a dime upfront.

So is it too expensive? Or is the problem with your sales team?

As a former VP of sales and marketing, I agreed with Han and Holly when they talked about the sales issues. They even gave a couple scenarios.

  • Community A gets five to six move-ins. Sales is working primarily their digital marketing leads. Other leads, like leads from referral sources (Caring), are considered secondary (huge mistake). They may move in a few, but they don’t really work the rest of the leads. They’re leaving opportunities (and money) on the table.
  • Community B gets 11 to 12 move-ins. They treat every single lead source as viable. So they’ll work the Caring leads. They’ll invest the time. Their reward is better overall results. Fewer empty beds. Stronger bottom line.

Assume all leads are gold! There are no bad leads unless you decide they are. 

Han and Holly stress that the strategy works. But sales needs to put in the time and effort. Nobody is handing you move-ins. These leads need to be nurtured.

As Holly noted, for Community A, a prospect who’s “just looking” gets back-burnered. For Community B, that same prospect gets invited to events, gets sent helpful and informative links, and is kept in the loop.

The prospect falls and suddenly needs extra help. Who do you think he’ll call?

Which community are you? A or B?

Maybe it’s time to stop complaining about costs, start working those leads, and start filling those empty beds!

If you’re serious about boosting your online presence and start getting leads, it’s time to get in touch with and request a demo.

Just make sure sales is ready to do their part. Leads are made to be followed upon  … and worked … and worked …