Which would you rather manage: leads or a wait list?

By Susan Saldibar

Why is it that when you find yourself in need of a funeral home, the odds are you’ll know exactly where to go? You won’t go to the internet or the yellow pages. You’ll call the funeral home you know because you’ve been there before, your family and friends go there, your trust them and they are part of your community for all occasions. What do funeral homes do so well that makes this so?

What They Do So Well

For starters,

  • They help people plan ahead.

  • They offer special programs, such as Sunrise Easter services.

  • They advertise to keep their brand in front of future clients.

  • They support the community by sponsoring local events.

But, according to Tom Goldman, COO of SoftVu, a Senior Housing Forum partner, what funeral homes do particularly well is to reach out to their future clients, long before there is a need. “So that when that day comes, ask any local family and they’ll say ‘Oh we’ll use (whatever the local funeral home is). We’ve been there for funerals before and we like and trust them.’”

A Page Out of Their Playbook

Maybe it’s time for senior living communities to take a page out of the funeral home playbook. Here are three secrets to success of funeral homes that you can start using now:

  1. Use metadata: There is an abundance of detailed data on your future clients out there; get your hands on it and start using it to convey messaging that is truly targeted to each prospective client.

  2. Know your community: Get to know your target community like the back of your hand; become an expert on other businesses, community events, influential people, etc.

  3. Be visible to everyone: You can build your brand through community programs, seminars, special events. Invite the entire community in and do it often.

Once you begin to understand the demographics of likely residents, you can use marketing dollars differently to establish yourself as the obvious choice when they have the need. Understand that your demographics will change. Tom recommends that you re-visit them if you haven’t in the last year and re-calibrate your marketing programs as needed.

Which Would You Rather Manage: Leads or A Wait List?

Most importantly, however, senior living communities need to turn their mindset around from marketing to those in need to marketing well before they have a need. “Which would you rather manage,” Tom asks, “leads or a wait list?”

There is an old joke most of us have heard about funeral homes, “People are just dying to get in.” Morbid? Perhaps. But funeral homes, which arguably people want to think about even less than senior communities, have learned how to turn their marketing dollars into a multi-faceted community approach that positions them as the safe and trusted choice, when the need arises. Now, with a little work and a change in mindset, senior living communities can, too.

For more information on using metadata and creating programs to target your market and build your brand awareness in your community, visit the SoftVu website.

Connect with SeniorVu and never let a lead hit the ground again . . . ever. Call 816-759-2586 today.