Every senior community manager knows that on-line lead generation is important and,  at the same time, most feel like they are on the losing side.  You and your community can be on the winning side.

  Every senior community manager knows that on-line lead generation is important and,  at the same time, most feel like they are on the losing side.  You and your community can be on the winning side.

This is the second of a two part series about on-line lead generation based on an interview with Blair Carey, the managing director of RetirementHomes.com  Blair is an expert on how to make your on-line advertising dollars work for you. You can read part one of this series here.

Setting the Stage

RetirementHomes.com is the largest online senior housing directory company in North America.  They, and all directory services, have an odd business model that requires them to  provide fantastic service, content and results to both consumers and senior housing providers. RetirementHomes.com and other directory services provide your senior housing community with increased likelihood that your community will be found when a prospect does a Google search.

Understanding Google

Try this experiment:  Go to Google and enter your city plus “assisted living” (or whatever your market segment is).  When you look at page 1 of the search results you will mostly likely find the following:

  1. Most of the listings will be communities that have a Google Plus page (something you should have).
  2. Most of the other results will be either directory services or referral agencies.
  3. If you are lucky enough to have your community show up on the first page, don’t get too excited:
  • Because you are listed today does not mean you will be tomorrow.
  • The reason you show up on the first page may have more to do with your personal individual browsing history creating a false sense of security.  The practical meaning is that someone else living in your market area doing the same search will likely as not get different results.
  • A high percentage of searches for senior housing are done by out-of-town family members. They will almost certainly get different results than what you see.

Using Directory Services to help you win in search.

Directory services provide at least 4 key elements that will improve your visibility and lead generation potential:

  1. You need to approach this as a long-term project.   This means committing to it as a multiyear project. The process requires regular updating and tweaking.  While long-term sounds expensive it is, in reality, one of the most cost effective strategies you can employ.  If you only moved in one new resident every three years it would be have a great ROI.
  2. Page 1 is king.  When people shop for products or services they rarely go past page 2 or 3 of their search results.   This means page 1 is king; page 2, is not too bad, page 3 gives you just a tiny shoot at being noticed.  Deeper than page 3 is worth essentially nothing. A directory listing will make it much more likely you will have page 1 or 2 positioning.
  3. It is the best way to reach out-of-town family members.  More accurately, it is essentially the only way to reach out of town loved ones. Your directory listing will give you a huge advantage over your competitors.
  4. Qualification of leads is as important as the leads themselves.  It is not true for every senior community, but many end up with lots of leads, most of which have little if any value.  A good premium directory package will give valuable tools that do some initial qualification of prospects.  This means you will have an indication that the prospect is really looking in the right geographic area, that they have the ability to pay what you are charging and that the services you offer and the services they are looking for all match.

Ultimately it makes the most sense to look at and even invest in more than one directory company. And, of course, Blair and Senior Housing Forum would appreciate it if you checked out RetirementHomes.com. 

You can reach them at: [email protected]