Do you remember a couple of weeks ago Traci Bild’s article, “Why? 3 Questions Every Senior Living CEO Needs to Ask”? She challenges every CEO, CFO and COO to ask themselves certain questions regarding their communities. I would like to take that one step further.
Ask yourself those SAME questions and perhaps a few more, BUT ask them about your COMPETITORS. And ask them in a “CAN THEY?” and “DO THEY?” scenario. For example, do they have over 95% occupancy or is that a sales and urgency tool? Can they drill down and build rapport with their prospects or do they just ask if they want a one or two bedroom? Do they have a warm, welcoming community environment? What are their unique selling features similar to your therapeutic aquatics classes or five star dining? Chances are you don’t really know the answer. Sure you know what they tell you, but is that the full picture?
So how do you find out the full picture?
Unfortunately in life, we don’t have a crystal ball or even a magic mirror to ask such questions. Of course you can call. You can send one of your own community sales people into the competitor’s building. You can take others’ words at face value and determine a plan of action on how to sell against them. But maybe you do have a more realistic, modern day version of that crystal ball. Have you thought about sending in a completely unbiased, third party who is looking for certain items specifically important to you and tailored for your community; from how the initial phone call is handled, tour scheduled and even planned and given? Or maybe you want to know how their pricing and level of cares work. Do you know those answers? I mean really know them?
If this seems of interest to you, you need to work mystery shopping into your sales training and strategic planning. Bild works with dozens of clients and conducts hundreds of mystery shops. We not only shop a client’s portfolio, but more and more often we are shopping their competitors. We provide valuable insight and intel to what is going on in the market. They don’t see us (shoppers) as anything other than a prospect looking for a new place to call home. How they treat us is most often an experience prospect would receive. It allows you to answer questions, compare strategies, modify your processes and learn from others. You’ll realize what works and what doesn’t.
Let us help you. The more questions you ask and the more honest answers you receive, the better equipped you will be to take your occupancy to the next level. For more information about mystery shopping, please contact us → and we’ll get the conversation started.