Why Senior Care Properties Fail to Fill

When it comes to establishing full occupancy at your senior living property, you may find yourself with more questions than answers.

With the saturation of Senior Living communities across the nation, and 118 new projects in development this year, you might think it’s your competition blocking your success.

In reality, mid-sized operators struggle with to achieve high occupancy, 95%+- as many seniors decide to stay at home with hired assistance.

Data from a recent Pew survey sheds light on this issue. The findings yield that…

  • Only 17% of prospective residents report wanting to move into an Assisted Living property.
  • There are 8% of residents who need care that plan to move in with a family member.
  • The overwhelming majority (75%) of your prospective residents want to live in their homes with hired nursing care.

Source: Pew Research.

Senior care execs face an uphill battle.

With 75% of your residents having an objection, that means your marketing must soften their concerns. The thing is, no one has really identified the reason why seniors plan to stay at home.

Senior living communities don’t market themselves as “homey.”

Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective resident. You’ve lived at home all your life—there is a comfort and familiarity that can’t be matched.

When you reach your sunset years, and you need assistance to function, would you want to uproot everything you’ve ever known to live in an unfamiliar care environment?

Of course not.

It’s up to you to provide a home-like environment. What’s more, your marketing must display this element without reservation. This is the one and only way to attract the 75% of residents who’d prefer to stay at home.

Here are a few ideas on how you can create this home atmosphere dynamic.

Invite guests to tour their new home tomorrow or today- create urgency.

Marketing—when it’s effective—solicits a response. When you gain a reaction from your target market, you’ve completed the principal objective of marketing. This means asking the audience to take action.

To emphasize the hominess of your property, I recommend inviting guests to tour your property and see it first hand; rather than offering to send a brochure (you would be surprised how many of your sales people are doing this rather than inviting people in).

Remind them of everything you’ve done to allow residents to feel comfortable, cozy, and at home.

Sweeten the deal with an invitation to see actual resident apartments, participate in an activity aligned with their hobbies to to join residents for a meal  and be sure to highlight  the various amenities that tie directly back to your prospect’s stated wants and needs.

Most importantly, train your sales teams to invite prospects to come in tomorrow or even today. It’s critical to create urgency and urge them to action now, not later.

Getting people in the building is proven to be the most important factor required to drive occupancy- they must come in!

Use photo-heavy marketing.

To showcase how your community provides a warm, inviting atmosphere, use photographic evidence.

Many marketing teams opt to show photos of pools, tennis courts, workout amenities, and dining halls.

These images are worthwhile, but fail to showcase the comfortable atmosphere you’ve created for residents.

In addition to photos of amenities, make it a point to showcase bedrooms and bathrooms with actual residents in them

Show how residents have decorated these rooms with various knickknacks and photos of the grandchildren.

This will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that your community will feel like home.

Transition to digital marketing.

If you’re still stuck with the offline approach to marketing, it’s more important than ever to transition to digital marketing. As you know, it’s not the residents that shop for senior housing…

It is more often their children.

These buyers browse the Internet and learn about companies through email marketing, blogging, and social media more so than pamphlets and brochures.

Your buyers want to do right by their parents.

They know how much mom and dad value their home life, and they’d like to continue the trend.

Let your buyers know how you provide the perfect home environment.

There’s no better way to do that than digital marketing.

I can help you overcome objections and expand your reach with digital marketing. Send me an email at tbild@bildandco.com or text 813-390-3349 with your name and number, and I’ll show you what can be done to fill your apartments to capacity.

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