The Dos and Don’ts of Increasing Senior Living Occupancy

Increasing your senior living occupancy is a multifaceted process.

Creating a community that supports senior living sales involves everything from solid clinical care to excellent operational management.

There’s hardly a magic wand you can wave to increase your move-ins overnight.

However, there are best practices you can follow to drive occupancy and revenue when it comes to your community’s sales system. Improving your census is either helped—or harmed—by the mindset, behaviors, and processes of your sales team.

If you’re an operator looking to boost your senior living occupancy, here are some important dos and don’ts you need to know.

DO raise your expectations.

Comparing your current senior living occupancy to the industry average is an ineffective way to establish your revenue goals.

Improving your census doesn’t begin with comparing your community with mediocre statistics. It starts with setting a goal for zero lost revenue days.

At Bild & Company, this expectational shift is one of the first ways we help communities drive move-ins. Here are a few tips you can use to begin to change your mindset:

  • Set your occupancy goal high. Don’t use industry averages or your nearby competitors as your benchmark.
  • Build value for your community. Instead of focusing on what your community lacks, begin to spot opportunities for meeting the needs of your prospects.
  • Communicate your goals to your team. Raising expectations must occur on a community-wide level so all team members collaborate to improve metrics.

DON’T offer financial incentives.

All too often, communities attempt to prop up their senior living occupancy with discounts, rent cuts, and other financially driven techniques.  

While discounts can occasionally close a deal, you should use these sparingly. Financial incentives can never replace a solid sales system, and, over time, they’ll begin to decrease your revenue and shift your focus away from building your community’s value.

DO invest in your sales team.

Instead of relying on financial props to drive move-ins, there is a better way to increase your revenue—investing in your sales team.

Unlike discounts that only eat at your net operating income, training your sales team can produce long-term rewards. With the right coaching, your team members can learn to…

  • Maximize the value of inquiry calls, establishing a strong relationship with your prospects at the outset.
  • Turn tours into move-ins with a solid process that showcases your community’s value to leads.
  • Practice effective follow-up so no leads slip through the cracks.

The result of cultivating your sales team’s skills is a lessened need to rely on financial motivations to encourage prospects to move in.

DON’T neglect accountability.

Accountability is another important element for senior living occupancy, and here’s why…

Even with senior living sales training, your team can understand best practices without implementing them.  

Your community may have less-than-compliant sales team members who want to follow their own inclinations instead of proven techniques, or you may have well-meaning advisors who’ve forgotten what they’ve learned.

From mystery shopping your community to evaluating individual metrics, you’ll want to ensure your team is practicing what they’ve been taught for increased revenue.

If you’re struggling to improve your senior living occupancy, there’s a good chance you can help your community increase move-ins by shifting how you support your sales team.

Discover a simple shift that can produce dramatic results for your senior care community with our complimentary report Drive Occupancy in 2017: The Role of Operational Leadership and Oversight in Top Line Revenue.

Gain the knowledge you need to help your community overcome census struggles when you request access to our free report.

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