The Unspoken Truth behind Why Your Senior Living Portfolio Suffers from Low Occupancy

Senior living CEOs focus on high-level goals to grow their portfolios.

You create growth plans to meet the daily demands of high staff turnover, the threat of regulation and litigation, or the high acuity needs of an aging resident population. You craft strategies to attract valuable younger residents who often disengage from the sales process because, well, “They aren’t that old yet!”

Every decision you make, whether short- or long-term, typically focuses on initiatives to grow occupancy, improve the resident experience, and, of course, improve your net operating income.

While you may think increasing your profit margin lies in a vast analysis of your operations or in revamped amenities, revenue growth may be closer than you think.

Here’s the reality…

The unspoken truth behind your low occupancy often lies in the smallest of details. And, many times, increased net operating income is right under your nose.

That’s a bold claim, but we’ve got the stats to prove it.

Bild & Company mystery shopped over 1,000 senior living communities nationally in 2016, and, year-to-date, we’ve shopped over 700 more. This research consists of a combination of straight mystery shops to evaluate the customer experience as well as competitive analyses to understand communities’ pricing and occupancy data.

We’ve released a sample analysis to reveal why your portfolio may be suffering from threats you may not even know exist.

To reveal what’s lurking in your poor occupancy numbers, check out these results from a sample of 200 communities represented by 15 different senior living organizations nationally. Let’s dive into the details…

An Analysis of a Sample of 200 Shopped Communities: The Shocking Results

In this sample, each of our shops investigated how senior living communities responded to and followed up with incoming leads—an import part of what it takes to steer clear of low occupancy and poor revenue.

We pulled the data, and what we found was shocking.

  • For leads who inquired by email, 44 of the 200 senior living communities failed to respond in 48 hours. That’s a painful 22% of communities.
  • For leads who inquired by phone, 73 of the 200 communities failed to follow up by phone or email over the span of two weeks. That’s a painful 36.5% of communities.

Despite the strategies these organizations were employing to meet their growth goals, they were undermining their efforts by simply leaving a small detail undone—something that’s devastating for an organization trying to uncover the reason behind its low occupancy.

Keep in mind that the average lead costs you $500. Based on the data we just shared, there is a lot of money being left on the table. Fixing this would be what Bild & Company calls a “quick win.”

The Lost Revenue Your Low Occupancy Creates

While our stats uncover a hidden threat that can minimize your revenue, they reveal so much more.

They indicate how senior living CEOs underestimate the negative impact poor sales infrastructure has on top-line revenue. With big investments regularly made into marketing, the reality is that many of those leads are lost.

For instance, Genworth Financial reports that the national median cost for assisted living care is $3,628 per month or $43,000 a year.

If your communities lose just 25 leads (in total)—who would have become residents had your communities responded properly—then you’ve forfeited over $1 million annually for your organization.

Without established systems to drive strong occupancy, decreasing revenue and dipping occupancy will only continue to plague your organization; 2018 will prove to be even tougher due to the sheer number of new developments.

Is This Why You Struggle with Low Occupancy?

Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell if your portfolio is hemorrhaging revenue due to the impact of competition, high resident attrition, or poor sales numbers. Without key data, there’s no way to know if you’re missing a small win that can produce big results.

The good news is, you don’t have to tackle your challenges alone.

Bild & Company is a strategic partner for senior living CEOs who need granular information that uncovers why they’re suffering from low occupancy numbers.

We’re the eyes and ears in your communities—giving you actionable information to find a shortcut to growth gains. Doing more than simply pinpointing your problems, we can partner with you to create a plan that reverses your dipping numbers and helps you meet your short- and long-term goals.

Discover our proprietary three-part mystery shopping research service that reveals the intricate details of your revenue-growth struggles.

Understanding what’s really happening right now is the first step to creating a viable strategy. Once you get the facts, you can create your revenue-growth plan.

To receive a complimentary sample of our analysis, contact us online, or speak with Liz Simpson at 1-800-640-0688.

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