BUILDING YOUR FAN BASE DURING THE CORONA PANDEMIC MUST CONTINUE TO ENSURE A PIPELINE OF FUTURE RESIDENTS IN YOUR INDEPENDENT, ASSISTED LIVING OR MEMORY CARE COMMUNITY
Get creative with your ideas to develop and cultivate human connections right now when people physically can’t be together, to help fill your pipeline of move-ins post pandemic
While the most rewarding interactions in our lives occur in our social and personal spaces- think Broadway, intimate coffee shops, baseball games, camping…there are ways to imitate this and forge bonds that are creative and rewarding for everyone involved. People are in one another’s social space and can feel the human connection in a positive way.
The degree of human proximity is tied to shared emotion and that has enormous effect on how well we do in business. People don’t want to be alone; they want to be together. Since we can’t do so physically, let’s make it happen emotionally!
A fan is who they are not because of a calculated, intellectual decision to follow something, but because of their passion, their emotion and their sense of enjoyment. Consider your favorite musician or group, you’re a fan mostly likely because of how the music makes you feel, the emotion it creates!
To build a fan base out of your customers within senior living, whether assisted or independent living, memory care, continuum of care or active adult, begin to think of creative ways to develop and cultivate human connections both right now when people physically can’t be together and post virus pandemic when they can!
If you missed it last week with Chapter 4, listen below!
Remember the importance of proximity because that can lead you to a better understanding of how to attract and keep potential fans interested in making a move to your community. While most of your interaction is going to happen virtually right now, you can begin to promote that in person celebration you will have once your community is out of quarantine.
A FEW IDEAS TO SPARK COMMUNITY CONNECTION AND CULTIVATE A FANOCRACY DURING QUARANTINE
HOST AN INTIMATE FACEBOOK LIVE GATHERING
Create a Facebook event and target those seniors in your local market service area as you focus on the lease up of your new development or building a pipeline to ultimately fill the remaining vacancies in your existing community.
Consider hosting an event, where people of like mind can come together in their shared passion. Here are some ideas:
- Virtual Book Club: Pick a great book and invite seniors to join your online book club. Your activities director can facilitate the conversation over Facebook live and make people feel they are part of something. You might consider a niche like historical fiction, mystery or science fiction and have three clubs going at once. Even better, consider asking current residents who have dynamic personalities to facilitate these clubs, giving them purpose and a chance to rave about your community while they are in their own isolation! Books can be ordered online or downloaded on a Kindle or Nook.
- Chair Yoga: Harvard Medical School is recommending yoga to deal with COVID-19 anxiety; why not lead a Facebook live daily chair yoga class where people can interact, laugh and get to know one other online? Fitness companies all over the nation are rolling out online classes, you can do the same and become a star in your prospective buyer’s eyes as well as allowing them to see how engaged your residents are!
- Trunk Drop Meals to Go: You can model restaurants and take care of your top ten referral sources by allowing them to drop by the community to have prepared meals dropped in the trunk of their car to take home to their families after a long day of work. Nothing will endear you more to a referral source than providing a service like this! This strategy alone will create a fanocracy like no other and those people served will reciprocate and send referrals your way during and post quarantine. Be sure to include a visual with ideas on how you can help their patients right now from short-term respite stays to wellness checks and a direct number they can text with referrals.
You can wait until the quarantine passes to act or you can use these types of strategies to bring people together, in as close proximity as possible, where they can converse and create instant connections all thanks to you! Size isn’t what’s important and smaller is better than bigger as it allows intimacy and the chance for your team to get to know people individually. Think of this like planting a garden, the meet ups are seeds and each time you come back to facilitate a session you are watering the seeds that will ultimately grow into a garden of prospective buyers who know and trust you as the person who was there for them during their time of complete isolation and uncertainty.
I doubt we will ever get back to business as usual. Everything about the way we work and conduct business has been transformed. What’s most exciting is the opportunity to think outside the box, to consider options that allow you to better connect with the seniors you serve.
When people ask what I do I typically say, “Well, in every community there are anywhere from five to six senior living communities that serve seniors. They are independent and assisted living as well as memory care communities with anywhere from fifty to a hundred seniors thriving in most cases. We serve that unique niche. They are everywhere, people simply don’t see them until they need to!”
Today, our industry is being seen like never before. Our communities are in the news daily because seniors are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. As an owner or operator you must decide how you wish to be seen, as a problem or a solution? The more we show up for our communities in every way, the greater exposure we are going to get as an industry and its about time we are seen for the incredible care provided to seniors and their families.
The goal of this blog is to inspire you to get creative, to think big as everything is a possibility right now. So while some ask “why,” I encourage you to ask, “why not?”