On-site community tours are an integral part of driving occupancy and revenue for your senior care community.
To see just how important tours are for Senior Living sales, consider these statistics from Caring.com:
- For a survey profiling those who had recently sought senior care (whether family members or potential residents), 40% of those who reported participating in one or more tours had already moved in.
- For the same survey, 8% of those who reported participating in one or more tours had a move-in scheduled.
- For families who’ve booked a tour with Caring.com’s senior housing help line, the move-in rate is 3.5 times higher.
In the words of Caring.com, “People who tour are seriously searching.”
And that’s why it’s so important your sales team understands how to leverage this activity. Here are 3 actions your sales team should take for on-site community tours so you can achieve high occupancy for your mid-sized operation:
#1 Collect as much information from your prospects as possible.
The key to a successful on-site tour is understanding the needs of your potential resident. It’s important to listen to prospects during an inquiry call or during the initial discovery process for a walk-in. Ensure your sales team understands why a resident is considering a move-in.
These factors then become the keys to a well-planned and personalized on-site community tour. Here is how the process can work:
- If mom or dad is lonely, be sure to highlight the activities you have during the tour as they specifically relate to your prospective resident. Don’t use generalizations as these are not personable.
Instead, you must connect emotionally since this is the single most important factor to driving move-ins. Rather than showing the community calendar, take them to where the action is actually happening, and introduce residents who have common interests. The point is to show how your community can remove isolation for your prospective resident.
- If the adult daughter is worried about mom suffering from a fall, make a note of this. Plan to demonstrate the different safety features of your community and the process your community takes if something unexpected occurs. Even better, ask for permission to use several residents as case studies.
Engage both the resident and family members in interviews, and turn these into print case studies, snapshot testimonials, video clips, and more. Residents get to become a star, and prospective residents get a solid third-party endorsement of how lives were transformed because of you. Be sure to share these case studies with valuable referral sources; outcomes are gold in the world of referrals.
- If the son is worrying about dad not taking to the idea, ask for permission to connect with the aging parent. Tap into a hot-button concern, such as dad not eating often enough. You can offer to deliver freshly prepared meals that can be heated up over the course of a week.
Dad gets great food, the son gets a break, and all get to see how awesome your chef is and the difference you can make. When dad comes to tour, develop strategies that will impact his decision and cater to him, not his son. Ask lots of open-ended questions, and respond to dad’s communication as you conduct the tour.
#2 Use the on-site community tour to meet the needs of the adult children.
It’s important to use the tour to speak to the needs of the adult children. According to a survey on adult children by GlynnDevins, 54% of adult children are the decision makers or influencers for the move-in.
This means that the tour needs to be crafted around their needs—in addition to the parent’s needs—if you want to increase occupancy and revenue. Yes, that means you have two sales to make! Carefully consider the following factors:
- Do you notice a potential conflict between the adult child and the parent? How can the tour bridge that gap so the sales cycle is shortened?
- What are the motivating factors for the adult child? For instance, if the adult child is experiencing heavy responsibility, provide detailed information to relieve the burden of decision making.
These are just a few ways you can meet the needs of the adult child during an on-site community tour. Your next challenge will be to do the same for the prospective resident.
#3 Use the on-site community tour to alleviate the pain points of the potential resident.
According to the 2015 American Community Survey, your prospects might face a number of difficulties. For those who are older than 75…
- Approximately 32% have trouble walking.
- Approximately 22% have trouble hearing.
- Approximately 14% have cognitive problems.
Understand the physical and emotional challenges they face. It will help you develop empathy for the on-site community tour. And demonstrate, not just tell, how you can improve their quality of life.
Teach your sales team to show how your community will alleviate the frustrations that come from declining motor skills. Highlight how your community doesn’t take away their independence but helps them enjoy activities they now avoid.
Quality on-site community tours are an art. If you want to give your sales team the necessary skills to make the most of this important opportunity, enroll in sales training.
Bild & Company specializes in equipping operational and sales directors with the skills to build a sales-centered culture that increases revenue for your mid-sized operation.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 813-390-3349 with your name and number. Bild & Company will give you the targeted support you need to move the needle on occupancy.