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Why Senior Living Communities Struggle with Occupancy


When your senior living community has empty apartments, those open spots create more than one missed opportunity. In fact, mediocre senior living occupancy squanders two objectives.

#1 Mediocre occupancy means revenue left on the table for competitors to take.

#2 Mediocre occupancy means that prospective residents are missing out on the care they deserve and need.

There’s a reason why senior living communities struggle with occupancy. Simply put, CEOs, CMOs, and other executives are not privy to strategic marketing that is specific to senior housing.

In this article, you’ll discover not only WHY we work with people like you—people who are working tirelessly to fill every apartment—but you’ll also find out HOW you can more effortlessly reach full occupancy and stay there.

Senior Housing Businesses Suffer without Quality Marketing

Your organization might have the highest-rated care in the world, but if no one knows about it, no one will reap the benefits.

In order to leverage your services, each community in your portfolio requires resident-centric marketing and sales plans that focus on the residents and their families. Without high-level senior care marketing, mediocre occupancy becomes a permanent staple.

The Profitable Senior Living Marketing Recipe

 There are multiple ingredients that create a successful marketing plan that attracts residents and establishes your senior housing business as a top-level organization.

The thing is, each ingredient is crucial to ending occupancy issues and diversifying your portfolio of properties. So read this carefully.

Brand Development

Specifically, you are looking to establish brand development that turns “the best kept secret” into a highly reputable business that cares about their residents.

Think beyond the sphere of senior living services for a moment—consider the feelings that some of the most well-known and profitable brands produce.

Coca-Cola conjures feelings of togetherness.

Apple is resonant with innovation and ingenuity.

Tesla Motors promotes an image of consciousness and caring about the future.

What do these brands have to do with you?

These industry titans create feelings, and that’s exactly what your marketing should do as well. When you are able to draw out an emotion, then your prospect begins to pay attention.

And to drive that point home, you need…

Strategic Messaging

There is fluff messaging that does nothing but take up space. And there is messaging and content that resonate with future residents and decision-makers.

As you write marketing content for your senior living community, think about…

  • Your audience. Specifically, consider what these people need and why they would make the decision to work with you. Note, your audience may be future residents, their families, or, as is often the case, both.
  • Your service. Whether it’s an assisted living apartment or a skilled nursing center that includes round-the-clock medical care, the uniqueness of your services will set you apart. So be specific.
  • How you disperse messaging. If you’re like many senior living communities, your marketing efforts focus most on traditional, offline methods. While there’s nothing wrong with a brochure or mailer, you’re missing out if you forgo digital marketing.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing strategies are multifaceted. I’m talking about email marketing, blogging, and website content—all of which builds your brand and showcases the quality of your care.

But isn’t senior living marketed to middle-aged Sandwich Generation members and their older parents?

You bet it is—and guess what else? Those people are online just like most everyone else is.

Did you know that Baby Boomers spend over 20 hours per week consuming online content?

That’s half the length of the average American workweek spent on a computer or mobile gadget, so if you’re not into digital marketing yet, you’re missing out on revenue.

(Source: Buzzstream and Fractl)

I’m singling out baby boomers, as they are between 51 and 70 years old, and many members of this generation are making healthcare decisions on behalf of their elderly parents.

According to the data, this generation uses digital marketing content to make decisions.

In order to make smarter decisions in your digital marketing, you need…

Data Collection

When you gather pertinent information, it pulls back the curtain on who the resident avatar is and exactly what he or she needs to hear. Fresh and relevant data will reveal to you the specific needs, wants, and concerns your marketing must address.

With a simple Google search, you can also find a wealth of analytics tools that reveal how people respond to your digital marketing content, which maps out how to make changes based on what works.

The numbers and metrics reveal the obstacles you help your target market tackle; however, there’s something that will drive your message home…


Storytelling is paramount for all your marketing.

For example, I recently stumbled across an article from NPRs Story Corps, and the content immediately struck a chord with me. The subject was The Memory Loss Initiative—something that’s dear to my heart as a senior living expert.

To date, there have been 1,800 interviews with individuals affected by memory loss. As I listened to the stories, it got me thinking…

It’s human nature to forget facts—but stories? They stick with you for a lifetime.

My point: marketing is storytelling, and it might look something like this…

Jack took up chess in his free time. Martha tried water aerobics for the first time in 75 years. They’re both

For Martha and Jack, the transition to a Senior Living apartment was an incredible transformation. After retirement, the couple had spent their days at home—he read five newspapers each day, and she spent hours devouring her beloved novels.

 The happy years went by. Grandchildren came into the picture. The stress of work and raising a family fell by the wayside. The couple worked hard all their lives, and they deserved this retirement.

 After Jack fell in the shower, he didn’t get around so well anymore. Martha helped him onto the toilet, made sure he got between rooms safely, and generally took care of her husband.

 But when, a few months later, Martha started having heart problems, something had to change. The kids felt the need to bear the responsibility of caring for both Jack and Martha, but the couple would hear nothing of it.

 They didn’t want to feel like a burden to their children who were also raising kids. So Jack and Martha made a decision—a choice to keep living their retirement dreams in a community.

 At the Sunny Springs Assisted Living Community, Jack gets around with the help of a professional staff. Martha’s heart condition is closely monitored, and the staff prepares healthy meals that coincide with her medical needs.

living their lives—they’re both happy. And that’s what matters most.

Does your marketing make a connection with the audience?

Have you increased your net operating income through digital marketing?

Do you leverage storytelling to drive home the benefits?My team is ready to implement proven marketing systems into your business. Send me an email at tbild@bildandco.com, or text 813-390-3349 with your name and number, and I’ll get in touch with you.



Closing Your Senior Living Revenue Gap Is A Phone Call Away.

Contact Bild & Co to grow your
occupancy now at (800) 640-0688