60. Use e-mail marketing to help develop relationships with leads. Provide an opportunity on your website to opt-in to receive e-mail communications. Send simple group newsletters regularly, event invitations, etc. Send personal e-mail with links to topics of interest or other relevant information.
59. Send leads a cost comparison analysis of their financial situation. Then invite them to a personal appointment to help them take the next step.
58. Be sensitive when working with adult children. They’re in the midst of one of the hardest decisions they’ll ever have to make, and they’re balancing it with the struggles of their daily work and family life. Be a resource for them.
57. Don’t give away all the information on the first tour. You’re in control of how information is disseminated.
56. Co-op events with partners. Share the costs and enhance the content. Good partners might include home health agencies, your food service provider, banks or senior organizations.
55. Extend your community’s culture and personality out into the public. You can do this through your brand, the types of events you hold, your staff, outreach to community, press releases, etc. Give people a reason to think you’re unique, interesting and worth checking out.
54. Start posting videos about your community on YouTube. It’s free and you never know when a new Internet star will be born.
53. Mail to individuals 75 years of age or older for independent living direct mail. There are a few exceptions to this advice, but for most communities and most types of residences, very few individuals move in before they’re 75 years old. Mail to those with the greatest likelihood to be interested.
52. Be responsive to your leads. Be timely in fulfilling requests for information. The experience a prospect has with the sales team sets their expectation for the service level of the entire community.
51. Testimonials are always valuable. Share resident stories about why they chose your community. Videotape their stories for the website, send out personal letters from them to your lead base and feature them in your advertising.
50. Use events that occur every year. Winter, tax season and New Year’s are examples of regular events that can be used as a backdrop to marketing messages. You know what your audience is thinking at these times, so make yourself relevant.
49. Create an “Ambassador” program for your best salespeople ─ residents. Formalizing resident involvement with prospective residents can help control interaction and ensure someone is always available. Form a volunteer group of resident Ambassadors who are identified as good spokespeople for your community. Include a mix of single men, women and couples.
48. Have a crisis communications plan. Dealing with the practical issues of a crisis are difficult enough without having to also determine how, when and if to communicate with important audiences such as residents, families, associates and the media. Having a plan can reduce negative issues and possibly create a positive result out of a crisis.
47. Volunteer your space to area organizations. Are there groups in your community that need a place to meet once a month or once a quarter? Volunteer your community chapel to a prayer group or let Girl Scouts plant flowers in your garden. Or create community traffic with tie-ins, such as hosting a blood drive, polling location, food drive or toy drive. This will undoubtedly increase your community’s exposure and awareness.
46. Don’t forget reminder calls for events to reduce “no-shows.” This is important for Monday and Friday events, morning events, early RSVPs and difficult directions.
45. Conduct regular sales meetings to keep the team focused. Share ideas. Reinforce selling skills. Ensure accountability. And keep the energy up.
44. Help prospective residents feel like they’ll fit in. Unfortunately, this is a concern with many people throughout our lives – we don’t leave it behind in high school. Match up prospects with residents who have similar backgrounds or personalities. Or make sure prospects meet lots of residents to give you the best chance at a positive connection.
43. Implement “try-it” programs for hot leads. Letting them experience the lifestyle at your community may be just what they need to make the move. And it doesn’t need to be an overnight stay, something that can be uncomfortable to many. A day-long, well-orchestrated stay that involves a lot of current resident contact is most effective.
42. Know what people are saying about your community. From time to time ask residents, family members, leads and members of the local community about your community to gauge its perception among your prospect audience. This can be valuable in addressing issues and leveraging strengths
41. Conduct sales training. It’s an investment, not a cost.