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Part III: NEW 100 Best Senior Living Marketing Tips

Numbers 100-81 and 80-61 of our New 100 Best Senior Living Marketing Tips have been published.

Today we bring you numbers 60-41.

Enjoy! And let us know what you think.

60. Manage your online reputation. Have a plan in place to monitor and respond to positive and negative comments or reviews.

59. 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 and on Facebook.

58. 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.

57. 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.

56. Vary your sales approach based on discovery. Different people make decisions in different ways. Some are motivated by the numbers (cost of health care, tax benefits of Life Care, estate protection), while others will base their choice to move on less tangible things (style of apartment, social activities, maintenance-free living, dining services, etc.). It’s important to remember that there are wide-ranging personalities out there, so make sure you reach them all by having a varied approach.

55. 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.

54. Don’t forget reminder calls, emails or even texts for events to reduce “no-shows.” This is important for Monday and Friday events, morning events, early RSVPs and difficult directions.

53. Conduct regular sales meetings to keep the team focused. Share ideas. Reinforce selling skills. Ensure accountability. And keep the energy up.

52. Create a culture of team selling. While individual goals are important to build productivity and reward success, don’t overlook the power of team success and the energy created when salespeople are working with each other rather than against each other.

51. 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. Be sure your website and Facebook pages have lots of variety as well.

50. 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.

49. Invest in Wi-Fi for your entire community. It’s becoming a necessity and tool for residents and family members to connect and communicate.

48. Conduct sales training. It’s an investment, not a cost.

47. Consider a paid search program. Even the best-optimized site can’t anticipate every search term.  A well-defined paid search campaign helps put you in front of the greatest number of prospects. Paid search is particularly important in large or heavily competitive markets.

46. Count an email contact as a solid contact for sales goals. With email communication so prevalent, be sure to credit email contact with leads the same as a phone contact when tracking weekly “call-outs.”

45.  Don’t assume residents don’t want to be paid for referrals. Give them the option of a charitable donation in their name, just in case, but make sure you have a formal referral program in place and promote it often. Don’t miss out on the window for the best and most referrals ─ soon after a resident moves to your community.

44.  Be a student. The more you know, the better service you can provide, and being of service is a big part of relationship selling. Of course, know your community and product, but also seek opportunities to learn more about the senior audience, the issues individuals face as they age and other options they have, such as other communities or in-home help.

43. Optimize your website for organic search results. Search engines are become more sophisticated in evaluating relevance of website information. What you say and how you say it is critical to getting top listings for the prospects and keywords you want to target.

42. Engage on social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest … social media is a huge part of everyone’s lives – including seniors. Interact with prospects and adult children on Facebook. Recruit talented staff on LinkedIn and Twitter. Showcase your community’s lifestyle on Pinterest.

41.  Create opportunities on your website to convert visitors to leads. Drive inquiries or email registrations with offers such as “How Tos,” FAQs, tips, newsletters, videos, articles, etc. Consider using “quick-forms” with minimal fields to make registering easy.

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