Shortly after the calendar flipped to 2015, we saw a major change in the senior living online directory space, as Caring.com and SeniorHomes.com negotiated a merger. While both sites continue to operate under their respective brand names, they now share back-end operations and various other procedures. According to a report on SeniorHousingNews.com, this merger was brought about by a desire from those within the senior housing marketplace to work with fewer Internet lead providers instead of more.
This partnership has obviously brought about some major changes, the biggest of which is a shift in payment structure. Previously, Caring.com and SeniorHomes.com operated using a subscription model and a pay-per-lead model, respectively. Both sites will now operate using a pay-per-move-in model. While this payment structure works very well with need-based services, such as assisted living, it’s not an ideal model for CCRCs and the lengthy timetable it typically requires for a lead to move in.
There are still a few senior living online directories whose payment models do lend themselves to the CCRC structure. As we continue to see more and more seniors go online, it’s important to understand how best to “work” an online lead.
Below are some suggestions that should help when contacting online leads:
- Respond to each inquiry within 3 hours, if not immediately.
- Include a personal greeting and be sure to answer their questions, keeping the email short and concise.
- Always include a relevant personalized subject line.
- Check email for new leads at least 4x per day. Attempt to make a personal connection on your first follow-up, and always sell the “next step,” for example, a tour or appointment.
- Make at least 3 follow-up attempts – 1st within 24 hours, 2nd within 48 hours, and 3rd email one week later.
- Include a personal signature in your email, along with a link to your website and a list of upcoming events.
- Provide feedback to whoever is managing your directories about the quality of leads, specifically if any leads have moved in to your community.
Read more about online senior living directories here.