The Secret to a Successful Home Visit

Home visits are part of the senior living sales strategy but what is the best way to go about it? Do drive-by pie drops really work? Or is this more of a marathon move?  We talked with three senior living sales executives who have been at this a long time. While they each approach the home visit differently, all three agreed, to be successful takes two critical ingredients.

Laura Volz, Family Services Advocate at Azura Assisted Living and Memory Care, put it this way, “You can’t just go on home visits to drop off pies, and expect positive results. That’s a superficial experience for your prospect. Nothing will be successful until you create relationships and instill trust.”

Laura says because senior care is such an emotional sale, the salesperson needs a mind shift.  “We aren’t selling real estate. We are selling care.”  She says, this isn’t the time to talk about features and benefits. 

To sell care, Laura says, salespeople need to become counselors who can carefully “peel back the onion” of the family and understand the entanglement that is preventing them from moving their loved one to a safe environment with professionally trained caregivers. 

“Communication becomes more effective when the sales counselor is comfortable with their own level of emotion. Utilizing that comfort and will help families open up about mom and will remove barriers in communication. Once you have opened the communication, listening is vital.”

Denise Manifold, Vice President of Sales for Brightview Senior Living says, “I believe that during a home visit we are able to gain insights that we can’t uncover over the phone because we are in an environment with which the family is comfortable.”

It can be just as important for the adult child as it is for the senior.  Denise says the adult child often needs coaching on with how to have the conversation with their parent about making the move to senior living.

Stephanie Williams, Regional Director of Sales in New Jersey for Brightview Senior Living, says the home visit CAN be critical to the sales process.  

“As you’re building trust and credibility, don’t invite yourself into the home. Until you’re invited in just stay at the door, drop off a meal, ask how they’re doing after coming home from rehab.  Hand them helpful resources from the community. Take baby steps,” says Stephanie.

Sometimes Stephanie will bring someone from the Health and Wellness Team with her or the Dining Service Director might be the one to drop off the meal.  “Everyone in our community has a role in sales and marketing.”

Both Denise and Stephanie have found that most prospects love a home visit.  When done well – with care in mind – they say, families look forward to them. “It’s an opportunity to show them you are breaching their doorstep to be of help, and families considering senior living need so much more than just a free meal.”

All three sales executives teach their teams how to read their prospect to determine when it IS the right time to make that home visit in the sales process.

Denise says, “When done at the right time, in a genuinely caring way, 99.5% of the time it will be a positive experience with positive results.”

Laura Volz, Family Services Advocate at Azura Assisted Living and Memory Care. Laura has worked in senior living 10+ years, marketing 37 years with education in healthcare.

Denise Manifold, Vice President of Sales for Brightview Senior Living. Denise has worked in senior living 20+ years and holds a master’s degree in Health Promotion; Concentration in Gerontology.

Stephanie Williams, Regional Director of Sales in New Jersey for Brightview Senior Living. Stephanie has worked in senior living nearly 20 years and holds a master’s degree in Journalism and Communications.

Happy Holidays

Answering inquiries for your community is what our Family Advocate Managers (FAM team) love doing, even on most holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the only two days we close up shop. We believe all of our team members deserve time with their families. By the next morning, FAM is right back at it to follow up on any inquiries that may have come in the day before.

What about all those other holidays? Rest assured SeniorVu has your time zone covered from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on each of the following holidays:

Black Friday
Christmas Eve
New Year’s Eve & Day
Martin Luther King Day
President’s Day

Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Veteran’s Day

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