07 Jan 2019

The holidays are over but not the move-ins: How to make your conversion list go from “naughty” to “nice”.

The holiday season has come and gone. After all that list checking and hall decking and fa-la-la-ing it’s time to CONVERT THOSE INQUIRIES.

We know that converting inquiries is something your marketing departments focus on year ‘round. But since inquiries for independent living and assisted living communities go way up in January let’s focus on it:

  • Average days to move-in decreases by over 50% for assisted living and increases by nearly 50% for independent living
  • Intent is almost 20% higher (this is true for holidays across the board)
  • Move-ins that start with a call increases by 50% for assisted living and decreases by 35% for independent living

Now, to get these stats to work for you this year, you’ll need to be strategic. Which can seem daunting, since you’ve got five million other things you need to do. Fear not! All it requires is a little planning and a bit of foresight. We’ve put together our top three things you and your marketing team should be doing to ring in the New Year right.

1. Here We Come A-Caroling (Our Praises)

This is the time of year to sing…your name across the Internet. This year, when adult children search for the phrase “senior living near me,” you want your name to pop to the top of the list. You’ll want to make sure your Google and pay-per-click advertisements are working as hard as possible, so dig into your holiday funds to make sure you’re broadcasting your message loud and clear. Here are our suggestions to make sure you really stand out:

  • Make sure you’re optimized for mobile – more likely than not, kids and parents will be searching on their smartphones instead of on the computer
  • Be sure that your website (and ads, of course) have location-specific keywords, like your town name or local landmarks
  • Are you remarketing? If not, you should be. It keeps your brand in front of people who’ve already interacted with you online in some way – what we in the business call “low hanging sugarplums” (er, fruit)
  • Tweak your strategy as you go. The nice part about online advertising is that you can track how it’s doing in real-time. If something’s not working? Change strategies, do some testing and adjust, all with the click of a button

2. Please, Don't Be Late

Responsiveness is BIG when it comes to converting leads. Research has shown that responding within the first five minutes of getting an inquiry is the sweet spot. Anything later than that, and good luck to getting someone on the phone. Why is getting someone on the phone immediately such a big deal? Check these stats out:

  • 94% of move-ins come from leads contacted the same day
  • 72% of tours scheduled come from leads contacted the same day
  • 86% of move-ins will occur if the prospective resident is contacted within the first 90 minutes
  • It takes about 203 minutes of talk time to get a tour

As soon as those inquiries roll in, someone from your team should be on the phone (or sending an email) as instantly as possible to be first in line to schedule a tour of your community. Keep the ‘festive’ going in your community. The big holidays may be over so create fun related to other upcoming holidays like Valentine’s Day. Make sure your marketing folk know what fun activities and events are taking place and consider suggesting tours during those times.

3. The Gift That Keeps On Giving (of the Internet)

Sure, you can talk about the features of your community all day, every day – and those are really important aspects for prospects to know about, believe you us. If you have posted all those great, sentimental photos from the holidays do it now! Show off the emotional, personal side of your community. This is where social media can really come into play. Post photos and little videos of the events you’re holding. Show off your community fun, and invite the public to visit. Feature residents’ stories on your blog (you can even tap some residents to be guest authors), sharing holiday stories from their past or what they love about spending the season in your community. Showing off the fun folks are having will help prospects and their children visualize themselves in your community.

Along with kicking off the New Year with your residents be sure you’re giving prospective visitors a reason to visit your community and hopefully sign a contract. If you feel like you could use a helper to make sure all your prospects are getting the attention they deserve, contact us. Lead conversion is what we do, and our proprietary software allows us to respond to leads as soon as they come in, getting them on the phone and even scheduling tours for you. We’d be happy to help you ring in the New Year by bringing as many new residents as possible into your home.