Community Relations Directors, Community Development Directors, and Sales Directors at senior living communities have always had a difficult job. You’re hustling to make sure your conversion rates are high, successfully bringing in new residents to your community by wowing them with a first impression. At the same time, you’re battling to maintain occupancy rates, making sure that new residents will feel engaged and included in their community: enough that they want to stick around long-term.
It’s a balancing act that’s been made more difficult in the new normal of COVID-19, where in-person tours are less frequent, and prospective residents and their caregivers are forced to place more care and scrutiny in selecting their new community. Senior living communities experienced a 27% drop in in-person tours after the pandemic, making each opportunity more crucial.
A community tour is about differentiating your community from the prospect’s other choices. Sales directors have to weave the story of their community, and illustrate how the future resident would fit seamlessly into that reality. Inclusion and accessibility are key themes, and it’s your job to show the resident (not tell them) how your community embraces these core values.
Life moves fast for community directors and sales directors. There’s not much time to prepare for tours, so we’ve outlined four key considerations as you get ready to showcase your community:
1. Consider all the decision makers
Sales professionals should do their homework, and learn how to position their community to the different decision-makers in the process. In most scenarios, an adult child is the caregiver of their parent, and this family duo shops communities together. However, there are always exceptions, so identifying the relationship between caregiver and prospective resident is key.
You’ll want to highlight different aspects of the community to the adult child vs. the prospective resident. Caregivers will likely be more focused on technology within the community, and how they can stay connected with mom or dad once they’re a part of the community. The prospective resident, on the other hand, could put more considerations towards community activities, meals, and how your community can support their passions.
The story of your community should stay consistent, but the way you tell it will change depending on who you’re conversing with. Learn to tailor your approach based on persona to focus your energy on what the customer is interested in.
2. Outline your safety measures for in-person tours
Virtual tours will remain a prominent option even as we transition out of COVID restrictions. However, most community and sales directors know that there’s no replacement for the face-to-face, boots-on-the-ground experience of a physical tour.
Caregivers and residents alike will be concerned about safety measures for in-person tours. Show your prospective residents that your community cares about accessibility while still taking all possible safety measures. Social distancing and masks should be the table stakes.
However, mask wearing can make it difficult for folks to hear, especially for those residents battling hearing loss. Communities should explore solutions that allow tour guests to hear all the valuable information that community and sales directors are sharing – and allow you to demonstrate that your community is focused on accessibility for those with hearing loss.
Eversound, an advanced listening system that connects up to 120 wireless headphones at distances up to 300 feet, is also great to use in small group or one on one interactions. It can help prospective residents stay in-tune with all the important details you’re relaying during the tour. Tech-enabled solutions can become a core part of your tour experience. This leads to better tours while showing your community’s adaptability and preference towards purposeful technology.
Related: Hearing Loss: Addressing the Link to Weakened Physical Health
3. Schedule tours during activity times
Don’t lead a tour during your community’s known “dead times.” Prospective residents might be turned off if they walk through a quiet, empty-looking community right after lunch. This is where proper planning can optimize the tour experience.
Collaborate with your community’s activity director to schedule tours during high-turnout group activities. This will paint a picture of your community at its best: when residents are active, engaged, and collaborating together. Incorporate Eversound into these activities to show your community’s commitment to accessibility for residents experiencing hearing loss.
Related: Small Group Programming for Seniors: Quality over Quantity
4. Honor the “Golden Triangle”
Given that tour conversions and occupancy rates are important, community and sales directors should be looking for long-term relationships rather than quick sales. Alignment within your community is essential.
Consider the “Golden Triangle”: the three-way relationship between executive directors, community/sales directors, and nursing directors. The best sales professionals will provide helpful notes from the tour and prospecting stage in order to set executive directors and nursing directors up for success once the resident signs up.
Open communication and diligent information sharing will ensure that residents are delighted by their experience. This drives up occupancy rates, which helps all three points of the Golden Triangle.
Incorporate Eversound in your community
Community and sales directors need to search for purposeful technology that helps increase inclusion and accessibility in their community. Eversound’s listening systems are purpose-built for senior living communities. Our technology allows for increased engagement in one-on-one interactions, and enables safe, socially-distanced group programs with clear communications.
Consider using Eversound on your prospective resident tours. With everyone sporting our wireless headphones, residents will be able to easily hear the story of your community. You could even schedule an activity using Eversound during your tour times to showcase your tech-savvy, inclusive community.
If Eversound helps you attract one new resident, it pays for itself six times over! Get in touch to learn how Eversound can be an essential part of your community tour process.