Because of historically low occupancy rates, a growing number of senior living professionals are dealing with lead generation challenges.
Not only are existing communities making improvements to stand out from their competitors, such as upgrading technology as HealthTech reports, newcomers are entering the senior living market.
Therefore, if you follow the old playbook, expect the same old results.
This generation of prospective residents won’t respond to promotions incorporating traditional lead gen strategies such as print and digital advertising and third-party aggregators.
Today’s retirees and pre-retirees are better educated and more sophisticated than their moms and dads were.
Plus, they have a wider variety of senior living options than their parents ever did.
The data tells the story
Over the years, LeadingResponse has collected a wealth of intelligence from interactions with senior living operators, prospective residents, and family members.
It includes 55+ Active Adult, Life Plan or Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC); and Independent, Assisted Living, and Memory Care communities.
With it, we’ve developed a dynamic lead generation model used by senior living operators to grow their market share.
Based on our research, there are five major lead generation challenges in this market:
1. Too many unqualified leads.
Many list brokers offer bulk savings for lists with little to no demographic targeting. If you are only utilizing basic demographics you need to incorporate specialty data, such as ailment and familial connections.
You can expect a 75% increase in your response rate with the implementation of these hyper targeted efforts. Don’t forget to include consumer behavior data as well, such as when your audience is most likely to attend (day, time, location).
2. High percentage of shared leads.
This is often due to heavy reliance on digital aggregators and local referral lead sources that are a free service to the consumer and charge the community a percentage of the first month’s rent and services.
Generating your own leads by providing the target audience with an opportunity to build a relationship with your brand and community team will yield a stronger inquiry to move in conversion.
You are providing the consumer with education they need and, in the process, gaining trust. Not to mention it will decrease your cost per lead, tour, and move in.
3. Too few highly qualified leads.
Sales counselors spend too much time working leads that go nowhere.
Providing sales counselors with leads that have already been qualified based on their demographics and are attending educational seminars led by the community team, is a great way to improve conversions.
4. Difficulty getting face time with leads.
Many highly qualified prospects don’t want to meet one-on-one with sales counselors onsite. It is anxiety provoking, among other psychological barriers.
People appreciate safety in numbers and the neutral setting of a face-to-face educational seminar.
Think about it as a first date – would you want to go to the other person’s house for dinner on the first date?
5. High overall CPA (leads, tours, move-ins).
Excessive cost per acquisition leads to an unsatisfactory return on investment.
By incorporating consumer behavior data along with hyper-targeted efforts, marketers can bring down their CPA, while increasing their conversions and overall ROI.
In fact, senior living providers that have been successful doing so, no longer work with those digital aggregators and local lead referrals, whose fees of the first month’s rent and services are very high.
Competition for residents is only going to grow over time. It will be driven not just by flat occupancy, but also innovation.
New communities will offer amenities attractive to those researching senior living opportunities.
A new day, a new way
Now more than ever, senior living professionals have to get creative to engage the current generation of prospective clients.
This will help you reduce lead generation challenges and meet your growth goals in an increasingly crowded market.
Neither digital advertising nor expensive, non-exclusive leads from third-party aggregators will generate the numbers of qualified prospects you need to reach your occupancy goals.
So, do away with tactics that worked with the previous generation.
Recognize the consumer has changed and has been changing for the last several years.
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