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Follow These Numbers, Not Everyone Else!

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By Susan Saldibar

You don’t have to do too much “Googling” to find out who the popular senior living communities are. That’s because, a) they are easy to find, b) they give you a good reason to click through to their websites, c) their websites are appealing and informative, d) you can reach someone quickly and e) they help make a challenging and emotionally draining process much easier. RealPage, a Senior Housing Forum partner, has developed a great little eBook that shares some statistics as well as what operators need to do to get found, get noticed, and get conversions.

The folks at RealPage shared some pretty amazing statistics, along with what successful communities are doing about them.

96% of baby boomers will use search engines to find you.

Okay, that number should raise a couple of questions. What will happen when they Google “Assisted Living in [your town]”? Is your community showing up, either in the “ad” section or organically within the first 5-6 entries? They need to see you before they can click through to your website.

When they do click through, what will they find? As great as your website needs to look, it needs to work even harder. With so many amazing websites out there, your prospect is not going to settle for anything mediocre. What does that mean in the senior living world? Here are the basics, according to RealPage:

  • Large, colorful photos of real residents, taken by professionals. They have to look great and look real at the same time.

  • 3-D floor plans and virtual tours of the building and its rooms.

  • Interactive sitemaps to allow people to easily jump from one area to another.

  • Must be mobile, laptop and iPad responsive.

  • Provide live 24/7 web chat. “The power of web chat is one of the fastest growing communication channels being added to property websites because it enhances the online experience,” says JoAnna Lloyd, Senior Director of Product Advocacy for Consumer Solutions.

  • Should be ADA compliant.

CRMs can help increase sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by 34%, and sales forecast accuracy by 42%.

Given these numbers, it goes without saying that you need to have a solid CRM platform. RealPage urges senior living community operators to stop relying solely upon Internet Listing Services for leads. They’re expensive, for one thing, and yours is but one among many competing communities. Why share?

Your CRM should, on its own steam, be able to give you insight as to where your leads are coming from, which ads are most effective, what the most effective way to follow up is, and so on. It should also include lead nurturing, prospect profiling, and the capability to deliver personalized content. So, if you’re using a system that’s older, either consider a forklift upgrade or start looking for a new CRM. You can’t afford anything that slows down your sales process. Not in this industry.

40-60% of inquiries are not captured by onsite sales teams. And, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person is one of the most important features a website can offer.

Assuming you believe those numbers and don’t want to lose 40+% of your leads, RealPage recommends that you seriously look into having a professional contact center handle your inquiries. The good ones stand out. They are HIPAA compliant, their agents are highly trained in aging and senior housing, and they are honestly passionate about what they do.

Take the time and effort to find a professional contact center that will seamlessly work with your own sales and marketing team, ensuring that every call, email, and online inquiry is being handled on the spot. JoAnna Lloyd tells me that, according to Forrester, 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person, while in the middle of an online purchase, is one of the most important features a website can offer. So, having a live contact center agent ready to engage 24/7 is critical to capturing and converting leads.

What’s the bottom line to all of this? It seems to me that, those communities who will win new residents and develop healthy pipelines are the ones who take these numbers seriously. They’re the ones who can approach prospects where they are, respond quickly to their inquiries and earn their business by making their entire journey as effortless as possible. The biggest mistake you can make would be to underestimate the planning and work necessary to do that.

You can download RealPage’s e-book, “Speed-to-Lease, Simplified: 3 Secrets Revealed” here.


For more information about RealPage and how they can help in all these areas, please visit their website.

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