Are your tours inviting people to your community? Or are they driving people away? A recent study by Caring.com found that most prospects — 83%, in fact — tour more than one community, with more than half visiting three or more. What can you do to make your community stand out and ensure that your tours are increasing your occupancy, not causing you to lose business?
Offer everyone a tour
This should be automatic, but in many cases it’s not. In the Caring.com study, as well as in a previous study, more than 20% of people who contacted communities weren’t even invited to tour. There are of course some instances in which you wouldn’t offer a tour, for example, if the prospect needs care you don’t provide. But for the rest, well, you won’t get 100% of the sales you don’t even try to make.
In the Caring.com study, 1 in 5 people who were offered a tour declined because they didn’t have a way to get to the community. Caring.com VP Katie Roper recommends either arranging for transportation or making a home visit to tell your prospects more about your community.
Talk with your prospects, not to them
A tour shouldn’t be a generic presentation; it should be a discussion. Ask prospects about their needs and concerns, and then demonstrate how your community addresses those needs and concerns.
Focus on the benefits of your community, not just the features
This is a basic tenet of good sales, and it applies to senior living as well as anything else. When you talk about features, you are talking about yourself. When you talk about benefits, you are talking about the customer. Guess which approach drives more sales?
Introduce prospects to both staff members and residents
Senior living facilities are in currently in an amenities race, offering better access to technology, more dining options, more health and wellness programs, and so on. These amenities are important, but often what really makes a facility stand out is the people who make up community. Introduce prospects to your staff and, if appropriate, to your residents. This personal connection will make your property stand out from your competitors.
Be transparent, especially about pricing
Don’t keep your pricing information secret. Doing so can make it look like you are hiding something. Even worse, it might cause prospects to think they can’t afford your community, even if they can. Here are three excellent reasons to be transparent about your pricing information.
Outline the next steps
Successful sales end with a call to action. In the world of senior living tours, this doesn’t necessarily mean saying, “Move in now!” It means communicating about the next steps in the process. Outline what needs to happen in order for someone to move in, so your prospects don’t leave wondering what they should do next.
In the Caring.com study, 18% of people were never contacted after the tour. Again, you won’t get sales you don’t try to make.
Your tours are you chance to shine — to make a positive impression and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Use these tips to increase your close ratio and boost your occupancy.