9 Strategies For Making Senior Communities Stand Out – Interview In Advance Of The Long-Term Care CXO Summit, 25-26 July, 2013, Florida
Every senior community is different and needs a unique analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), advised Kristin Kutac Ward, President, Retiring By Design. A solution provider at the marcus evans Long-Term Care CXO Summit Fall 2013, in Palm Beach, Florida, July 25-26, Kutac Ward gives her recommendations for improving occupancy, following up on inquiries and planning for the long-term.
Look internally. Start with a SWOT analysis. Most communities think of the three or four generic benefits they offer to the senior population, and try to sell those. Most say they have great staff and friendly residents, but what does that mean in terms of quantifiable data? Is that a true strength?
Build a plan based on the SWOT analysis. The sales and marketing plans should focus on the community’s unique strengths and key differentiators. We develop a Unique Strategic Plan for every community; each community has unique strengths, but sometimes you have to dig through a few layers to find them. Anticipate threats. If there are three new places opening up in the area, they will shrink your market. Proactively develop a plan to combat that threat.
Establish the base positioning. The strategic plan should include the community’s base positioning, what position it needs to establish for every form of communication.
Identify how occupancy and revenue can be improved. This is different for every community. Some need to generate more leads, others need to raise more awareness. Some may have done a good job of branding themselves, but their sales component is lacking. The ultimate goal is to get 100 percent occupancy.
Follow up on inquiries appropriately. Treat each customer as a unique opportunity. Websites are the primary driver of inquiries, but it is not just how they looks that matters, but also their functionality, and the processes and systems in place to actually respond to inquiries. Some communities are spending a lot of money on a beautiful website, but do not handle inquiries seven days a week. The website is a huge area of opportunity for most communities.
Lead generation should be different for every market. If it is a nursing home, it needs to be more referral based, if it is assisted living a combination of advertising, branding and referral, and if it is independent living, direct mail is very successful. Lead generation can look very different depending on the community and market.
The whole community needs to be aligned to occupancy goals. The responsibility for occupancy is often left just to the sales or marketing department, but the leader of the community has to take ownership too and ensure everyone is working towards that. That vision starts at the top. Lost revenue because of vacancies should be discussed at all levels. Everyone plays a part.
Be customer centered. People want choice, freedom and independence. The more patient or customer focused a community is, the happier its residents will be. Therefore, the better the occupancy will be.
Look at every facet of the organization from the customer’s perspective once a year. Some communities say they do that, but they are not. What is the customer experience when they call the community or go on its website? What is their experience when they drive up to the place, try to park or take a tour? How are they greeted? The key thing is to step back and look at the overall organization from a fresh perspective annually.
About the Long-Term Care CXO Summit Fall 2013
This unique forum will take place at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, Florida, July 25-26, 2013. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event.
About Retiring By Design
Retiring by Design is a full-service marketing and creative agency that specializes in the senior housing market. We provide branding & positioning, website & collateral development, lead generation tools, strategic marketing plans, sales training, creative follow up and more. We specialize in working with our clients to focus on the key differentiators that resonate with the senior consumer.
About marcus evans Summits
marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit http://www.marcusevans.com
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