Sales teams often describe a slump in visits and tours during summer months when families are otherwise occupied with vacations, graduations, weddings, and trips. This slower time allows for a little breathing room during which you may consider using guest events as a channel to deepen engagement with prospective residents.
Direct Mail Does Work
In this electronic advertising age, it is common to hear “Oh, we’ve tried direct mail; it really doesn’t work.”Direct mail response will be subpar if your attempts at it are sporadic and disjointed. The following distinct strategies can help you maximize the results of your direct mail efforts.
Even though both strategies will enhance the response and interest of your audience, the blogs during the month of May will concentrate on the second strategy: direct mail in conjunction with guest events.
Different Events to Achieve Different Objectives
Guest events may be educational or experiential. We hope to attract a good audience for both of these types of events; however, our objectives differ for each.
Our target population loves to learn. This crowd responds well to a variety of educational programs – from those that delve into the details of your community, to health topics, to trending topics.If you choose your subject matter wisely, the presentation itself will segue into the values of your community related to that topic. For example, an educational program on fall prevention provides a wonderful opportunity to highlight your community’s emphasis on balance within the wellness program. A presentation on healthy eating habits can be a wonderful opportunity to highlight your culinary program by offering a cooking demonstration led by the community chef. The objective of this type of event is to somehow convey a message about your community:what is a CCRC; the value proposition for your community; the strong wellness program that enhances a resident’s well-being, etc.
The sole purpose of an experiential event is to have a good time, and to show guests what it is like to live and socialize within your community. Experiential events for prospective residents should be different from the social events offered for current residents. This is a time for guests to socialize with their peers who are of a similar age at the time of move-in, rather than a population that has aged after many happy years of living at your community. Select a few current residents to join potential residents at a few of these events.
Direct mail invitations to an engaging event will entice leads to increase their relationship with your community AND the sales counselors who will be working with them. As relationships grow, the opportunity for decision-making is enhanced by the level of trust and respect that is garnered through these events.
During May, we will expand on the two types of events and the red-carpet treatment that should occur at every event.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.