When families are searching for a community their loved one can call home, they are looking at much more than floor plans and availability. Families will assume that the level of care given to the physical aspects of the community will correlate with the level of care provided to residents.
It is imperative to create a comprehensive experience for touring families; one that assures them of your community’s high-quality of service and dedication to your residents. Learn how you can make a powerful and positive impression, inviting families and their senior loved ones to make a commitment to your community.
Positive and Powerful First Impressions
It is commonly said that you only have 7 seconds to make a first impression and that you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. When a family visits your community, ensure their tour starts off well by keeping up with physical outward appearances and making your community easy to navigate. Not everything needs to be new or top-of-the-line, but the community needs to be clean and well cared for.
Some small ways to make a big difference in the physical appearance of your community include:
- Set aside “visitor only” parking spaces near the entrance to guide visitors.
- Start your day by walking the route that families will take starting from the time they pull up to your community, all the way through to your model.
- Invest in landscaping, plant flowers around the entrance and paint curbs regularly
- Many seniors are veterans. A torn and tattered flag can be seen as disrespectful so be sure to replace them when needed.
- Place essential oil diffusers around the community to help visitors relax and enjoy fresh scents.
- Replace or furniture and flowers as needed.
- Keep carpets clean and vacuumed.
- Stage apartments and rooms to be warm and welcoming with furniture, plants, and wall art.
- If you are expecting a tour, have a personalized welcome sign at the front entrance.
Demonstrate Genuine Relationships
Families touring communities will be taking it all in, including how the residents appear to be cared for. They will trying to picture their loved one in your community and want to be reassured they will be happy, engaged and well cared for. Demonstrating genuine relationships and positive interactions between residents and between staff members is crucial to converting a tour into a move-in.
Ways to show potential residents and their families the interactions residents have with each other and staff include:
- Start your tour by sitting down and asking them to share with you why they are searching for senior living. Take the time to listen and learn about their loved one.
- Speak and engage with every resident you see while giving the tour. Call the residents by their name when you speak to them.
- Introduce family members to caregivers, dining staff, and managers
- Call out special relationships that staff members have developed with residents.
- Create a gallery wall of photos with residents and staff actively engaged with each other and the community.
- Invite touring families to follow you on Facebook so they can get updates about your community and see photos of the residents.
- Invite the family for a second visit to join you for a meal with residents and staff.
The Value of Transparency
Finally, a family that is touring a community is likely to be stressed and overwhelmed. They are under pressure to find a high-quality place for their loved one, and they want to know that they can trust you. Answer questions honestly and directly, and be as transparent as possible when it comes to pricing, cost and level of care. Be seen as their trusted partner, not a sales person looking to close the deal. Ask open-ended questions to facilitate conversation and actively seek ways to help them find the best fit for their parent or loved one.
Taking a few minutes to plan ahead each day can ensure that your community is always ready for potential residents, improving relationships with family members and ultimately welcoming more seniors into their new home.