From concessions to sales incentives to events, there are many different types of promotions and each one is an excellent opportunity to grow relationships and give your sales team a reason to reach out and connect with families.
But, are promotions worthwhile to help your senior living community increase conversion and move-in rates? It depends on the promotion itself and how well your team leverages that promotion. Here’s what you need to consider.
Plan Wisely & Communicate Effectively
A well thought out promotion begins with a planning phase. According to Nancy Shepherd, national account manager at A Place for Mom, communities that have a very systematic approach to creating events and promotions have better results. A regimented routine is good for the community’s sales and marketing teams because everyone knows the process and their role. This process should include:
- Defining the Goal
Is the goal to increase tours or move-ins? Are you looking to provide a reason to call current leads or do you want to increase attendance at an event? Once you’re clear on the goal, it’s easier to move forward with the rest of the planning.
- Choosing the Type of Promotion
When crafting the promotion, consider your goal and how the incentive will best serve your needs now and in the long-term. Standard concessions are often used to increase move-in rates during times when a community is slow, but since they tend to be a short-term fix, we recommend other creative promotions and sales incentives as well.
- Rent concessions
- Pack and move promotions (where a community offers a dollar amount off the first month’s rent for use towards moving expenses)
- Moving services (including home staging and estate auctions)
- Cash incentives
- Paying to bring in a loved one from out of town to help with the move
- Discounted apartment amenities and upgrades such as granite countertops and cabinets
- Rate locks, which are extremely popular for families who are weary of unknown future rate hikes.
- Combining a Promotion and Event
Shepherd, with 10 years of community sales experience, has seen promotions used very successfully when they’re tied in with an event. Whether the event is a culinary experience, holiday celebration, or a special speaker, it provides a great reason to reach out to current leads to inspire additional interest. It’s much easier to call a family and say, “We have an expert coming next month to speak about memory loss and I really think your mom would benefit from hearing his perspective. Plus, those who attend will be given a terrific discount. I remember her saying she was concerned about cost,” she says.
- Ask for Corporate Support
For communities that are part of a large organization, an event or promotion can be more successful when it’s backed by the organization. Having three to four promotions or events offered throughout the year with planning, branding and collaterals managed by the corporate marketing team can save time and increase efficiency within each individual community.
- Communicate with Families
Whether you’re organizing a promotion or an event, it’s important to communicate effectively with families. To do this, customize the communication to match the preference of the family. Whether they prefer you reach out by phone, mail, email or text, use the event or promotion as a good reason to connect with them and find out how they’re doing.It’s also important to plan communications early and share the details about your promotion or event consistently across your social channels, website and A Place for Mom’s Partner Central.
- Work with A Place for Mom to Leverage Your Promotions and Events
To amplify awareness of your upcoming event, ensure it’s listed on your community’s Partner Central profile so families who visit your community page on aplaceformom.com are aware of it. Incentives can also be entered on your community profile to providing the Advisors with all the pertinent details to share with families. Partner Central is a powerful tool that updates your community profile in real-time, so it’s important to regularly update the information here, including the specific details and timeframe.
Best Practices for Promotions and Incentives
When it comes to planning promotions, events and incentives, ensure you(r):
- Have a goal in mind
- Consider timing. Some communities offer incentives during lower performing months because they are a great motivation for interested families who are hesitant to commit
- Plan out multiple promotions at once so you can plan ahead
- Promotion is specific, simple and easy to understand
- Promotion is offered early in the move-in timeframe, so families see the immediate value
- Promotion is financially appealing
- Give your team enough lead time to properly plan, promote and execute. Successful lead times will vary depending on the size of the community team
- For events:
- Consider planning events during peak times and activities
- Tie the event to a theme
- Add event details to Partner Central
- Give attendees an opportunity to look at your event schedule and sign up for future events
- Update details of the promotion to Partner Central.
- Have a way to track your success. Consider tracking this data within the promotion’s timeframe:
- Increased conversions and move-in rates
- Website visits
- Scheduled tours
- Sales calls and inquiries (phone calls, emails, etc…
- For events, RSVPs, event attendance, etc.
- Follow up with attendees after they visit and include a reminder of the time-sensitive incentive
Ultimately, the success of your promotion comes down to a few key elements. Run promotions aligned with your community’s specific, measurable goals. Planning is also important, which includes giving internal teams enough lead time to execute the promotion effectively. Finally, thoughtful and consistent communication with families is critical. Contact your account manager or reach out to the A Place for Mom team at firstname.lastname@example.org to help you set up a promotion on your Community Profile Page.