Happy Holidays from Creating Results!
In this blog, we have enlisted some of our team to answer 3 key questions on 55+ and Senior Living holiday marketing & sales that we get asked by our clients. You’ll hear from Katie Beaver, Account Director, Lauren Pellegrino, Account Director, and Jessica Ruhle, Sales Specialist, with their insights on the best practices and what they guide their clients on during the time between October 31st and early January. We hope this answers some of your questions but encourage you to submit others that may come to mind after you’ve digested these below.
So let’s jump in…
1. The phones are not ringing and/or no one is answering. Should I just wait until after the holidays to market or sell?
Katie: The short answer is no. Despite whether or not people are calling in or coming to your events, your brand is maintaining awareness in the market. We find that the best approach to an integrated marketing plan is to keep yourself in market no matter what. You may pull back at certain times of the year, but in order to maintain a steady flow of inquiries and meet your sales goals, you must keep your foot on the gas. Those who tend to turn off their marketing, tend to be further behind in achieving the census they want than those who maintain a market presence.
Jessica: The same goes for sales – don’t take your foot off the gas. When there are fewer inbound leads (calls, emails, web inquiries), that’s when you turn to outbound. Take that time to catch up on your past-due activities or dig into your database. Take advantage of the quieter time to do some more pre-appointment planning and strategize your next step with that lead. Figure out what may get them to “pop”. Get creative.
2. What 55+ and senior living messaging works best during the holidays?
Lauren: Depending on your audience, what works can be entirely different. For independent living, I’ve seen two areas of focus that have drawn the most attention:
- Events – host a holiday-themed open house. Think hot cocoa, cookies, and more! Opening up your community during the holidays can not only show of your spectacular decorations but get your leads through the door
- Year-End Incentives: Are your prices going up after the New Year? It’s likely they are if you are on a calendar year. Use that to your advantage to promote the savings your prospects will experience, plus any limited floor plan availability to pack a punch to your marketing.
Jessica: Yes, I would agree with what Lauren said. And whatever that message is that your marketing team is promoting, make sure you are leveraging the same in your personalized sales outreach. Use your calls, your emails, video messaging to either invite your leads to the event or let them know the deadline of those incentives.
I would also add that for the higher levels of care (assisted living, personal care, etc.), the sales approach should really target those adult children who may not have seen mom or dad leading up to the holidays, but then get to see and hear what challenges they may be facing. Determining whether they are still safe at home and that it may be time to start considering a move to your community. Getting in front of them before the holidays is key to planting that seed to be on the lookout!
3. Do our 55+ and Senior Living prospects really buy during the holidays?
Jess: Absolutely! If you’ve been nurturing your leads throughout the year(s) and pushed the value of the community and the lifestyle, it won’t matter whether it’s May or December – your prospects will want to buy any time. The decision to move lies in whether or not you are meeting their needs and goals in their future home, not whether they are hanging up their stockings or ready to take a dip in the pool.
Katie: When we build marketing plans with our clients, we anticipate a slight dip in sales in December, but on average still see them meeting or exceeding their goals. Plus, the incentives that Lauren mentioned, can help to boost year-end sales and wrap up the year nicely. For assisted living or personal care communities, the holidays and the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to cause a rush and can be some of the busiest times for our clients.
So, what has been your experience? Do you see more or less success during the latter part of the year? Do these three questions on 55+ and Senior Living holiday marketing and sales raise more in your mind? We’d like to hear from you! Leave a question or comment on this page or contact us at info@CreatingResults.com