Posted in on September 1, 2023

How to Generate Free Leads (Really!) in Senior Living and 55+

As a marketing agency dedicated to the 50+ consumer, we know how crucial it is for sales teams at senior living and 55+ communities to fill their pipelines. But it’s probably not every day a marketing agency tells you how to generate leads for free. Consider today your lucky day!

Sometimes you find yourself in a position where you need to generate sales leads to meet your goals, but you’ve run out of budget to spend on marketing efforts. What’s a community to do? Not to worry: Here are 6 ways to generate leads (and more importantly, sales) without spending money.

1. Use organic social media to your advantage

Senior living and 55+ communities might not scream “Instagram famous,” but don’t underestimate the power of social platforms.

Showcase life in your community:

Photos and videos of happy residents, events, and amenities are magnetic. They give prospects (and adult children) a glimpse of what they could enjoy. Arcadia Senior Living’s viral TikTok featuring Shania Twain’s hit “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” generated nearly 12 million views and well over 100k shares — all filmed in a hallway with some spirited residents! (The community was even featured on The Today Show for its viral re-creation of Rihanna’s Super Bowl LVII halftime show!)

Engage with followers:

Respond to comments, answer queries, and create content that speaks to your audience’s concerns. Social interaction can showcase your personality and engage those who are on the fence. 

2. Word of Mouth & Referrals

Never underestimate the value of a good chat over the fence or during morning walks.

Share success stories:

Have a resident who’s thrilled about your community? Get their permission to share their story. Authentic testimonials are powerful and free lead magnets. Even better: Ask them to share their story with their friends directly or post a review for your community online. Prospects check reviews before engaging with you! See our guide for managing online reviews and how we helped a community generate 70+ online reviews.

Get into the habit of asking for referrals:

Many communities have resident referral programs that are underutilized. When you encounter a happy, well-connected resident, don’t be shy about mentioning the benefits of referring. Don’t have a referral program? Consider a contest where residents can compete for a coveted amenity — maybe a prime parking spot or unique upgrade.

3. Engage with your local community

Your next big lead might be at the local church group or the weekend farmers’ market.

Leverage local events:

Think health seminars, art workshops, interior design classes, cooking demonstrations or fitness classes. Can you offer to provide an expert from your community to lead an event hosted by a local organization? They can be excellent opportunities for potential residents to experience a taste of your community’s programming or amenities firsthand.

Collaborate with local businesses:

Partner with nearby stores, cafes or clinics. They can promote your community in exchange for exclusive offers for their customers.

4. Offer valuable content

Content is king, even in the world of senior living and active adult communities.

Use your blog:

Address concerns, bust myths and highlight the benefits of community living. Doing so not only establishes your authority but also helps generate leads organically through search engines, provided you’re writing about topics that people are searching for in a way that’s more educational than promotional. (Keep in mind though: Blogging is a long-term strategy — it will take time for search engines to drive traffic to your content.)

Host webinars:

Hold informational sessions online where you can dive deep into topics like “maximizing retirement savings” or “mindful downsizing.” Or host a cooking class or wine tasting (showcasing the beautiful kitchen a prospect could see themselves cooking and spending time in)!

5. Optimize your website

Your website isn’t just a digital brochure. It’s a 24/7 lead-generating machine.

Use compelling CTAs:

Put your prospect hat on and scroll through your website. Does it do a good job of prompting visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, schedule a tour or download a free guide?

Ensure mobile-friendliness:

More seniors are tech-savvy than you might think. Make sure your website looks great and functions well on mobile devices, too.

6. Leverage your existing CRM database

Remember those old leads you shelved thinking they weren’t interested anymore? Surprise! They could still be gold mines waiting for a little polish.

OK, fine, this one technically isn’t a lead generator — but arguably, it’s better. An existing lead is much more likely to quickly mature into a buyer than a brand-new one. 

Dust off dated leads:

It’s common to stop nurturing leads after some time, but it’s possible that circumstances have changed. A lead that wasn’t ready to bite a year ago might be ready to re-engage. Learn how to re-engage aging leads.

Segment and personalize:

Sort through your CRM and categorize leads based on their last point of interaction. Tailor your communication according to their needs and interests. Personalization works wonders!

Generating leads doesn’t always require a big budget.

Sometimes, the most effective strategies are right under your nose, costing nothing but a bit of creativity and effort. So, dust off that old CRM database, roll up your sleeves, and start tapping into these avenues to generate leads for free. Your bustling community awaits!

Subscribe to get the latest updates right to your inbox!