One of the best ways to keep a healthy occupancy in your senior living community is to always make sure there are new prospects coming in to tour and see what a day in the life of a resident might be like. Of course, not all of them are going to move in, but more foot traffic increases the chances of a new resident moving in. Now, ensuring that a scheduled tour shows up is a different story and requires a little extra effort on the part of the community. Prospects not showing up to their tour is quite common and below are three steps you can take to improve your chances that a tour will be conducted as scheduled.
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Leverage Online Calendar Tools
First, there needs to be a system in place that not only books the tour but will send the prospect a confirmation email and a calendar invite. This ensures that the prospect has the date, time, and location of their tour readily available. Also, including a calendar invite allows them to add the tour to their personal calendar. Even if they happen to forget about their tour, when they pull up their calendar it will be right there for them to see. An added bonus is that the most popular calendar apps these days have built-in reminders of their own that pop up. Ideally, this tour booking system references the available times the person conducting the tour has in their calendar so no one in the community is double booked and complete attention can be given to the family coming in to see what the residence has to offer. Also, sending an initial confirmation email puts the family at ease and gives them confidence that the community has a process for documenting and conducting tours in an organized and timely manner.
*Calendar tools such as Calendly can help you set automatic reminders for both your prospect AND your sales staff. Leveraging these tools to send automated reminders makes it much more likely people will show up on tour day.
Send Additional Info about the Community
Next, in the email that is sent to the prospect, make sure it states the name of the person that will be giving them their tour, along with information about the building and where to park. Clarification on these points will ensure that any initial hesitation about their visit is addressed. Prospects want to have confidence in the community they are visiting and if you provide as much information as possible, it will further instill that you are organized and prepared for them to be there. Often sometimes something as simple as where to park can cause confusion and be enough to prevent a prospect from showing up on the day of the tour...put yourself in their shoes and make it easy!
*This is an example of a page that could get included in a "pre-tour" packet. This info can get sent out to the prospect before the tour and give your prospects a better idea of what to expect on their visit.
Send Out Reminders via SMS
The last tip to make sure a prospect shows up is to make sure they are sent reminders via text message that include an address, a date, and a time. Most people always have their phones within reach and are looking at it frequently. Some people might not look at their email or might not use their calendars. A simple text message can make sure they are aware and thinking about their upcoming tour.
We find that sending a text message once the tour is scheduled and again on the day of the tour is sufficient. An extra step that can be taken to get the prospects in the door is to have the salesperson that is conducting the tour give them a call to confirm the time and day they are scheduled to come in. This only applies if the person that initially booked their tour is different from the person giving the tour. Not only does this phone call serve as an extra reminder, but will give them even more confidence in the community. The prospect will be able to talk to the salesperson over the phone and have an idea of who they are meeting. If they are planning to meet with someone they have never had contact with before, the chances of them not showing up are higher. On the other hand, if the salesperson is able to introduce themselves, they will have already been able to build even the smallest relationship with the prospect. Let’s say the salesperson's name is Brenda. The goal is that hopefully, the prospect will think to themselves, “I don’t want to keep Brenda waiting for me, she was so nice and seemed eager to help with my situation.” **Checkout our recent blog post to read more about how to use SMS for senior living sales follow-up.
*According to a study done by Phreesia about health-related appointment with over 1400 surverys, 48% preferred to be reminded via SMS.
The bottom line is that you want to make sure you are doing everything possible to not only be sure the prospect knows when and where to show up but to build some assurance that a dedicated person will be there to help guide them through their search for senior living. The majority of prospects and their families are going through a challenging time in their lives. They themselves are having to make a transition to senior living or they are having to help a family member with a move. You can be certain that they have a lot on their plate and don’t want to end up spending their time in a community that is not organized and not ready to provide them with a great in-person experience. The time spent to make sure families are well informed about the where, when, and how of the tour will be time well spent in helping them determine WHY your community is worth choosing. To learn more about how you can get started using SMS in your sales process click here to schedule a free consulation with a member of our staff.