LeadingAge New Orleans 2017 was two weeks ago, if you can believe it! This year the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center hosted the conference and Expo, which ran from October 29th through November 1st.
The Senior Living team brought its front and center to the Expo floor. The convention center itself is massive, boasting roughly 200,000 square feet of space that lived up to LeadingAge’s Expo description as a conference that expands thinking and perceptions about the aging experience.
Rounding out the team in New Orleans was VP of Marketing Kurt Krejny, Business Development Director & Host of Fresh Insights from Fresh Faces Phil Smith, Senior Living Account Director Jen Konecny, and Senior Digital Marketing Manager Marissa Centofanti.
Granted, the team attended state-level LeadingAge conferences this year, but the annual meeting and Expo offers the largest opportunity to connect with stake holders who are the harbingers of innovation and senior living trends.
To that end, the team spoke with Expo attendees about our Command Refresh approach to re-energizing the ROI of senior living communities. We took stake in the insights that were shared amongst current client partners and interested attendees who picked our brains. From the conversations, meetings, and combined resources, we came up with our top insights from the Expo. We framed the insights around the Command Refresh model so your team can be prepared to face these changes with renewed focus in 2018.
Let’s review Command Refresh before we dig into insights:
Communities that have been operating for over 20 years can’t simply rest on their laurels with occupancy. Keep teams diligent so changes in local, newer competition, or changes in referral sources won’t cause your team to hit the panic alarm when dips in occupancy occur. A way to supplement that is by a proactive approach that continues to evolve and adapt to trends in senior living.
Your community’s website is still the best way to leave a positive first impression with a prospective resident or ACI. But your community won’t earn their trust without communicating your unique story and amenities to them. Use actual pictures and testimonials from residents to showcase these elements. Never stop evaluating your strategy and be careful not to slip into tired industry clichés in your messaging and branding.
More seniors than ever are choosing to live out their golden years in their own homes. And to some communities, home healthcare’s one of the biggest contributors to declining census. Communities are having conversations about converting units from memory care and assisted living to independent living. While other communities are choosing to combat this trend in senior living by stepping into home based healthcare services.
Due to this shift, it’s crucial to invest in long-term strategies that face changes in the market. Goal mapping will help your team forecast into the long-term. The effort to understand exactly what channel is the best investment to drive community goals should constantly be assessed and marketing team’s and agency partners should work together to achieve goals.
There’s a difference between receiving a report and understanding what impacts activity. The need to understand data is vital, though team’s still struggle with connecting the dots. In some markets, competition is the highest it’s ever been, with sleek new communities seemingly sprouting up every day.
Team’s need to work to understand how the various marketing channels your community invests in assist one another. That will help your team close the loop on leads. Once your team has identified what channel is driving a lead to call your community, treat that inquiry like gold. Your community doesn’t have to win every potential resident over to maintain census, but a renewed focus to understand what’s driving them to call your community or book a tour in the first place will prime your team to communicate your community’s unique offerings from the onset.
The Senior Living team was fortunate to share our seasoned expertise throughout LeadingAge. Shifts are going to continue occurring in the space, and having partners dedicated to achieving goals will keep your community responsive.
If your community didn’t get a chance to meet the team during LeadingAge, contact us! We would love to introduce ourselves and help yours with its challenges.