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Senior Living Communities
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Jun 13, 2024

Maximizing Occupancy: Harnessing the Power of Online Referrals
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Megan Mulrain

In today’s challenging economic times, senior living operators and care seekers alike feel the impact of rising costs. Many communities are caught between increasing operational expenses and decreasing occupancy rates, making filled rooms crucial. One of the most effective solutions to this challenge is leveraging online referrals to attract new residents. Understanding the best marketing channels and strategies to generate move-ins cost-effectively is an important first step.

Many care seekers are starting their search for care online, and data shows that a significant portion of these initial seekers are adult children searching on behalf of their parents. This demographic uses online searching (often using broad, generic terms) to inform their next steps. Compared to other groups of care seekers, this cohort of digitally savvy adults tends to demonstrate a higher move-in rate. Platforms like Caring.com play a big role in the search for care for this digital-savvy group. 

With this in mind, it's important to examine the marketing channels you are using to meet these savvy care seekers. Weigh the cost-effectiveness of the marketing channels you use to promote your community. There are many different ways that you market your community – but do they help generate move-ins? Referral partnerships are a marketing channel that offers a low-risk, high-return model. You pay only for successful move-ins. With a pay-per-move-in model, you mitigate upfront marketing costs, ensuring a more reliable ROI and a high occupancy. 

Best Practices for Referral Partnerships

To maximize results from online referrals, there are a few best practices you can implement. These best practices assist the care seeker in their search for the right community:

  • Optimizing Your Listing: Treat your online profile as your digital storefront. Ensure it includes detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and accurate cost information.

  • Leveraging Reviews: Positive reviews significantly impact decision-making. Engage with platforms like Caring.com to boost your online reputation.

  • Actively Engaging Leads: Speed is crucial in responding to leads. Follow up consistently and utilize CRM tools to track interactions and improve conversion rates.

By optimizing your online presence, leveraging customer reviews, and actively engaging leads, you can  effectively increase occupancy rates. This approach not only fills rooms, but ensures a strong return on investment with minimal risk.

Ultimately, adopting a proactive approach to online referrals can transform your community's occupancy rates and financial health. By focusing on detailed online listings, cultivating positive reviews, and maintaining swift engagement with potential leads, you can create a robust marketing strategy that stands up to economic pressures. Embracing referral partnerships will help you achieve a higher return on investment, ensuring that your community thrives even in challenging times.

For further details or information about becoming a Caring partner and receiving referrals, you can reach out to sales@caring.com.  

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Jun 07, 2024

Essential Strategies for Responding to Reviews about Senior Living and Senior Care
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Denise Graab

In today’s digital landscape, with care seekers turning to online resources to research and select senior living communities and senior care agencies: responding to service feedback in online reviews is crucial for your sales and marketing success.

In fact, seniors and their families are more likely to engage with businesses that actively manage their online reputation. Research from BrightLocal indicates:

  • 88% of U.S. consumers are likely to use a business that responds to both positive and negative reviews.

  • If you only have time to respond to negative ones: 58% will remain likely to use your business.

  • If you fail to publish responses to reviews: Almost half (47%) have said they won’t use your business.

Responding to online reviews can also help you further build your reputation. A study by Harvard Business Review demonstrated that within six months of actively responding to reviews, businesses can see an increase in both the volume of reviews and their overall average rating. This improvement can lead to greater engagement and success.

Also keep in mind: to be considered for the annual Caring Stars award, communities and agencies must publish a response to all 1-star or 2-star negative reviews on their Caring.com listing (or effectively contest and remove them) by the qualification deadline of October 15th.

Now that you understand why it’s important to actively manage your online reputation, let’s outline some key strategies to help you be most effective in doing so, culled from our March 2024 webinar, “Feedback Finesse.”

Establish a Plan & Tools for Monitoring Reviews

There are tools and processes that can help you monitor reviews at scale. Here are three key ways to do this:

1. Automated, instant alerts — Some review sites offer this service via email when a new review is posted. Caring partners, for instance, receive New Review Alert emails with a convenient link to publish a response, no login required, and priority processing.

Tip: Determine where you want to focus your efforts, where you’re getting the most reviews, and which sites are ranking highest or are easiest for your potential customers to find and read the reviews. Then reach out to learn more about your alert options for those sites.

2. A monitoring software subscription — There are reputation management platforms that help businesses monitor their reputation across multiple websites — use one that has legitimate integrations with the reviews’ websites and isn’t just scraping the reviews off the web. These platforms typically have other services like reputation analysis too. They’re particularly good for larger businesses with many locations.

Tip: Caring has authorized reviews-sharing agreements with Consumer Fusion, Influence Network, Reputation.com, ReviewTrackers, Shout About Us, SAVANT, and SOCi. Communities and agencies can use these platforms to easily respond to reviews on Caring.com.

3. Manual tracking — If you can’t get alerts and you don’t have a subscription to a monitoring platform, you can keep a spreadsheet of your online profiles and periodically check them for new reviews. This is the most time-intensive, slowest, and least effective option, but it is a workaround if you can’t take advantage of other solutions.

Tip: If you’re not a Caring partner, and aren’t using one of the platforms we’re integrated with, you can still respond to reviews on your business listing. Simply email reviews@caring.com.

Decide How You’ll Respond

When you get a new review, ask yourself some questions to determine the best course of action: publish a public response or request review removal?

Have you read the review guidelines for the website? (Here are the Caring.com Reviews Guidelines.) Do you see anything in the review’s content that you think doesn’t meet the guidelines? If so, flag it to the site for re-evaluation and possible removal.

Here are valid vs. invalid reasons for getting a review removed from Caring.com:

If contesting a review on Caring.com for factual inaccuracy, we ask that you provide substantive counterfacts. We don’t remove reviews based on differences of subjective opinions, so here’s a chart to help you discern fact-based vs. opinion-based content:

If there are no valid removal reasons, take the opportunity to publish a response.

Whether you publish a response or request review removal, online reviews can also offer your business a window into customer sentiments, and opportunities to evaluate your business strengths and areas for improvement. These insights — even the painful ones — can help you further enhance your services and grow your business.

Do’s & Don’ts of Publishing Responses

When responding to reviews, remember to follow best practices to maintain professionalism and effectiveness:

  • Thank the reviewer for their feedback.

  • Be empathetic, conversational, and authentic — demonstrate service excellence and your humanity in a person-centered, care-oriented business.

  • Offer to discuss any issues directly, offline.

  • Don’t share private healthcare details or personal information in your response. Keep HIPAA in mind.

  • Don’t make disparaging remarks about the reviewer, such as comments about their personal habits or financial management.

  • Avoid debating the feedback or being defensive about negative reviews. Recognize that the feedback may be more about the circumstances of the reviewer than the business receiving the review — this is especially relevant and important during times of grief. Avoid taking it personally, while also avoiding blaming the reviewer or being dismissive of their feedback.

Maintaining a professional tone and addressing concerns constructively can enhance your business’s image and encourage more positive interactions. Our review response webinar provides example responses published on Caring.com for both positive and negative reviews, and tips for how to use AI tools like ChatGPT to help you craft well-written responses.

Review responses for Caring.com must also adhere to our review response guidelines — avoiding libel and privacy violations, and including specific fields of information (such as who specifically at your organization is responding on behalf of the organization).

Help is Available and This is Worth Your Attention

Responding to online reviews is not just a reactive measure but a proactive strategy that can significantly impact your business’s reputation and customer engagement. By actively managing your online presence, addressing customer feedback constructively, and adhering to best practices, you can foster a positive image and drive greater success.

For more information or help with review responses, please contact reviews@caring.com.

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May 10, 2024

Maximizing Lead Conversion and Efficiency Through CRM Integration with Caring

For most senior living communities, utilizing a CRM to manage leads is crucial to ensure that the sales team can nurture those leads and convert them into actual residents. CRM stands for 'Customer Relationship Management' and is a term used to describe a system that manages and stores data and information about customers throughout their lifecycle. This includes the data from the initial lead to when they become a resident! 

For our Caring partners with a CRM, did you know that you can further enhance your sales efforts by integrating your CRM with Caring? This integration does not affect the information you see about leads but will help you save time by not having to manually report on move-ins. 

Uni-Directional Integration

Uni-directional integration is one integration option. It means that information flows directly from Caring into your CRM without any manual input needed. Your system will automatically receive updates from Caring on lead information — tour scheduling and lead status changes – in real time. The big benefit of this integration is an increase in lead conversion rates. Caring Partners who have uni-directional integration can save time on manual inputs and focus on turning leads into residents. 

Bi-Directional Integration

Bi-directional integration adds another layer to the CRM Integration — this allows information to flow both ways between Caring and your CRM. With a bi-directional integration, Caring Family Advisors are automatically notified of milestones like tour completions and can follow up with families to help them decide. This further enhances communication and coordination between teams, increasing efficiency and effectiveness. 

Benefits of CRM Integration

When senior living communities link their CRM with Caring, they often see a big jump in their conversion rates, sometimes as much as 30%. Why? Because integrating these systems streamlines things and cuts down on mistakes. Automated processes mean leads get proper attention and nothing falls through the cracks. Case studies have shown that without this integration, communities could miss out on anywhere from 5% to 50% of potential residents referred through Caring.

By harnessing the power of streamlined lead management, our partners are turning more inquiries into residents and driving growth. 

If you are interested in learning how you can connect your CRM with Caring, you can contact Madison Burns, Partner Success Operations Manager at mburns@caring.com. If you are interested in learning about how to become a Caring partner and maximize the benefits of CRM integration, you can email sales@caring.com.

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May 08, 2024

Using Automations to Increase Move-ins
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Megan Mulrain

Successful tours for senior living communities are more than showcasing amenities. Instead, they’re about creating personalized experiences that resonate with potential residents. If you tap into the power of automation, it can help improve tour experiences, increase show-up rates, and ultimately drive more move-ins! 

The Power of Automation in Senior Living Tours

In today's digitally driven landscape, automation has emerged as a game-changer in various industries, including senior living. By using tools and automation that can help schedule and personalize content (like emails or texts), communities can streamline processes, increase engagement, and nurture relationships effectively. Automation can play a pivotal role at every stage of the tour journey, from initial scheduling to post-tour follow-ups.

1. Getting Started: Essential Components for Automation

Before delving into the specifics of automation, it's important to have a few key components in place first. These include:

  • Scheduling Tool: Implement a scheduling tool equipped with built-in automation capabilities (such as Calendly or HubSpot's Meetings link).

  • Customized Content: Create tailored content, such as pre-tour information packets or welcome videos, to answer potential questions and provide valuable insights into the community.

2. Harnessing the Power of Automation: Transformative Workflow Strategies

Automation empowers communities to create customizable workflows that cater to potential resident's needs and preferences. By automating tasks such as reminders, personalized messages, and follow-up communications, communities can improve a care seeker’s experience and decrease tour no-shows. Key tasks that can be automated include:

  • Pre-Tour Reminders: Trigger automated reminders via email or text messages to ensure care seekers are well-prepared and motivated to attend scheduled tours.

  • Personalized Communications: Craft personalized messages addressing the potential resident's interests and concerns, fostering a sense of connection and rapport.

  • Post-Tour Follow-ups: Implement automated follow-up messaging, including a post-tour thank you, survey about their experience, and link to schedule appointments for asking questions, to maintain momentum and facilitate further interactions.

3. Enhancing Prospect Experience: Personalization and Engagement Strategies

Beyond automation, personalized experiences are pivotal in captivating prospects and fostering meaningful connections. Communities can enhance the prospect’s experience through:

  • Tailored Interactions: Engage in meaningful conversations, whether in person or over the phone, to understand their unique preferences, interests, and requirements.

  • Customized Tours: Curate personalized tour experiences based on previously gathered insights, incorporating tailored activities and showcasing relevant amenities.

  • Resident Engagement: Introduce care seekers to current residents and community activities to provide authentic insights into the community's vibrant lifestyle.

4. Overcoming Challenges and Maximizing Results

While automation offers immense potential, communities may encounter challenges in implementation and adoption. Continuous monitoring, analysis, and optimization of processes that have been automated are essential to maximize results and drive continuous improvement in tour outcomes.

5. Realizing the Impact: Measuring Success and Driving Move-Ins

Ultimately, the true measure of automation's success lies in its impact on tour conversions and move-ins. By leveraging analytics and CRM integration with Caring, communities can track key metrics such as show-up rates, lead conversions, and resident acquisition costs.

Automation is an up-and-coming useful tool in the arsenal of senior living communities, offering unparalleled opportunities to optimize tour experiences and drive move-ins. 

By embracing automation strategies, communities can streamline processes, personalize interactions, and ultimately create memorable experiences that resonate with prospects. 

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Caring is a portfolio of senior living and senior care websites helping millions of seniors and their families research and connect to the most appropriate services and support for their specific situations. Our mission is to help as many seniors as possible through empathetic, expert guidance.

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