The number of online searches for senior living and senior care has increased significantly within the past decade, up to 15,500 online searches per hour as of late 2021.

Caring.com helps senior living communities get in front of online searchers through a portfolio of high-ranking senior living websites.Our expertise in digital partnerships has shown us the best practices that leading communities follow when it comes to converting online leads. 

To support your community in better competing online, here are our top four tips for converting online leads into new senior living residents:

 

Adapt to the “Modern Day Drive-By”

 

Historically, a first step for the decision-making process was to drive by the physical community. The landscaping, lobby decor, and a smiling receptionist were all factors in whether the community made a positive first impression. 

With more and more seniors and their loved ones beginning their search online, they may rule out or add a community to the top of their list before ever stepping on the property — based simply on what they found online. Are you putting the right amount of care and attention into the online experience to ensure your prospective residents and their family members have a positive first impression?

 

Optimize Your Online Presence

 

By maximizing and maintaining a positive online presence for your community, you are opening the door – physically and digitally – for potential residents. Maximize your online presence by ensuring your community appears wherever care seekers are searching. 

Caring’s portfolio of websites rank for generic searches, such as “retirement homes,” where consumers go early in their process to learn about different care options and compare providers. And, the best practices for optimizing your profile on a site like Caring.com can also be applied to optimizing your website. 

These best practices include adding professional-looking community photos and providing a detailed list of your amenities and services. While several factors go into your pricing for residents, providing estimated ranges online can help a prospective resident determine if your community is within their budget. Your website or online listing acts as a digital salesman and should entice and help qualify potential residents. 

Finally, consistency is key. Make sure the branding and information on your directory listing matches what is shown on your website, Google Business Profile, or anywhere else you are digitally advertising.

 

Build a Strong Sales Process

 

If you’re struggling to convert online leads, take a broader view of your sales process. 

First, remember they are a lead, not a guaranteed move-in. They may be early into their research journey and are likely considering multiple communities. The best way to help potential residents come to a decision is through compassion. By listening to their situation and learning about them as a person, you are able to determine how best to follow through and serve their needs. 

The biggest key is follow through. Unable to reach a new lead on the first call? Try again, and again. Approximately 80% of sales are finalized after more than five touch points! 

 

Get Reviews & Manage Your Online Reputation

 

Reviews are pivotal in today’s world, and it’s not just with younger generations. 71% of U.S. adults 55 and over read online reviews of businesses. On average they read 7 reviews before they can trust a business. 

Not only are reviews important in attracting more inquiries, they’re also very influential in driving higher lead conversion. Among many partner reviews case studies Caring has conducted: the data showed that community listings with more than 15 reviews average close to 8 times more move-ins compared to communities with little to no reviews.

The pandemic has increased online usage and the popularity of consumer reviews. At Caring, for instance, we published 60% more reviews in 2021 compared to 2020. 

In addition to hosting consumer reviews, Caring also supports communities in responding to reviews — whether negative, positive, or in-between.

 

When your future residents go online, don’t lose their interest to competitors in your area. Follow these best practices and others to ensure you’re found and best represented online.

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Looking for ways to boost your community’s digital curb appeal? We can help. Contact sales@caring.com or call (888) 808-0453 to learn how to enhance your listing as a new partner today.

Katie Massing

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