10 Marketing Ideas to Keep Occupancy High During Covid

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Neil Krauss
CPO | Founder


Covid-19 has changed the game. Without in-person tours and sit-down signings, marketing and maintaining occupancy within your senior living community has become an entirely different process. Keeping your residents and other staff members safe has become the top priority. We work with many talented sales and marketing people from across the industry, and we’ve seen some creative tactics that we are keen to share.

A while back we shared a post surrounding our best marketing ideas for senior living communities. This was a culmination of suggestions and practices we have collected over the years. You can find that original post here:: "The 40 Best Marketing Ideas for Senior Living Communities."

1. Market in the year we live in!

I said it before (in that first post) and I’ll say it again, you have to use channels and means that already garner attention. Today that means social media, video, and more.

2. Steal the good ideas.

Find what is working in other assisted living communities and use it. Any senior living company with multiple communities should be implementing great ideas. Remember, every industry and business has been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. So, don’t limit your idea search to just senior living.

3. A unique opportunity.

This is one of my favorites. There are prospective residents outside your four walls that could likely use your help. We've seen countless stories of staff helping seniors with grocery shopping, grocery delivery, bank deposits, and more. We’ve even seen residents become digital pen pals (using Zoom)with seniors still living at home. What can you do to serve the larger community that surrounds your building?

Updated thought, we’re starting to see several companies exploring a version of this model to expand their footprint in the future. We’ll have more on this in a future post.

"Imagine landing on a community's website that said nothing about the current threat to its residents?"
IDEA 6: Update your website to reflect your Covid-19 protocols.

4. More than a video.

Take this opportunity to take your community videos to the next level. Think about a safety video outlining precautions you’re taking to keep residents and family members safe. Create custom videos to answer resident and family questions. You could give a tour or  walk through a specific unit in place of your typical canned email response. Don’t worry about quality, use your mobile device and make it hand held. And don’t forget to use the recipients name so they know you made the video especially for them.

5. Automation is your friend.

I know I mentioned it last time, but implement live chat, calendaring tools, and automation wherever possible. We can foresee a staff shortage on the horizon as an effect of this outbreak. So, take a look at tools like Zoom, Drift, Calendly, and Zapier to help in your processes. For example, by completing a simple web form, visitors to your website could submit their information, schedule a virtual tour meeting, get Zoom details, add the appointment to your company calendar, and automatically receive reminders without you ever doing a thing. Automation will give you your time back.

6. Update your website.

Your website should reflect Covid-19 procedures and precautions. Imagine landing on a community’s website that said nothing about the current threat to its residents? People want to know what steps have you taken for independent living, assisted living, memory care, and your community at large. Not having this reflects poorly on you and your community, so make it big and make it the first thing people see.

7. Visitor safety.

Accushield has made some amazing updates to their platform to help keep you and your residents safe. Take temperatures for all visitors and personnel entering and exiting the building. Ask Covid-19 screening questions to all home health workers visiting your building. It’s user-friendly and affordable and will help cover your butt.

8. Deliverables.

Create PDF guides that help in the decision-making process. Safety procedures, units and pricing, services and amenities, and financial support, all help in the decision-making process of moving a loved one from home to your senior living community. Offer these for download on your website in exchange for a little more resident information. People are still looking for help in the placement process.

9. It’s still about attention.

Marketing and advertising are all about attention. Give your prospective residents and their family a reason to care. Find stories from within your building that show the great caregivers, great residents, and great advantages that senior living can offer in today’s world.

10. Electronic signature.

We usually save this suggestion for last because we don’t want you to feel like this whole article has been one long sales pitch. That being said, our software has really helped alleviate the administrative burdens of paperwork during the pandemic. With Senior Sign, you and your residents can complete their move-in packet electronically. You can easily sign, complete, attach, and store every move-in form from the safety of home.

Update: during the first year of the pandemic, communities using Senior Sign maintained an average occupancy rate that was 8% higher than the national average.

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