Getting the most value from your digital marketing strategy may seem hard, but it is actually quite easy if you use the right system of marketing practices to do so. One excellent system is called Resident Acquisition Model (or RAM). This system is used in a variety of businesses – in large companies (i.e. Amazon), mid size companies (i.e. residential management, law firms, accounting businesses), and small companies alike (i.e start up businesses). And, now you are going to understand how to leverage the RAM for senior living communities.
The Resident Acquisition Model (RAM) has five steps, all of them focusing on attracting and converting prospective residents… into actual residents. We will be diving into each phase of the RAM to make that happen – to get more website visitors, convert more of the prospective residents into leads and turn those leads into Tours.
Here is the RAM in a visual format:
From afar, the process may look complicated, but as you go along, it becomes easier and logical. To explain this process in a more related example, we will create a mid-sized senior living community. This will help give a more illustrated depiction of RAM in
Lannister Senior Lofts is a well-established independent senior living community, situated in Phoenix, AZ. Their occupancy rate is enough to keep everything line. However, management thinks there is always the threat of losing residents despite their current situation. To finally address these concerns, management decided that they need to make the most of their current residents. They also decided to find new ways to attract potential residents. This will be done by the Resident Acquisition Model’s process.
Identify Your Community’s Target Audience
The first step in the RAM process is identifying the perfect future resident your Community wishes to attract. In order to find your communities target market, you have to do some research and gather data. Data can come from sources like employee and residential feedback, information from online tools (like Google Analytics), and other sources.
In our example company of Lannister Senior Lofts, the company’s management went out and gathered research from a variety of sources. Some asked their customers through interaction and surveys, while others went online and looked through analytical tools of their website. After a while, the team came together and found their main target audience: active and independently thinking senior-aged adults who need little to no extra care but are very social.
Getting your Audience from Before to the After
Now that you found your target audience, there is still another vital part in the Identify step. Businesses in a way are there to get customers from a before status to an after status. Like in a fast food business, before a customer enters the restaurant they are unhappy and empty, afterwards they are happy and fulfilled.
Businesses like yours need to shift their focus on having their customers go from before state to an after state. If you can figure the before/after about your target audience, your company is set. For our example company, Lannister would would ask themselves the following:
- What do our potential residents HAVE before and after meeting our staff?
- How does our residents FEEL before they get become a resident? After?
- What is the resident’s AVERAGE DAY before moving in? How are they after?
- What is our senior living residents’ STATUS before joining the community? What is their after like?
Since they asked themselves these questions, they came up with the following.
BEFORE HAVE: Drab, boring life in a normal neighborhood that have no one to relate to.
AFTER HAVE: A new life in a new independent living community with socially active seniors.
BEFORE FEEL: Like they are weighing themselves and those around them down.
AFTER FEEL: Feel more like being part of the community and hose around them
AVG. DAY BEFORE: Day to day life of the same thing.
AVG DAY AFTER: New day with good friends and a good community with events and gatherings.
BEFORE STATUS: A part of a giant massive crowd.
AFTER STATUS: A nice part of a well-knit community of liked minded individuals.
Because they took the time and effort to figure out who the target audience is and what they are like, the company completed the identify part of the RAM process.
ATTRACTING YOUR AUDIENCE’S TARGET AUDIENCE
Attracting your target audience to your community can generate interest is the next part of the process. There are many ways to attract traffic to your business such as:
- Organic SEO (having the highest ranking on search engines)
- Local SEO (having the highest rank on local-based searches on search engines)
- Email Marketing
- Blogging and online content
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.)
- Paid Media (paid advertising on search engines, social media, etc.)
Previously, businesses thought that these channels are the reason why they weren’t doing so well and losing money. However, that’s not the case as generating revenue and exposure is what they are built to do. In the reality of things, they need to how to measure the worth of the traffic from the channels and how to extract the most traffic from those sources.
In an effort gain traffic through these channels and other sources, you need to understand the entirety of the resident acquisition model. Focus on one method and then work the others in the process. If your company gets more results from email marketing than the others, focus on that then subtly add in the others.
Going back to the example company of Lannister Senior Lofts, the company hasn’t fared well when it comes to email marketing, as their email advertisements have been constantly marked as spam or gone unread. However, they have had on and off success with social media, having lots of positive responses to their posts. With that discovery, they decide to shift their full focus on attracting those via social media. This means more posts and more interaction with their customers. This would have them lead their target audience to content that can make turn them into leads, which we will talk in the next part.
Converting through the RAM Process
In the next step, you want your business to focus on acquiring leads and then converting them into actual residents. In simpler terms, you want to increase your community’s occupancy. You first need to attract people through lead magnets.
While no money is exchanged, you are exchanging something they want for their contact information. Examples of lead magnets include downloadable PDFs, software, and many others. These lead magnets are usually implemented on sites through a landing/squeeze page. Through this page, traffic will turn into leads. After obtaining your leads’ contact information, you want to focus on ways to generate revenue from them or have them spend time with your business (like scheduling a tour).
Make Offers Through Tripwire
Since your business is aiming to increase the number of conversions (leads into customers/residents), you want to entice them with a tripwire. A tripwire is an irresistible, super low-ticket offer that converts prospects/leads into paying customers (or in this case, residents).
EXAMPLE: Lannister Senior Lofts sends out emails that advertise their latest tripwire. New residents who schedule and take a tour will be eligible to get their first month at $69.
While some business may feel uneasy with such an offer, it should be reminded that they aren’t to be making a living off the tripwires. Most of the revenue comes from the core offers and profit maximizers.
Offering Them Your Business’ Core Product
Now that you have gotten them through the tripwire, you should now show them your core offer. Most businesses don’t get a high response from core offers on the first step. They get the core offers through both lead magnets and tripwires. Offering the core offer up front is like proposing on the first date. It doesn’t work and turns people off.
For our example company, Lannister Senior Lofts’ tripwire is a success. New senior living residents are taking up the first month and have a choice to depart if they want to. Though, 90% of the time since they are already moved in, they take up the core offer of the regular monthly rate.
Some core offers is where some businesses and communities can be happy and live off. Other companies break even and generate revenue through profit maximizers.
Offering a Profit Maximizer
As you recall from earlier, another way for your community’s success is to increase the average value/transaction value of a resident. This is done through profit maximizers. In a sense, it’s an upsell or paid addon that the customer will be enticed take up after taking in the core offer.
For example, Lannister Senior Lofts is now making more with tripwire and core offers. However they want to make more so they can make improvements in the community. They now offer current residents yoga and tai chi classes in their community’s gym for around sixty dollars a month.
Regarding Refusals of Your Offers
Not every offer you present to your current residents isn’t going to be accepted. Going back to the Conversion phase’s image, there are options when current and potential residents refuses these offers. They don’t drop off the system, they just need to be engaged again as a follow up. By communicating with them you should be able to have them keep their options open. If they aren’t interested still, you can reengage them, which will be covered in the next step.
Engaging Your Residents & Others
Growing the number of transactions per customer is the final way to grow a business or a community. Creating a return path that is focused on frequent, strategic communication will get your residents buying more often. Since you have your residents contact information you can lead them to new tripwires, core offers and profit maximizers. This part of the residential acquisition model makes an endless cycle that generates more value and success.
Some examples of engagement and re-engagement:
- Exit Offers
- Organic Social Media
- Loyalty Programs
- Content Marketing
- Outbound Sales Calls
- Ad Retargeting
- Follow Ups Through Emails
For our example community, Lannister Senior Lofts, management can focus on re-engaging those who refused profit maximizers. They can use follow up emails and outbound sales calls regarding their yoga and tai chi classes those who refused. All they need to do is change the message so that is more attractive to those people.
How to Sell Throughout the Process
While the previously mentioned steps were part of the Resident Acquisition Model’s process, the step of selling is different. Selling is the basically the entire system, since it focuses on how you go through the process instead of what you need to do.
Selling can be done in different ways. One form is through strategic seduction. This method is more geared towards a way of life that can be used in any situation. You will have to fully absorbed by the outcomes then slowly telling your target audience about them until they give in. This method is more about going with a flow and letting your residents and potential residents make the choice on their own.
In a way, you want your residents or customers thank you by paying you money. This can be done by having multiple options for those who want to exit the system. If you create some options that might change their mind, you have turned their “no” into a “yes”. It should be regarded this requires some patience as you’re getting people from one point to the other.
For Lannister Senior Lofts, they have created their resident acquisition model but they are unsure how to put it into action. They notice that their competitors are manipulating their customers but in the end the customers are disappointed. Lannister can patiently entice those disappointed people through subtle lead magnets and content. These content pieces and lead magnets would tell how awesome their lofts but not make comparisons. They want their potential residents to make the decision on their own. Basically, they want to keep Lannister in the back of their minds in a positive way.
Utilizing and Optimizing your Customers
The Resident Acquisition Model is very easy to create and maintain. As long as your community follows its steps, you should be able to generate more revenue and acquire more people to your senior living communities.