Managing a senior living community can be hard work. You have inventory to watch over, utilities to managed, residents to provide for, and many other tasks on your hands. During all of this, you have some thoughts in the back of your head concerning your community and its continual operations.
“How can we continue to keep this community going?”
“Are we getting the most value out of our residents or are we missing a number of opportunities?”
Questions like these are feared that they will go unanswered. You want the best for your community. You also want to offer the best service and comfort to those who are interested. And you also want to get the most value from every single resident that steps onto your community’s property. However, you ask yourself, “how can this be achieved?”. This can be achieved through the Resident Value Journey.
What is the Resident Value Journey?
The Resident Value Journey is a process of steps that catches our audience of ideal residents’ attention. It will then transform them from complete strangers into interested prospects, then into excited buyers, and then into promoting advocates of your community.
In your setting, managing a senior living residential community, you want to find a way to get senior-aged individuals’ attention to gain their interest and time. That will lead into becoming a part of the community, partaking it its premium services, and eventually becoming an enthusiastic advocate of your community.
At large glance, something like that proposed vision seems overwhelming and unachievable, but if you were to follow it step by step and in sequence, it’s not that hard. You just must remember to keep everything in sequence, because each step is important and relies on the previous steps. If you were to skip certain steps, it would end up losing value and/or the potential resident.
The eight steps in the Resident Value Journey are the following:
These are the eight sequential steps that will help you and the rest of your community’s management team, turn senior-aged strangers into fully-fledged fans of your community and its services. You can follow along in the template that is provided by us at the Conversion Formula (which is based on a template from Digital Marketer).
Step 1 of the Resident Value Journey – Awareness
The next step after generating senior individuals’ awareness is Engagement. We want the glance in awareness step into a stare in this step. How do you do that in through the channels? Content is the key in this step. You want to draw in prospecting seniors with content that will draw their attention.
- Both methods.
The bigger question is how do you engage your seniors. Do they want to be informed, entertained or both. It depends of the awareness you determined for the channel.
If the seniors you want to reach out to are…
- Unware – Use entertainment to grab their attention and interrupts their day to day activities.
- Problem Aware – Use educational content to call out their problems and make your community the solution to their problem.
- Solution Aware – Acknowledge the problem through education or both methods and then immediately inform aware seniors that your community is better than the ones they know about.
- Product Aware – Engage with seniors who know about or already in a community (but are unhappy). Use both methods to inform them why your community is best than the rest and they should move to yours.
Depending on the channel and the awareness of your target audience of seniors, you’ll be able to know what type of content to make in order to have them engage in your community. Once you have them staring at your community’s content, you can move on to having those seniors become more attached to the idea joining your community.
Step 2 of the Resident value journey – Engage
Engaging your target audience is, in a way, making them look at you longer by grabbing their full attention. This can be achieved through educating and entertaining them through content you create and post on social media, your site or through any of the viable channels. This step is used in conjunction with the awareness step and its four types.
- Unware – Using useful and educational content to grab your prospecting audience’s attention. In simpler terms, using content that would make them stop in their tracts and read more into it, since they weren’t not seeking it out in the first place.EXAMPLE: MacDougall Senior Lofts creates a Facebook content piece that tells of how people around the world retire and how they differ from senior communities in America, like MacDougall’s.
- Problem Aware – Using informative content posts to let seniors notice a rising problem related to senior living. Afterwards, engaging those potential residents to know that your senior living community is the solution.EXAMPLE: Making posts on Facebook about the rise of senior living communities with subpar conditions. After the content’s message is displayed, assure readers that MacDougall’s would never have subpar living conditions for its residents. In addition, talk on how people with those problems can move to MacDougall’s and live a better life.
- Solution Aware – Raising awareness of a problem through content. Immediately turning the content’s message to let readers know that your solution (your senior living community) is the best choice overall.EXAMPLE: MacDougall’s management creates a post about how children of senior-aged parents are choosing senior living communities that are small houses within a close knit community. MacDougall would then tell them that their style of senior living is better because their lofts were repurposed from luxury hotels while keeping a resort style within their community.
- Product Aware – Showing that your residential community you offer is better than the competition.EXAMPLE: MacDougall’s Senior Lofts makes a post that their residents are more happy and have a more fulfilled living lifestyle than the other senior living communities in the area.
Step 3 of Resident Value Journey –Subscribe
Now that we have made them aware and engaged our potential senior resident audience, we want them to subscribe and keep your community on their mind. There’s many ways to do that, it can be gated content like videos or infographics. It can be interactive content like a Smart Choices tool or any kind of questionnaire. In anyway, we want to create lead magnets so that seniors can subscribe to your community and its content/offerings.
A lead magnet is a small chunk of value that solves a specific kind of problem for a specific market in exchange for them opting in. In this case, your senior living community should offer something that the potential residents might want.
- Make a specific promise
- Give a specific example
- Offer a specific shortcut
- Answer a specific question
- Deliver a specific discount
In your case of being part of a senior living community’s management, you might want to answer specific questions potential residents might have. “How much does it cost?” “What are your prices compared to the other communities in the area?” “What services do your offer?”
You can answer back by saying “all the answers you seek about senior living can found here”. You’d then offer them content like a downloadable PDF file that contains detailed information that will answer their questions, in exchange for their contact information (which is now referred to as lead information). Once they subscribe to your lead generating offering, they’re no longer a prospecting resident, they are a lead. From leads, we want them to convert into actual customers.
Step 4 of the Resident Value Journey – Convert
Now that you have seniors subscribing to your community’s content. Now is the time to get them committed to you brand, which in this case is called “conversion”. What we want from our prospecting leads is to invest some time with us. In the terms of your senior living community, you want them to schedule a tour of your community’s grounds.
What you’re trying to do here is change the relationship of total stranger into a friend of the community. So how do we take our leads and convert them. It can be done through a variety of methods but the best method is the one that is fit for your community/business.
For example, you want to get leads to schedule a tour. You can make content and advertisements geared towards your leads (called tripwires) that tell them that if they schedule a tour, they get to have a free lunch in the community’s dining hall. Should they accept, they just converted because they’re investing a portion of their time in exchange of something small as a free lunch. You offer them a little something to gain something big in return.
Think creatively when looking for ways to convert your leads. As soon as you can gain their time, you should be able to excite them in the next step.
Step 5 of the Resident Value Journey – Excite
We’ve gotten them halfway through the Resident Value Journey, and now we need to get them excited about the process so far. If you don’t excite them, they might bail out of the process. This is where you show up to converted seniors and keep them excited for them to ascend. This can be achieved by pointing out their little victories.
Recall the last step where we got senior leads to convert by scheduling a tour with your community. After you have completed the tour and let them partake in the tripwire offer of a free lunch. After the seniors have left the community, you’d follow up with them in a few days (since you have their contact information). During this time, you’d ask them what they enjoyed about the tour and the free lunch. Afterwards, you’d point out how great their visit was in comparison to their everyday mundane life. (hence pointing out their little victories). This will help in preparing them to ascend in the next step.
Because you remain in constant communication after the conversion, you are making the feel valued because you gave them value. In turn, they feel cared for and excited about what your community offers (because you gave them value). You’ll be fresh on their minds always and will begin the consideration of ascension in their journey.
Step 6 of the Resident Value Journey – Ascend
Ascension is the next step in the Resident Value Journey and it’s the big one but easy if you followed the journey’s steps correctly. This step on focuses taking the big leap from being a converted individual into an actual resident of the community.
Since the converted seniors have been excited and kept in constant communication with your community and its people, it’ll very easy for them to accept your core offer. Because you played your role right and did each step correctly, asking the big question of “want to become a part of the community” will be easy.
Once you have them accept your core offer of having them become a resident of your community, it’ll be even easier to offer more ascension offers, thus optimizing and maximizing your community’s generated revenue. In your case of being a senior living community, additional ascension offers could be corner rooms with more space, premium services like dry cleaning, and many others.
They’ll be open to these offers because you put value upfront for the senior audiences. In return, you’ll receive lots of more value from them.
Step 7 of the Resident Value Journey – Advocate
Word of mouth is, the single most effective form of marketing. That’s what advocacy is about. Since you gotten more seniors to become a part of your community and you keep them excited constantly so they can ascend more, you will produce advocates of your community. Advocating seniors are those are part of your community and praise your work without you knowing.
The thing is, how do you get your residents to advocate for your community? There are many different ways. A good example is the sticker or t-shirt with the logo on it. Handing members of your community merchandise with your logo and company information on it is a nice way to advocate. People will wonder where they got the merchandise from and the senior will inform them of your great community.
Advocacy should be organic, meaning you shouldn’t have your residents spread the word of your community by order. Advocacy and be done through them telling you about their experiences since joining. This information can be used later on in a case study and content.
Step 8 of the Resident Value Journey – Promote
Now is the time where we want to take your excited residents and change them from just being a part of the community into a full-fledged promoter of it. Think about it, before the journey, they were just a normal unhappy individual and now are becoming a senior living community member who will gladly promote the community. It would be a great time to ask them “want to become a promoter of our community?”
This is one step ahead of advocacy. While advocacy was all passive ways of spreading the word, promoting is a more active way of promoting a community.
To put in a way how you’d promote in your senior living community, take one individual that went through the Resident Value Journey up to this point. Ask them if they would want to give a testimonial or be part of a promotional video for your community. If they agree, they have went from advocating to promoting. Other examples for senior living promoting could be sound bites or quotes from excited senior residents that can be used in future advertising content.
Once they’ve started actively promoting your community, it means they have gone through the entire journey. Look at the value they have given you because you gave them value up front.
Regarding Repeated Steps of the Value Journey
Not every person going through the Residential Value Journey is going to automatically take on the next step. Some individuals are likely to be engaged, subscribe and be converted multiple times before they can be excited. While the Residential Value Journey looks linear, it has some flexibility on certain parts.
- Conversion Step Back to Engagement and Subscription
EXAMPLE: A lead might have to be engage and subscribe multiple times before conversion and getting excited.
- Excite Stepping Back to Engagement, Subscription, and Conversion
EXAMPLE: A converted individual might be told of little victories, but might need to be re-engaged before they can continue again and eventually move onto being upsold.
- Ascension Stepping Back to Excitement
EXAMPLE: During the upsell process, a resident might need to be reminded of little victories or be given moments of excitement before they can complete the upsell ascension process.
- Advocate Stepping into Excitement and Ascension
EXAMPLE: An advocating resident might do a continuous loop of getting excited and then partaking in other upselling offers the business or community has to offer.
As a senior living community, taking your target audience of resident-seeking senior individuals through the Resident Value Journey should be easy if you follow the right steps and give the right value. The small invest of your value will be return greatly with value from those you take on the journey. With that, your community’s occupancy will grow, your generated revenue will be wonderful, and your senior residents will be happy and willingly promote your community to others.