In this segment, I’m going to discuss an often over-looked piece of technology that is really mission critical and such an integral part of the overall success of your community. Everyone agrees that a quality ‘first impression’ is so important for new resident move-ins, but many still fail to realize that the true first impression starts with your website, and not when a potential new resident enters your building.
Now, over the past 20 years, I’ve seen a huge improvement to senior living websites, but there’s still so much room to grow. We’re still ages behind multifamily and other real estate sectors. Your website should be viewed at your number one marketing tool and resource – and, the incremental value it brings to your community and performance far outweighs any cost alternatives.
So, what does a senior living website need to stand out and stay competitive in this new era of senior living? It really comes down to five core areas: image, information, interaction, engagement, and action.
The image is what you’re really trying to convey about your community to the local overall market. Do you have old photos? Do you have generic photos? Do you have photos of empty rooms and amenities? These are all ‘no no’s’ for your website and leading to a ‘stale’ reputation in senior living. We are entering a new demand pool that is more tech savy and sophisticated – so your website should be fun, interactive, and should reflect your overall culture, mission, and engagement.
So, how do you do this? Replace those old photos of empty rooms with ones filled with resident engagement, interaction, and connection. Include testimonials from current residents, families, and your own team members showing how much they enjoy your community. Include your activity calendar, but supplement the calendar with photos and videos of your residents and families enjoying each event. Get releases if you need to, but it’s important to show the ‘life’ of your community (and senior living) that goes beyond the hallways and rooms.
And, even better, replace boring photos with dynamic video content. A video tour of your community is so much more appealing than a photo tour, and video testimonials from current residents, families, and team members is worth they’re wait in gold! Overall, show the life and connection of your community that makes senior living a destination and not just a necessity.
Now, putting some real dollars into improving your website is great for your reputation, but if you’re not converting the enhanced traffic to active leads, you’re just wasting money and losing out to competition that is. So, from a marketing perspective, think of the primary purpose of your website is to convert passive viewers into active leads. And to do that, you need captivating submission forms that link directly into your CRM. Don’t just wait on a call… it’s a new era of senior living, and we have to adapt.
Those are some primary tips to help elevate your performance, but there’s so much more. Overall, the improvement of our industry’s performance really starts with the improvement of our image and reputation displayed from each website. Think of promoting your senior living community as a destination resort – instead of a healthcare necessity. When that change happens, the active adult baby boomer generation demand will follow.