Tag Archives: marketing

Mary's Woods Logo

Mary’s Woods Finances for Growth

On the banks of the beautiful Willamette River, a 16-year-old non-profit senior living community is capitalizing on its strong market reputation to grow for the future. Mary’s Woods at Marylhurst financed its existing continuing care campus in 1999 and it first opened in 2001.

Located in the Portland suburb of Lake Oswego, Ore., the community currently includes 233 independent living units, 50 independent living villas, 55 assisted living units, 23 memory support suites, 26 residential care suites and five licensed skilled nursing beds.

In April, Mary’s Woods secured $114,815,000 in tax-exempt bond financing and $60,250,000 in tax-exempt mandatory paydown securities that will help it add more units and serve more seniors.

The expansion will be called The Village at Mary’s Woods, and it will include 144 independent living units, 48 assisted living units, two common area buildings, 152 underground parking spaces and 150 above-ground parking spaces. One of the unique aspects of the project is a residential Town Square that will offer convenient services and programs that the organization has learned its residents appreciate and need.

Construction of this expansion will take place on 12 unused acres on the community’s existing 75-acre campus. Substantial construction is scheduled to end in phases, with completion of the first buildings to begin in late 2018 and completion of the entire project in late spring or early summer of 2019.

Mary’s Woods is led by a 16-member board of directors that includes Board Chair David Galt and Chief Executive Officer Diane Hood. This expansion will help Mary’s Woods capitalize on a market opportunity and serve its waitlist that includes more than 300 prospective residents.

“At the start of this project, our management team recognized the need for outside experience and expertise, both to ensure ultimate success and to provide assurances to our board as we moved forward,” Hood said. “Greystone brought a third-party perspective and a first-party investment in the project. They also brought a strong industry reputation, which was immensely helpful in navigating the capital markets to secure financing.”

Senior Vice President Stuart Jackson led Greystone’s work on this project:

“Mary’s Woods enjoys an incredible reputation in its market, which helped this expansion sell out as quickly as any that Greystone has worked on since the Great Recession,” Jackson said. “It’s been a pleasure to support such a strong organization — Diane and her team were excellent to work with. They are making a difference in the lives of their current residents, and this expansion will help them make a difference in many more lives in the future.”

Learn more about The Village at Mary’s Woods.

See renderings of the project in the gallery below.

The Village at Mary's Woods 1 The Village at Mary's Woods 2 The Village at Mary's Woods 3 The Village at Mary's Woods 4 The Village at Mary's Woods 5

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Marketing Team Members Recognized at Sales Adventure

Senior living marketers from around the country journeyed to Dallas last week for Greystone’s Sales Adventure 2016. These community-based professionals were welcomed by the Greystone logo in lights at the Omni Hotel in downtown:

For three days, attendees enjoyed education and breakout sessions, networking and social events. The highlight of each year’s Sales Adventure is an awards dinner held on Thursday night. Here’s a look at this year’s winners:


RHINO Award

Jill Coleman, The Westerly Residences at Wichita Presbyterian Manor

RHINO - Jill Coleman - Westerly

Janine Short, The Barrington of Carmel

RHINO - Janine Short - Barrington

Penny Hurst, The Barrington of Carmel

RHINO - Penny Hurst - Barrington


Senior Living Counselor of the Year

Dianne Larivee, Deerfield


Marketing Community of the Year

Querencia at Barton Creek (Marketing Team Members: Jill Conant, Phillip Taylor, Joan Ford, Marcia Lang, Lauren Struby)

Marketing Community of the Year - Querencia


Admissions Coordinator of the Year

Kathy Wheeler, Gulf Coast Village


Admissions Director of the Year

Rochelle Humphrey, The Plaza at Edgemere

Admissions Director of the Year - Rochelle Humphrey - Edgemere


Health Services Sales Counselor of the Year

Brittany Middleton, The Plaza at Edgemere

Health Services Sales Counselor of the Year - Brittany Middleton - Edgemere


Newcomer of the Year

April Dillon, Sales Counselor, The Buckingham

Newcomer of the Year - April Dillon - The Buckingham


Marketing Assistant of the Year

Nikki Meeker, Senior Living Coordinator, The Barrington of Carmel

Marketing Assistant of the Year - Nikki Meeker - Barrington


Sales and Marketing Director of the Year

Vanessa Curtright, Edgemere

Sales and Marketing Director of the YearCurtright


Blue Sky Sales Team of the Year

The Westerly Residences at Wichita Presbyterian Manor (Sales Team Members: Jill Coleman, Caren Remmers, Chrissie Ammann, Samantha Skaggs)

Blue Sky Sales Team of the Year - The Westerly


Operational Sales Team of the Year

The Amsterdam at Harborside (Sales Team Members: Sarah Gilroy, Erika Osbeck, Shannon Volin, Elaine Lucchesi)

Operational Sales Team of the Year - Sarah Gilroy - Amsterdam


Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees and winners! See more photos from Sales Adventure 2016 (and its 80s-style extravaganza) in the gallery below.

Glowy Awards
Greystone16 (34 of 162)
Greystone16 (42 of 162)
Greystone16 (52 of 162)
Greystone16 (65 of 162)
GreystoneSA16 (37 of 379)
GreystoneSA16 (51 of 379)
GreystoneSA16 (70 of 379)
GreystoneSA16 (293 of 379)
Greystone Omni LogoGreystone16 (150 of 162)

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See What’s Happening at Sales Adventure 2016

Sales Adventure is Greystone’s annual meeting and conference for community marketers from around the country. Each year’s Sales Adventure includes education sessions given by leading senior living professionals, small breakout groups and workshop-style time, networking opportunities and social events. Sales Adventure 2016, which starts this week, will be no different.

Here’s a look at the agenda for Sales Adventure 2016:


Thursday, April 28

General Session: Keynote Speaker (Dave Martin)

General Session: Inside Out: The Value of Self-Discovery in Leadership (Merna Smith)

General Session: Baker Communications (Baker Communications)

General Session: The Power of Words, Part 2 (Bruce Byers)

Independent Living Breakout Session: Recovering From Lead Fatigue (Bluespire Senior Living, Teri Lock)

Health Care Breakout Session: Stand Out Among the Clutter! (Mindy Cheek)

Independent Living Breakout Session: Capitalizing on Technology to Illuminate the “WOW” (Tricia Mackin)

Health Care Breakout Session: First Impressions Matter (Sharon Hutson)

Independent Living Breakout Session: Breaking Tradition: Selling to Savvy Seniors (Mary Jane Fitts)

Health Care Breakout Session: Peace, Love and Me: Getting Inside the Head of an Adult Child (Patt Brewster)


Friday, April 29

General Session: Keynote Speaker (AmyK)

General Session: Panel Discussion: Residents, Who and What Influences Their Decisions (ACI/Resident Panel)

General Session: Are You Up for the Challenge? (John Spooner)


See a special Sales Adventure message from keynote speak AmyK in using the video player below.

See a recap and photos from Sales Adventure 2015.

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Marketing Strategies and Tactics: What Worked in 2015?

Greystone’s marketing team is working in markets around the country, supporting sponsors as they build relationships with prospective residents and strive to reach or maintain stabilized occupancy.

In 2015, Greystone helped these sponsors make significant gains in filling independent living units, as well as other levels of care. Here’s a rundown of some of the communities Greystone works with and strategies and tactics that led to progress at each:


The Amsterdam at Harborside

Port Washington, N.Y.

Sponsor: Amsterdam Nursing Home

Total IL Units: 229

Dec. 2014: 197 filled (86%)

Dec. 2015: 217 filled (95%)

Greystone has served as marketing consultant to The Amsterdam since it was first planned and financed. In 2015, the community’s marketing team made the push past 95 percent occupancy in independent living thanks to a focus on the following:

  • Team Development: Greystone provided The Amsterdam’s marketing team with financial training so that sales counselors could speak more fluently about the many benefits of the community’s contracts. A series of Greystone’s marketing regionals also visited the community to bring fresh voices, different perspectives and new ideas to the on-site team.
  • Resident Involvement: The Amsterdam’s residents wanted to be more involved in the marketing of the community, and they offered a number of ideas for boosting sales. Their input was incorporated into marketing, and their involvement also created an excitement and energy that translated into increased referrals. The resident marketing committee continues to meet monthly and actively participate in all marketing activities, including events, testimonials and advertisements.
  • Improved Culture: In 2015, The Amsterdam’s marketing team focused on positivity and setting short-term, attainable goals to build momentum. It sounds simple, but creating the right team culture helped propel the community beyond 95 percent independent living occupancy.

The marketing success of 2015 has allowed The Amsterdam to consider a second phase.

Learn more about The Amsterdam at Harborside.

Amsterdam 2


The Barrington of Carmel

Carmel, Ind.

Sponsor: Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation

Total IL Units: 134

Dec. 2014: 102 filled (76%)

Dec. 2015: 122 filled (91%)

The Barrington is the first out-of-Texas venture by Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC), a long-time Greystone client. The Barrington enjoyed fast success that project team members expected to continue building. But, as sales reached a plateau in 2014, the marketing team focused in 2015 on breaking through and reaching 90 percent independent living occupancy. It was able to achieve that goal through an emphasis on:

  • Simplifying: In some ways, The Barrington was a victim of its own success. A wave of leads and inbound calls made it difficult for marketing team members to develop the relationships that are so important to securing sales. Once the issue was identified, strides were made to simplify the processes and refocus on relationships.
  • Prioritizing: Simplification meant making tough decisions. SQLC had made the investment in a series of lead-generating events that featured celebrity speakers. The last of these events was cancelled in favor of developing existing leads.
  • Capitalizing: The same community benefits that led to early success at The Barrington existed throughout 2015 just as they had in the blue-sky phase. The marketing team refocused on selling those benefits and the sales followed close behind.

The Barrington has never missed a covenant, and its 2015 push to 90 percent independent living occupancy makes it another SQLC success story — this time out of state.

Learn more about The Barrington of Carmel.

Barrington


Miralea Phase II

Louisville, Ky.

Sponsor: Masonic Homes of Kentucky

Total IL Units: 30

July 2015: 24 filled (80%)

August 2015: 27 filled (90%)

Miralea’s first phase reached stabilized occupancy in June 2013, less than a year after opening. This success paved the way for a second phase, which adds 30 independent living apartments to the existing 90 apartments and 12 cottages. As with the first phase, these additional units met with a warm welcome from the market thanks to the following:

  • Strong Reputation: Masonic Homes of Kentucky enjoys an incredibly positive brand image in the Louisville market. Seniors know the campus, and they’re familiar with Miralea — the only Life Care community in the Louisville area. This strong reputation helped set up the marketing team for success.
  • Collaboration: The management team at Masonic Homes of Kentucky is ambitious and strategic. Led by President and CEO Gary Marsh, this management team has a vision for where it wants to go and how to get there, which means it is ready and willing to equip marketing team members with the tools and resources needed for success.
  • Momentum: The waiting list that developed after the completion of Miralea Phase I helped feed the success of Miralea Phase II. Masonic Homes of Kentucky is intent on maintaining this momentum to protect its market share.

This small Phase II expansion of Miralea makes way for a third phase, which is currently planned as a separate community on the Masonic Homes of Kentucky Campus. Called The Meadow, this new community will include 122 independent living and 40 assisted living apartments. Its Priority Program secured 280 members by the end of 2015.

Learn more about Miralea.

Miralea


The Woodlands at Furman

Greenville, S.C.

Sponsor: Upstate Senior Living

Total IL Units: 132

Dec. 2014: 114 filled (86%)

Dec. 2015: 121 filled (92%)

The Woodlands at Furman enjoys a prime location, tucked at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and just moments away from downtown Greenville and Furman University. As part of a concerted push to stabilized occupancy, the community’s marketing team focused on the following:

  • Urgency: The marketing team offered what they called a “Summer of Opportunity.” The Woodlands offered incentives to prospects who were ready and willing to move in within 30 days.
  • Pricing: The team also created premium pricing on units coming available that had proven most desirable. Premium pricing on premium units created a discount effect on the units with longer shelf lives.
  • Goals: Throughout the summer, 90 percent remained the goal. Reaching 90 percent in independent living would mean stabilized occupancy. This goal proved effective in part because it followed the SMART goal format: specific, measureable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound.

The Woodlands reached 90 percent occupancy on Sept. 30, at the end of the Summer of Opportunity. The marketing team didn’t stop there, pushing to 92 percent by the end of the year.

Learn more about The Woodlands at Furman.

Woodlands


Montereau

Tulsa, Okla.

Sponsor: The William K. Warren Foundation

Total IL Units: 328

Dec. 2014: 290 filled (89%)

Dec. 2015: 294 filled (90%)

In the competitive Tulsa market, Montereau offers a campus, programs and services that seniors find attractive. In 2015, the goal was to capitalize on these offerings to move past (and remain beyond) 90 percent occupancy. To accomplish this goal, the community’s marketing team employed the following:

  • Lead Scoring: Leading scoring is a method of prioritizing prospective residents to focus on those most likely to choose a community. Montereau’s marketing team used lead scoring in 2015 to focus time, energy and resources on building relationships with its best leads.
  • Sales Training: Greystone facilitated in-depth training for Montereau’s sales team, including sessions on advanced skills like discovery, behavioral styles and effective listening.
  • Wellness: Montereau places an emphasis on the eight pillars of wellness and vitality. The marketing team partnered with health services to make on-campus wellness opportunities part of the sales pitch.

Montereau also established a premiere waitlist as the community surpassed 90 percent in independent living. Members of the premiere waitlist make a 10 percent deposit in exchange for twice-monthly meals, access to the health and wellness centers, as well as special invitations to events. The premiere waitlist gives the market a reason to investigate Montereau, which will help drive sales even after having reached stabilization.

Learn more about Montereau.

Montereau


The Westerly

Wichita, Kan.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America

Total IL Units: 90

Dec. 2014 Filled: NA

Dec. 2015 Filled: 45

The Westerly is the independent living portion of a significant repositioning project at Wichita Presbyterian Manor. In 2015, the community’s marketing team faced the challenge of refreshing an established brand and introducing a new contract type with a healthcare benefit — a first in the area. They focused on the following:

  • Education: Working with Greystone and GlynnDevins, the community executed on a communications plan that targeted prospective customers as well as existing residents — those who would be temporarily displaced during the project. Within 12 months, Wichita Presbyterian Manor had reached the 75 percent in presales needed to trigger The Westerly’s financing.
  • Pricing: Sales continued as construction began. Second-story apartments in the three-level community lagged slightly, and so the project team developed pricing that quickly moved second-floor units and left only the more desirable first- and third-level apartments.
  • Combating Cancellations: Any in-development community is required to send 60-day letters to let depositors know completion is imminent. In Wichita, the project team brainstormed ways to avoid the cancellations that are so common when 60-day letters are mailed. The final plan was taking a leap of faith by celebrating the milestone of opening the building. The marketing team held a celebration, personally delivered the 60-day letters, and congratulated the depositors on the great decision they had made.

The Westerly opened on Dec. 2, 2015, and the community reached 50 percent occupancy in just 29 days — quite a feat considering the time of year. The positive market response and lack of cancellations have positioned The Westerly to fill well ahead of schedule. As of February 2016, the community was 70 percent full — just two-and-a-half months after opening.

Learn more about The Westerly.

The Westerly 1


The Terraces of Boise

Boise, Idaho

American Baptist Homes of the West

Total IL Units: 161

Sept. 2015: 55 filled (34%)

Dec. 2015: 83 filled (52%)

The Terraces of Boise went through a phased opening in 2015. The first phase opened on July 27, 2015, with 80 units, the second phase opened in October 2015 with 30 units, and the final phase opened in January 2016 with 51 units. This created a unique marketing environment in which the sales team used the following strategies and tactics:

  • Express Move-Ins: Depositors who selected an apartment in the second or third phase were given the opportunity to move into a first-phase apartment temporarily until their permanent apartment was ready. This express move-in program helped accelerate early occupancy and develop momentum.
  • Experience: Community management goes all-out for move-ins. New residents get a red bow on their doors, a welcome basket, lunch, a thorough walk through and efficient close. The move-in experience feels like a special celebration, and it sets the tone for an exceptional resident experience that leads to referrals and reduced attrition.
  • Persistence: The marketing team worked urgently to push occupancy before the end of the year. They used urgency tools and depositor incentives to accelerate move-ins. In the end, the hard work and creative tools paid off as The Terraces reached 51.5 percent with 83 occupied by the end of the year.

Throughout the development and opening processes, the marketing and management teams have worked in complementary fashion to make The Terraces a place where Boise seniors want to be. Those collaborative efforts are paying off and poising the community for continued success in 2016.

Learn more about The Terraces of Boise.

Boise


The Buckingham Phase II

Houston, Texas

Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation

Total IL Units: 106

Sept. 2015: 75 sold (71%)

Dec. 2015: 78 sold (74%)

The Buckingham is an SQLC-sponsored campus, a continuing care retirement community in the heart of Houston that enjoys a strong brand reputation and a lengthy waitlist. As the community prepared for a second phase that would include 106 independent living units, the marketing team took advantage of the following:

  • Competitive Advantage: The Buckingham enjoys a stellar reputation in the market, as evidenced by a waitlist of 20 to 30 prospective residents it’s kept for seven-plus years. This reputation, plus the community’s status as the only Life Care product in the immediate area, formed a competitive advantage that helped the marketing team clearly articulate The Buckingham’s value.
  • Intimate Events: Rather than large, seminar-style events, the marketing team held more personal dinners that included 20 to 25 prospective residents at a time. These smaller events were perfect for building on the existing waitlist and gathering momentum for The Buckingham’s second phase.
  • Technology: The community used an iPad application that allowed residents to take virtual tours of the yet-to-be-built apartments and get an in-depth idea of what their unit at The Buckingham’s second phase would look and feel like. This app proved much more effective at demonstrating the openness and spaciousness of these units than a traditional model would have.

The Buckingham’s successful second phase will expand its market share and set the community on a path for continued success.

Learn more about The Buckingham.

Buckingham


 

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A Moment of Realization: Adult Children and the Holidays

The holidays are a time when families gather. That means adult children may be seeing their parents for the first time in months. This visit could serve as the moment when an adult child realizes his or her parents need assistance with day-to-day living.

The discovery that parents are surviving rather than thriving can lead to confusion on the part of the adult child. After all, mom and dad had seemed fine during conversations on the phone. But if the adult child had actually seen how they were struggling on a day-to-day basis, he or she would have taken action long ago.

Now there’s a sense of urgency, one that makes it difficult to find a starting point.


Swimming in a Sea of Options

The majority of adult children will begin the senior living search online. Inevitably, they will feel overwhelmed as they encounter an array of options — independent living, assisted living, memory support, private caregivers, long-term nursing, home health and more. How will he or she make the right choice?

The National Center for Assisted Living reported there were 31,000 assisted living communities in 2010 — and the number has only grown since then. Similarly, LeadingAge reported there were about 1,900 continuing care retirement communities (or life plan communities) in 2010. Add in the growing number of home health and hospice companies, and you begin to understand just how overwhelming the options can feel.


What Sets You Apart?

What sets you and your community apart from the competition? The answer is simple: Experience. Not experience as in the number of years you and your team have worked in senior living, but rather as in the experience you create for adult children and their parents.

Experience means creating an image in the mind of the consumer. When an adult child begins an online search, this experience includes where you rank in search results, the navigability of your website, as well as information sufficient enough to capture an adult child’s attention and motivate him or her to pick up the phone and call.

When you do make the call-to-find-out-more list, the experience continues when you answer the phone. Are you prepared to create the experience your community desires? What type of greeting do you use? If put on hold, how long does an adult child wait before someone returns to answer his or her questions?

Remember: These adult children are often battling feelings of guilt, desperation, anxiety, fear and, in some cases, sheer panic. They are often out of town or have just returned from traveling. It’s important that you and your community provide a sense of calm and relief.


Creating the Right Face-to-Face Experience

If you’re successful online and on the phone, you’ll earn a face-to-face meeting. And what’s most important at this face-to-face meeting? That’s right: Experience. Continue the adult child’s positive experience through a warm greeting at the door. Make an impactful first impression by offering visitors something to drink and creating an atmosphere of placidity. Think through how far an adult child and his or her parents must walk during a visit. Think about what they can see, hear, smell and taste.

Ask questions without interrogating. When the adult child and his or parents ask questions, provide information and follow up with questions of your own. Create a realistic picture of how you and your community can meet this family’s unique needs, and demonstrate that each resident is important and valued.

Be a problem solver, a solution finder, a hero. You can be the one who helps an adult child ease his or her worry, anxiety and guilt, helping him or her to make a sound decision. You can be the one who articulates the many advantages and benefits your community can deliver to the prospective residents. Always be flexible, and remember your job is to make their situation easier.


Closing the Sale

As your face-to-face meeting draws to a close, the air should settle and the conversation should get easier. If you’ve done your job, the adult child will begin to feel at peace. And that’s when you establish next steps. Gain a commitment to move forward, and let them know when and how you will follow up.

While the holiday season brought the need for your services to an adult child’s attention, the holiday season could also mean the process drags out over weeks or months — nothing happens quickly at the end of the year.

Remain patient. You’ve demonstrated your community’s value, provided clarity and created a positive and unforgettable experience. In doing so, you’ve become the provider this adult child and his or her parents will turn to when ready to make a move.

—Mindy Cheek, Vice President, Marketing Services

Holiday Marketing

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Greystone Hosts Sales School, Development Conference

Greystone hosted two important events at its Dallas-area offices this October — Sales School and the Annual Development Conference. These events are part of an ongoing effort to gather senior living professionals from different disciplines and different areas around the country to spend time sharing ideas and talking about how to improve at creating quality living environments for today’s seniors.


Sales School

More than 50 senior living marketers met in October for the Greystone Sales School. Sales School is designed as an annual opportunity for both new and experienced marketers to spend time discussing what’s going on at their communities and learning about the latest trends and innovations in:

  • Referrals
  • Opening a community
  • Development cycles
  • Customer profiles
  • Adult child influencers
  • First impressions and visitor experience
  • Lead management
  • Wait list options
  • Digital inquiries
  • Anticipating objections
  • Much more

Development Conference

This year’s Development Conference focused on one theme: How can we all work better together? Development of a senior living community includes a development consultant, architect, contractor, interior designer, engineer and many other professionals. As with any complicated process, there are roadblocks and challenges along the way. This year’s education sessions were focused more on dialogue among attendees and the objective of improving teamwork across the process.

Look for more content next month as these senior living development professionals continue to talk through ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness in their work. See photos from the Annual Greystone Development Conference in the gallery below.

DC 2015 1 DC 2015 2 DC 2015 3 DC 2015 4 DC 2015 5 DC 2015 6 DC 2015 7

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Greystone featured on upcoming industry panels

Join Greystone at the following industry conferences, where you can see our team speak on trends in growth, marketing, service, resident needs and more.

LeadingAge Illinois

Leveraging Data, CRM and Marketing Automation to Drive Higher Occupancy
April 29, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Learn how to implement a customer relationship strategy that engages your customers throughout the sales cycle, and how to be smarter about analyzing leads to drive efficiency. Hosted by Tricia Mackin, Greystone vice president of marketing services, and GlynnDevins.

Room for Growth: Trends in Developing and Designing Senior Communities
April 30, 8:45 – 10:15 a.m.
Discuss the latest trends in developing a senior living community, explore the newest financing options, and understand the role site planning and design play in the overall customer experience. Hosted by Mark Shegon, Greystone corporate vice president of development services, and Hitchcock Design Group.

New Campus Development and Significant Expansions
May 1, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Hear about successful projects from around the country and examine innovative marketing, planning, design and service strategies that can maximize resident satisfaction and optimize your financial performance. Hosted by Brad Straub, Greystone senior vice president of planning and finance, Ziegler and Sawgrass Partners.

LeadingAge California

Finance and Development: Staying Relevant in the Ever-Changing Marketplace
May 4, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Learn from innovative case studies from the west coast and around the country, and gain insight into the capital markets for new development, expansion and repositioning. Hosted by Brad Straub, Stuart Jackson, Greystone senior vice president of planning and finance, and Ziegler.

LeadingAge Texas

Reaching the Pinnacle: A New Standard for Service Excellence
May 18, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
Discover the positive impact you can make with Pinnacle, the new service standard from Greystone that redefines how communities approach hospitality. Hosted by Rick Cumberland, Greystone senior vice president of operations management services, Tim Mallad, Greystone first vice president of operations management services, and The Buckingham.

I’ll Stay Awhile: How Resident Longevity Impacts your Business Model
May 18, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Take an in-depth look at how resident longevity has impacted the business models of four communities and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Hosted by Tim Mallad, Steve Ailey, Greystone corporate vice president of financial management services, Sharon Hutson, Greystone vice president of marketing services, and Edgemere.

LeadingAge New York

Reaching the Pinnacle: A New Standard for Service Excellence
May 20, 2 – 4 p.m.
See description above. Hosted by Rick Cumberland, Tim Mallad and The Woodlands at Furman.

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The Westerly brings excitement, new benefits to Wichita

Later this year, Wichita residents will be able to move into a modern, innovative independent living campus – The Westerly Residences at Wichita Presbyterian Manor.

The Westerly Residences is the first of its kind in Wichita. As it prepares to open its doors toward the end of the year, Director of Sales Jill Coleman shared the story behind the sales process. When reception was initially cool, The Westerly team had to get creative and refine its approach.

Read our Community Spotlight to find out how The Westerly overcame early doubts to surpass the 90 percent pre-sold mark with almost a year to go before opening.

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Recap: Sales School 2014

Class was in session earlier this fall as Greystone hosted our annual Sales School for professionals new to the senior living industry. The seminar provided advice and techniques to grow occupancy at every level of care by focusing on sales and database training, resident needs, and an introduction to the Greystone team and our service offerings.

Roughly 25 marketing professionals from across the country attended this intimate gathering. Sales School kicked off with remarks by Greystone President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Andrews, who stressed the importance of marketing by likening it to the engine that powers high-performance sports cars. The general session covered a variety of topics, including a Top 10 list of marketing ideas from GlynnDevins, the importance of data and reporting, REPS, residency agreements and cross-selling.

2014salesschool

On cross-selling, our presenters focused on the different approaches one must take when selling each level of care. A prospective client’s thought process varies at each level, meaning sales counselors should tailor unique questions and delivery styles in order to guide the right conversation.

“Learning to feel confident in our process and delivery is important to earning the respect of each of our customers,” said Mindy Cheek, Greystone vice president – marketing services, “and ultimately, it will drive the overall census of each level of care.”

Breakout sessions were divided into health care- and independent living-oriented groups. In health care, attendees learned how to develop an outreach plan for lead generation and how to apply a consistent and effective sales process across multiple audiences – adult children, seniors and spouses.

In the independent living sessions, attendees learned how to overcome objections, winning a “permission-based” sale and how using tangible items – in this case, candy – can help you build a more financially persuasive and compelling case for entrance-fee CCRC’s.

Sales School also featured nightly networking outings, including a trivia night that put attendees’ pop culture expertise to the test.

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Top 10 marketing ideas for senior living communities

GlynnDevins stopped by Sales School to share its tried-and-true list of effective marketing techniques in the digital age. Susan Bogan, EVP Client Relations, and Lisa Zieren, Senior Account Supervisor, gave the audience plenty to think about as they asked if their communities were actively using each method.

Onto the Top 10…

#10. Believe in you. Get behind your community and what you’re selling.

#9. Content is key. Create relevant content that engages a well-defined audience.

#8. Seeing is believing. Leverage image galleries and videos – from agency-produced to those you shoot with your smartphone – as much as possible on your community’s website.

#7. Don’t waste a good first impression. Optimize your website across desktop and mobile platforms and provide easy options for lead conversion.

#6. Be hostess with the mostest. Take advantage of every touch point when you host an event. Use large events as a platform to make an initial inquiry for your community, and small events to make a personal connection with someone.

#5. Be a champion for chatter. Referral programs strengthen your brand and are a cost-efficient way to drive sales.

#4. Connect with the right people. Seventy-five to 80 percent of a community’s website traffic can come through search, especially in the adult child demo.

#3. Let them know you’re interested. Don’t be coy. Try initiatives like an on boarding program/email campaign so that interested parties receive information about the community on a regular basis.

#2. Find the right fit. Lead scoring helps you target individuals based on specific criteria (financials, resident profile, level of engagement) who are the most likely to buy today.

#1. Follow up fast. When you receive an online lead, treat it like a golden opportunity and attempt to respond with 24 hours. Marketing automation allows you to instantly send a welcome email with pre-populated, relevant content.

Get more tips from GlynnDevins by checking out INSIGHTS their senior living marketing blog.