We know a lot about available technology, digital marketing communications and sales in senior living. But when we put the three together, we see a new opportunity to engage today’s tech-savvy customers in a new and exciting way.

Adult children and seniors alike have become frequent users of technology. As much as 25 percent of senior living website traffic comes from smart phones and tablets, and that number is on track to increase, with as much as half of initial inquiries coming via the web. A fully engaged tech consumer knows what is possible through technology, and we, in turn, should adapt senior living sales to speak to these consumers on their terms.

In health care, electronic medical records are becoming a standard, viewed by residents and families as improving the quality of care, fostering patient-driven communication and allowing for personalized care. Introducing that level of sophistication in the sales and move-in process can demonstrate a community’s commitment to quality early in a relationship.

Senior living is a relationship-driven business; digital tools, such as tablets, are most powerful when they enhance the relationship between the sales counselor and the client. In the sales process, tablets can bring a level of sophistication that adult children and baby boomers equate with quality.

Here are potential benefits of adopting technology into your sales process:

Customer Experience — Customized, relevant presentations meet customers’ specific needs and allow for interaction in conversation and relationship building. Additionally, with an aging population, customers who are physically unable to traverse long distances can view remote areas digitally — images of floor plans or other information can be digitally enhanced for ease of viewing. With increased visual engagement, a customer’s perception of the community is enhanced in a new way.

Sales Teams in Action — Teams can share information in real time. They can also respond quickly to online inquiries and access CRM from anywhere, on or offsite. Teams have the ability to rapidly customize presentations and demonstrate apartment customization possibilities, engaging customers in a visual and interactive fashion.

Community Benefits — Digital tools can provide cost control relative to printing, manpower and resources. Better time management tools lead to increased productivity. Coupled with a shortened sales cycle, this increase in productivity can positively impact sales and occupancy. Additionally, it becomes possible to share digital presentations with large or small groups gathered offsite, engaging them in new ways and driving new leads to your community.

To realize the benefits of bringing technology to the sales team, it’s important to have the right set of applications to meet team members’ needs. Functionality itself cannot replace a great sales counselor, but it can serve as an essential tool for creating a new customer experience that leads to sales success.

Sharon Hutson, Vice President, Marketing