Five Major Lead Generation Challenges Senior Living Professionals Face Today

Because of historically low occupancy rates, a growing number of senior living professionals are dealing with lead generation challenges.

Not only are existing communities making improvements to stand out from their competitors, such as upgrading technology as HealthTech reports, newcomers are entering the senior living market.

Therefore, if you follow the old playbook, expect the same old results.

This generation of prospective residents won’t respond to promotions incorporating traditional lead gen strategies such as print and digital advertising and third-party aggregators.

Today’s retirees and pre-retirees are better educated and more sophisticated than their moms and dads were.

Plus, they have a wider variety of senior living options than their parents ever did.

The data tells the story

Over the years, LeadingResponse has collected a wealth of intelligence from interactions with senior living operators, prospective residents, and family members.

It includes 55+ Active Adult, Life Plan or Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC); and Independent, Assisted Living, and Memory Care communities.

With it, we’ve developed a dynamic lead generation model used by senior living operators to grow their market share.

Based on our research, there are five major lead generation challenges in this market:

1. Too many unqualified leads.

Many list brokers offer bulk savings for lists with little to no demographic targeting. If you are only utilizing basic demographics you need to incorporate specialty data, such as ailment and familial connections.

You can expect a 75% increase in your response rate with the implementation of these hyper targeted efforts. Don’t forget to include consumer behavior data as well, such as when your audience is most likely to attend (day, time, location).

2. High percentage of shared leads.

This is often due to heavy reliance on digital aggregators and local referral lead sources that are a free service to the consumer and charge the community a percentage of the first month’s rent and services.

Generating your own leads by providing the target audience with an opportunity to build a relationship with your brand and community team will yield a stronger inquiry to move in conversion.

You are providing the consumer with education they need and, in the process, gaining trust. Not to mention it will decrease your cost per lead, tour, and move in.

3. Too few highly qualified leads.

Sales counselors spend too much time working leads that go nowhere.

Providing sales counselors with leads that have already been qualified based on their demographics and are attending educational seminars led by the community team, is a great way to improve conversions.

4. Difficulty getting face time with leads.

Many highly qualified prospects don’t want to meet one-on-one with sales counselors onsite. It is anxiety provoking, among other psychological barriers.

People appreciate safety in numbers and the neutral setting of a face-to-face educational seminar.

Think about it as a first date – would you want to go to the other person’s house for dinner on the first date?

5. High overall CPA (leads, tours, move-ins).

Excessive cost per acquisition leads to an unsatisfactory return on investment.

By incorporating consumer behavior data along with hyper-targeted efforts, marketers can bring down their CPA, while increasing their conversions and overall ROI.

In fact, senior living providers that have been successful doing so, no longer work with those digital aggregators and local lead referrals, whose fees of the first month’s rent and services are very high.

Competition for residents is only going to grow over time. It will be driven not just by flat occupancy, but also innovation.

New communities will offer amenities attractive to those researching senior living opportunities.

A new day, a new way

Now more than ever, senior living professionals have to get creative to engage the current generation of prospective clients.

This will help you reduce lead generation challenges and meet your growth goals in an increasingly crowded market.

Neither digital advertising nor expensive, non-exclusive leads from third-party aggregators will generate the numbers of qualified prospects you need to reach your occupancy goals.

So, do away with tactics that worked with the previous generation.

Recognize the consumer has changed and has been changing for the last several years.


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The Middle-Income Senior Population Is Going to Reshape the Housing Market

With over 10,000 people turning 65 every day, America is aging fast.

Shifting demographics are also changing the face of who we are.

These include race and ethnicity, lower marriage rates, fewer children, significant health issues, and less access to caregivers.

As a result, more people will move to independent communities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

This will expand business opportunities for investors, developers, and operators.

Seniors feel the squeeze

A recent study, The Forgotten Middleexplored the availability of housing specifically for the middle-income senior market.

The research was conducted by the NORC at the University of Chicago and funded by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC).

Study participants included healthcare workers, teachers, government workers and trade union members.

These folks had enough assets to disqualify them from receiving assistance through programs such as Medicaid. However, they could not afford most private care facilities.

By 2029, over half of the 14.4 million middle-income seniors in the U.S. won’t be able to pay the $60,000 estimated average yearly cost of assisted living rent and out-of-pocket medical expenses.

And that number is conservative.

A plea to the industry

The authors of The Forgotten Middle hope the study serves as a wake-up call to both the public and private sectors.

They believe senior living officials have an obligation to make their properties more inclusive and appealing to a diverse population.

Over 65% of the participants in the study are expected to have three or more chronic health conditions in 2029.

In addition, about 20% will be classified as having high needs, or three or more chronic conditions and at least one limitation affecting their ability to carry out activities of daily life, such as walking and dressing.

Without industry buy-in, middle-income seniors could struggle to afford places able to accommodate their needs.

Delivering solutions

As a national provider of lead generation services for the senior living industry, LeadingResponse understands both sides of the issue.

On one hand, the company’s restaurant dinner seminars and workshops help owners and providers lower their cost per acquisition (CPA) to less than half the industry average, according to Valerie Whitman, Vice President of Senior Living for LeadingResponse.

“Our clients achieve an average 8% to 10% inquiry to move-in conversion rate from face-to-face seminars,” she said.

On the other hand, and equally important, LeadingResponse clients are educating the public.

“Prospects are receiving this much-needed information in a neutral group setting with others in a similar life situation,” Whitman said, adding: “There are very real psychological barriers among prospects, that providers need to be aware of and cater to.”

The future is coming

To summarize, an aging population and demographic shifts will significantly impact the senior living market over the next 10 years.

These changes will expand the pool of middle-income consumers looking for affordable housing and care options.

This cohort has financial resources preventing them from receiving government assistance, but cannot afford much of the available private care, either.

Senior housing owners, operators and developers will be in a position to address the diverse needs of this growing market.

We can help 

Every day, Baby Boomers are searching for senior living and care options, either for themselves or elderly family members.

LeadingResponse has exclusive lead generation programs targeting the right prospects for your community at the right time, as well as turnkey seminar and workshop presentations providing attendees with important information and highlighting your value proposition.

To learn more, contact us today.

Pay Less to Find a Place for Mom With A Senior Care Referral Service

Did your senior care referral service recently raise prices? You’re not the only one. Senior living care providers recently saw rates increase by 10% for communities and as much as 400% for in-home care providers. But as baby boomers retire, the senior care referral service market’s growing—so why are leads getting more expensive?

Answer: They aren’t. (more…)

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