While not true for every market, today most senior living communities receive more fresh leads from the internet than any other source. With this shift is a sense that the leads from “the good old days” were higher quality. According to the data compiled by Caring.com, a Senior Housing Forum Partner, if worked right internet leads are almost as valuable as those highly prized word-of-mouth leads.
Not All Internet Leads Are the Same
When looking at leads that come through third party lead aggregation sites they come in two flavors:
- Raw Leads – These leads come from third party directory sites like New Lifestyles. These leads can be anything from someone who is -income qualified and ready to move to someone who is not even looking for senior living at all. The directory companies do not promise anything more than this. It is up to you to figure out the value of lack of value for each lead.
- Screened Leads – These are the kind of leads that come through websites like Caring.com and A Place for Mom. When you get these leads, there has been a screening process that allows you to make a better judgment as to the value of each lead. Caring.com refers to these leads as “Internet Referrals.”
It’s All About How You Work Them
What Caring.com has discovered in working with their senior living community partners is that in order to take advantage of Internet Referrals there are some very specific things you can do to substantially increase the odds that a lead will turn into a move-in:
- Respond Fast – While this rule is true with any lead, it is particularly critical for internet referrals. Fast means minutes or hours not just the same day. In fact, the Caring.com data shows that if you respond within the first hour of receiving the lead, you will improve your chance of conversion by 4-8 times.
- Be Persistent – Call and call again. Don’t take no for an answer (but don’t be a pain either). Multiple contacts and where you are helpful to prospects struggling with life altering decisions will drastically improve your odds.
- Respond via Email – There is no doubt that a phone conversation is better than email. But it is not always practical. People are not home, people screen their calls, people sometimes won’t leave a phone number. Surprisingly, Caring.com has found a meaningful number of move-in’s occur when the phone number and even the last name are missing.
- Shoot for an Appointment – The first provider who can set an appointment is the one who will mostly likely get the move-in.