Using Data Trends to Maximize Occupancy Rates
It seems that there are always older adults that are looking for senior care, and there are always senior living communities that are searching for seniors to fill their beds. About 10 percent of most assisted and independent living homes beds are empty. But, what’s even more surprising is that owners and executives of senior living communities do not even realize that they can bridge their occupancy rate gap by acting on trends they collect from their own data. So, how can companies collect, track, and analyze this data to find better-qualified seniors interested in senior care?
Senior living facilities are now pairing with new-age tech companies like SeniorCaring, which will help communities keep track of the right data so that they can reach qualified prospects to fill their beds. Do you know what sort of data trends you could be capitalizing from?
Seniors Want Amenities
Today’s Baby Boomers are much more jovial, active, and demanding than the generation before them. They don’t want to end up in just any senior care community. They expect senior living homes to have many different features available to them, and they also expect common spaces that encourage socialization. They want walking trails, rivers, woodshops, arts and crafts, classes, field trips, and more.
Your senior living community’s amenities are what set you apart from the growing number of senior care homes across the country. Amenities are what will make a senior choose one facility over another. By following industry trends in regards to senior living amenities, you can ensure your community is adding features that will help maximize your occupancy rates.
How can you identify which amenities are most valuable to older adults looking for senior care? What specific terms are searchers using to find your site? Are they looking for a senior living community with specific features such as an arts and crafts room or cooking classes? If a Boomer is looking for an aging parent, maybe they are looking for assisted living communities that also specialize in memory or dementia care. If a Boomer is looking for him or herself, they are looking for features that make life easier for them, like maintenance-free living and ample leisure time?
Another way you can determine what amenities prospective residents are interested in is by talking with your current residents. What features or benefits do they want to see in the near future? Do you conduct exit interviews on seniors in your communities that leave your facility to move to another? Find out what are the types of features that would make them stay.
When you sit down to plan for expanding your senior living amenity offerings, evaluate the data you have collected from search trends, exit interviews, and local trends. Don’t spend money or time upgrading your indoor activity room if seniors are placing more value on natural outdoor features like woods, lakes, and parks.
It’s All About the Timing
Senior living communities consistently have empty beds that could be utilized by seniors in need of care. Over the past 3 years, the average occupancy rates in senior housing communities have averaged right around 90 percent. In the next few years however, we will see a major surge in the housing market meaning communities will have less trouble keeping beds filled.
With advances in technology and education, seniors are able to live at home much longer than they were before. They are also taking the time to learn about and prepare for senior living before they need to move out of their homes. Are you able to figure out which seniors searching your site are looking for care now or looking for care in the near future?
Senior living communities are finding success when they partner with companies like SeniorCaring, because their team knows where prospective seniors and families are in their senior living process. They will know if a senior is looking for care immediately, in the next 30 days, or even further out. Senior living executives get full transparency of communication between all parties and the ability to track residents through the sales process.
When you know that a senior is searching for care in the future, that gives you the opportunity to give that bed to someone else in need of care now. Without this information, you could hold a bed for a promising senior who might never stay at your facility while missing out on other seniors that want to stay at your community during the same time.
Evaluating Relational Trends
Do you know who is looking for care for seniors? It is the seniors themselves? Is it their spouses or children? According to a 2014 Imagination Senior Living Research Study, women aged 55 to 65 have the most influence when it comes to senior housing for themselves and their parents. You have to understand what matters to this group of Boomer women if you want to appeal to them in order to maximize your senior living occupancy.
When families come see your community during a tour, you will want to make sure you talk to the decision maker in the group. Even if a senior likes your facility, if the decision maker is not impressed, you’re not likely to see that senior staying in your care. You must know how to identify who is actually doing the search for care so that you know how to connect with them.
Another way that you can help make sure that your beds are filled is to treat your current residents with the utmost care. The relatives and children of seniors in your care are more likely to choose that type of care for themselves in the future. On the other hand, if a senior in your care has a poor experience, it is likely that they will discourage their family members, friends, or communities to stay at your senior community in the future.
Companies like SeniorCaring have tools that allow senior living administrators to immediately know who is searching for what type of care, and their relationship to the senior. If a prospective senior is seeking senior care with his Boomer daughter, she is going to need to see that her father will be staying in a clean secure facility with attentive and friendly staff members. Focusing on those features will be more important to her than entertainment options or having a swimming pool in the facility.
Analyzing Community Tours
Getting a prospective resident to tour your community can make or break their senior living decision. How can you use data collected from past tours to find the best way to book more visits? When is the best time to schedule a tour of your facility? Is it during your large group activity during the week or is it during a more quiet time when residents are doing their own thing? Furthermore, how can a senior living company figure out how a visitor actually felt about their facility?
Scheduling tours with a prospective senior and their family should be taken seriously and be a personalized process. Visiting senior’s preferences need to be taken into account. If a senior is active and wants to join a community where there are many activities to participate in, you don’t want to schedule them to visit on the one day your community has nothing scheduled. Maybe a senior really hates a particular kind of food. You don’t want them to stay for a meal on the day you’re serving something they don’t like. The community’s first impression will go a long way in the decision-making process.
How are you supposed to keep track of all the small but critical information about prospective seniors and keep track of tour schedules? Senior living executives that pair with SeniorCaring get access to phone call notes, tour scheduling information, and a timeline of activity regarding a senior and their family. After a visit to a senior care community, a nationally certified SeniorCaring advisor will speak to the visitor and determine if the tour went well or not. That information they take away from the conversation will be made available and will make it easy for a senior living executive to know where their tours are doing well, where they are lacking, and make changes that encourage seniors to choose their facilities.
Using Tech Firms to Follow Data Trends
As the operator or executive of a senior living community, you probably don’t have the resources to learn, track, analyze, and act upon data trends – and you shouldn’t have to. As the older population continues to grow and more seniors need care, senior living administrators will learn how beneficial it is to pair with a tech firm to help you target future residents. Web companies like SeniorCaring keep your community ahead of the curve, providing tools to keep your senior living communities full at an ROI that can’t be beat.