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Recently, I found myself on the other side of the fence, as the customer instead of the service provider. I was the adult child whose mother went through assisted living, skilled rehab and memory care. I can tell you from a family member’s perspective, my siblings and I were the real customers for the community. The services provided for our mother need to attend not only to her needs, but even more so, to our need of providing the best possible care for her that she and we could afford. When you can accomplish the latter half of the equation – tending to the family’s need to provide excellent care for their loved one, that’s when the family members of your residents become the best referral sources.

Family members have the greatest ability to influence others on a decision to move to a particular senior living community. I’m much more willing to refer to where my mom was living because I personally experienced the high quality service and care they provide. Understanding how difficult it is to make the decision to move a loved one to assisted living, I want to help others find a community that will offer a good experience, and so I tell them where my mom is. Similarly, had we had a bad experience, I’d tell our friends to avoid the community. The adult child’s willingness to recommend (or warn!) is important for a few reasons:

  • The adult child typically has many more people in our social and work network than our parent or parents.
  • Adult children are willing to share our experiences online.
  • We have a much longer timeframe in which we can continue to influence others.
  • Because we share a greater degree of empathy with others once we’ve been through the situation with a loved one, adult children are more eager to help others make the right choice.

We so often hear the importance of making someone a customer for life. In senior living, especially health care focused communities, that means focusing on the adult children and other family members of residents. They should be seen as an important referral source, not only by the marketing and sales team, but also by the day-to-day care team that interacts with the resident and families.If you continue communicating with the adult children and families of residents as referral sources, eventually they could become prospects themselves!

For more in-depth resources on marketing to the adult child, check out our blog featuring 7 tips for marketing to the adult child, or our webinar that demystifies marketing assisted living!

If you’re interested in learning more about setting up referral programs for your health care community, please contact Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013 or Rick Hunsicker at 214-906-3801.

The post Why Family Members Are Your Best Customer appeared first on Love & Company.

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Presented by:
David Slack, Principal at Aging Research Institutes
Mitch Elliott, RDG Architects
Rob Love, President at Love & Company
(Click on the presenter’s name to email them)

Session Narrative

Join us for a reprise of this session presented at the 2017 LeadingAge NC Conference! David Slack, Principal at Aging Research Institutes, Mitch Elliott, RDG Architects and Rob Love, President at Love & Company will show not-for-profit aging services organizations who are considering a repositioning of their campus the important aspects of the planning process and explore different tools that may be utilized. Register now for this lively panel discussion and case study review!

>>Sign up for our enewsletter today and get more helpful insights!<<

RSVP for our upcoming webinars

The post The Case for Master Planning <em>NOW</em> appeared first on Love & Company.

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In this episode, Chris Carruthers, Vice President of Health Services Marketing, talks with Laila Zemrani, CEO of Fitnescity, about how data-driven personal wellness can impact the lives of seniors.

For additional insights and information about Fitnescity, please visit their website.

Subscribe to the Leaders’ Board podcast today! If you would like to collaborate with Love & Company on a podcast, please contact Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013 or Rick Hunsicker at 214-906-3801.

The post Listen to the latest Love & Company Leaders’ Board podcast! appeared first on Love & Company.

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When it comes to making purchasing decisions, seniors and Baby Boomers are more likely to conduct online research than they have ever been before. They explore websites, engage with social media, and read online reviews to make sure they’re making the best possible decision. They’re looking for social proof that this is the best option.

To effectively provide social proof in a digital world, communities will have to step up their game when it comes to creating engaging, online content that reassures their prospects that they’re making the best choice possible.

One way to engage prospects and provide social proof is through the use of videos, particularly ones that share the stories of consumers who have already committed to the purchase. A testimonial video is a great way to share successful resident stories that will educate prospects on the benefits of living in your community, and eliminate their fear of missing out on a better community elsewhere.

Video content accounts for nearly a third of online activity, making it the perfect channel to spread your message. On average, consumers spend on average of 2.6x more time on pages with video than without. Videos can be shared on nearly every platform including your website, social sites, blogs, and YouTube. But, creating a compelling video doesn’t have to be a complicated process, or one that breaks the bank.

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a resident testimonial video. In each of these steps, take careful consideration in understanding your audience and their needs to create a video truly for them.

Step 1: Find your story

Your first step in creating a resident testimonial video is to find the right stories, from the right residents. More than likely, your community is filled with residents who have stories about how community living has improved their lives. You’ll want to choose active residents who have a captivating story to share about their experiences either moving into the community, or living at the community. These individuals should have a positive energy about living at your community, which translates well on camera.

If you provide health care services such as assisted living, personal care, skilled nursing care, or memory care, consider inviting a resident’s family member to share their side of the story as well. When it comes to health care services, your audience is most likely the prospect’s family, rather than the prospect themselves; you’ll need to create separate video content that appeals to the adult child.

In either scenario, you will need release forms from the people you are filming, and you should not seek permission to film a resident with cognitive challenges. Also, be highly aware of who, if anyone, is in the background during a video shoot, as you need to be cognizant of potential HIPPA privacy issues.

Step 2: Location, location, location

Your next step is to select the location(s) in which you’ll be shooting. You’ll want to search for a place that has plenty of light, and where you have control over ambient noise. This could be a room in your sales office, a resident’s home, or a common area. The space should show a bit of your community’s personality or the resident’s personality, and appear professional and clean.

If you don’t have access to any one of these places, consider the use of a green screen to drop in any background you’d like. Professional green screens can be bought online, or you can create a lower cost, DIY green screen using green cloth or paper.

Step 3: Lights, sound, camera, action

When it comes to shooting, your equipment can range from basic to professional. You can invest in your equipment, or create a toolbox of DIY alternatives that won’t blow your budget. Almost every smart phone on the market today has a quality camera built in, or you could invest in a DSLR for more professional looking footage.

Regardless of the camera you use, you’ll want to purchase a tripod to keep your video images still. If you choose to use your phone’s built-in camera, you can purchase tripods or tripod attachments specifically for smart phones.

For clean, crisp audio, consider using a lapel microphone, which can be easily hidden under your subject’s clothing. You can also use a boom or directional microphone, which will pick up a little more of the room’s audio. You could also use the built in microphone on whatever camera you are using, but be aware of any echoes or background noise that may also be picked up during filming. To ensure the best audio, be sure to use headphones to listen to the audio being recorded, and make any adjustments as necessary.

When filming your subject, make sure they fill your frame, and capture your subject’s movements and hand motions. Many of these expressions convey emotion, which is important in telling their story. You’ll want to be aware of the subject’s position in the camera frame, and make sure they don’t appear to be slouching, looking too far off to the side, have any hair covering their eyes, or reflecting light in their glasses.

If you’re going to be interviewing your subject, make sure they’re familiar with the questions you’ll be asking so they can think about their answers ahead of time. Avoid interrupting your interviewee, and give them as much time as they’d like to answer the question. After all, their answers will be edited, so give them enough time to finish all of their thoughts before asking the next question. If you interrupt too early, you may be speaking over an essential part of their answer, rendering the footage unusable.

Step 4: Editing

We recommend using professional video editing software such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier. However, professional software often comes at a cost, so you could also use any basic editing software that’s usually pre-loaded on your computer, like iMovie.

Gather some additional media to use in your video, like your community’s logo, community photos, any stock photos you may need, and even stock music. Breaking up your interviews with other visuals helps create interest and reengage the viewer’s attention span. Be sure you have the proper rights to all of the additional materials you are using.

Step 5: Create a buzz and promote the social proof!

Once your video is complete, it’s time to share it with your prospective residents. Be sure to share it on your social media channels, in your digital advertising, in your enewsletters, on your blog or website, and with your sales team for on-site use.

By sharing resident stories, you’ll highlight your community and the services it provides to residents and add the necessary social proof. If creating compelling, quality videos is something seemingly outside of your internal abilities or resources, consider hiring a freelancer, agency, or video specialist to create these videos for you.

Make a Career out of Making a Difference - YouTube

Love & Company produced this video for LeadingAge PA

For more information about Love & Company’s video services, please contact Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013 or Rick Hunsicker at 214-906-3801.

The post Creating Social Proof: A Step-by-Step Guide to Resident Testimonial Videos appeared first on Love & Company.

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Healthcare marketing has evolved over the last few years: The sales cycle has lengthened to anywhere from 3-9 months; you have to think of marketing assisted living the way you were marketing independent living three years ago; then, you have to layer on a plan to accommodate the different ways adult children search for information.

A prospect’s home is still the biggest competitor for move-ins, especially now that rehab-at-home services are more popular than ever before. Therefore, sales counselors need to be seen as advocates for the adult children and their loved one, and guide them through the options that are available. What you say in person needs to match what is seen in your marketing efforts.

With that in mind, here are ten of the most common marketing mistakes I see, in no particular order:

1. Marketing without a plan

Develop a marketing plan so that you can measure the results of your efforts, and adjust accordingly. The plan should also include separate tactics for both the adult child and the prospect.

2. Not using a Customer Relationship Management program (CRM)

Many communities still use handwritten reports and Excel spreadsheets to track activity. This makes it impossible to measure marketing tactics, and does not allow for a consistent method for following up with hot, warm and cold leads.

3. Not understanding each of your prospects

The adult child and the prospective resident are each prospects, and you need to market to these two audiences in different ways.

4. Using print advertising to reach an adult child

Except in small rural markets, print is best used for information like showcasing a new “wow factor” or campus renovation/facelift, but it should not be the primary method of advertising to the adult child. While many seniors still read the newspaper, they are often not the decision-makers in this scenario.

5. Using digital strategies only as the initial touch point

Adult children do their homework online before they reach out to schedule a tour. Providing only the initial touch point digitally and expecting the adult child to call immediately after is not realistic. These leads need to be nurtured through digital inducements and e-mail drip campaigns.

6. Having a website that isn’t mobile-friendly

Adult children use their cell phones and tablets to search for information, so if your website or email campaigns do not translate appropriately and effectively to a mobile device, the adult child will be on to the next community.

7. Mailing collateral material to adult children

Adult children want information while they are online, when they request it. They do not want to wait for hard copies of your collateral to be mailed to them. Your collateral package should be converted into digital flipbooks so the adult child can have quick access to the information they need.

8. Showing lifestyle photos that do not relate to the consumer

Instead of showing mother/daughter close-ups and staff providing services, the adult child and the prospect want to see examples of the lifestyle, similar to how you may market independent living.

9. Sharing the cost of services online

By sharing the cost of your services, either online or in a collateral package, you allow the adult child and/or prospect to make decisions about value and cost without your community having a seat at the table. It is difficult for the adult child to compare service levels in assisted living, and a face-to-face conversation offers the opportunity to clearly state the pricing and compare with competitors.

10. Slow response time

The biggest mistake sales counselors make when working with prospects or the adult children is a slow response to either a phone call or online inquiry. You need a contact form on your website that requires a name, email and phone number, and an automatic follow-up email thanking them for their inquiry. Next, you need to respond as quickly as you can (if you are not at your desk), and make sure you have a method for responding to inquiries that come in after hours and on the weekend.

For more information on how to boost your healthcare marketing, call Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013 or Rick Hunsicker at 214-906-3801.

The post Are You Making These Ten Healthcare Marketing Mistakes? appeared first on Love & Company.

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Presented by:
John Howl, CEO at Broadmead, Inc.
Mike Martin, Managing Partner at RLPS Architects
Rob Love, President at Love & Company

Session Narrative

Join us for a reprise of this session presented at the 2017 Global Aging Conference! John Howl, CEO at Broadmead, Inc., Mike Martin, Managing Partner at RLPS Architects and Rob Love, President at Love & Company will talk about how senior living communities strive to provide innovative services that transform how our aging population is supported and cutting-edge programs to meet older adults’ needs and preferences. However, many such communities in the U.S. are housed within 30-50 year old campuses with outdated facilities and technology, along with limited land resources upon which to grow. This webinar will demonstrate visionary practices to help older Life Plan Communities reposition themselves.

>>Sign up for our enewsletter today and get more helpful insights!<<

RSVP for our upcoming webinars

The post Visionary Planning: Repositioning Senior Living to Create Centers of Excellence appeared first on Love & Company.

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Listen to the latest Love & Company Leaders’ Board podcast!

This is the third episode of a three-part podcast series about what senior living executives can learn about leadership from the Battle of Gettysburg.

In this episode, Chris Carruthers, Vice President of Health Services Marketing, talks with John Franklin, Managing Director and Group Head of BB&T Capital Markets’ Healthcare Finance Group, about leadership preparation versus leadership identification.

For additional insights and information about BB&T Capital Markets’ Healthcare Finance Group, or to get a copy of John’s white paper, “Leadership Lessons From the Battle of Gettysburg,” please visit the BB&T Capital Markets website.

Subscribe to the Leaders’ Board podcast today! If you would like to collaborate with Love & Company on a podcast, please contact Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013 or Rick Hunsicker at 214-906-3801.

The post Lessons from Gettysburg: Leadership Preparation vs Leadership Identification appeared first on Love & Company.

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Recently, Love & Company partnered with LeadingAge Pennsylvania to help tackle a problem many of their member communities are facing: hiring the millennial workforce. While senior living isn’t necessarily the most attractive industry at first glance, evidenced by Rob Love’s experience at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, the good news is that senior living communities can offer what studies say millennials are looking for most in a job.

A recent study by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School found that meaningful work was one of the most important aspects of a career to millennials – even more important than high pay. When the entire mission of your organization is to serve seniors, you have a natural fit for people who want meaningful, impactful work.

“Not-for-profit senior care communities provide vibrant and beautiful environments to work in,” said Lisa Hoffman, LeadingAge PA Senior VP, Member Services. “By working in these communities, employees have an ability to make a difference, not only in the lives of the residents that live in these communities, but they also have an opportunity to work in mission-driven organizations where caring and compassion are part of the culture.”

How do you reach millennials and inform them of the variety of opportunities for meaningful work in senior living?

Video! Studies show that the millennial age group (25-34) watches the most online videos, and by 2019, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. Video is a key part of any marketing strategy, and when you’re recruiting, you’re marketing your field and community to prospective employees.

“What we wanted to do was tell the story of real people who work every day in real not-for-profit senior living communities in Pennsylvania,” explained Tyler Sprecher, Love & Company principal and executive vice president of creative and brand strategy. “At Love & Company, we have a passion for serving seniors, and this video was a great way to help spread the passion and fulfillment you find when you work in this field.”

Lisa added, “The video was a way to showcase that not-for-profit senior care is not what you may think. They are more than just a nursing home with frail residents, and the people that work in not-for-profit senior care love what they do.”

The video features film from four communities in Pennsylvania – Waverly Heights, Providence Point, Concordia at Cabot, and SpiriTrust Lutheran – The Village at Shrewsbury.

“All of the feedback we received from the staff about the video has been positive. We have head that it was a great experience, and they were happy to participate. Any nervousness during the interviews was quelled by the interviewer from Love & Company, who did an excellent job in making them feel comfortable in front of the camera,” said Lisa.

“When we started working on this video, we knew that it was going to be something special. As a company, we’ve specialized in senior living for more than 20 years. We’re powered by our passion for improving the field, and an important aspect of that is recruiting the senior living leaders of tomorrow,” said Tyler.

Without further ado, please enjoy “Making A Career out of Making a Difference.”

Make a Career out of Making a Difference - YouTube

For more information on Love & Company’s video services, call Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013 or Rick Hunsicker at 214-906-3801.

The post Making a Career Out of Making a Difference: Working in Senior Living appeared first on Love & Company.

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Rick Hunsicker’s Rule of 78. Photo Credit: www.frap.up

By Tom Mann, Principal, Executive Vice President

As consultants who specialize in sales and marketing of senior housing, Love & Company’s sales specialists spend their time training Life Plan Community clients on process and technique. But the best in the business know that the most valuable sales team transformations take place AFTER the arduous task of sales training has been completed.

Herein lies one of the biggest challenges for a consultant: How do you explain to a community’s executive team or experienced sales director that the hard work is still in front of them after they have completed their basic sales training?

The continuing care retirement communities where Love & Company has experienced the most success–very often doubling the sales they were experiencing the year we first arrived–have continued to engage us (usually on a light maintenance basis) after the training has been completed. Why would they carry this added expense?

Protecting Their Investment

The analogy I often use is that of a person on a diet. I’m a big believer that diets don’t work; lifestyle changes do! Let’s face it, after a brief education, most of us understand what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The hard part is maintaining the discipline and willpower required to arrive at the healthy lifestyle we desire. This is where a great mentor, motivator and coach can make all the difference in the world.

>>Sign up for our enewsletter today and get more helpful insights!<<

Do you know how hard it is to make 15 connected calls per day? I do, and it isn’t easy. It requires three hours per day of focused time picking up the phone and dialing.

Yes, But Isn’t That Why We Pay Our Sales Director?

Yes, it is your sales director’s job to keep your team focused. However, your sales director is working in the trenches on a daily basis, making sure that the sales reports are going out smoothly, helping your sales counselors with particularly challenging issues, coordinating events, interacting with other directors, assisting with the coordination of upgrades and maintenance, coordinating the marketing and advertising plan with your outside agency, and the 1,000 other issues that pop up on a daily basis. Not to mention, they are the person who on a daily basis is encouraging (nagging) the team to reach higher standards.

I usually stop the conversation here and use the example of a mother encouraging her two teenage children to keep their rooms clean, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sometimes the situation is helped by taking a tag-team approach (in this case, bringing in dad).

Return on Investment

My good friend, Rick Hunsicker, who has just joined the Love & Company team, often coaches the “Rule of 78.” Rick’s “Rule of 78” can be summed up this way: one additional move-in each month produces 78 additional months of revenue in a year; one lost sale each month costs 78 months of revenue in a year. Here’s what it looks like:

The post The Difference Between Sales Training And Sales Mentoring <br>… And The Rule Of 78 appeared first on Love & Company.

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Listen to the latest Love & Company Leaders’ Board podcast!

This is the second episode of a three-part podcast series about what senior living executives can learn from the Battle of Gettysburg.

In this episode, Chris Carruthers, Vice President of Health Services Marketing, talks with John Franklin, Managing Director and Group Head of BB&T Capital Markets’ Healthcare Finance Group, about how to resolve executive disagreement.

For additional insights and information about BB&T Capital Markets’ Healthcare Finance Group, or to get a copy of John’s white paper, “Leadership Lessons From the Battle of Gettysburg,” please visit the BB&T Capital Markets website.

Subscribe to the Leaders’ Board podcast today! You won’t want to miss the next–and final–episode of the series, in which Chris and John will discuss leadership preparation vs. leadership identification. If you would like to collaborate with Love & Company on a podcast, please contact Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013 or Rick Hunsicker at 214-906-3801.

The post Lessons from Gettysburg: Resolving Executive Disagreement appeared first on Love & Company.

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