Ask the Roundtable: 5 Sales-Boosting Tips for Fall – Varsity Branding

As we say goodbye to summer vacations and reset for fall, our roundtable participants give valuable answers that can help make fourth quarter your busiest yet.

1. Why shouldn’t you let the “summer sales slump” get you down?

“‘Summer’ kind of sums it up, right? We all know what it means. You have that ‘valley’ going on, and coming into Q4, there will be an uptick.” (Ohio/Massachusetts)

“Historically, the summer is slower and the fall tends to pick up, and then we have lots of signings in November and December, closing those sales.” (Ohio/Massachusetts)

 2. How do you change a warm lead into a hot lead?

“We’re really starting to participate in community events around our neighborhood, and invite leads to them. Like this week, we’re having a resident art show and inviting warm or ‘on the fence’ leads. That’s really important to get them into the community.” (Washington state)

“We use marketing automation. That will give leads a lead score in Enquire. We ask the team to sort the list by highest lead score, since they are obviously the ones ripe for the picking. You can start to move them up the pipeline.” (New Jersey)

“I would suggest for an event, if you have something special you do for residents, to invite your leads to it.” (Missouri)

3. How do you differentiate yourself in your market?

“We have one community that is going to meet with the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. They have set up apartments and residences, specifically for the visually impaired.” (New Jersey)

“We have a dog park, and that pulls in a lot of people!” (Missouri)

“We emphasize our faith-based, nonprofit background and what that means.” (New Jersey)

“”We have been in the same location and under the same ownership for 36 years. Many people who come see us say that’s why they want to move here. Also, many of our staff have that longevity. We have a housekeeper who has been here since we opened 36 years ago. That gives us the edge in our market.” (Arkansas)

“We have had a wonderful history of 77 years now, and it’s wonderful to draw on that history. But we’re also trying to break away, too, and renew ourselves. We’ve come up with a new mission and values statement, with a new campaign coming up in September.” (Washington state)

“We’re very multi-generational. We have three campuses across Kentucky, and we do the whole gamut from preschool, to independent living, to memory and personal care.” (Kentucky)

“I think you have to look at where your uniqueness is, and what is your niche in your community. We have 20 acres of beautiful grounds, right next to the second largest park in the nation, second only to Central Park, at 750 acres.” (Washington state)

“We are the only CCRC in Sussex County, New Jersey. And our full continuum, with hospice and memory care, is all under one roof, and that’s a competitive edge for us.” (New Jersey)

“Our edge is that we’re in a master plan community. We sit on a plateau, and we’re surrounded by 30 miles of biking and walking trails.” (Washington state)

“We changed our name about 20 years ago to include ‘the lake,’ so that people know we’re a waterfront community.” (Wisconsin)

4. How do you target the younger adult?

“We start our marketing at age 60 for our waiting list, but I’d love for it to be even younger. We include active imagery and mention lots of amenities in our marketing, to invite our waitlist to join in and feel at home here sooner.” (Wisconsin)

“We use our walking score in our marketing, because ours is very high for a senior living community. We use walkscore.” (Wisconsin)

5. How is your marketing/advertising spending and strategy evolving?

“There’s been a shift in the senior living space. People used to choose communities for their faith affiliation, but we have started to change to be more hobby-based. It’s less about faith nowadays and more about personal interests. For example, my parents have bred and shown dogs for 30 years. That’s their ‘thing.’ It would be a good question to pose: Who is the most pet-friendly senior living community in the world?” (Seth Anthony, LW Consulting)

“We’ve been looking at our lists, and we typically pull names of prospects between 60 and 75, with a home price of $400,000 and up. And we would typically come up with 10,000 to 12,000 names. But with how much home prices have gone up, we had to increase that range of home prices to $700,000, with the same age group, to get a comparable range of names.” (Washington State)

“Since the pandemic, the majority of our budget is in digital advertising.” (Washington State)

“We definitely have evolved in our conversations. We ramped up our in-person events.. People in our area want to get out and go back to normalcy. Our events trend well, with close to 100 attendees at each event.” (Pennsylvania)

Please join our weekly Sales & Marketing Roundtables on Thursdays at noon ET, 11 a.m. CT and 9 a.m. PT.

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