7 Ways to Build Occupancy in Senior Care Communities

You’ve already pulled out all the stops in your retirement residence; you have a beautiful space, your staff are excellent caregivers, and you roll out the red-carpet during tours for prospective residents. Even with these tremendous efforts, your vacancy rate is still higher than you would like it to be. Leveraging your strengths, spotlighting your community, and giving the gift of certainty to prospective residents and their loved ones can meaningfully improve resident acquisition. Here’s how: 

Article Image

1. Residence Updates

Upgrading your facilities to attract new residents doesn’t have to mean a major overhaul of your suites or amenities. If you’re committed to a bigger change, you may consider: 

  • A fresh coat of paint for suites and shared areas 
  • Updated window treatments 
  • Refreshed landscaping to amp up curb appeal. 

Even small improvements can improve how others view your residence, like: 

  • More frequent cleanings of shared areas 
  • Higher quality linens 
  • New uniforms for staff  

Moreover, your current residents will appreciate the intentional improvements to your space– leading to increased pride, satisfaction, and resident referrals.  

2. Premium Programming

Delivering exceptional programming is a worthwhile investment in your long-term occupancy strategy. In many cases, seniors choose to move into facilities because they need added personal or medical support– but many are seeking community and companionship as well. Ensuring that your programs serve a diverse array of interests and abilities can be a significant differentiator between your residence and a competitor’s. An abundance of programming that matches residents’ needs and interests is significantly more attractive than a one-size-fits-all approach to senior recreation. 

3. Leveraging Social Media

“Our clients aren’t online, so why bother?” Many of your clients may not be active social media users, their loved ones often are. Showcasing your residence’s exceptional programs, beautiful amenities, and robust sense of community can help prospective clients move more quickly from “information gathering” to “decision making”. Regular posting on social media gives prospective residents and their loved ones, or Senior Living Advisors a prompt, qualitative insight into daily life at your residence. Highlighting the experiences of existing residents helps your residence in two distinct ways: it becomes value-rich social media content, and it encourages prospective residents and their families to envision themselves staying with you.  

4. Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!

Glowing, positive reviews from residents and their families shared across your social media channels, mailing lists, and specialized websites like caredupon.ca, are priceless. Soliciting reviews and referrals from existing residents can be among the most impactful marketing you can do. One of the best ways to inspire trust in prospective clients is to give them the opportunity to engage with the experiences of their peers. However, not every review platform is created equal. Receiving negative or dishonest online reviews can make care providers feel they’re helplessly putting their reputations at risk. 

Here’s how Cared Upon differs from other review sites:  

  • Care providers have full control over their residence’s listings  
  • Each review is vetted for honesty and accuracy before it’s posted  
  • Care providers can resolve negative reviews before they’re shared 
  • The platform is specifically tailored for prospective residents, their families, and Senior Living Advisors 

5. Be Searchable

An important aspect of maximizing your online social media strategy is ensuring that the content you create is discoverable on search. This helps your prospective clients obtain valuable information for your residence and establish trust with you via search-based inquiry. A quick start to improving your search rankings can look like: 

  • Performing an SEO audit on your current content (and on your competitors!) to gain valuable content insights for topics relevant to your specific residence.  
  • Using your new understanding of keywords to generate content that floats your residence to the top of client’s search results.  
  • Intentionally creating long-form content like blog posts, or eBooks to capture clients early in their informational journey. Later, using testimonials to support clients through the more active decision-making phase of their process.  

6. Using Your Deep Local Networks and Relationships

Senior Living Advisors are an indispensable resource to both care providers and prospective residents alike. Their deep relationships with multiple care residences give them the unique ability to deliver highly specific insights to those seeking care. Often, they’ll be the first to know about your upgraded facilities and culture-rich communities. As independent contractors, each advisor’s personal strategy is reliant on their intimate knowledge of your residences, your service offerings and the information you relay directly to them.  

Prospective residents are present in an array of different situations. In addition to Senior Living Advisors, consider leveraging your existing connections with: 

  • Local social workers 
  • Hospital coordinators 
  • Discharge coordinators 

Amplifying the reach of your residence’s messaging doesn't have to look like an advertisement–being recommended by niche professionals is a powerful way to be seen as credible and trustworthy by future residents. 

7. Staycations for Prospective Residents

While the insights of others can sway the decisions of potential residents, there’s nothing like a five-star, first-hand experience. Offering no-obligation short stays at your residence gives future residents the opportunity to:  

  • Clarify their care needs 
  • See themselves as part of your community 
  • Mitigate any concerns they may have had about senior care 

A decision as significant as choosing a retirement residence isn’t taken lightly by prospective residents, their loved ones, or their Senior Living Advisors. Removing friction, anxiety, and uncertainty from the process should be a major focal point in your occupancy strategy. Those seeking care appreciate these efforts immensely, and you simply have to do what you’re already great at– delivering outstanding care.