Senior living is certainly a financial investment, but it’s also an emotional one. What do your prospects hope to get, on a personal level, out of your community once they’ve made the leap and moved in?
As a sales counselor, it’s your job to find out. It may only be a matter of asking. “What would you see yourself doing if you moved? Would senior living make it easier or harder to do the things that you want to?”
Take visual cues from your surroundings if you are fortunate enough to get a home visit. Do you see medals on the wall? Opera posters? Are there religious items on the shelves? Photos from exotic travels? Use these clues to ask and find out more about the person’s legacy and interests moving forward. Figure out what they would get out of your community based on what makes them tick.
And don’t forget to find out what they would BRING to your community. How could they make it more of an enriched environment of active residents? The more involved and interesting those who live at your community are, the more of an attractive place it will be to live. What good are activities and events if there aren’t a vibrant group of people to participate? You need more trendsetters and leaders to inspire others to get the most out of the community living experience. You may be selling housing to them, but they may also be selling themselves as potential residents.
See if you can identify your prospects’ personality type with their potential routine at your community. I’ve come up with a short list; if you have more, please add to them to the comments!
Here’s a prospect who has always loved to share their knowledge with others. Bring up some online mentoring programs like ones that can bridge the distance from your community to students across the world (as in this story of older Americans teaching English to Brazilian students). New technology makes it possible, and your community can facilitate a real sense of purpose for these prospects.
Maybe your prospect is a former athlete or veteran. These prospects were good at leading others, and they still would if they had the opportunity. Offer to put them in charge of recruiting residents for activities or to lead fitness or other classes. There’s not much of an opportunity to become a leader when you’re home alone.
Book clubs are an easy offer to people who love to read, but for prospects with a real thirst for knowledge, programs such as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes give older adults the opportunity to stay connected with the classroom. Offer to provide information and set up a similar program through your community.
Games are common and often drab selling points of senior housing. “We have bingo and a bridge club! (shrug).” If the prospect has a real passion for these particular games, then by all means bring them up. Otherwise, try to find out what the prospect enjoys and empower them to organize a club of their own. “You can’t play Boggle at home by yourself!” “You know, we could set up croquet at our community if you can find some others who are interested.”
Bottom line, when a prospect is personally invested in your community, you will have better, more active residents. Let them move in and hit the ground running. After all, your community is built for your residents, and your residents will make your community great if they choose to.