According to Jennifer Saxman of Bild & Co., digital sources have become the leading driver of leads and tours in the senior living industry. In a review of senior living lead sources across 33 states, it was found that digital sources accounted for 48% of all leads, while paid referrals accounted for 47%, and professional referrals accounted for 5%.
One notable finding from the data was the difference in lead sources for assisted living and memory care compared to independent living. While independent living is still primarily fueled paid referrals, assisted living and memory care are seeing a significant increase in leads from digital sources. This goes against the expectation that the data would mirror each other.
The increase in leads from digital sources can be attributed to consumers who are now doing their own research when it comes to choosing a senior living community. This shift indicates a more proactive approach to the decision-making process, rather than a reactive one. Saxman hopes that this trend will lead to a more tailored and customer-centric sales process.
However, Saxman notes that sales teams must improve their responsiveness to web inquiries. Many communities fail to follow up on web leads in a timely manner, if at all. Saxman emphasizes the importance of treating digital leads with the same urgency as a phone call or an in-person visit. Email follow-up should be seen as a last resort, with phone calls and text messages taking precedence.
While digital leads saw a significant increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, Saxman asserts that sales teams have yet to fully recognize the value of these leads. It is crucial for senior living communities to adapt their sales strategies to prioritize digital engagement in order to capitalize on this growing trend.
– Bild & Co.