There is No Place Like the “Old Folks’ Home”

There is No Place Like the “Old Folks’ Home”

The following is adapted from It’s About Time!.

Senior living communities today aren’t your grandmother’s version of an old folks’ home. They are better — a lot better. Despite that, the overwhelming majority of today’s seniors just “aren’t ready” to move anywhere.

Why aren’t more qualified prospects following logic and leasing senior living apartments, even when it’s in their best interest, and what can we do about it? What if you could help enhance the lives of hundreds of thousands of senior adults by inspiring them to overcome their emotional resistance to moving?

We believe that you can help reluctant prospects “get ready” by adopting a more effective, person-centered approach. An approach that motivates them to leave homes that no longer fit their lifestyle needs. A selling process that embraces clinically proven practices adapted from the psychology of change and is supported by performance data. One that is proven to boost sales, occupancy, and longer-term revenue streams.

High Resident Satisfaction

Today in the US and Canada, the combination of residential-style facilities, excellent programming and amenities, and the emphasis on resident choice has resulted in very high resident satisfaction at the typical senior living community.

In fact, residents of senior living communities are more likely than their otherwise “matched” stay-at-home counterparts to:

  • Be happy with their daily lives.
  • Spend more time connecting and engaging with people and less time watching TV.
  • Say that their health is better today than it was two years ago.

Compared to industry reporting, seniors moving into senior residences rate higher in customer satisfaction than customers at luxury resorts, hotels, or cruise ships.

Even during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, when senior living communities faced enormous hardships, a majority of senior living residents and their family members praised management and staff for the safety and comfort they got during the initial wave of COVID-19 shutdowns. Furthermore, four to six weeks after moving into a senior living community, nearly every one of my higher-functioning residents (before and during COVID-19) told me in one form or another, “I wish I had moved here sooner.”

Like other senior living residents, these new customers are likely to give their new home within a senior community high marks for giving them control over whether to spend the day in their apartment or engage socially in one of many recreational, educational, and fitness programs or other activities.

They appreciate the choices for meals, fitness, activities, and transportation. They love having access to personal care or medication oversight, if needed, and perhaps most importantly, they value the sense of security, safety, and peace of mind the community gives them and their families.

You Have to Build Trust

Given the enormous benefits as well as the high level of satisfaction among existing residents at each of these levels of care, it just doesn’t make sense logically that so few higher-functioning prospects who inquire and invest the time to tour a facility actually move in. But the reality is that it doesn’t come down to logic. Prospective residents are frequently emotionally resistant to moving.

To help them, we’ve found you need to take a prospect-centered approach. Stop focusing on trying to convince or persuade, and instead focus on building trust and connecting empathically. Ask them open-ended questions and encourage them to share their life stories and values with you. Help build awareness of problems in their current situation and motivation for change.

If you can do all these things, and at the same time demonstrate that you care about them as a person who will help them work through their resistance to moving. With this approach you’ll be able to help them advance to a place where they can make a logical decision about staying or moving. The research shows that you will convert, sell and move in more prospects.

For more advice on how to guide prospects through their emotional resistance to moving, you can find It’s About Time! on Amazon.