Today’s senior housing designs look and feel like luxury resorts, equipped with state-of-the-art fitness centers, bistros and beauty salons, many offering premium services and amenities, plus all the comforts of home. Still, prospects expect more than a beautiful building on their tour – they’re critiquing the entire experience. Avoid these major mistakes, and take your tour to the next level with these tips.
Cut the Clutter (or at least hide it)
Office clutter is a huge distraction, so if you’re meeting your prospects in an office piled high with papers, you may be giving potential residents the wrong impression. We all get busy – but our guests shouldn’t see our mess. Before meeting with prospects, tidy up your office, filing away personal information and other sensitive material. If possible, meet in a conference room or another private, yet inviting space, where disruptions are unlikely. And don’t forget to offer fresh-brewed coffee or tea!
Pet Names and Prospects Don’t Mix
Sugar, honey, and darlin’ are all pet names much too personal for prospects – and some of your guests might find these informalities downright offensive. Instead, ask your guests how they prefer to be addressed. For some, first names may be fine. For others, “Mr.” and “Mrs.” are musts.
Unprepared for Pop-up Tours
In a perfect world, we’d all be totally prepared for the pop-up tour; but on those days the office staff is light – we improvise. Even if your team is legit up to their eyeballs in paperwork and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing, your guests shouldn’t feel your frustration. Never verbalize or otherwise express their unannounced arrival as a nuisance. Remember, whether they called ahead to schedule a tour, or showed up in the middle of a crisis, they came to your community because they saw potential. Take a moment, put your other tasks to the side, and devote the present to your guests so you can prove taking the time to tour with your community was a worthwhile endeavor.
Nonenal commonly referred to as “aging odor” is a natural occurrence in many assisted living, memory care, and other skilled nursing communities. However, failure to address root causes of offensive odors and maintain a warm, welcoming environment can, and often will, turn an otherwise terrific tour into a dead end. Make odor control an ordinary part of your clean team’s routine. Check common areas and corridors throughout the day to ensure your community is fresh and inviting; and when using deodorizers, avoid overbearing, highly concentrated.
No Friendly Faces
When you host tours at your community, are your team members tucked away, or out interacting with residents? Modern senior living communities may resemble lavish, all-inclusive resorts – still, all the bells and whistles are no match for a dedicated, compassionate team. The beauty of the building may bring prospects in – but your staff turns them into residents and loyal brand ambassadors. Friendly faces, particularly among team members, signals a welcoming environment. Next time you’re taking potential residents on a tour, make it a point to stop along the way to introduce members of your team.
Show prospects your community isn’t just a wonderful place to live; it’s also a wonderful place to work.
Don’t be afraid to ask guests to leave a review about their experience when they’ve raved about their tour. Asking for feedback both gives them another opportunity to recall their favorite parts of the tour, and also functions as a free brand advertisement.
Have more tips for great tours? Leave them in the comments section!