How to Improve the Tour Experience at Your Senior Living Community

Last Updated: November 12, 2018How to Improve the Tour Experience at Your Senior Living Community

Review 1: “They showed us an apartment that wasn’t even clean. It looked neat and everything, but… I felt like I was in a tower, it wasn’t very spacious or open feeling. I would think if you had a scheduled a tour and knew prospective residents or clients were coming you would want to put your best foot forward.”

Review 2: “We were tired when we visited, but the woman was so nice that it just made it a good experience. She called us ahead of time. We were very pleased with them.”

I bet I can guess which of the two above reviews you’d rather receive after you gave someone a tour of your senior living community. It’s the second one, right?

After a tour with a potential family member or resident, you want to walk away feeling positive about the impression you’ve given them of all that the community has to offer. So, how can you get more tours with these kind of results?

We’ve looked into the reviews on SeniorAdvisor.com from people who tour senior living communities and we’ve analyzed the common themes that appear in both positive and negative tour reviews. First, we’ll share what reviewers are ranting or raving about after the tour of a community and then we’ll offer our top suggestions for getting more success out of your tours.

Top Things Reviewers Dislike After Touring a Senior Living Community

Here are the top five complaints found in online reviews with 2-stars or below:

  • “It was difficult to get in touch with someone at the community. They forgot about my appointment and didn’t return my phone calls.”
  • “The community didn’t look nice. It was dark, disorganized… and it smelled bad.”
  • “The residents looked unhappy and were just sitting around.”
  • “The sales staff was evasive or misleading about pricing.”
  • “The staff had a bad attitude. They were too pushy and didn’t take the time to listen. They talked down to residents or ignored them altogether. They bashed their competitors.”

Top Things Reviewers Like After Touring a Senior Living Community

Here are the top positive remarks we see in 4 and 5-star reviews:

  • “The community was beautiful, big and clean.”
  • “The residents seemed happy and had good relationships with the management and staff.”
  • “The staff had a great attitude: they were caring, compassionate, friendly, helpful, open and professional.”

Ways to Improve the Tour Experience at Your Senior Living Community

You may have noticed a trend from the most common positive and negative feedback above. Besides cleanliness and lighting, it’s all about the people!

While people likely won’t overlook a terrible smell or sub-standard cleanliness at a community, they tend to be okay with older-looking furniture as long as the people are caring and kind. Customers tend to leave feeling disappointed if the only thing they like about your community is the building itself or the lobby because the people inside weren’t all that nice. In more cases than not, the breaking point for potential customers is whether or not they have a positive impression of the staff at a community.

So what do customers expect to see from your staff in order to be impressed?

1. Compassion: Families walk away after a tour feeling wonderful if they’ve seen genuinely positive connections between your staff and residents. It helps them feel assured that their loved one will be joining a community, not just a community.

2. Honesty: Families get very upset when they feel misled. Many customers will become suspicious if they feel you are not being direct with them about pricing. It’s best to be honest and forthright, and hopefully, you will fit their budget.

3. Knowledge: Families like feeling confident and secure that you will take proper care of their loved one. They expect that you and caregiving staff will have the proper medical knowledge required.

4. Professionalism: Families don’t enjoy hearing you talk trash about your competitors. (However, when your community is not a fit, but you’re able to offer up referrals to other nearby communities, families are especially wowed and will write you positive reviews!)

5. Responsiveness: Families want to know that you will care for their loved one and will make it a priority to address their medical needs or questions. You don’t want to give a customer the opportunity to think: If they can’t bother to be there for my appointment, or even answer my phone call, how can I rely on them to take care of my loved one in an emergency?

First names of staff members show up a lot more often in positive reviews, indicating the strong impression they leave on reviewers during their tour. The staff and the residents make up your community, so it’s important that touring families feel positive after interacting with them.

By ensuring your staff embodies the five traits listed above, you can help ensure your community never receives a review that says, “I did receive more hospitality at another place that I toured though, so I wasn’t as impressed with…”

Based in Austin, TX, Amelia is the Content Marketing Manager for SeniorAdvisor.com. When she’s not writing about online reputation management, online reviews, and social media in the senior living space, she enjoys yoga and running with her dog Rockefeller. She graduated from Wellesley College cum laude with a dual degree in English and Medieval/Renaissance Studies.

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