Find yourself browsing for your next vacation getaway? And then that leads you to looking up trendy restaurants in that area…which leads you to looking up that one recipe from that one foodie blog you follow? Before you know it, you’ve viewed or clicked or scrolled multiple websites across multiple platforms, and probably read at least a few reviews. This searching behavior is not uncommon, especially when seniors and their families are looking for their next home and community. 

My fellow marketers, don’t you wish you knew what that senior living prospect researching footprint looked like? Turns out, we do. 

In just the past few years, we’ve experienced an increase in tech adoption. Having food delivered from Uber Eats during, how shall we say, “off hours,” to subscribing to three streaming channels, so we get to watch all of our favorite shows. Tech adoption happened fast, as the saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, the beauty of all this is that seniors and their families are using this tech to search for…you guessed it, their next home.

And as you know full well, for your prospects, finding their next, and permanent, home is an emotional decision…and it is for their families as well. They’re not just considering price point, bedroom size, and location. They’re analyzing community amenities, dining options, and really, the overall experience they can expect for themselves and their loved ones. And with these increasingly complex searches, we’re finding that senior living prospects are not only taking longer to research before contacting you, they’re also researching deeper. 

The Invisible Period

Let us translate it for you: On average, seniors and their families are spending over a month (45 days) visiting and reading websites, paid ads, social platforms, and more. That’s a lot of time spent trying to figure out if you are even worth calling. We call this “The Invisible Period” and we dug a little more.

During these 6+ weeks of research, prospects are taking about 17 steps before reaching out to you. That’s a lot of views, clicks, zooms, and scrolls being done without you.

We know, you’re curious. Is this a lot? Has this behavior changed? We looked at what prospects were doing last year to compare. Lo and behold, while they’re taking just as many steps as last year (Q1 2022), they ARE spending 33.3% more time researching. Interesting, right?

To probe a bit more, we asked our data scientists which marketing channels were bringing in qualified calls, aka people who were actually interested in moving in. And really, it was neck-and-neck among three marketing sources – Organic Search (and your websites), Digital Advertising, and Google Business Profile (GBP) – with GBP bringing in 37.3% of calls from prospects with an ‘intent to move-in.’

Now we get to the good stuff. What actions should you be taking? Since Google Business Profile is a leading source of quality leads, it does need some care and feeding.

  1. Show Up – Be sure to provide complete and accurate information about your community. This is business 101. We’re talking about your legal business name, and phone number. Also make sure your business category is what people think of when looking for you, and most importantly, keep your community hours updated, including holidays. It matters. Last but not least, be sure to request ownership of your Business Listing (aka claim it as yours).
  2. Show Off – Now we’re ready for some marketing fun. In today’s world, your brand is essentially limited to what the channels decide they’ll include. So when it comes to visually impacting areas, like photos, it’s time to shine. Select photos carefully and if you get new ones, come back and keep it fresh. And, consider the “Products & Services” section where you should show off your floor plans. The choice is yours.
  3. Show Empathy – Choosing a new home is an important decision, so how you respond to reviews and answer Q&A matters. This can be a turning point when a prospect decides if you are worth a phone call or if they scratch you off the list. Take care here. Be professional and respond to everything. No really, everything. And, even if you know what really happened and want to go into defense mode? Don’t. People need to get their voice heard and even some negative reviews are okay. We know it happens, and prospects just want to see that you handle it with empathy, or at least compassion.

That’s it! Show up, show off, and show empathy on Google Business Profile. But, with a busy schedule and limited resources, it is easy to let days, if not weeks and months, go by without checking for new reviews/questions. If you manage a portfolio, consider a tool that consolidates everything into one place or a service that makes sure someone is on top of it. 

Schedule a demo to learn how G5 can help you maximize your Google Business Profile.