Much like with people, your community’s first impression is crucial to bringing in new residents as well as helping to retain the seniors already in your care. There are quite a few aspects of your community that contribute to what prospects think of your space from small things like a friendly face upon entering, to what amenities your community can offer. In this week’s blog post, we’ll be looking at what factors of your community affect first impressions.
We’ve all heard the statistics that that, on average, people begin to make judgments during first encounters in the first 7 seconds, and your community isn’t much different. Even if you’ve walked into your community hundreds of times, try walking in with a critical eye occasionally. Tours definitely help with this, but after a while of doing something, we can all become a bit jaded, especially with busy schedules.
Take a good look at the face of your community including landscape maintenance, paint, sidewalk and parking lot conditions, and it’s overall cleanliness. The first face new prospects see is also something to consider. Can they give whoever walked through the door undivided attention? No matter who the staff member is, everyone in your community can implement these practices.
A first impression isn’t always about what someone sees; the other four senses can give them clues as to how to interpret your community. The benefits of potentially welcoming a new resident into your community outweigh the cost to appeal to their senses, which in some cases is nothing. Touch and auditory stimulation can both be free and can help foster a positive outlook on you and your community. A handshake, a candle, and the sound of busy residents are simple but effective.
As with most of us, whether or not you eat and what you eat can influence your mood. Offering a meal to people touring your community is a great way to show them the quality of your meals, while also appealing to a few different senses at the same time.
Who do they meet?
Who prospects meet is potentially the most important aspect while on a tour. When showing people around your community, who do they meet? Interacting with an AD or ED can have a significant impact on how your community is perceived. This tells them that you’re never too busy to offer the care that they’ll need.
Additionally, introducing potential residents to seniors that are already part of your community can help foster the relationships necessary to secure them as a resident. An easy way to bring people together is through resident profiling. The information in your resident profiles can help you quickly establish a connection, linking seniors together through preferences and life experiences. Since this is where seniors will be spending a lot of their time, it’s important to help them integrate and make meaningful connections with staff and other residents.
Of course, there are a ton of different factors that can make or break an initial reaction to your community, but as a general guideline, ask yourself what would be most important to you if you were moving into your community. Chances are, people looking to move loved ones into a senior living community would be looking for the same things. For more on what potential residents are looking for in your community, you can read more here.