- How well is your community able to convert inquiries to move-ins?
- How do your numbers compare with your competitors’?
You can probably answer the first question, but are likely stumped by the second. A lack of industry benchmarks means that senior living executives don’t have any reliable way to compare their services to those of their competitors, which also means that they miss out on important opportunities to identify areas for improvement.
Benefits of Benchmarking
Benchmarking is essential for senior living providers. It can help you identify areas where you need to improve and develop strategies to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
In their book Benchmarking: A Tool for Continuous Improvement, C.J. McNair and Kathleen H.J. Leibfried identified four reasons to benchmark, or ways companies can use benchmarking data:
- To be proactive in embracing change
- To establish meaningful goals and performance measures
- To learn about any competitive disadvantages
- To promote data-driven teamwork
Benchmarking Senior Living Sales Metrics
Below, we explore industry benchmarks for two of the most important metrics in senior living sales:
- Appointment ratio (the number of tours divided by the number of inquiries)
- Close ratio (the number of move-ins divided by the number of tours)
The data presented here are from 2014, based on a sample of 106 communities.
Where Do Most Appointments Come From?
The largest percentage of senior living inquiries originate online, followed closely by call-ins and then referrals.
Inquiries by method
However, call-in inquiries and referrals are much more likely to be converted to tours than are web-based inquiries. The following graphs show the appointment ratio and tour volume by method of inquiry.
Appointment ratio by method
Tour volume by method
This data shows that call-in inquiries and referrals are of higher quality than web-based ones, which reinforces the importance of having quality call processing and referral management systems in place. If you don’t, you are likely missing out your best opportunities for lead conversion.
What Types of Senior Living Properties Have the Best Appointment Ratios?
Memory care senior living communities lead the market with a 58% call-to-appointment ratio followed closely by the independent living at 54%.
The following graph shows the call-in appointment ratios for our sample of communities , broken out by type of care.
Appointment ratio by care
What Incoming Call Processes Convert More Calls into Appointments?
Appointment ratio: Call center communities vs. other communities
In every identified category, communities that have call centers achieve significantly higher appointment ratios, with communities like memory care and independent living seeing incremental increases by as much as 25% and 16%, respectively.
If you’re looking to increase your call-to-tour ratio, the data suggests you might want to consider implementing a call center platform to ensure quality and consistency of call processing.
Of course, appointment ratio isn’t everything. Once you get people to visit your community, your sales team needs to be able to move leads down the funnel and convert tours into sales.
What Types of Senior Living Properties Have the Best Close Ratios?
The following graph shows the close ratios by senior living market.
Close ratio by care
From this graph, we can see that for independent living, assisted living, and memory care providers, close ratios hover between 10% and 12%.
How You Can Use This Information
Our hope is that you can use the information provided here to drive positive change in your community.
- If your appointment ratio is lower than average, you might want to consider making a change early in your sales funnel, for example, by implementing a call center.
- If your close ratio is low, you could focus on what happens in your customer relationship management process after a tour has been conducted.
- If your appointment or close ratio is above average, nice work! Do you think it could be higher if you implemented additional industry best practices?
Over the next few months, we will provide more senior living sales benchmarking information to help you identify new strategies to improve your senior living community.