Are you having problems with senior living occupancy levels? There are many aspects to consider when working to increase occupancy and revenue for senior living communities. Several of the areas to assess are operational in nature such as staffing costs, service levels, fees, and upgrades or updates to existing infrastructure. These areas must be considered and reviewed by leadership. One of the best ways to complete this review is through annual competitive comparisons. Senior living owners, operators, or managers should require onsite leadership to annually review competitive products in the area to determine if your senior living community will remain competitive in the marketplace. Every market is unique both in customer demands, expectations, and existing competition. Without competitive comparisons, your annual strategy plans and rate reviews are being done in isolation.

Sales also plays an important role in any turn-around strategy. Ask yourself honestly, are your salespeople proactively seeking prospects or are they order-takers? Outreach to community leaders, referral sources, and professionals is key to ensure your community is top-of-mind when people are seeking senior living solutions for themselves or their loved ones. No one generates awareness by sitting in an office and answering the phones. The best sales plans include expectations around outreach, including the number of hours and contacts each sales person should make in a week, as well as defined target prospects, a unique selling proposition, and relationship building approaches. An effective strategic sales and marketing plan must outline each of these components to best support and drive the occupancy and revenue goals for your community.

Only when operations and sales strategically partner together to ensure every aspect of your community is competitive and communicated to the marketplace will your occupancy and revenue be maximized.

For more information on how to build occupancy and a strategic sales and marketing plan, contact us at 763.537.5700, or send us an email at


Authored by Cindy C. Olson, Vice President, Consulting Business Development