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High definition video tours have long been used in real estate to showcase property. Their use is not entirely new in senior living, but videos that provide analytics about viewers’ preferences and location are transforming the way senior living providers interact with prospects.
Arizona-based Late Living offers customized video tours that offer insight into the behind-the-scenes way in which prospective residents are engaging with the senior living communities they view.
“Consumers want you to show them every nook and cranny so they can feel like they’re actually there,” says Late Living CEO Christopher Wilson, noting that most videos are between seven to eight minutes long. “They’re thinking, ‘I’d rather watch a few minutes of this video than fly in and take a tour. And, if they see something they like then they will be motivated to come in and take that tour. It increases their comfort level with that community.”
The newest senior living provider to jump on the floating motion video bandwagon is Five Star Senior Living, and — although the senior living provider is just past a month into its three-month pilot at six of its Arizona-based communities — the company is already seeing positive results.
When comparing December 2013 to December 2014, the six communities’ websites with a Late Living virtual tour saw a more than 100% increase in Internet leads that led to move-ins, and the inquiry to move-in percentage went from 6% to 14%, respectively. In addition, time spent on Five Star’s website increased 46% on average.
Videos increase the visibility of a website, by improving its search engine optimization (SEO), Wilson says, noting that companies are 53 times more likely to get a first page listing on search engine Google if video is present on their website.
“This data tells me that the video and the key metrics that are associated with the videos help develop more quality leads from our website,” says Alex Smith, regional director of sales and marketing at Five Star. “So instead of having simply more leads, which is often the goal of marketing departments, we are producing more quality leads. The quality is key because our sales team often find themselves spending lots of time trying to contact leads that truly aren’t qualified.”
Five Star also launched its new website in December 2014, with new features and content to be added throughout 2015, and the Late Living videos seem to fit in well with the brand’s efforts to enhance its online presence, the company says.
“During the search for senior living, families are bombarded with messages from senior living providers with many of the websites and brochures repeating the same phrases and taglines,” Smith says. “We are seeking to provide new and innovative content that will give our prospective families the content they are actually looking for in order to help them have the confidence to take that next step.”
Information gleaned from knowing the behavior and location of video viewers is changing the way senior living thinks about marketing strategy in these three ways.
1. Reaching the untapped consumer
Video analytics allow providers to interact with families that would not have otherwise provided their personal information. After a few minutes of watching a Late Living-created virtual tour of a community, viewers are asked to provide their email to complete the tour.
“Families are more and more resistant to fill out long forms requesting their name, address, phone number, and a long litany of questions that only serve to help the senior living provider versus respecting where they are in the sales cycle,” Smith says. “By requesting simply an email address to watch the video, we are able to communicate with families that don’t want to be bombarded by phone calls, but still want information.”
Video opens the door to a wider prospect pool, says Jon Scott Williams, executive director for Fellowship Square in Mesa, Arizona. Since launching its latest video campaign more than a year ago, the video on Fellowship Square’s website has had over 22,700 loads, and nearly half of viewers provide their email. Fellowship Square is one of four Christian Care communities in Arizona, with a fifth opening in 2017.
“Most people that are looking at [senior housing referral sites], like SeniorHousing.net, are not looking at video — and vice versa,” Williams says. “We only see about a 20% overlap of prospects looking at both referral sites and watching the video. So, I’m not duplicating the same efforts.”
2. Catering to prospects’ specific interests
Analytics provided by Late Living about viewers’ habits lets providers know whether the video has been shared, if certain parts have been rewatched, and more.
“By allowing us to see how many people watch the videos, how long, and what parts they stop and rewind, we can customize our communication to fit their interest,” Smith says. “For example, if we notice that the person keeps rewinding and viewing the dining room, our communication will focus on our Five Star Dining Experience. Without this information, we possibly could be sending information that is not relevant to the conversation they want to have. Our message is now somewhat tailored to their needs a little more than before the analytics.”
Knowing this information can also help providers make the in-person tour more meaningful, says Jay Beaird, marketing director for Scottsdale Ariz.-based McDowell Village Senior Living.
The independent and assisted living community began working with Late Living about two years ago.
“We can look at what they’re looking at and see that they’ve looked at our pool, bar, or dining room multiple times,” Beaird says. “So, if they come in to tour and we have that information we can highlight that amenity. We also know that this person has watched the video five times this week, which means they are probably very interested in what our community has to offer.”
3. Reaching prospects in new locations
Video analytics also provide information about a viewer’s location, which is playing an important role in Christian Care’s marketing efforts for its newest senior living community in Surprise, Ariz.
Pre-marketing for the memory care, independent and assisted living community has already begun, Williams says.
“I can see through video analytics that people from all over the United States are interested in our communities,” he says, noting that marketing materials regarding the new community will be mailed to “hot areas” not previously considered, such as New York and Utah. These locations were identified because large groups of people in these areas viewed the Late Living video.
“When I get an email, I can’t tell where that person is from — and there’s nothing to tell me that it’s even a real email,” he says. “But, if someone views our video I know where that server is located.”
One Arkansas native and now Fellowship Square resident viewed the community’s video 23 times, and later told Williams she had viewed the video multiple times because she was showing it to friends.
“Now I can mail out information about our community to that area and bring customers in,” he says.
Written by Cassandra Dowell