Depending on who you ask, the U.S. is either heading into a recession or is already in one. According to a recent poll in The Wall Street Journal, economists think there is a 63% chance of a recession in 2023.
If a recession in 2023 really does pan out, what might that mean for senior living operators? You can bet we’ll see higher expenses in the form of increased costs of everything from financing to labor to food to supplies. As expenses increase, NOI is squeezed; when NOI takes a hit, budgets get tightened.
When budgets go under the microscope to reduce expenses, it’s tempting to cut sales and marketing. It’s often the first area to go when things get tight.
Maintaining your target NOI
As costs are expected to rise, revenue growth is more important than ever before to maintain a target NOI. Revenue growth in senior living can come from raising rates, or by growing occupancy. In an up economy, raising rates might be the tactic to take, but with recession fears weighing on everyone – especially seniors who might be seeing their retirement income suddenly not stretching as far – selling at a competitive market rate is going to be a competitive advantage for you.
Don’t give in to the temptation to offer discounts and concessions to fill your communities though; remember that the consumer equates lower prices with lower quality. How do you increase occupancy without giving away the profits then?
Your greatest asset right now
Your sales department’s output is your organization’s greatest asset. Motivated, results-oriented, and proven sales leaders are your secret weapon for achieving occupancy growth – right now and in the coming year. But like any other motivated, results-oriented professionals, they need training and coaching to stay in top form; think of your sales leaders as Olympic athletes and you won’t be too far off the mark.
Sales training and coaching
Adopt the mindset that your sales leaders are the best asset your organization has heading into a turbulent economy. Don’t forget that the best deserves the best in professional development, so don’t skimp on training and coaching. Senior living is a high-level sale that needs top talent to make the sales happen, so continue coaching up their skills.
Development and retention
Finally, place a priority on developing new talent and retaining the existing talent in your organization’s sales department. Invest in their professional development by providing them with ongoing training and support. Reassess your rewards structure, whether it’s bonuses, perks, or both, because employee retention increases when top producers are rewarded.
Ready to take your senior living sales success to a new level by elevating your sales leaders? Grow Your Occupancy provides the sales coaching, accountability coaching, and sales-skill coaching essential to fill that important role. Learn more about Grow Your Occupancy’s sales coaching and training here. Or book your free 30-minute consultation today.