Top Five Ways to Utilize Residents to Advance the Sale

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Resident interaction with prospects can be a valuable tool to advance the sale. But the key is for the sales team to remain in control of the interaction. Almost like a movie director, you need to set the stage, review the script and rehearse before the cameras start to roll. Here are five of our favorite ways to advance sales with residents’ help.

1. Progressive Dinners

Progressive dinners are a great way for residents and prospects to interact and to showcase your community at the same time. Residents love showing off their homes and prospects appreciate seeing up close how comfortable and accommodating life can be at your community. Orchestrate the event by having your culinary staff prepare several courses of heavy hors d’oeuvres to station in three or four resident homes. Invite a small number of prospects in the thinking or planning stage and pair them with your most spirited and entertaining residents – and watch the magic happen!

2. Cocktails (or Coffee) & Conversations

Strong connections start with good conversation. Small, informal groups allow prospects to mingle with residents over cocktails or a cup of coffee and to get real life, honest answers to questions like, “Will I fit in?” or “What is life really like here?” Your Resident Ambassadors can play an important role here, not just as greeters but as enthusiastic members of the community, eager to share their stories.

3. Resident Panel Events

To simply relay insights about life’s changes and choices, resident panels can tell the real story of your community through the eyes and experiences of residents, giving prospects a ‘behind the scenes’ look and inspiring them to make the move sooner rather than later.

4. Testimonials

Testimonials should be more than sound bites. Pick residents who have interesting life stories or an interesting path to becoming a resident to be interviewed by your marketing team for testimonials that can be used on the community website, as handouts to prospective residents, in blog or social media posts.

5. Social Media

Ask residents to submit postings to Facebook including notes and photos from recent outings to area attractions, restaurants, entertainment, or recent travel. Reviews from family and friends can also be helpful for those seeking to find out more about your community.

5 Additional Tips for Successful Resident Involvement in Sales:

  • Have residents share their positive moving experiences with prospects, either in a panel discussion or one-on-one.
  • Get to know residents’ likes, interests and backgrounds and match them with prospects who have similar interests.
  • Implement a Resident Ambassador program. Hold monthly or quarterly meetings to coach them and keep them up to date on programs and services – and reward them for their efforts.
  • Choose two or three residents to participate in your traveling road shows, either as members of a resident panel, or simply to interact informally with prospects during a casual lunch & learn.
  • Set up a resident marketing committee to help with social events. Residents love being part of the success of the community, and they can be a big help in getting prospects to commit.
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