Her crooked fingers grip the slender paintbrush as she dips it into the water, then again into the pastel blue watercolor, a light scent of spring coming in from the open window. Delphiniums fill the tiny canvas this time, and Francis’s bright eyes follow every stroke as she fills in the petals. The deep lines around her eyes crinkle as she smiles – the clouds outside have parted, and the sunshine across her artwork and her face bring her happiness.
Were you there with Francis?
Could you see her home? Feel her feelings? Imagine what it’s like to live there like her?
This is the art of storytelling, and it is integral to marketing your community and building your waiting list.
Too often, communities get caught up in showing the home not the people. The trick is to remember that families are buying a relationship with the community, not even really buying “elder care,” not buying a safe place to live, and certainly not just filling a vacancy.
One of the best ways to build a relationship before actually meeting your potential resident is by illustrating the people who are already there, residents and caregivers alike.
Take 30 minutes with the marketing team and go back to English Literature class. Have everyone drum up in their minds a touching moment that happened to them at the community. If the marketing team does not have direct contact with residents, task each person with interviewing someone who does, asking them, “What was the most touching moment you had at work this past week?”
Next, have everyone write a short paragraph like the one above to illustrate the people involved in that inspiring moment. The trick is to write in the present tense, as though we are watching it happen right now, and to use as much detail as possible: texture, light, scent, emotion, sound.
Now, read to the residents involved in these magical moments what the marketing team wrote about them, and ask them how they felt at that time. Write down their responses – they will not only be heartwarming but will also be the best testimonials you will have ever gathered.
Ta da! You had a transformational experience with your staff and residents, plus you have vibrant stories and vivid testimonials to take to market. With this approach, your community will truly stand out from the competition and the waiting list will grow.