Good News! Study Shows Positive Consumer Reviews Can Double Move Rates For Senior Living Providers
In fall of 2013, SeniorAdvisor.com conducted a pilot with A Place For Mom (APFM), the nation’s largest senior living referral service, to determine the business impact online reviews have on consumer behavior when it comes to choosing senior living communities. The results are quite powerful, and lend themselves toward some predictions the senior living industry can’t afford to ignore.
The Study: How does access to consumer reviews affect a family’s decision-making process when researching senior care?
When a customer calls APFM, he or she is connected with a Senior Living Advisor local to their area to help them find senior care for themselves or a loved one based on their needs and budget. After speaking with the family, the APFM Advisor sends them a referral email with several properties as possible options. Prior to the study, these referral emails contained contact and location information for each of the properties matching the resident’s care needs and budget requirements.
As part of the study, APFM began including ratings and reviews from SeniorAdvisor.com in these referral emails. The study was launched last fall in two test regions on the southwest and southeast of the country, before expanding to half of the US. In addition to contact and location information, the referral emails in the test regions included the overall star rating and a recent review for the property from SeniorAdvisor.com; the letters in the non-test regions did not.
The Results: Online reviews strongly influence the purchase behavior of consumers looking for senior care.
By the end of Q1 in 2014, the results were clear: there is a striking correlation between a community’s consumer-provided star rating and its move-ins. The data from the study suggests:
- A 5-star rated community is over 100% more likely to get a move than a community with no ratings or reviews.
- On average, communities with any rating at all had higher move rates than those without, suggesting that consumers have more confidence in communities with reviews.
- Additionally, consumers exposed to community reviews were 74% more likely to schedule a tour of 4- and 5-star properties, than those who were not provided community feedback at all.
- Including the reviews and ratings in the APFM referral emails has already resulted in a 7-10% increase in overall move rates for APFM partners.
- Based on the overwhelming success of the study, APFM and SeniorAdvisor.com expanded the initiative into all remaining markets across the US in April, so all families will now see ratings and reviews alongside their referred providers.
Having Positive Online Reviews Generates More Tours, More Moves, and More Revenue For Your Senior Living Community
This study shows that communities who deliver excellent service, encourage their residents to review, and manage their online reputations have a distinct advantage over their competitors. Families feel more confident about their senior care choices if they’ve read about others’ positive experiences online. As a result, families who have already read online reviews of your community before coming to tour are more qualified, better leads than those who haven’t. Additionally, online reviews, by virtue of being on the internet, reach exponentially more potential customers than simple word-of-mouth. In short, reviews are good for business.