In today’s local internet world, prospects are on the lookout for peer reviews of your community. This is happening before you even get to present them your message, before they see your website, and before they come in for a tour.
The way people share their experience with local companies has changed. If you have made a purchase from Amazon.com, peer reviews have most likely influenced your purchase decision. This is now happening with local businesses. The communities taking advantage of this, are grabbing the lion’s share of prospects.
Reviews are extremely powerful. People like to see reviews, they are unbiased, and they rely on them heavily. Prospects get to peer into what life is actually like at your community before doing further investigation. This is becoming a first step in their research.
88% of consumers ‘sometimes or always’ consult reviews before making a purchase - Reevoo, 2012
Having an action oriented review generation program, helps to drive new residents, build credibility, and separates you from competitors on the search engines.
Imagine having 20 or more 5-star rated reviews on the search engines when a prospect does a search for “senior living + your town” and your nearest competitor having just one or two...
Where do reviews show up?
As I just mentioned, reviews show up on the search results. They actually show up in multiple places on the search results. Referral sites are able to show reviews in their paid ads because they represent many communities across the country.
You cannot necessarily do this on an individual community basis, but if you are a corporation that has multiple communities, this is something to investigate.
Reviews appear on the local listings on the search engines as well. You see map listings with the pushpin marker when you do a search for a local business. After 5 reviews, you will get a 5 star rating in yellow, which stands out prominently.
Other places that display reviews.
Other places that display review are local directories such as yellowpages.com and merchantcirle.com.
Then there are senior specific sites like RetirementHomes.com, or SeniorAdvisor.com. These sites not only show up in the search results, but they get traffic on their own. It is a good idea to diversify your review generation efforts, as these sites get their own-targeted visitors, who happen to be your prospects.
Reviews are extremely valuable to senior living communities. The decision for senior living or senior care is local and very emotional. Seeing reviews of the community beforehand helps seniors and adult children make an easier decision.
I leave you with this quote, “As online consumer reviews on their communities grow more prevalent, so will the reviews’ impact on their bottom lines—making them impossible to ignore.” - Alyssa Gerace, May 30, 2013. Senior Living Can’t Ignore Bottom Line Impact of Online Reviews - SeniorHousingNews.com.