Growing Knowledge to Gain Leads Part 1: Utilizing Virtual Mystery Shopping Calls

Telephone Icon

Sep 9, 2020 | Market Research

Even though 2020 has been filled with uncertainty and upended many things about life as we know it, it’s comforting that there are still some certainties we can cling to. The sun will rise in the east and set in the west. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. And, for senior living communities, new leads are always needed in order to keep occupancy rates high. But what does that look like in the post-COVID era? What new techniques (or adaptations of old ones) can you successfully use to keep your pipeline filled?

“Now, more than ever, senior living community operators need to make sure their sales teams are doing a great job with telephone and online interactions,” says Malissa Illiano, Vice President of Market Research at SageAge Strategies. “Since most communities cannot yet have visitors, the information you share over email and telephone has to work harder than ever. It’s essential that your salespeople are doing an exceptional job.”

Even though there is a lot to think about right now with regards to resident safety and health, says Malissa, it’s important to have confidence that your sales team knows how to drive the “health” of your organization. One of the best ways to do this? Performing what’s known as “mystery shops.”

“Mystery shopping experiences allow you to find out what type of experience your leads are having throughout the sales journey,” says Malissa. “This is extremely beneficial because it allows you to discover if your sales team is being consistent, if your community is being presented in the way you want it to and so on.” It also highlights opportunities to improve the experience for your leads so you can increase your conversion rate.

“Mystery shopping via telephone is still an effective and proven tactic for senior living operators and is highly beneficial now as we are going through the pandemic,” says Malissa. “This is a great alternative to face-to-face and can help an operator to see how responsive the sales team is and how they are handling leads as they come in. The information gathered can be used to help the team learn the best way to advance the sale and handle new leads in their pipeline.”


Making the Call with SageAge Strategies

Since SageAge Strategies knows and intimately understands the senior living industry, we have a leg up on other market research companies when it comes to evaluating sales teams. We take our knowledge of best practices and our more than 30 years of working side-by-side with our client-partners to run mystery shops that will drive success moving forward.

Our telephone shops start with an online inquiry, and then see how the experience plays out. Our Mystery Shoppers document, from the ease of contact and timeliness of response to interactions, experiences with salespeople and the quality of follow-up. Once all mystery shops are completed, we provide a written narrative describing the call experience. We also provide a rating form that scores the sales person in various areas, so that improvement can easily be monitored.

But you don’t have to stop there. “You can also assess your competition through mystery shops, too,” says Malissa. “It’s a great opportunity to see how your sales team stacks up against theirs, and can also provide you with an insider’s look at incentives or discounts they may currently be offering to fill their building.”

If competitive mystery shops are completed, SageAge provides a rating form to rank your community among your key competition and a competitor spreadsheet to easily compare rates and other variables.

Knowledge is definitely power – and mystery shopping services gives you the power and ammo you need to get ahead of your competition.


SageAge Strategies is a multiple-award-winning, strategic growth, marketing and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace. For more information, please call or email Melinda Schmitz at (816) 349-0464 or [email protected]. You can also visit us on our website at

Contact Us Today!

Senior Living Social Media 101

There’s a lot to know about senior living social media. From choosing a community’s social media platforms to implementing content marketing strategies and more, it can feel overwhelming to even the most seasoned social media gurus. What’s more, according to the Pew...

How To Develop a Senior Living Marketing Plan

What Is a Senior Living Marketing Plan? A marketing plan is also regarded as an advertising strategy that a company, in this case a retirement community, will implement to help them achieve (or exceed) their operational goals and marketing initiatives for a set period...

40 Years and 40 Pieces of Sage Advice

2023 has been a year full of new ideas, growth, and planning for the future. At SageAge, 2023 brings a significant milestone for our company – our 40th anniversary. In honor of our 40 years of delivering strategic marketing and business growth strategies to the senior...

The Best Senior Living CRM: Three Experts Weigh In

Looking to end your days of manually entering customer data in Excel? If so, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool is the perfect choice. Three of our senior living industry experts are weighing in on everything you need to know about CRM. Meet the SageAge...

How To Generate Leads for Senior Living Communities

Are you looking for ways to spark robust lead generation through your senior living marketing strategy? With the right team on your side and the right approach, it might be easier than you think. Check out some of these top ways to generate senior living leads through...

Senior Living SEO: 7 Tactics That Work

Want to discover a cost-effective way to provide value to others while enhancing your senior living strategy? Through Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, you can do just that.  What Is SEO? SEO is about improving your website’s visibility to search engines, increasing...

The Importance of Responding to Online Reviews

Did you know: 95% of people consult reviews before purchasing products or services. 88% of consumers are likely to use a business if they can see the business owner responds to all reviews, whether positive or negative. 87% of consumers used Google to evaluate local...

What Are the Housing Restrictions for Facebook and PPC?

As we know, technology is always changing and adapting. It’s something many of those in the senior housing and marketing fields are used to. One of the most recent changes is making a larger impact on how we target ad audiences on Facebook and through pay-per-click...

The Rise of Senior Living Occupancy

As COVID-19 created a landscape of uncertainty in senior living facilities, experts knew there would be challenges and effects that lasted long after. Although the pandemic continues, many types of senior living communities and care facilities, like continuing care...

4 Ways TikTok Is Redefining Senior Living Social Media

Whether you’ve heard about it, tried it out, or use it regularly, TikTok is taking the world by storm. This social media platform, which focuses on short-form video, is seemingly on everyone’s mind in one sense or another, and more often than not, people are following...
Share This