Sales & Occupancy Track

Uncover solutions to the occupancy challenge by diving deep into the data to identify sales metrics that matter, and new ideas that promote a salient sales culture. Track sponsored by:

Did You Know?

88.3% occupancy

 rate of senior housing properties reported in Q1 of 2018 a six-year low.


of leads are lost over the phone, because of lack of rapport.


of sales counselors talk more than 70% of the time during a prospecting call.

  • Mary Dewling

    on Sales Activities that Produce Outcomes

  • Fara Gold

    on Scaling for Growth

  • Debbie Howard

    on Innovative Ways to Increase Occupancy

  • Carlene Motto

    Innovative Ways to Increase Occupancy

  • Lana Peck

    on the State of Occupancy

  • Rob Poyas

    on the State of Occupancy

  • Jason Rock

    on the State of Occupancy

  • David Smith

    on Sales Activities that Produce Outcomes

  • Les Strech

    on Innovative Ways to Increase Occupancy

Attendees will hear from leading subject matter experts on:

  • Motivating and leveraging sales superstars
  • Identifying sales metrics that matter
  • Promoting a salient, company-wide sales culture

Sales & Occupancy Sessions at a Glance | November 9, 2018


Networking Breakfast (7:45 - 8:30 AM)

Dee Ann Turner

Keynote Presentation (8:30 - 9:30 AM)

It's My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture

Speaker: Dee Ann Turner

Dee Ann Turner, Vice President of Sustainability for Chick-fil-A Inc. and Corporate Talent Expert, works globally with organizations who want to grow talent management practices, transform and strengthen culture, and develop an "It’s My Pleasure" service model. She will share with attendees more than 30 years of experience hiring and developing talent and transforming organizational culture.

Session sponsored by:

The State of Occupancy (9:45 - 10:30 AM)

Seniors living occupancy fell to a six-year low in the first quarter of 2018. In this session, you will hear from experts on occupancy trends, internal and external forces driving this historical low occupancy, and better predict future occupancy levels.

  • Lana Peck, Senior Principal, National Investment Center
  • Rob Poyas, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Five Star Senior Living


Innovative Ways to Increase Occupancy (10:30 - 11:45 AM)

Taking a careful look at your occupancy rates can give you a lot of insight and information regarding your corporate culture, operations, and sales and marketing efforts. If your occupancy rate isn’t what you think it should be, some changes may be in order. Panelists of this session will explore better coordination techniques between ED, clinical, operations, and sales. They will review the resident experience and new messaging opportunities and techniques.

  • Debbie Howard, CEO, Senior Living SMART
  • Carlene Motto, Executive VP of Sales, Belmont Village Senior Living
  • Les Strech, President, Thrive Senior Living
Lynne Katzmann, Founder and President of Juniper Communities

Lunch and Keynote Presentation (12:00 - 1:15 PM)

Culture: A Company’s DNA, Heart and Soul and Distinction

Keynote Speaker: Lynne Katzmann

In this engaging presentation, Lynne Katzmann, founder and president of Juniper Communities, details how the company built its unique culture and how that became central to its mission and success. The session concludes with key insights we all can use to create a positive culture and let that propel us personally and professionally.

Sales Activities that Produce Outcomes (1:30 - 2:30 PM)

In this session, we will explore the relationship between what an organization measures and its overall sales performance. By examining the data gleaned from a Promatura study of a large sub-set of senior housing sales consultants, we will present a set of evidence-based predictive sales behavior which, when applied on a consistent basis, improve conversion ratios. With decades of experience in owning, operating and selling in a senior housing environment, David Smith and co-presenter will encourage participants to re-evaluate their current data behaviors and demonstrate how easily operators can flip their scoreboard and encourage sales teams to act on behavior that is scientifically proven to increase sales.

  • David A. Smith, Founder/Owner, The Gatesworth Communities and Sherpa
  • Jason Rock, VP of Sales and Marketing, Allegro Senior Living


Scaling for Growth: Customizing a Sales Specialist Role for Immediate Impact (2:30 - 3:45 PM)

Learn how to identify, leverage, and motivate a Sales Super Star to support occupancy challenged communities, while maintaining their own community occupancy.  Helpful tips for communicating the Sales Specialists role to the area, region, and community team.  Learn what may motivate one leader, may not motivate another.  Create and tie realistic, yet aggressive sales and move-in goals to specific metrics for performance and additional bonus rewards.

  • Mary Dewling, VP of Sales, Benchmark
  • Fara Gold, VP of Sales, Symphony Senior Living


Open Discussion and Q&A (3:45 – 4:00 PM)

Get to Know Symposium Speaker Les Strech

Disrupting the Message With Thrive Senior Living


Thrive Senior Living recently unveiled a brand-new advertising campaign intended to disrupt messaging in the senior living industry. The campaign, ‘Playing Favorites,’ uses tongue-in-cheek humor as a way to differentiate the Thrive brand.

“Most consumers are inundated with images of elderly hands and promises of great care,” said Jeramy Ragsdale, CEO of Thrive Senior Living. “Consumers told us that none of the messages stand out from the others, so we decided to break through the clutter.”

The campaign caters to the decision-making adult children and caregivers of older adults and uses a seldom seen disruptive approach to get the message across: “Dad hasn’t decided who will get his mint condition 1954 pickup. Steer the odds in your favor” and “Thrive won’t hurt your chances at getting the Tiffany lamp you and your sister both want.”

“We find [laughter] is often the best medicine to help families get through the difficult season of transition,” said Ragsdale. “Humor disarms people and softens tough conversations.”

Thrive conducted focus groups prior to introducing this new messaging and since its launch, the ads themselves have received acclaim from the company’s residents and families. In the end, Thrive hopes that as consumers are considering senior living options, these ads stand out and serve as ‘anchors,’ providing insight into the company’s culture and personality.

“Great care is no longer a differentiator in this industry—it’s just a ticket to the game,” said Ragsdale. “For us, great care is an outcome of meaningful relationships between our team members and our residents. Drawing attention to that message was our goal.”

Join us at the Argentum Senior Living Symposium November 9 to learn more from the president of Thrive Senior Living, Les Strech, on this non-traditional approach to building new and meaningful relationships with residents and their families.

“Our new campaign intentionally crosses a line and illustrates our non-traditional approach,” said Strech in a company press release. “While we can grow gardenias and bake a killer cupcake with the best of them, this campaign illustrates our commitment to our residents’ greater wellbeing and sense of purpose.”

Drive Revenue with Senior Living Sales Training

Refocus your invaluable onboarding efforts on skills development, in depth sales execution training, case studies, and competitive differentiators through the Argentum Senior Living Sales Counselor Certificate Program.

Thank You Program Volunteers

Thank you to the following members of the Argentum Sales and Marketing Executive Roundtable for your time and expertise in the development of the Senior Living Symposium Sales & Occupancy Track.

  • Fara Gold, VP of Sales, Symphony Senior Living
  • Kelly Harms, Regional Sales Manager, Brightview Senior Living
  • Jason Rock, VP Sales & Marketing, Allegro Senior Living
  • Kristy Ruppe Craddock, SVP of Sales and Marketing, Commonwealth Senior Living
  • Debi Thomas, Divisional VP Sales & Marketing, Legend Senior Living

Event Sponsors