Occupancy in senior living (independent living, assisted living and memory care) communities is stabilizing, according to the results of a recent study by software company WelcomeHome.

The Atlanta-based software company analyzed data from the more than 1,500 senior living communities it serves. The top 25% of communities surveyed had achieved 92% or greater occupancy in the first quarter.

“Overall, the data collected from Q1 illustrates a continued return to pre-pandemic performance and highlights a possible opportunity to boost conversions of lost leads with a stronger strategy and vetting,” the company said in a press release.   

Average occupancy across the industry in the first quarter, analysis results indicated, remained consistent across service/care types, with slight declines in independent living. Assisted living occupancy increased 0.5% in the first quarter, and memory care increased 0.2%, whereas independent living occupancy decreased 0.2%.

Independent living, “driven by an inherently discretionary decision, softened as concerns over the economy increased,” the report noted.

The Northwest, West and Midwest regions of the country saw gains in occupancy, whereas the South declined by 0.5%.

New leads increased slightly to an average of 43 per community in the first quarter, compared with 34 in December 2022. New leads that led to tours remained consistent, at 26% of all leads. Tours leading to move-ins dropped from 36% of all tours in December 2022 to an average of 28% in the first quarter. The rate of new leads that eventually became move-ins dropped from 9.4% of new leads in December 2022 to an average of 7.3% in the first quarter.

“Depressed lead-to-move-in was driven by a drop in tour-to-move-in conversions as communities struggle to increase move-ins proportionally with increased lead volume,” WelcomeHome said.

Communities continue to rely on aggregator and online leads, according to the company, but leads that do not lead to move-in appear to represent people who are shifting preferences from aggregator features such as competition and the inability to contact prospects—toward financial and location motivators.