Lead generation vendors generate fewer or less desirable leads for senior living communities than internal efforts at the communities, according to 81% of respondents to a recently published survey.

Thirteen percent of participants in the CFO Hotline poll conducted by specialty bank Ziegler said the vendors generate a similar amount of leads as their communities’ internal efforts, and 6% said that vendors generally exceed internal efforts.

Less than 20% of survey participants said their communities occasionally or regularly use national lead-generation vendors to obtain prospects. Half of the respondents said they occasionally or regularly rely on local, independent consultants to get leads. Others depend on internal efforts to boost move-ins, including referrals from other facilities, the community, residents and family members; digital and print marketing and advertising; and events.

The 150 senior living chief financial officers and financial professionals from around the country participating in the poll were predominantly (98%) from not-for-profit organizations. Eighty-two percent said they worked at continuing care retirement communities, whereas 5.3% of the communities represented were primarily assisted living and 9.3% were mainly skilled nursing. Companies were almost evenly split between single-site (51%) and multi-site (49%) locations.

Linda Bendixen, a research assistant at Ziegler, said the relatively low use of lead-generation vendors reported in the survey was not surprising given that most of the survey respondents worked at CCRCs, “who are less heavily focused on healthcare than perhaps other skilled nursing or assisted living providers.”

Low quality of leads was the chief complaint of respondents related to lead-generation vendors, cited by 40 people — more than half of those who commented on the topic. Other issues perceived by poll participants were vendors’ lack of knowledge about or understanding of the community; vendors’ sending of leads to all providers in a region, meaning that customers received a “barrage” of calls; and vendors’ providing of leads that already were in a provider’s internal database.

See all survey results on Ziegler’s website.