One thing living through a global pandemic has taught us is that virtual events are never as good as the real thing. This has rung true for everything from online workout classes to birthday parties. And virtual tours of child care centers are no exception.
Virtual tours can be frustrating for families and child care providers alike and add another layer of difficulty to enrolling families. But with a little preparation and a good plan, you can host a successful virtual tour that will get families to enroll quickly!
Before getting started:
- Make sure your internet connection is good. This may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating. A strong internet connection ensures clear communication and minimizes interruptions.
- Don’t forget to send your virtual link to the family. You can use Facetime or Google Duo, but also consider using Zoom -- almost all parents are used to Zoom now, and it’s free.
During the tour:
- Introduce yourself, and spend some quality time with the family getting to know them. Just as you would in person, be a personable and welcoming host. And don’t forget to ask a parent what they’re most excited or nervous about in sending their child to a program. Getting this information up front will help you navigate the tour, and answer family’s questions or calm their nerves along the way.
- Wear a mask around staff and children. This shows the prospective family that you take health and safety seriously.
- Introduce their child’s potential teachers. Stop by the classrooms and let the teachers say hi! Parents love to learn more about the individuals who will be caring for and educating their children.
- Talk extensively about your health and safety protocols. COVID has most families on edge. How will you handle COVID-19 cases? How do you handle regular colds for children and staff? How often are you cleaning?
- Engage with the prospective family. Be sure to ask a lot of questions as you’re walking through your program, and try not to do all of the talking.
- Be mindful of the camera. Shaky camerawork can be distracting and make it hard for families to follow along.
- Follow up immediately. The follow up is so important. Send photos, more information about teachers, and a pre-recording of your program so that they can “come back” to your center even after the virtual tour is over, and revisit details about your program to help them make the decision to enroll. And don’t be afraid to push a family forward and create a sense of urgency. End the tour or follow up email with one of these two phrases:
"Should I hold this seat for you, or open it up to the next family on our waitlist?”
“Would you like to join our waitlist to be the first to hear about future open spots?”
With LegUp, families receive automatic reminders after they tour asking if they’re ready to enroll or join the waitlist, and we encourage them to take action in the next 48 hours. If the family is ready, they can join your waitlist in less than a minute, or you can send seat registration paperwork and receive your registration fee immediately. Schedule a demo to see how it works!