Foresee the Future of Your Funeral Home with the Funeral Futurist
Robin Heppell will be the first to admit that the funeral business is unique. As a fourth generation funeral director with 30 years of experience, he knows first-hand that the marketing and management challenges today’s directors and owners face aren’t always like those of your mainstream corporate counterparts. He understands that even though death is inevitable for everyone, you can’t always predict the future of the deathcare profession. That is, unless you’re the Funeral Futurist.
Ahead of the cremation curve
More than 100 years ago, Heppell’s great-grandfather opened Egan Funeral Home, located just outside of Toronto. Ownership passed to Heppell’s maternal grandfather, and then to his uncle. Since Heppell lived in Victoria, BC, most summer vacations were spent across the continent working in the family funeral home.
The experience Heppell gained helped him earn a position at a local funeral home after his high school graduation. With McCall Brothers Funeral Directors in Victoria (now McCall Gardens Funeral and Cremation Services), he worked his way up from washing cars to embalming and assisting families. He earned his CFSP and became a Certified Celebrant and Certified Crematory Operator — the latter by necessity.
“At the time, the cremation rate [in Victoria] was 65%,” Heppell recalls. “We were conducting around 800 calls per year. We were getting phone calls from funeral homes all over North America asking how we were dealing with the high cremation rate. It was like we were living in the future compared to the continent.”
The writing on the wall
Cremation wasn’t the only “futuristic” feat Heppell experienced at McCall. When the idea of preneed first started to pick up steam, Heppell began offering local families the NSM Plan (now Selected Independent) with Monumental Life. He became the plan’s number one salesperson, eventually building a multimillion-dollar preneed program for the funeral home.
The program he created was so successful and performed so efficiently, in fact, that he felt the best thing he could do for McCall was quit.
“The system that I created was so solid that they would be more profitable without me,” he says. His new freedom, coupled with his inherent gift for implementing processes and foreseeing the future of the funeral service, led him to his next chapter in life.
“I went back to school and earned my business degree in entrepreneurial management,” Heppell explains. “I needed some proven frameworks that I could apply my funeral experience to present to funeral service.”
Heppell soon began sharing his education and experience with fellow funeral directors. He found that different professionals had different needs. Thus, he started offering his marketing and strategy consulting services at three basic levels: DIY, full-service, and a hybrid option.
And just like that, the Funeral Futurist was born.
Foreseeing the future of funerals
Today, Robin Heppell, the Funeral Futurist, still provides clients three distinct, yet complementary, services. With each option, you’ll experience top-of-the-line benefits and collaborative interaction. Both will help your funeral home stay forward-thinking and ahead of the curve.
If you prefer a simple do-it-yourself approach to managing your business challenges, Funeral Gurus is for you. Funeral Gurus is a membership-based website that gives you access to a broad group of funeral professionals. Reaching well beyond your local association and study group, you can use Funeral Gurus to gain valuable insight from your peers via an easy-to-use forum. The platform includes Heppell’s recorded and live training presentations. Also, members earn free CEUs for CFSP designations and funeral licenses (in regions which accept live online presentations).
With his Funeral Boardroom offering, Heppell allows members to “pick his brain” through private one-on-one consultations. As Heppell describes it, Funeral Boardroom is for owners who “want an outside voice that they can talk to, bounce ideas off of, or vent frustrations” and then “roll up their sleeves and get tasks done.” With this level of service, you can leverage Heppell’s expertise to meet your profitability goals or tackle issues with marketing, staffing, preneed, cremation, and more. Heppell’s Boardroom services are available on a retainer or an as-needed basis.
Long before the rest of the industry had heard the words SEM, SEO, YouTube, or even MySpace, Robin Heppell was applying the latest trends in online technology to boost his funeral business. Now he’s ready to put his expertise to work for you through Funeral Results Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency that focuses 100% on the funeral business. With Funeral Results Marketing, Heppell and his team offer completely customized, fully-independent, revenue-producing websites. They also offer Google Ads management, search engine optimization, and much more. Best of all, he guarantees these services.
See the future of your funeral home
Robin Heppell still has his funeral director’s license and still works with families to plan funeral arrangements. In addition, he’s in constant contact with his Funeral Gurus, Funeral Boardroom, and Funeral Results Marketing clients. This gives Heppell a holistic, timely, and personal view of not only families’ concerns, but also those of funeral professionals.
Heppell and his team are eager to put that expertise to work for your funeral home or cremation service. Right now, you can test out each of his platforms with a complimentary SEO website audit, a free training, or a personal discussion with Heppell to discuss your organization’s most pressing issue. To see the future of your funeral home today, reach out to the Funeral Futurist here or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.