It has been overwhelming for many senior living operators throughout the COVID pandemic to simply manage the day to day of operations. So much effort and focus has been rightfully so, focused on resident health and safety.
According to Keiser Health News, there has been a reluctance of seniors eligible for senior housing to inquire about living in these communities. COVID has raised many concerns for seniors 65 and older. Inquiries are down 22% and tours are down 45%, and actual move ins are down 28% according to enquire. This is not surprising but is concerning for senior living operators.
As most residents have now been vaccinated, or have had the opportunity to do so, many operations are turning their sights on the future and what that looks like going forward. One thing is certain, resident families and potential new residents are going to be scrutinizing the places they choose for their family members with a more critical eye than ever before. Marketing will be critical. Are you ready? What is your marketing plan to improve census? What is it that will convince potential seniors to choose your residence?
Five things to consider:
The first thing to consider is your reputation in the community. What do the current resident families say when they are asked about your operation? If the answer to this question is “I do not know”, you should. Your current resident families will not hesitate to give their opinion of your operation. What impacts their opinion? Appearance, quality, competence, and empathy.
When you drive up to your building what does it say about the way you run your building? When someone calls on the phone, what kind of reception does the caller encounter? Do they get a person or a message machine? When someone visits your website, what do they experience? When a family takes a tour, what is the perception they leave with?
When a visitor enters a building, are they met with a process that speaks to the attention to detail they expect? Is there a sign in process, is it digital? Is there a temperature check? Is there someone there at all times to greet guests? Is the badge process automated? These few little things say a lot about what your culture is in your organization, and your attention to detail.
Does everyone from the front desk, clinical staff, kitchen staff, housekeeping, say hello to residents and visitors? Do you as a leader make sure to know when tours are, and make the effort to say hello? Better yet, do you make yourself part of the agenda of a prospective family tour?
Smiling staff goes a long way to defining culture. The welcome and a smile can make a huge difference and is easy to implement.
Having a process to follow up with prospects is important. Every interaction is an opportunity to learn about how we can improve our process.
Things to consider:
We may not be able to control people’s nervousness about COVID, and what that means when choosing a home for a loved one, but we can control and move ourselves to the top of the list for consideration if we keep our processes focused on the resident experience.
The census numbers will rise again, and there is evidence that is already happening. The best thing you can do is to be ready to shine when potential residents and their family members come to tour your operation.
At PRIME Services we are in constant communication with the companies that can help you in your quest to provide the highest quality products and services. It would be our pleasure to help you stand out from the crowd.
The PRIME Services Team