Is For-profit or Non-profit Better in Senior Housing?

Is For-profit or Non-profit Better in Senior Housing?

Tug of WarWhat’s better? What’s the senior housing spin?

My mother moved into a not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community. That’s where I started my senior housing career. I sold the not-for-profit status as better and more mission driven than the money grubby for-profits, because that was what all the not-for-profits said and did.

I was naive for three reasons, because later I learned:

  1. A non-profit board that did not understand seniors or senior housing made financial decisions for the entire senior living community.
  2. Most of the profits at the non-profit went towards other ministry work instead of being reinvesting back into the senior community.
  3. A resident was sexual abused by a non-profit staff member, even though every employee professed to be Christian.

Then my senior housing career switched to for-profit. It can be pretty dog-eat-dog aggressive at some companies. It really varies in the senior living industry if the resident is number one or the stockholders are the primary concern. So you better find out before you consider moving there or working there.

If a sales person can’t hit the required sales numbers, you are simply fired at some for-profits. Maybe that’s why so many sales people are impersonal and just want to know if you are ready now? If a senior is not ready now, the sales person has no interest in calling a senior back after they have toured. This is sad, because most seniors need to come back several times before making a decision to move. A relationship needs to be built. 

At for-profit senior living communities, most financial decisions go towards the benefit of the stockholders. But there are some amazing administrators that love, adore and would walk on hot coals for their residents and staff. So resident centered communities can vary by location and not the owner in my opinion.

There are actually two types of for-profits: Those on the stock exchange and boutique communities that are run by families or attentive owners. I am lucky to work for a for-profit that is run by attentive owners. They have the heart of a not-for-profit and are completely resident centered and mission driven.

The communities I represent do something very unique for Continuing Care Retirement Communities. They offer a Guarantee of Care for life, if a resident outlives their resources. Every resident has the same offer, it is not limited to 5 or 10 residents on a good Samaritan fund or foundation. 

Do you agree with my analogies or am I completely off base?  How would you evaluate the differences?

Your Senior Housing Options,” has a simplistic title, but what’s inside this new book can save a you months of research time.  Hear Diane Masson’s interview of how her mother and in-law’s faced the pivotal decision to plan ahead or wait until a crisis.  Learn the pitfalls from transitioning from your home to senior housing.  Understand what questions to ask, insider tips and dirty secrets revealed. For weekly tips join at: Www.Tips2Seniors.com 

Diane Masson has worked in senior housing for 17 years and is the regional marketing director for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern CA (Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet).  Her first book “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” is being utilized by senior housing professionals across the country.  Both her first book and second book, “Your Senior Housing Options,” have a 5-star rating on Amazon.com.

Dead Flowers on Valentine’s Day?

Dead Flowers on Valentine’s Day?

This is the arrangement the next day...

This is the arrangement the next day…

My sweetie didn’t intend to send me dead flowers for Valentine’s Day.  He saw a beautiful arrangement online and had it delivered to my office as a special surprise.  When I opened the box the flowers were closed, dried out, brown on the petal edges and shockingly in no water.  What??!!?  I pulled them out, read the lovely note from husband and put them in water to save them or bring them back to life.  My husband was upset when he saw them and said he never would have ordered them if he had known they would arrive in this condition.  He thought he had ordered flowers from a florist and they would arrive like the picture shown.

This Valentine snafu reminds me of how adult Boomer children select a retirement, assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing community based on the size of the apartment and what the lobby looks like versus the quality of care.  Almost every Boomer child wants the best for his or her parent, but some judge senior living community solely on external appearances.

In multiple states, I have encountered loving caring staff at senior living communities that have not been recently remodeled, with small apartments or don’t have enormous acreage.  It is very challenging to market these properties, but I have witnessed some amazing sales people overcome this dilemma.

They say the best defense is a strong offense.

Here is what one marketer said in Washington state about tired furniture in the lobby: “We don’t have a big brand new building with a lavish lobby entrance but what we do have is a very comfortable loving family atmosphere where our residents are the focus of our care and attention.”

In Utah, a retirement counselor working at an independent retirement community that needed remodeling would say: “We don’t have all the bells and whistles of the community down the street, but we are home to 120 residents and you won’t find friendlier staff or residents any where else.  I encourage you to meet some of the residents of both communities and judge for yourself who is happier.  Then decide where you want your mom to live.”

An assisted living community in California with less community spaces says: “Initially our community seems small but it is so much easier for our senior residents to live here on a day-to-day basis.  It gives the residents a sense of security to know they can navigate the community without getting lost.”

Does your senior living community live up the pictures in your brochure and what the sales people promise?  It’s never good to show a wonderful picture and deliver poor quality, like when I received the dead flowers.  If you don’t have the ideal gorgeous community, you can still be proud of providing the best care and services to your residents.

Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.

 

Getting Ahead of the Curve of Senior Living Attrition

Getting Ahead of the Curve of Senior Living Attrition

Senior Housing MarketingEvery organization approaches goals a little differently.  Some senior living communities set sales and occupancy goals that are never achieved.   Each month and year the occupancy dips a little lower with constant resident attrition.  How do you get ahead of the curve?

Well, someone needs to create a sales and marketing strategic plan for your individual independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care or Continuing Care Retirement Community.  The plan needs to be implemented and every sales person and operational team member needs to be on board.  The focus should be on the simultaneous goals of serving the existing residents and increasing the occupancy with new move-ins.

There are twelve keys that I have developed to increase the occupancy of all types of senior housing.  Some keys can be implemented immediately for quick results and other keys are a process that can take some time to develop and execute.   The bottom line is these twelve keys work and it is my joy to reach 100% occupancy.  Here are the keys in a nutshell; the details are contained in my book called Senior Housing Marketing – How To Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full:

Key 1 – Attitude toward Occupancy – Turn Your Change into Dollars

  • Occupancy-driven Marketing Reports that will Wow Your CFO

Key 2 – Quit Blabbing! Control the Flow of Information

  • Tip: Five Steps to Controlling the Flow of Information
  • Decreasing Apartment Availability
  • Create Urgency for the Wait List

Key 3 – Dare to Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition

  • Keep the Waiting List FULL through Branding

Key 4 – Do You Have Proactive or Reactive Marketing?

  • Effective Follow-Up Inquiry Goals
  • The Typical Behavior of the Average Prospective Resident
  • Follow Up – When and How Much?

Key 5 – Building Value for Your Community – Giving a Wow Experience!

  • “How much does an apartment cost?”
  • Let them push up the price point

Key 6 – Great Events can fill Your Building

  • What is the timing of an effective program?
  • Step-By-Step Event Planner Guidelines

Key 7 – Never Say to the Customer…

  • Use health services words that add value and differentiate you from the competition!

Key 8 – Selling to Personalities

  • Are you selling to their personality type—or yours?

Key 9 – Hard or Soft Closing?

  • Hot Buttons
  • Objections
  • Recognizing Buying Questions
  • Types of Closes
  • Make Urgency!

Key 10 – Internal Customers – no need to worry about them, right? Wrong!

Key 11 – Join the Twenty-first Century with your Website, E-mail Blasts, and Social Media

  • How can you save money building a website?
  • “I just don’t have time to be responsible for social media…”

Key 12 – Media Buying, Public Relations, and Community Relations with a Skinny Piggy Bank

  • Keeping the costs affordable in the marketing plan
  • The magic three to build attendance at an event

Please share your success, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Most recently Masson was recruited to consult for two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.