Wayne Langley

Across the country, census rates for assisted living facilities are seeing declines. Health care and insurance organizations are working ever harder to keep older adults needing assistance with daily living in their homes, where costs of care are lower. Of course, mature adults also like this trend as they get to remain in their home, which creates a perceived “win/win” for both groups.

Once the foundation of retirement communities, assisted living accommodations are continually being downsized, and their space repositioned for apartments, common spaces and other profit centers. However, many communities don’t have the time, money or desire to remodel to meet these changing trends. How do they keep assisted living census high and deliver quality service?

Get your leads from many, varied sources

As the retirement field adjusts to changes in health care, we realize that leads are going to come from an increasingly wider array of sources. The standards of direct mail and print advertising must now be supplemented with digital ads. The decision-makers for those needing assisted living are commonly their adult children, and even their grandchildren. These groups intuitively turn to the digital space for help finding options and making good decisions. If your community isn’t well-represented with an actionable website, and optimized for searches, you are going to miss out on potential leads — guaranteed.

Follow up using the correct medium and in a timely manner

If a potential resident or his or her family has reached out to you asking for more information, act with haste. Provide them with the information they asked for, in the way they requested it, in a timely manner. This means that if someone specifically requested to be emailed information, then respond with an email — don’t pick up the phone right and try to make a hard sell. People are becoming increasingly wary of giving out their personal information online because they don’t want to be on the receiving end of a sales call. Yes, follow up, but do so in the medium with which the prospect is most comfortable.

Retain the residents you have

It’s easy to get tied up in the race to find new residents, moving them in as soon as possible to raise your census. But what about the residents you already obtained? Of course you can’t help when a resident passes away, but you can deal with dissatisfaction among current residents and their families. If they feel they aren’t receiving the care and attention that is needed, or the services provided aren’t up to par, they can and will take their business elsewhere. You must be proactive in engaging with your current residents, finding out what their needs and preferences are and satisfying them. It used to be that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” That’s not the case anymore. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to see diminishing returns by not keeping up with the desires of the market.

Sources

http://www.sbdcnet.org/small-business-research-reports/assisted-living-facilities