A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors (SLA) are responsible for qualifying and referring families, but a job that sounds simple at first can be very complex once you look at all of the facets of the job and what it takes to be an effective Advisor.
A typical SLA’s day centers around their “warm transfer” shift, which can cover any four hour block between the hours of 8:00 am to 9:00 pm local time, seven days per week. “Typically we are “on call” for those four hours; scheduled and ready for that warm transfer, but we email and make short partner calls that we can jump off of should a family call come through, “ explains Trish Bossow, an SLA with APFM’s Great Plains region. “We love to hear that “ping” [an alert that means a family is waiting for them] and are ready to help another family!” Outside of their warm transfer time, SLAs spend much of the rest of their day responding to emails and voicemails from both partner communities and families.
“Multi-tasking Is Essential”
An SLA’s focus is constantly evolving; the SLA is typing an email response to a partner one moment and speaking with an emotional family member the next. Trish also points out that there is much more that goes into working with a family than just qualification. “I typically am emailing as I am talking to the family, sharing VA benefits, medication dispensing options, Life Alert pendant info, etc.” SLAs act as a major resource for seniors, so it is crucial that they have accurate information about our partners to share with the family.
The APFM Customer Experience Team helps to collect that information by promoting Partner Central, which is our partner website that allows communities to share information about their offerings. Trish takes it one step further to support those efforts: “We have an internal profile that is critical to us sharing with the families, so if I see a bare profile, I email out a flyer that shares all about Partner Central and how to update things so we can pass on to the families what makes them unique.”
A True Partnership
SLAs also have to be mindful that they need to get the family their list of options in a timely manner so our partners are introduced to new families as quickly as possible. “Over the last 7+ years, I have learned to value my partners’ time more than ever because a good tour can take well into 2 hours,” Trish points out. “When we are assessing the family, it is our job to fine-tune the search with the specifics of what is going on to determine what would be a good fit so to not waste our partner’s precious time.” It’s a balancing act; the SLA is a resource for the family, but SLAs also recognize that no one sells a community better than its own marketing director. It’s important to refer to partners while the family is most excited and motivated to explore their options.
The day-to-day of being a Senior Living Advisor is hectic and complicated, but Trish loves her job and appreciates the people who help her do it well. “It’s a small circle in the industry so we end up getting to know each other over the years. Our ultimate mission is to make sure our partners know that we can’t do this without them and we are here to do our part to get the family the help they need. I treasure my partners more and more as the years go on and they know it! There is nothing better than a great working relationship with a partner where we can truly help the family together.”