A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors and Partner Services Managers drove 90,000 miles in 2014 to call on our partner communities. We call these “Partner Knowledge Visits (PKV).” At APFM, we believe that our emphasis on “local” makes a difference. When our Advisors go out on PKVs, they are collecting information, providing customer service, and taking note of each property’s offerings. There is so much that you can’t tell from a brochure and we want to make sure that we can discuss your unique features, services, and amenities with families and be seen at experts because we have firsthand knowledge of your community.
An Objective Eye
While most communities are visited by APFM Senior Living Advisors and Partner Services Managers, corporate employees also go on PKVs to stay in touch with our partner communities and attempt to see as much variation in the Senior Living industry as they can. Hosting a visitor from within the industry is quite different from hosting a family that may not have any experience with Senior Living. When Mary Mason, Washington Partner Liaison with APFM, visits a community, she isn’t thinking about a vulnerable family member or finding the best new home for someone; she is looking objectively and comparing it to similar communities that she has seen.
“I am paying attention with every sense that I have to try to confirm for our peace of mind and the peace of mind of the families we refer. You can tell a lot the first time you walk through the door. Do you smell things like fragrance diffusers or delicious-smelling food? Most of the properties I tour do have those lovely welcoming aromas that give me a belief right off the bat that this is a clean, well maintained property and the food is well prepared,” says Mary.
The Senior Living Advisors spend most of their time on the phones talking to families and working on referrals with partners, which means that it’s a challenge for every Advisor in every region to see every partner each year. We rely on our team members to ask great questions and share the information they’ve learned on PKVs so we can all stay up-to-date on our partners. “The information I am gathering really helps to differentiate communities,” Mary points out. “We work together to match the right senior up to the right property so it’s a win-win for the property and the family and a win for APFM.”
The Importance of Face Time
We also believe that it is important to check in with you face-to-face to make sure that our partnership is running smoothly. “I love calling on our properties and finding out if we are doing a good job. Are we supporting you in ways to make you a good happy customer? Are we sending you good qualified referrals? I am always sure to ask those kinds of questions.” She then shares our partner’s feedback and her own observations with the Regional Manager and Senior Living Advisors in the area, who use that information to provide better service to our partners and families.
Despite the fact that Mary visited dozens of communities last year, she is still surprised and delighted by the individual touches at our partner communities. From world class chefs to unique and exciting activities, our partners truly represent some of the best the Senior Living industry has to offer. “I left one community in tears; I went out to my car and I cried. The marketing manager was so wonderful; she so clearly loves every one of her residents. I am sure their collateral says ‘we treat our residents like family,’ but that sentence doesn’t fully convey the love I saw.”