Choosing a living option for an aging family member can be a daunting task for many families. They often feel overwhelmed, scared or nervous about the changes ahead. Many families are not sure where to turn to help answer their questions or provide them the resources to make an informed decision. These are the moments where A Place for Mom Senior Living Advisors (SLAs) can comfort, uplift, encourage and empower these families – as they answer their questions and provide them with the information they need. This is their calling.
We interviewed three Senior Living Advisors to share with you the many ways they are assisting families every day on your behalf.
“In my humble opinion, being an SLA is not a job. It’s a calling. It is very rewarding to help seniors and work with great people at our partner communities, many who have become close friends during my 10-year plus tenure” Paul, Senior Living Advisor
PREPARATION FOR A SUCCESSFUL REFERRAL
Prior to joining A Place for Mom, many of our SLAs have worked in a profession related to helping seniors and/or caregivers of seniors, and understand the delicate nature of what a family is going through. They have an average of 11 year and 3 months of experience, and 57% of them have previously worked at a senior living community. Our SLAs also receive extensive training before ever talking to a family, and the biggest advantage is they work and live in the communities they serve. Their training includes learning about each partner community where they visit with the senior living providers a few times a year, join sales calls to hear about special promotions or learn unique features for each individual partner. Their understanding of the senior living industry and partners in the community provide them with the tools for success when communicating with families.
THEY SPIN A LOT OF PLATES
The bulk of the day is spent answering calls with new families, responding to emails with existing families and partners, or attending meetings. The bulk of our SLAs time is spent working with families to educate them on the options and benefits of moving into our partner communities. They listen to each family story and situation, answer questions, provide education, discuss options and be a helpful resource to families in their senior living decision. They also aim to qualify those families, including asking questions around financing, care needs, timing or special interests that can help our partners connect directly with those families. Each day takes a unique direction, and offers special challenges and new opportunity to help families, book tours and work with partners for move-in’s and ultimately bringing a senior to a safer situation and a new life.
“As I start the computer each day and wait for it to come up I say a short devotional to help the families and my coworkers, just to remind me of how thankful I am to help others. I also reflect on where my goal for the month is and what I need to do to accomplish it.” Karen, Senior Living Advisor
There are days where they might receive an urgent call, like when Paul talked to the family of Mary, an 89-year old senior with dementia who needed immediate placement because her caregiver husband became ill and no one was able to take care of her. Situations like this become priority and we work hard finding her the ideal partner so she can move in immediately.
A Place for Mom SLAs aim to meet with partners in person to tour each property, learn about what sets your community a part, and on occasion attend regional sales calls to stay up-to-date on the partner communities they serve. The benefits of this partnership with the communities really helps our SLAs to sell your community when talking with families.
Through a recent partner visit, Karen was able to learn the reason why this partner was more expensive than others was because they have a doctor on staff and only hire CNAs as caregivers. And that the meals and snacks were made according to what the individual resident wanted or needed. Using this information, and the pictures she had taken, she shared with other SLAs and was able to send them a referral within days.
We communicate regularly with our partners about monthly incentives or special events they have to communicate creative solutions to family needs. Continuing communication typically results in that extra piece of information that could seal the deal, including financing, care needs or special interest.
Paul recently had a family who’s loved one needed both feeding tube and wound care. He worked closely with a partner who was able to help with the assistance of a third party provider and the senior was able to move in within a few days.
Another partner Paul worked with found a way to allow a prospective residents 55-pound dog stay with his owner, and another partner arranged to have a wall knocked out between two singular suites so a couple could share a common unit. These special requests were only possible because of the relationships we have with our partners and the ultimate goal we share to help families.
A Place for Mom SLAs love to schedule tours with families for our partner network, and to provide tour feedback to the sales leaders on how the family felt after the tour. As consumer preferences change, they are adapting to consumer behavior by calling, emailing or even texting families to and sending referral alert updates to communities as we learn more information about the family needs to help you close the deal.
“It is exciting and exhilarating when a family calls you an angel or an answer to prayer. We feel that we are doing work that is meaningful and work that makes a difference. We love working together with our partners to help a family make a great decision and be able to celebrate together when a move happens!” Kitty, Senior Living Advisor
Our SLAs are striving each and every day to exceed their sales quotas in hopes of referring more families to you. Helping families find the right senior living option for them is the heart of what makes our SLAs so special.