As the number of older adults who require long-term care and senior living accommodations continues to rise, more families are searching online for options for their loved one, including ratings and reviews, and in addition to seeking input from friends and family. And the importance of understanding what families are searching for and what they care about becomes even more important.
In 2018, A Place for Mom launched our Real-Time Tour Feedback (RTTF) program to help communities improve their tour experience. We listened to how families responded to communities and sales teams to capture authentic feedback. This feedback has helped us uncover what’s most important to families throughout their decision-making process, and empower our community customers with the ability to make necessary pivots to meet consumer demand. To learn more about our Real-Time Tour Feedback Program, click here.
In July 2019, we continued the discussion, surveying consumers* about their priorities and preferences in five major types of senior living communities. The survey questions covered top priorities, neighborhood preferences, location preferences and more.
Both the RTTF program and 2019 Senior Living Preferences Survey results have provided valuable insights into family’s choices within the senior living industry. From preferences around personalized communication to expectations around living accommodations, let’s take a closer look at the results and what they mean for senior living communities.
Families Focus on Quality of Apartments
The Senior Living Preferences Survey found that the quality of the individual living space ranked as an important amenity when focused on the quality of a community. Respondents ranked the quality of apartments / suites as the most important priority over the quality of dining areas, common areas and outdoor spaces.
When we asked family caregivers about the environment they wanted for their loved ones, “comfortable” was the clear preference, followed by “quiet” and “serene” showcasing the importance of personal space within an individual apartment.
With this knowledge in hand, senior living communities have a huge opportunity to respond with enhancements to ensure they’re delivering the environment and accommodations that families want and expect. In our experience, communities that act on consumer feedback in this way see incredible results.
Real-Time Tour Feedback Supports Spectrum’s Accommodation Enhancements
Spectrum Retirement Communities took part in A Place for Mom’s initial RTTF pilot program in September 2018. Spectrum’s goal was to obtain unfiltered feedback from potential families about their communities so they could make impactful improvements tailored to meet and exceed resident expectations. Through the RTTF program, A Place for Mom reaches out to families after their tour and provides weekly feedback to the Spectrum Retirement Communities’ sales teams. This feedback included experiences with the community during their tour and reactions to staff, amenities, pricing, and policies.
One specific piece of feedback from a consumer about apartment fixtures, finishes and appliances became a catalyst for change for the Spectrum Retirement Communities team. Spectrum received feedback from consumers that echoed the results of our Senior Living Preferences Survey, especially around apartments.
“Here was our client telling us directly what’s wrong with our product line and what we could do to improve it. She said otherwise I love the facility, I love the programs, the dining, everything except [the apartment] looks dated,” said Jeff Arduino, National Director of Sales with Spectrum Retirement Communities.
Spectrum Retirement Communities used this feedback to secure the operations funding required to renovate. Their time frame was aggressive, and they were able to implement the updates and communicate the change to the market within that sales cycle.
Receiving timely, unfiltered feedback that they could immediately act on had a direct impact on Spectrum’s conversions and move-in rates, resulting in a move-in increase of 42% at one community alone and an overall return on investment of $100,000 a month, or $1 million annually.
The Benefits of Real-Time Tour Feedback
The RTTF program offers an unbiased, third-party assessment of a community’s tour experience, honestly reporting what families are thinking and feeling so that more communities can address areas of improvement and act where feasible – and in some cases, to win a family while still in their search.
Using the results from the Senior Living Preferences Survey and the RTTF program, communities are better able to identify areas where they can incorporate emerging consumer preferences and further distinguish themselves in such a robust marketplace.
For more information on the results of the Senior Living Preferences Survey, download the full report here. If you’d like to discuss whether you may be eligible to sign up for Real-Time Tour Feedback, please contact your account manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.