STAYING AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION
Let the competitions begin. Much like the Olympics, the residential assisted living industry is a competitive market. If you operate with a well-trained staff, your RAL home will gain the reputation and recognition needed to thrive. When individuals are searching for the right senior living home for mom and dad, instincts are not enough.
For most families, finding the right assisted living home starts with a series of quality tours. The senior placement process is a huge life-altering decisions that can be a smooth transition. Learn how to prepare for prospective residents that have done their homework. It’s important to have the inside scoop that prospective residents and their family members are looking for during these tours. Understanding this concept will cause your RAL home to stand out like a burning torch in any community.
When preparing for a senior home tour, there is a specific vibe that must be created to compete. Most homes aim to create a comfortable, friendly and family-like experience. There are some need-to-know details that are stopping some homeowners from getting pass the starting point of filling their RAL homes with residents. In order to so, there are 9 unavoidable tips every owner and operator must consider. When you follow our need-to-know tips, the competition will not faze you.
9 NEED-TO-KNOW TIPS FOR RAL HOME TOURS
- Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness
- Painting A Promising Picture by Planning Activities
- Feelings of Friendliness Foster Favor
- Focus on the Flowers
- A Good Meal Is Difficult to Resist
- Safety First
- Tender Loving Care
- Spreading the Good News
- Be a Good Listener
Following these 9 tips will help you keep your RAL business blazing. There’s only one way to win the residential occupancy race. This short article is your complimentary training guide to hurdle over the competition. Step-by-step we will explain why these nine need-to-know tips will help keep your RAL home filled to capacity.
TIP #1. CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS
Observing the level of cleanliness in your community is critical. Cleanliness consist of everything including the corners, furniture, baseboards, windows and floors. Be sure to always eliminate odors and create a pleasant scent. Fresh baked cookies, muffins, and other desserts create an aroma that makes assisted living feel like a home-setting.
When scheduling your next tour, inquire about the favorite foods and desserts of your guests. Preparing the perfect dish prior to the tour sends multiple messages:
- You’re a good listener
- You care about making people feel welcomed
- Your home will smell like a home-away-from-home
- The aroma of the food will saturate the home
An arrangement of freshly cut flowers also adds to the fragrance and appearance of cleanliness. It’ll make your RAL home feel like their own home. Bad odors are a clear indication of poor sanitation or a temporary problem. Depending on the age of your home and number of residents, perhaps purchasing an air purifier will help. This can also serve as a secondary health benefit to residents. In addition, provide a flowchart to visitors to reflect how routine housekeeping is administered. During your tour, volunteer as many answers as possible to commonly asked question. When questions are answered prior to being asked, visitors feel engaged.
During your tour, volunteer as many answers as possible to commonly asked question. When questions are answered prior to being asked, visitors feel engaged. As a result, they are more likely to believe that you are being transparent and honest. For example, there is basic information all future residents need to know. During the tour, explain how maintenance procedures are handled, estimated response times, and laundry details. Prospective residents should immediately feel at home, not like their investigating a senior living facility.
Follow Your Own Senses Prior to Scheduling Tours
- FOLLOW YOUR NOSE: What does your home smell like?
- SEEING IS BELIEVING: What does your furniture look like?
- DOWN TO THE LAST BITE: What does your food taste like?
- CLEAN AND CLUTTER-FREE: What does your atmosphere feel like?
Cleanliness is one of the most important features future residents and their family members are searching for in senior living. If a home is not clean, it’s a sure sign that the staff is not dependable. A dirty and odor-filled home communicates volumes to prospective residents. “If you are unable to take care of the home, how will you sufficiently care for seniors?” This will be the prevailing question in the mind of a prospective residents during a tour. Remember, cleanliness, which includes maintenance, leaves the first and most lasting impression for prospective residents and their families.
TIP #2. PAINTING A PROMISING PICTURE BY PLANNING ACTIVITIES
Schedule an activity during your tours. When guests are able to watch, even participate with activities, it provides a sense of connection. Make sure the staff is interactive, engaged and enjoying the activity also. Have fun and be genuine. The level of participation can paint a promising portrait of the daily lifestyle residents experience in your RAL home. Post a printed community calendar of events on a wall – make sure it is visible to guests. Include events and activities that vary in size and type. It’s important that your activities include trips and outings away from the RAL home, to include religious services for those interested.
Examples of In-Home Activities:
- Board Games
- Chair Yoga/Stretching
- Musical Entertainment
Give your guests a chance to interact with your seniors in a way that will be comfortable for your current residents. Exposing guests to planned activities paints a promising picture of what day-to-day life experiences will be like. Depending on the activity, guests are able to build relationships during the tour. Be creative. Offer unique activities that will make prospective residents crave the culture you’ve created in your RAL home.
TIP #3. FEELINGS OF FRIENDLINESS FOSTER FAVOR
The energy produced by the attitude and friendliness of the staff are of serious importance. Guests will observe how the staff interacts with current residents and one another. Listening skills must be a priority, which means you must make eye contact. A feeling of friendliness offers a level of confidence in the property’s staff and management.
6 Key Component of a Friendly Staff
- Good Listeners
- Keen Attentiveness
- Positive Eye Contact
- Smiles and Laughter
- Making Your Guest a Priority
- Volunteering Information
Be sure to inform your RAL staff about tour dates and times. Set high expectations for your home tours. Keep everyone on the same page – make friendliness a priority. In fact, hire staff based on these same characteristics and these traits will naturally carry over to the culture of your RAL home. Considering staffing an extra employee during tours to compensate for time away answering questions and navigating the home with new families.
TIP #4. FOCUS ON THE FLOWERS
During your RAL home tour, take a visit to the outdoor areas. Everyone wants to be kissed by the sun from time to time. Be sure to provide available outdoor seating, tables and shade. Enclosures is important. Some homes have privacy, vinyl or wooden fences while others have aluminum, steel and brick enclosures. Outdoor safety is as important as comfort and convenience. Some homes are able to offer four seasons patio enclosures and sunrooms. Although creative landscaping can transform any backyard space into an outdoor paradise.
Ideas for Creating a Calming Outdoor Space
- Comfortable Patio Furniture
- Outdoor Pillows and Poufs
- Outdoor Cooking Grills
- Circular Walking Paths with Large Pavers
- Low Maintenance Flower Gardens
- Canopy Shades
- Columns and Arches
- Outdoor Speakers
Perhaps your home provides a few outdoor activities that can be displayed during tours. Otherwise, guests and residents can focus on the flowers. Flowers add a dimension that is undeniably appealing. The backyard should be a comfortable outdoor courtyard where seniors can feel safe and empowered with a sense of freedom. When residents participate in gardening activities, they feel a sense of purpose and independence. Being partially responsible for the courtyard beauty also empowers seniors to feel more connected and at-home.
TIP # 5. A GOOD MEAL IS DIFFICULT TO RESIST
During your RAL tour, create an experience by preparing a special meal for your guests. The dining area offers an invaluable experience for seniors. This opportunity will allow you to discuss additional details over an intimate dinner setting. This is a great time for potential residents and family members to learn about your RAL home entree choices, dining hours, food options, and meal procedures. Preparing a surprise meal of choice, based on previously discussed preferences, will make the dining experience even more special for your guests. A good meal is difficult to resist, especially when it’s your favorite. Not only is it a great way to sample the cuisine, but it also opens the door to a great opportunity for potential residents to meet current ones.
Five Commonly Asked Questions About the Dining Experience
- What happens if my mom or dad is unable to make it to the dining room for a meal?
- Are residents able to drink wine?
- Can residents order delivery food when they want?
- How do my parents go about getting snacks when they want?
- Are residents allowed to cook their own food is desired?
Most importantly, allow guests to dig in and see how well-prepared and nutritious meal are at your RAL home. New families will have a strong interest in your abilities to tailor your recipes to the health needs of their loved ones. In addition to quality meal preparations, bring to their attention the amount of dining space available. Spacious dining rooms fosters a sense of community and support the sense of a second family.
TIP #6. SAFETY FIRST
Security and safety are perks to promote throughout your RAL home. Help your guests understand just how important their loved one’s safety is to your staff. Show them the extra details and security features of the residence designed to keep seniors safe. This will ease guests with a peace of mind – any home should feel like a safe place. Accessible bathrooms with grab bars in convenient locations and life station medical alerts are just a few options to promote during a tour. The scope of safety ranges from on a large sliding scale – you have many options.
Safety Sliding Scope
- Staffing Patterns
- Medication Management
- Security Monitoring Systems
- Smoke Alarms
- Fire Extinguishers
- Grab Bars and Handrails
- Medical Alerts
- 24/7 Monitoring Security
- Adequate Lighting for Hallways and Living Areas
Volunteer any information about safety first during every RAL home tour – make your tour fully comprehensive. This means you should also create a checklist comprised of all nine tips, to include safety first.
TIP #7. TENDER LOVING CARE
Personal care in assisted living is one of the ultimate reasons why loved ones place their family members in a RAL home. As you go through the tour process, residents will ask lots of questions out of care and concern. Be prepared to discuss bathing options and preferences. They will be very observant of the existing residents’ hygiene, looking to see if they’re well-groomed, clean shaven, and manicured nails. Some RAL homes have hair stylists that routine schedules onsite visits. During tours, guests will quietly examine if residents are dressed appropriately, based on the activities of the day and the current weather.
Treating residents with dignity, respect and a smile should be your daily motto, especially when tours are in progress. There’s no room for staff to have a bad day when attempting to set a first and only impression of your RAL home. While assisted living residents are usually free to determine their own appearance and apparel, guests are only able to evaluate what they see. Staff should be aware of upcoming tours and help residents look their best when guests are visiting.
TIP #8. SPREADING THE GOOD NEWS
Provide as much information about your RAL home as possible, answer questions and offer brochures. Most people try to find the right RAL home with the first shot, without relocating to various residents repeatedly. It’s important that during your tours that you also assess each resident carefully – make sure you are both the perfect fit.
It might be a good idea to engage discussions with some of your RAL families and residents who are satisfied with your RAL home. Word of mouth is often the best strategy for getting glowing recommendations about your business. Allow your residents and their family to spread the good news about your RAL home. Publish information about your tours on your website and provide printed marketing materials to promote your premiere RAL home tours.
TIP #9 BE A GOOD LISTENER
Always remember to get feedback from prospective residents, whether they move in or not. Ask residents and families, past and present, for their honest opinions about the assisted living home. Listen to comments guests saying. You won’t know what to alter about your tours if you fail to listen to consumer responses. When visitors provide viewpoints of your RAL home, share them online. Most importantly, be prepared to listen to critiques. Afterward, make the kind of adjustments needed to equip your RAL home with competitive characters. Listening to feedback is a sure quality of a winning team.