By Joanne Kaldy

In the Caring Stars 2021 list of the best senior living communities nationwide — published by (a Senior Living Foresight partner) — Holiday Retirement stands out as the senior living operator with the most communities. They have earned this industry-leading service excellence award based on ratings and reviews. How did Holiday land at the top of this list with the best of the best?

Their winning organization has employed a variety of methods to engage their entire portfolio in getting great reviews. And they have consistently taken the steps necessary to be a leader in Caring Stars. In fact, they took the top spot in 2017, 2018, 2019, and now 2021 too. Demonstrating a true commitment to providing quality services and managing their online reputation.

To learn more about their journey to the Stars and how they work with to make the most of online reviews and their digital presence, we reached out to Holiday’s marketing leadership. Here are some of the key insights we gathered.

Step One: A 20/20 Vision

It started with a clear vision. “We understand that in today’s world people rely heavily on online reviews and overall online brand. We also understand that moving into an independent living community is a big decision,” said Javiera Garcia, Holiday’s District VP of Operations for the west. “As people search for their next home, we can provide information on what life within our individual communities is like. We also want to be responsive to any online questions and comments. So that everyone feels like they have a voice and can be heard.”

Next, Strategize

Next come strategy and planning. Garcia said, “The best reviews come from those who live within our community and have first-hand experience. We encourage residents and their families to always share their opinions and reviews online in the hope that those reviews can help others who are searching for their new home.”

Holiday also tries to provide information about how to leave reviews to streamline the process, whether the senior or family member gives their review by phone or online. Garcia explained, “We understand that different types of communication work better for different people, so we try to accommodate as many options as possible.”

Quality and Quantity

Holiday’s Lee Young, District VP for the east, knows that it’s not enough to get lots of reviews. He said, “Our goal is always to get the highest ratings. Reviews help us see what residents and their families think of the communities, so we can adjust to make their experience even better.”

Even great communities get some negative reviews. And Holiday understands this and realizes how essential it is to address these appropriately and promptly. Young said, “Our goal is to address and respond to any and all negative reviews and try to respond to as many positive reviews as possible.” He added, “For the negative ones, we address any outstanding matters and connect the community leader to understand the situation. We want to make sure we always address and settle any outstanding issues.”

As for the positive reviews, Young says that they “love” taking the time to thank reviewers for their kind words.

The Possibilities of Great Partnerships

In its journey to the Stars, Holiday’s partnership with and its reviews program has been key. Young said, “It’s great that allows residents and family members to leave reviews. So that people who are searching for their new home can see what life in a community is like from current residents. It provides a better understanding of what might be the right fit.” Caring does a “great job,” Young said, of working with them and providing different options for submitting reviews. “We truly are brand partners,” Young concluded.

Shooting for the Stars, Hitting a Bullseye

Holiday knows that shooting for the Stars requires commitment. And a laser focus on excellent customer service, quality, and reputation management. Garcia said, “It’s important to make sure we are listening to online feedback and making improvements based on the feedback. We always want to align with our mission statement of helping older people live better. Online reviews are a great way to check-in with our residents to see how they feel about the community that is their home.”

You can be a Caring Star too and get the most out of your online reviews and reputation management efforts. For more information about Caring Stars, please contact [email protected] or (650) 762-8190. Here’s how senior living communities get consumer reviews on