By Steve Moran

Yesterday I received a call from a long-time friend whose parents are on the verge of needing more help. And after talking, it seems like independent living would be a great fit for them. As we talked, we kind of decided that the Sacramento area where I live might be a good place for them to move. In part, because senior living is more affordable here than where my friend lives.

Never So Discouraged …

I told them I would do a little research. I took a look at more than 10 communities operated by 10 different organizations, and only four had pricing available without having to give any contact information:

  • Pegasus Senior Living and Atria (where the price was right there on the website)
  • Carlton Senior Living (where I had to abuse a chatbox before getting a price)
  • MBK where starting prices are shown on each of their floor plans (corrected)

One other did give me some pricing after I submitted a bogus email and phone number (what a waste of effort for the sales team).

It’s Insulting 

It is frankly insulting, to the point of feeling pissed off, that I can’t be trusted with pricing. That’s why, as I explore senior living options for our friends, we will start with Carlton and Pegasus. The problem is that pricing will be a big part of the decision. If I know pricing starts above $5,000 for two people, my friends are out of the game.

Why does it make any sense at all to force me to call a salesperson, give up my contact information, and subject myself to a barrage of emails and phone calls?   

Instead …

Instead what will end up happening is that I will go to one of the lead aggregators who can with one phone call give me the scoop on a bunch of communities. This means that even if my friends ultimately move into one of those communities, that community will have to pay a fee of several thousand dollars to the lead aggregators.

Mostly Though …

Mostly, though, it makes senior living more trouble than it’s worth. If it is this much hassle to even get something as simple as pricing, I might as well wait until I really need it. This is the hidden cost of not putting pricing on your websites. People just delay the search for senior living.

Until we fix basics like this, we will never ever have the reputation we want.