It is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving and my mornings email included a link to this article at Copy Blogger: How We Built Our Careers Online (And What You Can Learn From It)

The essence of the article is that every single person that ever built an online career started at the bottom with just a tiny insignificant number of readers.  Success happened largely because every single day that blogger kept writing, kept promoting, kept experimenting. This would very accurately describe my experience with Senior Housing Forum.

The bottom line is this: 

Do something and then keep doing something.

Over the past year I have done a lot more public speaking than any other time in my professional career and expect that pace to continue this coming year. When I do presentations I have three fears:

  1. That I will be boring
  2. That I will not provide helpful or inspiring information
  3. That even after being engaging and helpful those ideas won’t turn into action

An Example of Inaction

A number of weeks ago I got to chatting with an executive director about her senior living community (independent living and assisted living). She proceeded to tell me, with great anguish, about a very negative review she received from an unreasonable family member.  

She had taken the right first steps by talking to the family member about what had happened and offering some solutions. As near as I can tell, the family was unreasonable, and was unwilling to take the review down or modify it.

I offered her some additional suggestions, with the principal one being that she needed to ask family members, residents and visitors to write their own positive reviews. This would do two things for the community:

  1. It would push the negative listing out of the most prominent place.
  2. It would improve her star rating.

Finally, based on data from, a Senior Housing Forum partner, it turns out that having an occasional less than glowing review mixed in with your otherwise good reviews serves to provide higher credibility to your positive reviews.

Several weeks after that conversation I was preparing for a presentation I was doing with Shannon Ingram of on reputation management for Mass ALFA and thought that community would serve as a good story to be included in the presentation.

I discovered that nothing had changed. The community had a total of 4 reviews, 3 hugely positive ones that were more than two years old and this terrible negative review just sat there in the number one position. Because they had so few reviews, this one negative review reduced their overall star rating by more than one star.

The great danger for this community is that someone will see that review and decide to look elsewhere and the executive director will never know. Knowing her well placed anguish about the review I longed to see her do something.

It’s Not Easy

There is so much really good advice available to senior living developers and managers and you can’t possibly absorb and do everything and not everything is the right thing to do for every community or every company.  

And yet . . . too often I fear because the number of ideas is overwhelming, a form of paralysis sets in and nothing really changes. This is not healthy for you, for your team and for your residents.