By Steve Moran
A few weeks ago, one of my team members suggested that I check out Arrow Senior Living, a company whose name I was familiar with but didn’t really know much about. What intrigued me was that they seemed to do better during the pandemic than any other company I know of.
So, I invited their CEO, Stephanie Harris, to join me for an episode of Foresight TV. What made it crazy was the number of comments – 123 in 35 minutes. 100% positive and essentially all from enthusiastic team members. This is what is possible with great leadership.
You can watch the entire insane episode HERE but the following are highlights:
- Stephanie started the company while in her third year of law school.
- Her background was working as part of a number of FIX IT teams doing turnarounds. This background set the stage for operating with power in the pandemic.
- They are now at over 90% occupancy in all their (stabilized communities) but a number of them have higher occupancy than before the pandemic.
- They found that going back to “old school basics” was key to their success.
- They started by taking a look at those communities where they could have the highest impact in the shortest period of time. Then they deployed their “gunners” to go out and fill those communities.
- They focused on hunting for “Green Bananas.” These are prospects that most communities give up on. They don’t have an immediate need or they were afraid to move. They figured out how to stay home longer than was perhaps ideal.
Rather than abandoning these green bananas, they kept going back. Not with high-pressure sales tactics but with this one big question: “How can we help you today?” What this meant was that they did a lot of serving older people in their own homes, improving their health at home, which gave them the confidence to move into Arrow communities.
- The key to a faster fill-up was to slow down and be patient with people. The biggest challenge, the biggest opportunity is to build trust with the prospects.
- There needs to be a proper mix of urgent leads and “green bananas” that are being worked all the time.
- They have a strong cultural value of transparency. This means they share openly the good and the bad; the struggles and failures as well as the victories.
- Each day every team member makes a decision to continue working for Arrow or to go someplace else. They are focused on making Arrow the place that people want to work.
- We ultimately had a little tiff right on Foresight TV ?. Stephanie tried to sell me on the idea that she had the best team one could ever imagine. My position was clear; that honor went to the Senior Living Foresight Team.
- Arrow has focused on hiring from outside the industry feeling that outsiders have fresh untainted ways of looking at senior living (a position I largely agree with but that makes me sad; and something I am committed to fixing).
- We talked about staffing briefly. They are not without staffing challenges. But in many of their communities, they are doing as well or better than they were before the pandemic.
There is more in the video that should be a must-watch. Here is the LINK.