By MaryLee Hermann

Trying to figure out pricing sucks. You know it, I know it, and Alex Smith of Further’s Pricing Assistant (a Foresight partner) sure knows it.

A pricing expert, Alex worked on sales teams in senior living for years and is even a certified pricing professional (yes, it is a real thing! How cool is that?). He has experienced your pain. And the great news is, he created a solution — the Pricing Assistant, a data-driven tool to calculate the right price for every unit.

Now you can ditch the daunting, frustrating and inefficient “Excel spreadsheet, dartboard, and a prayer” method.

While Alex and Steve were at the spring NIC conference in San Diego, they took the opportunity to sit down for an episode of Foresight TV.

How to Make Pricing Not Suck

Alex shared about a time when he was jazzed and ready for a corporate budget meeting:

Here I am — I have my folder, I have my comp set, I know what the pricing should be. I have the renovations in the market, the new developments. I have all the data, and I’m ready for this great discussion about pricing … for each community in my portfolio.

And we literally just took the 5% symbol and dragged it all the way down.

If you are wondering if that’s a good way to price, perhaps because you’ve done something similar in the past, please refer to the video at timecode 7:40 for Steve’s reaction. Spoiler alert: It is not a good way to price.

As Alex went on to explain, in some instances, the rates could have been increased further, and in others they should have been at 2%. Basically, by using this “technique,” they were creating issues for themselves that had to be continuously dealt with as they arose over the next 12 months.

And this is simply one example Alex has experienced in his years in sales in the senior living industry. As he told Steve, “Some of the Excel sheets are pretty fancy, but it’s like using a butter knife to cut down a redwood — it’s the wrong tool.”

How It Works

As Alex acknowledged, the problem of pricing isn’t because of the lack of talent or intelligence. It is a matter of using the wrong tool and being limited by your data set. So what does the right tool look like?

  • Allows you to be proactive in your pricing, avoiding the need to compensate for weak price points with massive incentives.
  • Provides a system you can use to create value-based pricing.
  • Shows you where all of your communities are in the market at any given time.
  • Stores all your data so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.
  • Tracks your competitors’ incentives.(!)
  • Keeps all your info in one place, so you can evaluate your own incentives for future consideration.

See the Pricing Assistant in action — request a demo here. It’s amazing what all this robust tool can do.