A great story about the 5 pm Sunday Afternoon prospect that turned into a move-in.
This is not technically a tour story because I ended up with a gimped up foot (almost all better now) and could hardly hobble around the house and office, let alone go visit a community. But what I have for you is an even better story that was sent to me in response to my week #11 tour where I showed up at 5 pm on a Sunday afternoon.
Keystone Senior Living
I have developed a friendship with Kent Mulkey, the executive Director of Keystone Place at Legacy Ridge in Westminster, Colorado. This was a 2013 and 2014 Caring.com top rated Caring Star Community. Kent sent me this timely story. Keystone has a 24/7, on call protocol for inquiries and it really means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While they essentially never get calls after about 7 pm, they want the marketplace to know that there is always someone available if a family hits a crisis point. It looks like this: Kent, the Executive Director, and two of his sales people, live within 10-15 minutes of the community and one of them is always on call for new prospects. During the hours when there are no sales or management people on site, the calls that go to the sales office are automatically forwarded to one of the three on-call people’s cell phone and it is mandatory that they answer their phones. In addition, their concierges are trained to provide beverages, etc. while the sales person has time to get to the property. Interestingly, they have never had someone refuse to wait for the sales person to get there.
Sunday Afternoon at Keystone
It was just this past Sunday afternoon that a woman and her brother stopped by looking for help. She was frazzled, defensive, scattered and baffled as to what to do with their Mom. Did she need memory care, assisted living or something else? The daughter wasn’t even sure. She was clear that she had looked, or would be looking, at several places. but she agreed to wait for a salesperson. When, Cathy, the sales person got to the community she discovered that the Mom in question was in a nearby skilled nursing building and was done with Rehab. The skilled facility staff was pushing to have her stay in skilled as a long-term resident because of her “bad dementia”. Rather than push for the sale, Cathy suggested the right thing to do was have the director of resident care go visit Mom in the skilled nursing building in an effort to help the family decide what was best for her. Keystone had just two open units at the time, one in memory care and the other in assisted living. The sales person promised to keep both available until they figured out the right move, even if that meant Mom staying in skilled nursing. This was a great customer service thing to do. It left the decision completely in the resident’s family and, because of that freedom, the family said they would not be looking anywhere else. On Wednesday, three days later, the family signed the resident agreement and Mom was scheduled to move in the following weekend(this weekend). As they were working through the move-in details the daughter said to Cathy, “Thank you so much for giving up part of your weekend to come meet with us.” The Keystone mind-set says that we are here to serve our residents, their families and the community 24/7. It paid off with this move-in and it results in a 98.5% average occupancy rate.
It is funny to me because, with a 98.5% plus occupancy rate, Keystone could arguably see this on call system as an unnecessary bothersome burden. As something that just costs them extra dollars when someone comes in from home . . . and yet they are full. Not having this system might well have cost them a move-in and may be they reason they stay close to full. Part Two: It’s All About the Culture