The first thing that impressed me was how shabby the parking lot looked. Cracks and patches everywhere. It honestly made me wonder if the community was in financial trouble.
I particularly like to tour senior living communities when I am traveling. It gives me a chance to see what regional differences exist if any. I hope my attempt to tour here . . . was not a regional difference. No more specific than that, I am in the greater Boston area.
Setting The Stage
Tomorrow I will be touring two senior living communities with top leadership of the companies that manage them and, with permission, I will be writing about those experiences. Because of this, I was only mildly interested in doing a solo site visit, but as I was driving back to my hotel from Barnes and Noble I passed a senior living community owned by a fairly large chain.
I couldn’t resist.
Sigh . . .
I drove onto the campus of what turned out to be a large assisted living complex. The first thing that struck me was how shabby the parking lot looked. Cracks and patches everywhere. It honestly made me wonder if the community was in financial trouble. I wasn’t sure which building to start with, but there was great great signage that got me to the right place (the only really good part of the experience).
I walked in and could see a casual group of team members gathered around the front desk. A woman broke off and came to greet me. I told her who I was and that I just wanted to learn a bit about what they do. She seemed uninterested in talking to me. I forged ahead telling her I would be speaking at the Massachusetts ALFA Annual meeting in a couple of days in the hope that she would be more impressed (she wasn’t).
She responded by telling me they were “an assisted living facility and that people moved in when the needed help and lived there” (while not verbatim it is close).
I was striking out!
She started to give me a card, but hers was not in the rack of cards out front. She couldn’t be bothered to go back to her office and get one so she grabbed someone else’s, crossed out their name and contact info and wrote her email address on the back of that card.
I was desperate for more information . . . I asked if they were full and she said they were . . . though I am not quite sure I am a believer.
Finally I asked what their rates are and that is when she said . . .
“We don’t share that information.”
And that is a quote!
I don’t believe her. I don’t believe that is company policy and, if it is true, it has to be the only business in America that actually tells prospects they won’t share their prices.
- If I go to rent a hotel room I want to know the price.
- If I book an airline reservation I want to know the price.
- If I go to buy a computer I want to know the price.
- If I go to . . . well you get the idea.
It is no wonder senior living market penetration is so low. We make it so hard to improve our image. We are way too often, so arrogant in our approach to the public.
This is not right!