By Susan Saldibar

I never thought the day would come when you’d have to think fast, move fast, and plan fast in senior living. If ever there was an industry that sort of poked along, this is it. But no longer. In fact, we’re seeing a widening gap between the “haves” and the “haves not”; those providers who have integrated all their processes and are able to turn on a dime,  and those who have not, continuing to operate at a 1980s pace (1990s if you want to be kind).

If you happen to fall into the “haves not” bucket, you’re probably already painfully aware of it. But you may still think it’s okay to be “on par” with those around you. But par is no longer adequate. And I read an eBook that makes this abundantly clear.

RealPage (a Senior Living Foresight partner) has put together a downloadable eBook, called appropriately “Five Keys to Acing the Senior Housing Market”. It makes a strong case that, as in a game of golf, “on par” doesn’t win the game. For senior living providers, this is a message that really needs to be heard and, more importantly, heeded for true progress to be made. 

Here are just some of many useful observations and tips from the eBook:

  1. Boosting Direct Leads and Revenue While Controlling Expenses. It’s no longer cost-effective to just load up your sales team with a high volume of leads. It’s about driving “the right” traffic to your door, not just any traffic. It is now possible to attract leads to your community that are a good fit and convert them at a lower cost per lead across multiple marketing and social channels.
  2. Performing Complete Accounting and Budgeting. What is it with the ongoing obsession with Excel and QuickBooks? They’re easy to use, no doubt, but the limitations are keeping senior living communities from optimizing their budgets and resources. Numbers prove it. The RealPage eBook cites a marketplace stat that 90% of spreadsheets contain errors. I believe it, I’ve made my share. The alternative, which forward-thinking operators have already discovered, is using web-based budgeting and finance tools and integrating them with property management and accounting platforms. No wonder things move more quickly.
  3. Using Resident Satisfaction to Improve Efficiency. Today the key to resident and staff satisfaction is making sure they can get what they need quickly and efficiently. That includes family members connecting with loved ones and vice versa. It means giving residents a way to do things like post a service request directly to the maintenance staff, using a portal or even a smartphone.
  4. Gaining Insightful Business Intelligence. You may not realize how important any single piece of information is until you put all the pieces together. That’s what BI (business intelligence) does. And, it’s being used to attract new prospective residents, as well as renew current residents. Think of the value that lies in all your assessment data. It’s a virtual gold mine for doing things like calibrating care levels with appropriate staffing levels.
  5. Delivering a Consistent, Quality Experience. But how do you do that when your team is manually handling multiple tasks separately? How do staff members know what the others are doing? How do they put a picture together when there are so many separate pieces, in separate information silos? You can’t without a unified platform that connects all processes and enables interaction. And it has to be in real-time. Things move too quickly to spend hours assembling separate pieces of data together.

Of course, all of this is possible using RealPage Senior Living. The platform was created because the folks at RealPage realized that a strong “core” was needed to support the complexity of today’s senior living organizations. Since it was designed specifically for senior living, operators can more effectively manage their businesses and, at the same time, make sure they are providing nothing less than excellent care to their residents.

There’s much more to the eBook than I have covered here. Maybe your plan is to remain “on par” for now. Or maybe you’re tired of being a “have not” and are ready to up your game and move ahead. Either way, you owe it to yourself to check out “Five Keys to Acing the Senior Housing Market” and at least understand what’s out there (that your competitors may be using as we speak). 

For more information about RealPage, please visit their website.