There are successful companies, and then there are ultra-successful companies

When my daughter Lauren was a freshman in high school, she announced one night at dinner that she was going to join the track team. But that wasn’t the half of it. She was going to break the school record in the mile (5:01) and one day earn a scholarship to an NCAA Division I University.

In just the fourth month of her freshman year, Lauren broke the school record with a time of 4:59. For Lauren, success was just beginning at 5:00.

At Keystone Place, we are not big on goals, but we are huge on achieving the impossible. Granted, it is hard to achieve 100% occupancy, and much, much harder to stay there. And, that’s where the richness of growth and success begins.

There are successful companies and communities, and then there are ultra-successful companies and communities. Here are three considerations on what sets the ultra-successful apart from the pack:


    Do you believe it is possible to remain at 100% day in and day out with a waitlist of 40 people? Is it possible to continue to raise market rates 8-10% and have even more people want what you offer? (Cialdini; Principle of Scarcity). Does 80% of your business come from a verifiable word-of-mouth referral? 

    With the average occupancy nationwide at 90% in seniors housing, it is evident that most people are satisfied with reaching paltry results. Do achievable goals get you out of bed in the morning? 


    I’ve heard just about every excuse imaginable from seniors housing teams; “the market is bad,” “there are so many new competitors entering the market,” “the rise of home care companies is keeping prospects at home longer,” “our prices are too high,” “we don’t offer studios,” “all we have are studios,” “this building has too many units to fill,” “we have lousy street exposure.”

    Ultra-successful companies don’t make excuses, don’t assign blame or point fingers, except at themselves. To be ultra-successful means being resilient – seeing crises and challenges as opportunities, bouncing back from setbacks and staying the course to achieve long-term success.

    Teams that are resilient rest in the comfort of knowing they can’t fail. They know that no matter what they attempt, risk or crazily aim for, these teams can profoundly influence the future of senior care. With 100% occupancy as a foundation, the sky is the limit.


    I regularly receive phone calls from investors and market analysts inquiring about our competitors in the local market. Honestly, I am never quite sure what to tell them because I don’t know. Our only true competition is ourselves. All we have is our reputation, and we pay fanatical attention to it.

    Football coach Vince Lombardi was known to hold up a football at the start of every training camp and declare, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”  Every year it was back to the basics for Lombardi and his team, the Green Bay Packers. Returning to the basics is hard work, yet provides amazing opportunities for change.

    You will achieve where you settle. Is your goal to be at 90%? You will get there, but that’s the easy part. If we were satisfied with 90% occupancy we would miss the opportunity to serve 20 customers, and leave close to $1,000,000 of annual revenue on the table.   

At 100% occupancy the real work starts, the golden opportunities lie ahead and the fun begins to create magical moments with your team and your amazing customers.

And remember, always drink upstream from the herd.