It was recently announced in Senior Housing News in an article by Elizabeth Ecker that “Seniorhomes.com has launched a first-of-its-kind numerical rating system for senior living communities.” Given our society’s thirst for information and the ease of sharing and accessing data on the internet today, the announcement of the new site should come as no surprise—especially with our fast-growing senior population and the increased interest in compatible living environments for aging adults.
A Growing Trend?
If the senior living industry follows the trend of the hospital and healthcare sectors, the SeniorHomes.com evaluation system could be just a first step. Highly useful to information-seeking consumers who are searching for quality and value—often the adult children of aging parents—independent rating sites offer an objective assessment of the key factors used in the decision making and selection process of senior communities.
SeniorHomes.com will be assigning ratings based on a 10-point scale to senior living communities in the top 50 markets across the nation. The top-rated communities in each of these markets will then be recognized in the “Best Senior Living Awards” program.
How the New Rating System Works
According to Senior Housing News, the new rating system will operate as follows:
- Local experts will weigh in on each community. “Experts” are defined as individuals who spend their working lives in and out of senior living communities and span a range of roles, including home care professionals, hospice care professionals, geriatric care managers, social workers, referral agents and more.
- Additional information will be gathered from state inspection data, consumer reviews and more.
- SeniorHomes.com will use a proprietary algorithm to generate the numerical rating scores.
- The ratings will then be posted to the community profiles on SeniorHomes.com.
SeniorHomes.com founder and CEO Chris Rodde is quoted as saying, “We want to identify and recognize providers who are setting a high standard of quality. Our awards program is designed to give top-rated communities industry recognition and lots of exposure in the media.”
How does your community measure up? Are you doing all the things necessary to ensure that your community scores high marks? By addressing the following questions, you can help your community stand out among your peers in the first ratings system of its kind:
- Is your facility clean and fresh looking?
- Is your community safe and in compliance with all applicable codes?
- Is your environment positive and cheerful and is your staff friendly and helpful?
- Do you frequently ask your residents and their families to provide feedback on their satisfaction and their ideas for improvements?
- Do you use mystery shopping techniques and competitive analyses to assess the quality of your communications with prospects, as well as to measure how you stack up against your competitors?
- Is your sales staff trained in best-practice techniques for meeting your prospects’ needs, asking the right questions and communicating your brand’s most relevant benefits and advantages?
- Are you effectively communicating your value proposition to consumers and referral sources?
- Does your brand performance match your brand promise?
- Do your internal and external communications address the priority needs of your customers and reflect the quality of your community?
- Are you the “First Choice” senior living community in your market area?
Implications for Senior Living Providers
The new Seniorhomes.com rating system could be a “game changer” in the senior living marketplace. Designed to recognize and highlight the top performing communities in the nation, the new ratings site will place a spotlight on quality (or lack thereof) and compel providers to improve in all key areas being assessed. Thorough and objective self assessment and continuous improvement will become an important priority for all senior living communities.
Often, the most effective assessments and recommendations for improvement are made by outside, independent organizations. If you are thinking of using an external firm to help you improve your operations, or to move from “good” to “great,” be sure to choose a specialty company that operates exclusively in the senior living industry and has a track record of high performance.
Don’t miss the opportunity to stand out among your peers through the first ratings system of its kind.