Attracting Seniors to Your Residential Assisted Living Home

As the Silver Tsunami continues to grow larger on our shores and more investors are seizing the opportunities in assisted living, owners and operators of residential assisted living homes need to find additional ways to set themselves apart from the rest. Sterile hospital-like big-box facilities are sprouting up all across the country and while this may seem to pose a greater challenge for smaller RAL owners, we know that the residential assisted living environment is a far superior service. Although, what we have to offer seniors is generally much better quality at more competitive price points, sometimes smaller RAL businesses get lost when it comes to marketing their brand.

One method to consider is for RAL owners to think of marketing their homes in a more contemporary way and adopt practices that have been incredibly successful for retailers over the years. There are number of ways that seniors find themselves in assisted living; some are place there by family members who are too busy or unavailable to help assist their loved ones with basic activities of daily living; some have experienced chronic or acute health issues that leaves them to rely on assistance from others; and some seniors have opted into assisted living for the nurturing and loving environment that these communities have to offer.

Regardless of how seniors have been brought to assisted living in the past, as RAL owners, we know that we provide an amazing service with exceptional staff who care deeply for the seniors in their homes, and we want to use that fact to bring attention to our businesses. How amazing would it be if, over the next decade, we could transition the residential assisted living industry from one where seniors are pushed into assisted living to one where we are able to pull seniors into our assisted living homes because what we have to offer is more attractive than any other option out there. By establishing higher standards in our homes and providing exceptional care services, together we can help change the mindset of American seniors and their families.

So many RAL owners and operators get started in this business because they have a heart for people, they genuinely want to provide superior care for the elderly. I would also venture that most of these people probably don’t have a significant background in marketing, if any, and so their homes, while providing a great product and service, are going overlooked by the general public because they don’t have the time, resources or know-how to generate a successful marketing plan.

Any company or organization that provides a superior product or service doesn’t always need to have a 30-person team of marketing professionals to be successful, but it is helpful to look to those large organizations that do employees these teams and adopt some of their ideas. One way to do this is to look at residential assisted living like a large mainstream retailer might. And how do big retailers like Apple or Amazon view their potential customers? It is not just the fact that we have something to offer customers, but recognizing that we have competition, and unlike our competition… we are different.

“We Are Different”

What we provide is of better quality and at a better price point. And in order to be able to market to our communities effectively we have to know our competition. Whether it is researching online or making secret shopper visits to large and successful assisted living facilities in your area, knowing what competitors are doing, the services they are providing and the costs for those services can go a long way to helping you set yourself apart and getting your brand out there as a better choice. This may not sound like a major paradigm shift, but it is a change in the current mindset of both those who are providing senior care homes and those consumers who are looking for them.

There are a number of practical ways that RAL owners can market their brand directly to seniors and the baby boomer generation with a more retail-like approach. If you’ve spent any time in the residential assisted living industry you understand that the demographics in this country are shifting dramatically and that the baby boomer generation is set to revolutionize aging and the products and services associated with aging. In the coming years the baby boomer generation will be the primary residents in assisted living and the marketing strategies that have worked in the past will not be the same that are effective for this generation.

Throughout the history of modern assisted living, most senior residents were driven to the need for assistance due to the result of health events that precluded the loss of independent function. But today, and in the coming decades, prospective residents will likely be drawn into the assisted living environment as a positive instead of a negative.

First world prosperity has brought about extraordinary levels of technology and convenience, which has led to consumers being much more driven by their wants than their needs. This shows a complete change in the decision-making process of consumers and has compelled retailers and service providers to change their inquiry of customers from “what is the matter with you and what do you need?” to “what matters to you and what you want?”

Changing our approach in marketing to baby boomers will prove to be more successful as, instead of simply aligning to their needs, we help encourage the adoption of our healthy and vibrant communities as a place they want to be… a place they feel at home.

Along with the shift to a more modern approach of marketing your RAL home to current and future seniors, don’t be afraid to embrace technology that relates to the assisted living space. As these next few decades unfold, bringing waves of new seniors to the assisted living environment, there will be more of an expectation to adopt relevant technology and getting in on the ground floor will set you apart from other assisted living facilities.

Take advantage of opportunities to modernize, like keeping track of senior’s information, personal preferences and medical history in an easily accessible digital format, which will also make it easier to monitor and communicate any issues with resident’s families. Consider digitizing and automating aspects of your recruitment process as well. This will serve to simplify the process and save you time. Plus, most people looking for assisted living for a loved one are going to be looking online and if all of your admissions processes require paperwork and face-to-face interaction, you might be missing out on a significant portion of potential residents.

Many in the assisted living industry are already embracing technology and they are helping the residents respond to it as well. Just remember to weigh the pros and cons and be selective about how you are incorporating technology. Evaluate each element of your RAL business and decide where personal touch is necessary and where you can automate things.

Tomorrow’s seniors will have spent much of their adult life embracing technology, so make sure that you and your team are catering to those opportunities as well. And while there will be some uncertainties about the preferences of the incoming baby boomer population, there are some effective practices that can be implemented now to deliver an experience or a series of experiences that today’s seniors desire.

Finally, another way to set your RAL business apart is to understand, not only the competition, but the alternatives that seniors and their families are looking at when they are making the inquiry into assisted living. It can be very easy for an individual to dismiss residential assisted living based on the sticker price, but when they look through an actual cost analysis of the alternatives, the better financial option becomes patently clear.

The following is a chart created by ‘A Place for Mom’ and illustrates the difference between a senior living at home and one who is living in an average-priced assisted living home. (These numbers are based on national averages, as specific states and areas have higher and lower relative costs)

Amenities/Services/ ExpensesMonthly Costs At HomeAssisted Living Costs
Monthly mortgage or rent$953$3,500
Property tax$149N/A
Property insurance$78N/A
Property maintenance costs$100N/A
24-hour security services$100included
Three meals a day$494included
Housekeeping services$118included
Daily health aide visitations$4,500included
Personal care$45included
Housekeeping services$118included
24-hour emergency call system$50included
Landscaping/snow removal$50included
Home maintenance$147included
Trash removal$25included
Social and entertainment$25included

There is quite a stark difference in the cost of assisted living compared to a senior staying in their own home and receiving assistance there. Also, many of you will know that there is a significant difference in the costs of a big-box assisted living facility compared to a typical residential assisted living facility. And as more people become aware of these vast differences, the marketing of our RAL homes will become even more effective, pulling seniors joyfully into our communities, as opposed to waiting for families to push them into assisted living. The reality is, like most things in life, it is all about perspective. If we can educate those around us about the opportunities and benefits we provide in our RAL homes, compared to the alternatives, we will help revolutionize the assisted living industry and the general public’s overall view of it.

If you would like to learn more about specific opportunities in the residential assisted living space, or if you are interested in other ways to market and promote your RAL business, check out our amazing training resources and let us help you get to where you want to be in this amazing industry.

And don’t forget to save the date this year for RAL NAT CON 2019. Join hundreds of others in this amazing industry who are working together to meet the needs of the growing elderly population in this country. This incredible convention provides the chance to get more plugged into the residential assisted living industry and networking with other RAL owners, investors, lenders, equipment suppliers and support service providers that can help your RAL business grow. Be a part of the solution!

*Statistics source:

Business Plans For Opening An Assisted Living Home

Gene Guarino: This is Gene from the assisted living network. Business plans for assisted living, specifically residential assisted living. I’m going to give you the two keys to having a successful business plan and the five p’s to making it happen. First of all, the two keys, number one reason I have a business plan is for you so that you have clarity of vision of where you’re going, what it is, who you are, what you’re doing, and where you’re going. You see, you can get anywhere even without a map, but the question is where is it that you’re going to end up? So the business plan, the first key is it’s for you clarity of vision. The second key is to help raise capital. If you don’t have a business plan, no bank is going to give you a loan. No private investor or a lender is going to give you the money.

Gene Guarino: You need to have a business plan to be able to show to other people, hey, I know what I’m doing and where I’m going. You need to know where it starts, where we break even, where we’re profitable, what’s my reserve and all of the details. But the two keys to a business plan or one clarity of vision for you and to the ability to raise capital, a clear vision that you can share with others so they can buy into or lend to you. Now, five p’s for successful business plan. I’m going to give this to you if you want to write it down, feel free. But number one, people, people meaning me, you, whoever is inside and operating within this business, the first thing that somebody is going to look at as an angel investor, first thing I look at a banker, first thing they look at, who are the people involved?

Gene Guarino: What experience do they have that is similar to or even related to what it is that they’re getting the money for? Raising the capital for. So that people element is very important. So one of the keys is who are you? What do you do now that relates to what it is you’re raising the capital for. And if you don’t have something, who else can you put inside Your Business Plan? Maybe on a board of advisors to be of help to you? A team of people is better than having just one person. A little side story before we get to that. I remember when I was an angel investor investing in a project and I had over a half a million dollars invested and I was on what at one time I was on one side of the table talking to the entrepreneurs are raising capital and I was writing checks to them and after 50,000 another hundred thousand other hundred and 50,000 now we’re at 500,000 I eventually ended up on the same side of the table as them and now boom, we’re here as a team and now we’re looking to somebody else who is going to be an investor with us.

Gene Guarino: So I went from, I’m investing in to now I’m a part of the team and now we’re looking to somebody else. And I remember distinctly, and here’s the lesson, they were much older than I worked 30 years older than I was and they said, you know what? I’m not sure about the business. I’m not sure about the business plan, but I like you and what he meant was not knee, knee, but all of us, that team of people, he was betting on the jockey, not the horse, and that’s a key critical point. First P is people. Second is the product. In Your Business Planning, you got to lay it out. What is it that you’re doing? What is it? Is it a product? Is it a service, is it whatever? What is your product itself? You need to explain that clearly. We’ve seen your house when we’ve got it down to a tee, we know exactly what it is.

Gene Guarino: The third p your position, when I say your position, are you the most expensive and that’s what makes you best and better than everybody else or you’re the least expensive, makes you available to everybody and everybody will use you. The government will leave and pay for it. If you can. Are you summer? What is your position now that’s important because you’re not all things to all people. You don’t want to be the cheapest one because then you’re just always battling on price. Somebody else squeeze, you can get in a little bit cheaper and to be the top of the top, the cream of the crop. There’s very few clients or customers at the top. So many times the best position is to be a high quality, not at the bottom, not at the very top, but somewhere above the middle. That’s what we call the sweet spot.

Gene Guarino: So we taught people, we talk product and we talked position. Now at some point we do have to talk about projections. Seeing a business plan, if you’re buying an existing business, there’s a past, there’s a present, and then there’s the projections into the future. But most people who are raising capital for a business, they’re going to look at, the projections were here today, ground zero, never done it before. It’s a complete startup. This is where we’re at. And then this is where we’re going. So when you’re looking at the projections, I’m always going to encourage you to be conservative, be conservative, whatever you think it is, reduced it a little bit more. If you think the vacancy rate is going to be 10% make it 15% if you think the income is going to be $4,000 per person in rent on your assisted living home, make it 3,800 or 3,600 be conservative.

Gene Guarino: Don’t go overboard, but make it more conservative to give you some breathing room to make sure that you can under promise and over deliver when it’s all said and done. Another P to take a look at is the exit plan, and I have to say this plan to exit exit plan is one of the key elements that most people miss the notice. I didn’t even talk about the profitability because I assume that you know that, that it must be profitable. That investor, that lender doesn’t want to know how much money they’re gonna make. What’s in it for them initially, they need to know their money is safe. They need to know there is a purpose. They need to know that you know what you’re doing. You’ve surrounded yourself with the right people. They need to know the you know your position, you know your projections.

Gene Guarino: The profit should be self evident. It needs to be clear and I know that you know that you have to have the financials in place in your business plan, but those projections will give you that profitability. But again, that investors looking for number one safety of capital, that is their number one concern. And that final piece, that plan to exit or exit plan is a piece that most business plans are simply missing. Think about it, when you go to a bank and say, I’m wanting to borrow money to buy a house, they give you a 30 year amortization, what’s the plan to exit? And you pay it off in 30 years. Now some banks will lend the money saying, we’ll do a 30 year amortization with a balloon in five years, which means we’re going to do the payments as if you’re paying for 30 years.

Gene Guarino: But at the end of five years it’s all do. So the exit plan is for you to reapply for a loan or go someplace else to get the money and pay them off or to sell the property and pay it off one way or the other. It’s an exit plan at five years. In a normal business plan, when you’re talking about a business startup, especially something as simple as and as straight forward as residential assisted living, somebody wants to know that their money is safe. They know what the collateral is, they know what the positioning is, they know all of that. But a two to five year exit plan is a good plan. Two years, meaning your money is committed for two years and our plan is to either sell or refinance. Once that business stabilized and within five years, meaning that’s the outside right here, we will have either sold or refinanced, but that investor, that lender wants to know that they’re going to eventually get out of that deal. So two to five years on an exit plan is that key. So we talked people positioning, we talked about the product, we talked about the profit, the projections, and we also talked about the plan to exit. There’s a lot to know on a business plan, but the two keys are clarity for you, clarity of vision for you and the ability to raise capital. This is Jean from the assisted living network saying, do good and do well. If you like what you’ve seen and heard, please subscribe.

Lance Edwards Green Light REI Podcast

In this episode, Gene discusses his early days as a musician, how he started his career, the definition of residential assisted living, how he got into the industry and much, much more!

Business News Company Interviews Gene About Success of the RAL Academy

Last month Gene had the opportunity to sit down with the team at Superb Crew, a business news website that focuses on covering the most innovative companies from the tech and business world. Making a name for themselves by shedding light on the latest trends and sectors of growth in technology and business, it was only natural that they connect with Gene, founder of the RAL Academy, to discuss his vision behind the successful residential assisted living education model that he created, how it came to be, and where he sees it leading into the future.

Interviewer: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Residential Assisted Living Academy?

Gene: The Residential Assisted Living Academy was formed in 2013. The purpose of the company is to provide the education and resources needed to create, own and operate RAL homes. Our mission is to help create over 1,000 homes across the country by the end of 2020. We are well on our way of doing just that. With over 1,000 people coming through our live and online training, we have seen the creation of hundreds of RAL homes across the country.

Interviewer: You’ve recently released Amazon best seller book that’s changing the game in real estate investing; could you tell us something more?

Gene: The hottest niche in real estate and business is Senior Housing and Assisted Living, according to many studies and financial professionals. The goal of writing the book is to provide, those that are looking to invest in this niche, the baseline information they need to make a good investment decision. Knowledge is the key and the more an investor knows about the industry they are investing in, the better.

Interviewer: Can you give us insights into your training programs?

Gene: We provide live and online training for individuals that are looking to get into the Senior Housing and Assisted Living industry. We cover the real estate investing side as well as the business side, in our training. We hold 8 live trainings each year in Phoenix AZ. People come from across the country to attend this training. The topics cover everything that you need to know to get started and to do it successfully.

We are developing an investor training for those that are just interested in that as well. That training will be launched later this year.

Interviewer: What makes your approach unique? What’s your success formula?

Gene: We are owners, operators and investors in these homes ourselves. That is the perspective that we are coming from as an education company. We do not work inside the businesses as the manager or the caregiver. Instead, we treat this as a business with an opportunity to “Do Good & Do Well”. We show people in a fast and efficient manor, what to do and how to do it. At our live training events we offer virtual tours of our homes so the students can experience and learn it from the “inside out”. That experience provides the context for the content that we provide.

Interviewer: What are your plans for the future?

Gene: We understand that everyone will be getting involved in Senior Housing and Assisted Living one way or the other. Either as a real estate investor, a business owner or as a customer living in someone else home. Right now, you have a choice as in “how” you get involved.

With 77,000,000 Baby Boomers aging by the day, this represents an incredible opportunity. 10,000 people a day are turning 65. 4,000 a day are turning 85. That is 1.4 million people turning 85 this year and every year for the next 20 years. That is an unstoppable “Silver Tsunami of Seniors”

For many it will be a “crisis” because they will be unprepared for it. For those entrepreneurs and investors that position themselves properly, it is an opportunity of a life time, it is like seeing a stock chart 10 years in advance and knowing exactly when to get in and get out.

We are creating the RAL Industry to capitalize on this opportunity. We own and invest in homes and facilities ourselves. We educate and provide resources for others that want to do the same. We are providing the investment opportunities for those that want to invest in these homes and this opportunity We have created the RAL National Association to support and bring the players in the industry together. And in 2020 we are launching an Operations company to service the entire industry.

Learn More About the 3-Day Fast Track

And don’t forget to save the date this year for RAL NAT CON 2019. Join hundreds of others in this amazing industry who are working together to meet the needs of the growing elderly population in this country. This incredible convention provides the chance to get more plugged into the residential assisted living industry and networking with other RAL owners, investors, lenders, equipment suppliers and support service providers that can help your RAL business grow. Be a part of the solution!

– Do Good and Do Well, my friends.

Strategies for Retaining Your RAL Staff

Finding the right people to work in your RAL homes isn’t always the easiest task, so when you find the right people you want to do everything you can to hang onto them. Retaining quality staff is often an issue for assisted living home owners and managers, so it is important to employ as many tools and strategies as possible to make sure that you are taking care of the people who are taking care of your residents. Home owners succeed when proper staff retention strategies are in place, resulting in: caregivers who have less stress and are more productive; caregivers who are happier in their jobs and less likely to leave; and best of all, happy and satisfied caregivers have an incredibly positive impact on your residents and their families.

The goal is to create a team of caregivers that helps fulfill your vision of a care home for seniors. It has been said that each resident will impact at least 10 friends and relatives, and those people will each impact another 10 people close to them. Thus, creating an environment for caregivers to thrive and enjoy the work of providing care for seniors is the best thing you can do to satisfy your residents, generate positive reviews, and build a pipeline of referrals for your business.

There has been talk about high staff turnover in assisted living for many years. Some of these complaints focus on low unemployment numbers and the effect that has on the unreliability of employees, or “Millennial attitudes,” or other reasons that effectively translate into “It’s not my fault that we have an employee retention problem.” Practical owners and managers quickly move past these excuses because they know that they can take on the responsibility to solve the problem.

The truth is that most caregivers are in the assisted living business because they care. They feel fulfilled by helping others. They want to do a good job and be recognized for their work. And most caregivers genuinely want the best for the residents in their care. And as most of you in the assisted living industry will know, a satisfied staff directly correlates to satisfied residents. Employing strategies that address these facts will help owners and managers keep hold of quality employees that will remain effective and loyal for years.

Tools for Residential Assisted Living Staff Retention

Retaining employees requires a multi-pronged approach to challenging your staff and getting the work done while providing proper rewards and incentives.  Employers must provide a safe and comfortable work environment while also communicating to employees that their well-being and career are of importance as well.

Compensation and Other Benefits that Increase Employee Retention

All businesses face tough decisions about employee compensation. Assisted living involves more than simply renting a room to seniors, it is about providing quality care. Caregivers are arguably the single most important part of the business. Accordingly, compensation packages are important and communicate an owner’s and their manager’s view of the value of their caregivers to the business. Salary, however, is only one of the compensation tools at a manager’s disposal. Some other important elements to a successful compensation package involve the following:

Retention Bonuses

Recent surveys report that only about 25% of assisted living residences provide cash bonuses for employees who stay with them. The average tenure required to earn such a bonus is three years, and the average bonus was just over $600. Gift certificates work great here too. Another way to look at this is that only 25% of your competition values staff retention.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to acknowledge the value of your team. Sometimes recognition alone can go a long way toward communicating value. If there is not enough money in your operation to be generous once or twice a year, staff retention may not be the only major problem. Take advantage of the opportunity to acknowledge your caregivers and other staff when you can. They are the principle ambassadors for your business.

Recruitment Bonuses

These tend to be effective when both the new hire and the recruiter get a bonus, and when the bonus is staggered (i.e. not given in full until the new hire has stayed for a defined period). Recent surveys report these bonuses were approximately $570 in 2015.

Tuition Reimbursement

As few as 13% of assisted living communities offered this benefit.  Providing assistance with certification programs benefits all parties and should be encouraged by all employers.

Mentoring Programs

This approach was used in less than 4% of care homes, perhaps because of the resource-intensive nature of mentoring.  Mentorship is very important to both sides of the relationship and helps jump start the learning process and assessment of the employee’s progress.  This could simply be the manager shadowing the caregivers once a quarter to make sure they are performing and learning.  Of course, this is more important for younger people who are new to the field, but still valuable to the more experienced worker who may be asked to mentor them.

Checksheets in Training and Operations

The use of checksheets in training and operations takes the guesswork out of the caregiver’s job and helps them focus on providing care. JJ Dedmon, who owns and operates three facilities with a total of 104 beds, helps illustrate this point. Few assisted living residences have detailed checksheets, according to Ms. Dedmon.

“Checksheets have saved me so much time and headache,” she says. “It clarifies expectations, and forces the managers to think through every single aspect of the job so that every aspect of the work is clear. I come from a nursing background and check-sheets are the norm. But other businesses use checksheets as well. Mortgage businesses, lawyers, even fast food places use check sheets, but most assisted living places don’t.”

Staff Bonuses

Performance bonuses are the most common staff retention strategy. This strategy, when combined with checksheets, will give caregivers clear performance targets.

Crafting performance standards that include clear milestones and incentives, helps your team and your managers who may be involved in the reviews.

Professional Development of Current Employees

The professional development of your staff is critical to your own success as well as to their job satisfaction and growth. Businesses that support professional development are rewarded with loyalty and more effective staff.

Professional certifications are available for both managerial and caregiver positions in most states, and are often available on their Department of Health and Human Services website.  Making certifications and regular training a standard part of your goal setting will pay dividends in both staff and resident satisfaction.

The Residential Assisted Living National Academy also offers online courses for staff and owners that can help improve caregiver performance.

Effective Communications and Friendly Relationships

Caregivers are on the front lines of resident interaction and satisfaction. Management is the key to creating an environment that supports the caregivers and establishes the positive environment desired by the residents. Communication skills are key to creating that supportive and open environment.

Open and respectful communications between owners, management, and employees is also essential for staff retention. Management must go beyond giving instructions to staff to building trustworthy relationships and demonstrating interest in their employees’ careers.

Assisted living residences are very intimate environments. A positive work environment that focuses on collegiality and positive relationships among the staff is what you want to communicate to residents and their families. This is an important part of your marketing and reputation as well, therefore, it is not something that can be left to chance. Fostering positive relationships in the workplace can do wonders for both employee and resident retention.

  • A good communication plan should include at least the following items:
  • Clearly setting detailed task expectations and adhering to them.
  • Setting schedules and allowing some flexibility for personal needs.
  • Seeking feedback to optimize operations.
  • Quarterly updates to staff on both future and completed changes in operation.
  • Allowing staff to communicate with you via the manager, or directly, to voice issues and concerns.
  • Eliciting performance reviews of your caregivers and your operation by residents and their families, and sharing these openly.
  • Setting goals and measuring achievement.

This list, however, contains merely the mechanical steps and tasks associated with a communications plan. Building skillful communication among owners, managers, and staff to establish and maintain a positive environment is more difficult to capture. Accordingly, your initial steps in establishing a positive environment will depend upon hiring people with positive communication styles.

Annual Performance Reviews

It is important and a sign of good communications to adhere to a consistent performance review schedule, usually annually. Employees measure themselves on goals agreed upon and attained, and expect to be compensated for their loyalty. If you are using checksheets, there is little guesswork in performance reviews. Staff bonuses are a common acknowledgment for staff performance. Expect to do what it takes to meet their needs so you can continue to maintain a positive work environment.  Work with each individual to set goals so they can continue to grow in their careers.

Beyond the successful completion of their work by checksheets, staff evaluations can include questions around: attitude, communications, growth, dependability, productivity, initiative and creativity

It is important to develop an objective weighting system describing how important each area is to your operation and how well the employee performed. Totaling up the scores provides a quick measure of the results and allows you to easily compare progress from review to review. Naturally, additional reviews other than the regularly scheduled ones could also be conducted in the event of a promotion or change in duties and responsibilities, or at other times deemed appropriate.

These are just a handful of the tried and tested strategies for retaining the staff in your residential assisted living homes. As with any business, you don’t want to just fill positions, you want the very best employees you can find. This is even more crucial in the business of care homes where the health and well-being of senior residents is on the line.

If you need more tips on how to find the right staff for your care home, check out our previous blog post How Do I Find the Right Staff for My RAL?

Or if you’d like more information about topics like this check out the Residential Assisted Living National Association at Another excellent resource for you covering all things in the Residential Assisted Living community. The Association provides support to members through collaboration, group purchasing power, advocacy, industry marketing, educational services, and certifications. The goal is to strengthen and support the excellent care being provided in residential care homes; high quality, personalized residential care.

The Residential Assisted Living National Association represents the interests of small assisted living providers. The mission is to help small assisted living homes get the resources they need, give them a voice at the national level, and improve the quality of service provided throughout the industry. With a national membership base, RALNA offers a robust set of benefits, including:

  • Training/Education – Provide even better care to your residents through education and training opportunities with nationally renowned experts.
  • Legal Services & Advocacy – Have access to legal experts that understand the assisted living business and the legal issues surrounding it.
  • Improved Industry Standards – RALNA’s certification program tells the public that your home meets rigorous national standards.
  • Save Money – Our national membership base allows RALNA to offer robust group buying power so members save money and increase profitability.
  • Market Your Home – RALNA helps to educate the general public that smaller is better when it comes to assisted living, and we provide a home locator so potential residents can learn about your services.

Also, RALNA will be developing a staff review form for its members in 2019. Although, in the meantime, various rudimentary templates can easily be found on the Internet.

To find out more about RALNA’s training programs and learn what this amazing organization can do for you:



Call 1-307-461-9331

– Do Good and Do Well, my friend.

Finding Staff for Your Assisted Living Home

The success of your Residential Assisted Living business is dependent on so much more than simply the passion you have and the great ideas you want to implement in it. There are various types of differing roles that need to be filled and so many tasks to accomplish that unless you are Superman, you’re going to need a lot of help. And since you can’t be everywhere all the time, it is of vital importance to surround yourself with staff that you can trust to carry out the tasks that need to get done with the level of excellence that you require.

Whether you are a hands-on owner and operator of a RAL or you have a more hands-off approach and are competent in delegating and evaluating your employees, your staff is the face of your business. They are the front-door representatives of your residential assisted living home, not only to the residents and their families, but to your surrounding community and the success of your business is largely dependent on them.

This is why it is so important to take proper measures in ensuring that you find and hire the right people for the right roles in your business and that you do everything you can to assist in their development so that they remain loyal to your cause and you can depend on them for years to come. In this article, we will highlight some of the key steps to finding, interviewing, hiring, developing and evaluating qualified employees for your residential assisted living business. Here at the RAL Academy, we want you to succeed and we want you to find the best people you can to help move your residential assisted living home forward so that you can provide our nation’s seniors with the most excellent care available in the assisted living industry.

Before we get into all the specifics concerning locating and hiring employees, as a residential assisted living business owner you should first know the kind of help you would be needing for your home. There are so many different ways that people have opened and run assisted living facilities in the U.S., from the hospital-like big-box facilities to the small mom-and-pop style homes, there are various systems that have shown to be effective, some more than others. But just so you know all of the different options that are out there, the following are numerous types of care workers that can be found in various types of assisted living facilities across the country. Although you will not necessarily be interested in many of these types of care workers, it is good to know the options that are available and among this broad spectrum of care workers you will undoubtedly find just the ones that suit your business and the goals of your assisted living facility.

Types of Care Workers that You Could Have on Your Payroll

Personal Care Assistants (PCAs)

The PCAs are usually not certified and can have a varying level of experience. This would be dependent on the years they have spent in the industry before coming to be of service to you. The job description of a PCA involves holding conversations with the patients, providing companionship and walking them. They can also get involved in chores and activities such as general hygiene and clean-up (bathing, using the toilet, etc.), offering transportation to appointments, helping them go shopping and so much more. Before you hire a PCA-type worker, it would be beneficial to check the provisions concerning their employment in your state. Some states require that PCAs have a training while the rules are lax in other states. Ensure you keep to all formal requirements, and you’ll be good to go. For in-home care it is worth noting that PCAs are usually not covered under insurance, and are mostly placed on wages (hourly, daily, weekly, etc.).

Home Health Aides (HHAs)

Unlike the PCAs, HHAs have to be trained and certified before they can get into this service. Like previously mentioned, it is also good to check the state laws regarding home health aides to know what to look out for before hiring. Their job description is one that also requires assisting with parts of daily living such as bathing, dressing up and using the bathroom. Besides that, though, HHAs are trained to monitor the patient’s vitals and observe their conditions to ensure they are kept in the best of health.

Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs or CNAs)

The certification level of a Licensed (or Certified) Nursing Assistant is much higher, and that reflects in the added importance of their job type. The personal care provided by certified nursing assistants, and personal attendants is vital to the welfare of residents of assisted living housing. CNAs help with personal care duties that can include bathing, toileting, dressing and mobility. They are tasked with critically monitoring of the patient’s vitals and signs, and are trained to watch for health changes and to report their concerns when issues arise that could compromise patent safety and welfare. For example, when an assisted living resident stops eating or refuses to get out of bed, the CNA alerts the nursing supervisor, who then can arrange for medical tests or transport to the hospital. They are also well versed in the art of setting up medical equipment, changing dressings, taking care of infections and offering more intensive, health-based care to the patient. If there is a medical procedure to be performed, it is the job of the LNA to notify and assist a Registered Nurse to get that done. Otherwise, they can go on assisting the patient in any other way necessary.

Skilled Nursing Providers (SNPs)

Like the previous category, SNPs must meet the federal standard for health and safety, then be licensed by the state they will be practicing in. After years of training and education they are able to offer care services and direct medical care that cannot be provided by any of the professionals listed above this category. Training makes them equipped to administer drugs and shots, changing wound dressings, caring for diabetes patients and providing education for the caregiver and patient, as well as many other medical intensive care tasks. Some of these professionals have added skills to buffer their trade. It is, thus, not surprising to see a SNP with extra skills in occupational, physical and/ or speech therapy.

Registered Nurses (RNs)

RNs probably don’t need much of an introduction and don’t often find themselves in assisted living facilities, but depending on the scope of the facility, they can be employed in senior care and deserve to be mentioned as well. These professionals hold a diploma or degree that allows them practice in the medical field. They have passed all of the exams and licensing requirements from the board of nursing in their state or the state where they wish to practice in. Their job involves providing direct medical care when they can or assisting doctors in more advanced procedures. They also offer guidance to family members in addition to operating intricate medical equipment and administering regulatory level medications. Smaller assisted living facilities or those that focus on cost-cutting measures often use visiting nurses or part-time RNs to oversee the nursing assistants and check on residents. Larger assisted living facilities maintain full-time nursing shifts. CNAs must work under a registered nurse’s supervision, so on-site nurses may be needed to provide more intensive oversight of skilled nursing assistant staff and orderlies. At the same time, facilities that house a range of residents with mental and physical disabilities tend to keep at least one nurse on-site at all times.

The Important Thing Is to Find the Right Staff to Fit Your Specific Needs

Although the latter few occupational health workers will probably not feature in many of your assisted living facilities, knowing the various levels of care and medical professionals that are out there can help inform you as you seek to find the right staff with the right qualifications that will meet your needs. And if you are an owner or operator of an assisted living home or facility, having a more thorough knowledge of the experience, education and training required in the various roles of these care service professionals will only show greater confidence and proficiency to prospective employees as you sit down to interview with them. Another key reason these care professionals were mentioned is that, although you may not hire them as regular employees in your assisted living homes, you may hire them occasionally as independent contractors to come in and meet with or educate your residence and their families on specific health topics, which can only serve to boost your marketability as a superior care facility to your surrounding community.

Know What You Need

Now that we have discussed the various types of care professionals in this industry, it’s time to assess your own residential assisted living operation and determine which types of care professionals will best fit your needs. Depending on the kind of care home that you want to run, you might not need many of the kinds of personnel we have listed above.

The first step you want to take is to determine what type of housing and assistance level you want to provide for your residents. There such a broad spectrum of care and assistance needed by seniors, but the beauty of residential assisted living is that as an independent owner and operator, you get to determine what types of residents you want to care for and what levels of care you want to hire staff for. Just because there are seniors in your community who may require more advanced levels of assistance, does not mean that you necessarily need to cater to that level of clientele.

When people in the general population talk about senior housing or assisted living it is usually all lumped together in one definition with the image of a large hospital-like facility in mind. But that is just not a very good explanation of what assisted living is, nor is it what we as a society should be striving for in caring for our senior population. In this industry, one of the most common ways that we classify senior housing is by the levels of assistance provided. Not all seniors are created equal and not all senior housing needs to be equal either. For example, an active 75-year-old will not need the same kind of support and daily assistance as a much less active 90-year-old with numerous health conditions might. Just as not all seniors are alike, not all who are looking for senior housing are alike either. So as someone who is running their own assisted living business, it is extremely beneficial to know the market and exactly what part of that market you are striving to cater to.

For our purposes here in this resource, there are five basic levels of care and services provided to seniors: senior apartments, independent living, traditional assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. All of these types of senior care have specific levels of assistance and depending on the facility in question, many of the services provided under these five levels can overlap in interchange. But for the most part, many of you reading this article will be primarily interested in focusing on the traditional assisted living and memory care models. However, understanding the less intensive and more intensive care models on either side of the spectrum can help inform you of where to market and search for new residents as well as where to refer existing residents whose assistance needs have developed beyond the scope of your assisted living home.

The ‘personal care services’ section illustrated in the image above can be understood in terms of activities of daily living, or ADLs. This is the main area that differentiates independent living from assisted living and involve such activities as:

  • Bathing: personal hygiene and grooming
  • Dressing: help with dressing and undressing
  • Eating: preparing food, feeding and clean up after
  • Transferring: assistance with movement and mobility
  • Toileting: continence-related tasks including control and hygiene

Whether you are a caregiver, a RAL manager, a RAL owner or simply an investor in the business, understanding the needs of the residents in each type of senior housing business model is important for determining your vision, evaluation and ultimately the success of your RAL home. For example, if the majority of seniors in your surrounding community require a certain level of care, but you have defined the vision of your RAL home to be set up to meet a different level of need, then you might find it hard to fill and keep your home filled. Knowing the options out there and understanding the market of your immediate community will go a long way to determining your success in this business. There are so many ways for a person to invest their time, talent and finances into senior care and is crucial to understand the basic types of facility and community in which you choose to invest yourself.

Once you’ve decided which type of senior care facility aligns with your goals in this industry and once you have determined the level of care you want your facility to provide, you can then make informed decisions about what types of employees will help you achieve those goals. You aren’t going to want to have employees on your payroll that are far more qualified than the job that you have employed them to do, because you will probably be paying far more in wages than you need to and employees who understand their value as being much greater than their current employment won’t take long before they look for a different job. On the other hand, hiring employees who are not qualified to do what you expect of them is also not a good option because it will hurt your business and it isn’t fair to expect employees to accomplish tasks beyond their training and ability. It is all about finding the right tool for the right job.

Of the five different types of care workers that we discussed previously, the average residential assisted living business owner is probably going to want to focus on the first two categories of care workers, personal care assistants and home health aides. In the level of training and expertise for these caregivers will depend on your state and local regulations so it is important to find out exactly what is required in your particular case. Some of the roles you will be hiring for demand special licensing and certifications. So to be on the safe side, check with your state laws to know what is required. Knowing these regulations will also help winnow out prospective employees so you don’t waste your time pursuing and interviewing potential candidates who don’t actually meet the requirements of your assisted living facility.

Look for Experience

Although, it is not always a bad idea to hire marginally less experienced workers, as you can train and develop them into exactly what you’re looking for, but there are many advantages to experience that you just cannot beat. Plus, depending on your residential assisted living home’s level of assistance and the state or local regulations concerning training and certification for care staff, you will probably want to error on the side of more experienced and qualified from the start. Look to see perspective care staff who has spent a few years in the assisted living industry. On the other hand, if your residential assisted living business is relatively new or funds are limited, you might not want to seek care staff with decades of experience as these employees will likely cost significantly more than similarly qualified individuals with only a handful of years in their work history. In fact, there are some states who have very little regulation in terms of what qualifications and certifications care staff possess, and in these cases if you have the desire to start from the ground up and are willing to be patient and pay for new employees to be fully trained, that is also an option to consider. There are numerous organizations that you can find online who train and educate care staff and it is only a matter of resources and time to develop a team around you that facilitates care that meets the standards you have set.

In the end it is all dependent on your goals with your assisted living homes. Here are the RAL Academy, we encourage you to seek excellence and superior standards of care and every element of your assisted living business, however, we realize that there are periods of development that take time to reach her goals. If you are able to find staff, specifically caregivers, who have 3 to 5 years of experience and are dependable, genuinely care about your residents, meet the state and local qualifications and are on board in adopting your mission and goals for your care facility, that is probably a great place to start; besides the fact that they will know what to do right out of the gate.

It is also worth remembering to look to employ more staff than you need at any one time. Having the minimum number of care staff needed to run your operation might become problematic when one or more of them is sick or unable to work, so having alternate options at your disposal is going to ensure that you don’t have any lapse in care when some staff are inevitably unable to fulfill their shifts. Another concept that is worth looking into is the idea of mentorship. When you hire alternate staff to fill in for your regular staff, it might be easier to choose less experienced individuals who, over time, can work alongside more experienced staff and learn from them on the job; almost like hiring an understudy. These less experienced individuals, who are often more plentiful and easier to find in the job market, will grow and develop with the potential to take over and keep running the business in years to come. And because you took a chance on a more inexperienced care worker, and used to resources to develop their ability and help them move forward in their career, there is a greater chance that they will repay you with years of loyalty. After all, most of us at some stage in our professional careers were very inexperienced and along the way someone took a chance on us.

Type of Employees that Work in Assisted Living

So, what types of roles are we looking to fill in our assisted living homes?

It is good to start with the assisted living home manager. Whether you are hands-off or hands-on in your assisted living homes, this is the person that is going to have the most responsibility. They are going to be overseeing day-to-day operations, interacting with residents and their families, setting and maintaining the standards that align with your goals is a RAL owner. In many cases, when the RAL owner has a more hands-off approach to the business, the manager can be responsible for finding, interviewing, hiring, evaluating and firing staff. They can also be responsible for marketing your RAL business and finding new residents when there are beds that need to be filled.

So, what quality should a manager have?

You are looking for somebody who is in control, who can take a system and implement it. Somebody who is genuinely nice to their family, to their spouse, their coworkers. If they are the manager, they need to be fair, but firm with their caregivers underneath them. The manager is responsible for managing the caregivers, doing things like hiring and firing, scheduling, giving somebody a day off when they need it or requiring them to take a day off when they need it.

Managers need to be personal. Those interpersonal relationships are the hardest thing of all to teach and train. At the RAL Academy, we actually provide a whole training course on how to hire a manager, exactly what to look for and exactly what to avoid. If the caregivers are the heart of your organization the manager is the head and overseas the caregivers, providing vision and direction. The manager needs to have experience in human resources as they are responsible for finding, training and retaining caregiving staff. they also need to have the ability to fill the home by attracting new residents, giving tours and developing relationships with prospective residents and their families. When they interact with potential residents they need to have the interpersonal skills to help the seniors and their families feel at ease and comfortable with the living situation that is provided, as well as fostering a comfortable relationship between residents and caregivers. Ultimately, the manager is continually dealing with people, whether communicating with residents, caregivers, the families of residents, outside contractors or suppliers, the ideal candidate needs to be a real people person.

In addition to the relational aspects of the job, the manager also needs to be fairly detail oriented, making sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. They are responsible for keeping records, keeping stock of all necessary products and supplies, contracting maintenance and other services, as well as many other important details. While it is not always easy to find someone who excels at interpersonal communication as well as being extremely detailed, these people do exist and it is just a matter of finding them. Although, it is worthy to note that if, in your search for qualified candidates, you had to error on one side or the other, the far more important skill would be to have excellent interpersonal communication skills.

In addition to the skilled help they receive from trained caregivers, senior residents appreciate all the activities available in assisted living facilities. Depending on how you choose to set up your residential assisted living home, an effective manager can also be responsible for making sure residents have plenty to do. Organizing group activities like yoga, exercise, arts and crafts, karaoke, movie nights, bingo and card games, as well as visits from volunteers to provide entertainment for residents, are also ways to stimulate your residents and add value to the marketing of your RAL home. And depending on the mobility of your residents and the availability of convenient transportation, the manager can also organize off-site trips to museums, theaters and shopping, which are activities that can really benefit your residents.

The next most important role we are looking to fill in our assisted living home is our caregivers. So what kind of qualities should these caregivers have?

It takes a special kind of person to become a caregiver. Not only does it require a compassionate heart and a temperament that is prone to patience, a caregiver must also meet specific standards and possess skills unique to the medical care industry. Caregiving requires excellent communication skills, a dedicated commitment to resident’s health and safety and the ability to be continually flexible in an unpredictable environment.

Being an effective caregiver takes training and the right mindset. The truth is most of us are not innately equipped to take up the great responsibility of caring for others in such a continuous and intimate manner, so finding people who have these important qualifications is critical to being successful in the residential assisted living space. So, if you are looking to secure qualified staff for your residential assisted living home, or if you are a manager or caregiver and are looking for tips on how to become more effective, the information we will discuss further in this article might be helpful to you.

The bottom line is the individuals or directly providing care in your assisted living home are the most important link to your overall success. Skilled, loving, certified and dependable caregivers are the key to a well-run operation. Caregivers are the heart and soul of any quality residential assisted living home. Depending on the state, there will be certain qualifications and training that caregivers must have. In some states these qualifications are minimal and in others the requirements are more rigorous, so it is important to know what regulations exist in your state. And remember, as a RAL owner you are entitled to holding your staff to a higher standard if your states regulations are minimal. After all, your reputation in this industry is critical for success. You want your RAL to be known as a place that employees the best caregivers who provide superior care to your residents. Regardless of what the state requires, we want to make sure that they are the right person for us, how they treat the resident, how they look for solutions when problems arise, how they work with and take direction from the manager.

While most people who live in a residential assisted living home need help with basic living skills, they do not need constant medical oversight. The primary difference between an assisted living facility and a more intensive nursing home is that assisted living residents do not require round-the-clock monitoring for major illnesses and disabilities. For many seniors, assisted living is the ideal option for those who have problems with mobility but cannot arrange for help in their homes, and the added bonus is that this living arrangement also benefits people who prefer to live in a social setting in their senior years.

In addition to finding quality managers and caregivers, it is also important to find good independent contractors when outside help is needed for things like maintenance or a specific service you hire to for your residents. We want contractors with the right attitude, who understand the importance of what we do. Professionals who, when they’re on the job and on our premise, whether dealing with our residents or staff, that they do it with respect, high quality, the best attitude possible. An ideal assisted living home provides a safe environment for its often vulnerable residents. It relies on adequate maintenance and a housekeeping staff to make sure the building is free of hazards, such as cracked sidewalks and burned out lighting. Having a reliable maintenance worker or handyman that you can call at any time to address issues with the property is a must. Or if you prefer, it could be a number of independent contractors and handymen who are able to fix and maintain specific areas of your assisted living home.

Keeping the home in good shape and the cleanliness of the facility is vital for ensuring the health of your residents and preventing the spread of infections. The housekeeping staff cleans rooms and hallways, keeps the facility free of food and debris to avoid attracting rodents and insects and ensures that floors and walkways are safe and dry. In a large portion of residential assisted living homes, the caregivers share many of the housekeeping duties. Although it is always beneficial if you have the financial freedom to hire an individual or a team of individuals to tackle all of the housekeeping duties so that your caregivers can focus more of their time and expertise on your residents.

There is a lot that goes into finding the right people to work in our residential assisted living homes and because they’re play such a big role in our success we want to focus on doing it right the first time. Now that we have discussed some of the general qualifications we are looking for let’s talk about the specifics of how to go about finding and hiring the right people.

Home Care Employment Agencies

While many who start residential assisted living homes do so in a more independent entrepreneurial manner, many benefits can be found by eliciting the help of large organizational employment services.  Home care employment agencies give referrals to people seeking home care nurses and health aides. Clients may contact, hire and pay caregivers directly. When you directly hire home care workers, the advantage of working with a reputable home care employment agency is that they’ve screened each person in their database. Additionally, home care employment agencies may also provide worker training and occasional on-the-job supervision. Ideally a home care agency becomes a family’s trusted partner for senior care. When you meet with the administrator, getting answers to many important questions can help you avoid choosing a mismatch or substandard care.

What is the administrator’s background? All sorts of people direct home care agencies, and some are more qualified than others. A director’s duties are important and diverse: setting the agency’s policies, managing the employees, negotiating with insurance companies, ensuring compliance with healthcare laws, and more. Many states require that two people serve as an agency’s administrators.

The most appropriate educational background for a home care agency leader is in healthcare administration or public health. Typically, an administrator has a master’s degree, but competence for the role is certainly possible with a bachelor’s degree plus work experience. Longtime healthcare professionals such as RNs and psychologists also move into administrative positions.

The best home care agencies are led by people with relevant training and a genuine commitment to human well-being. If you get the sense that money is the manager’s main motivator, then it is probably time to ease your way out of the interview.

Is the agency Medicare certified? To receive Medicare coverage for home care, a patient needs to work with a Medicare Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA).

Is the agency licensed by the state? Not all states have industry-specific licenses for home care agencies. If your state has the option, choose a state licensed home care agency for assurance that state standards are met.

Does the agency carry insurance? Choose an agency that has its caregivers bonded and insured. A well-run agency also has professional liability insurance and general liability insurance.

What services are available? Home care agencies may provide medical services, non-medical services or both. Confirm that the desired services are available. For example, not every state-licensed center has an RN on call 24/7. Some, but not all, have caregivers trained in speech therapy, physical therapy, Alzheimer’s therapy or memory care, and other healthcare specialties.

How are the caregivers trained? The best home care agencies have extensive orientations for caregivers and provide continuing education. One essential part of caregiving is effectively handling emergencies, so be sure to ask if emergency training is included in employee orientation. (Are employees trained in fire safety? Do they know the Heimlich maneuver and CPR?) Continuing education lets caregivers build their healthcare skill sets and stay up-to-date with best practices in home care.

How thorough are the agency’s background checks? Effectively vetting a potential employee involves talking with their previous employer and other references. It also involves getting a full criminal background check to be aware of any felonies, misdemeanors and driving violations.

How many caregivers are assigned to each client? The best home care agencies assign more than one caregiver to each client. Because two or three people become regular visitors, a worker familiar to the senior is available even if one person takes time off or leaves the agency.

If the senior is unhappy with a caregiver, can another worker take the shift? You might also ask the director to explain their procedure for matching clients with caregivers.

How are caregivers managed? When caregivers are treated well, their patients can benefit. Before hiring a home care agency, observe how the management interacts with staff. Ask the director how the agency motivates its workers and recognizes great work.

Also ask about employee supervision and evaluation. Directors should occasionally observe their employees in the field, preferably unannounced to help ensure quality control.

Advertise & Leverage Your Connections

There is no better way to get your first stream of applicants than putting it out there that you are actively looking for caregivers. Use all the mediums at your disposal to get the word out: social media, job websites, your personal website and your network of caregivers, if you have one. Employee recruitment and retention has been an issue in the senior housing industry for some time and the more you can do to get your brand out there, the better off you will be when it comes to finding and retaining the right staff. When using online media, just be aware that taking your ads to sources like Craigslist might generate a lot of interest from individuals who may not meet the standards that you’re hoping for. When posting your job ads, do your best to ensure they are put in the right places so they can be seen by the right eyes. Advertising at CNA schools, for example, will bring qualified and trained caregivers to your door, but these more experienced and medically trained staff will be looking for a certain level of compensation that might be beyond what you are ready to offer at the moment.

When advertising the position, don’t be afraid to get salesy, but not too much that it becomes unprofessional. Quality caregivers know their worth, so throw in descriptions of the benefits you will offer, such as:Great pay

  • Flexible working hours
  • Optimum working conditions
  • Possible health benefits
  • Potential training certification to advance their career
  • Possible bonus programs, etc.

Overall, you want to make sure the ad is kept short, sweet and straight to the point because most people who are looking for a job are going to be scouring numerous employment resources in high volumes, so having an ad that jumps out and grabs their attention will only help you find the right people faster. And an important tip for those marketing with online sources, make sure to do what you can to separate the careers pages for jobseekers from the marketing for new residents. Because as a business, you don’t want potential residents or families of residents to go to your webpage or Facebook page and immediately see that you are looking to hire 10 new care staff. It just would not set the right message.

Another potential employee source might just be right in your nose. One way to identify employees who are most likely to stay with a senior living organization for the long-term is to turn to that organization’s current staff members. Leverage all of your connections within the assisted living space. Look at the employees who have been brought into your community that have had the most success in integrating into the company’s culture, and follow the connections that led them to being recruited in the first place. It is safe to say that a large portion of those who have been employed in assisted living, at some point were referred to the job by an existing resident, employee or other individual somehow related to assisted living. So do your best to make the most of those connections and you just might find staff with even greater loyalty than you were expecting.

Residential assisted living home owners should also be aware of their public image. Pay closer attention to company review sites like Glassdoor, which is kind of like a Yelp for employers, where current and former employees can openly have their say about your business for all to see. Many smaller RAL businesses won’t really be large enough to have to deal with that, but if you are in assisted living business that has made a name in your community, it is worth knowing what perceptions the public might have about your business.

A final point about using the right resources to find the right staff… Don’t forget to consider looking outside the senior living industry for your next employees. Many assisted living owners and businesses, large and small, can be hesitant to recruit employees from other industries, but this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. Although this is a very skill-specific industry, it is also a very inward-looking industry, and we just might be far too limiting with our options for prospective employees. We want competent and capable staff who have the training and certification to be able to do their job with excellence right out of the gate, but some of your best and most loyal employees just might come from people who aren’t already in the industry, people who were caring, eager and ready to learn what you have to teach them. In these cases, it is advised to partner with training organizations in your local area to help assist these relatively inexperienced new hires to get the training certification they need. If you are willing to invest in people, they will be much more willing to invest in your mission and vision for your business, and they will probably end up remaining with you a lot longer.

Making the Initial Connections

The key to hiring staff for your RAL is not just getting a caregiver or a manager, but finding the best ones, the right ones, attracting them, training them and retaining them. There are so many potential employees out there, and because the people that you choose will become the voice and face of your organization, sifting through the masses and finding the gems is critical for success. With most elements of society moving more toward online activity, being able to do initial interviews over Skype can save you time and increase the number of potential caregivers that you can filter through. There are numerous placement agencies and online resources to help find potentially qualified employees near you and most of your initial evaluation can be done online. You will, however, want to hold interviews in person as you near the latter stages of the interview process in order to get a better sense of the individual and how they interact with others.

During the preliminary and latter stages of employee interviews, you’ll want to be prepared with more than just standard interview questions and delve into inquiries like, “how would you handle this particular situation? What would you say to this? What do you see as your biggest strength and what do you see as your biggest weakness?” These questions should be gleaned from your experience in the residential assisted living environment and what concerns and issues you have seen in your time working with residents. What you are looking for is how they respond, as you are looking them in the eye and getting a feel for them, you don’t even need to be in the same room. Do they understand what I’m saying?  Do they really have a genuine response or are they just saying what they think I want to hear?

Interviewing Candidates

The following tips and interview questions may be helpful as you hire home care workers, and remember to clarify your needs when interviewing caregivers.

1. List the specific areas in which help is needed. Some possibilities:
Personal Care: bathing, dressing, eating, dressing, using the toilet, lifting out of bed
Homemaking: preparing meals, cleaning, washing laundry, buying groceries
Medical Care: managing medication, physical therapy, intravenous treatments, dialysis, physician’s appointments
Emotional Care: companionship, conversation, enriching activities

2. Calculate how many hours of care are needed daily or weekly. How long is each shift?

3. Decide how much you will pay per hour. Also list any special benefits of the job. For help determining your pay rate, research the wages offered by local home care agencies. Also put yourself in the worker’s shoes, paying the local norm isn’t necessarily fair to the employee, and it’s doesn’t serve your best interest as a RAL owner.

Living on market rates can be especially stressful for entry-level home care workers. If the market rate is just $10/hr in your town, then a full-time worker would take home just $1600/month before taxes. Their annual income would be so low that they would qualify for federal assistance. If home care workers our living on such fine margins, they probably won’t be able to keep up a high level of care for long. When setting a rate, put yourself in the worker’s shoes.

Employment benefits can make your job offer more attractive. Home health care agencies typically offer health care and other benefits to their employees. A few examples of benefits you might offer:

  • Meals
  • Paid vacation days
  • Paid sick days
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Travel opportunities
  • Tuition for healthcare education

Figure out how you’ll make payments and comply with the law. When you hire home health workers directly, you need to report the expense to the Internal Revenue Service. Reporting the work may bring tax deductions, plus it gives social security benefits to the employee. For more details, visit the IRS publications page. Finally, write an employment contract to protect yourself and your employees. It’s wise to first have a trial agreement, e.g., for 30 days.

Preliminary Interview by Phone

Before meeting a job applicant in person, interview him or her by phone or over Skype. This can be a great time saver. Covering the following topics in a preliminary interview might rule out a number of applicants and save you lots of time.

  • Work hours
  • Relevant training and work experience
  • Access to transportation
  • Why the person is interested in the job

If the preliminary interview is to your liking, then arrange to meet in person. Some employers find that it is a good idea to have the initial meeting in a public place unless you already trust the individual based on a friend’s recommendation. Ask the applicant to bring a photo ID, their job history or resume, contacts for references and any other documentation that you might find useful.

Full Interview in Person

Although there is no set list of interview questions that must be asked, below are some of the many questions that are ideal for most care worker environments. Remember that the main tasks of your interview are: presenting your needs, understanding the applicant’s skills and qualifications, explaining the compensation and deciding whether the applicant is a good match for your residents and families.

When appropriate, you can also have your seniors interact with the interviewee before or after the interview to get a better sense of how they well communicate with your residents. This is easily done if you feel comfortable having the interview at your residential assisted living home. The following questions are key to any caregiver interview. Consider amending them and adding any additional questions that you feel would be helpful to the process.

  • Why are you working in home eldercare?
  • What is your work experience as a caregiver?
  • What do you like about assisted living?
  • What are the greatest challenges of home care work?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?
  • What is your favorite part of the job?
  • What is your least favorite part of the job?
  • Do you have any other special skill that would be helpful to know about?
  • Can you provide documentation of your health status including immunizations?
  • Can you provide documentation of your relevant training?
  • Are you capable of executing these duties? (List out what you expect from them and make sure they not only understand, but are willing and capable to take on the job).
  • What do you think makes for a good work experience and environment?
  • Are you certified in CPR or willing to become certified?
  • How do you prefer to receive feedback? Would you be comfortable with a weekly or monthly check-in about progress and any problems?

It is a challenging thing to get to know someone really well in a short amount of time, but there is a lot you can glean about a person if you are observant and are equipped with the right questions and answers. After gathering all of the pertinent information you can from their background checks and credentials, it is time for a talk with your preferred candidates.

We generally recommend having three different interviews for your referred candidate. They should go on the lines of:

  • A phone interview – This is not the main thing, and should not be treated as such. The importance of a phone interview is to establish contact with the candidate, know a little about them and determine if they meet all the basic requirements you are looking for before you invite them over for an in-person interview.
  • In-person interview – At this point, only those who have passed the test above are invited for a sit-down. You get to meet them and ask all the relevant questions that will help you determine whether or not they are a good fit for your company.
  • Second in-person interview – The fact that a person impressed when you interviewed them might not mean that they will be great with the clients too, and vice versa. Thus, give everyone a benefit of the doubt and let them come back for another interview where they meet an older person they will most likely be working with. See how that pans out and you will usually be able to make your pick based on the interaction that happens before your eyes.

After the Interview

Following a positive interview, here are steps you can take to help ensure an effective home care agreement.

Call the job applicant’s references. There will always be a few bad eggs in any business who will take advantage of the employer and or the clients. That is not to say you can always weed them out, but a simple call to references will help you find the right ones most of the time. If you have someone who is unwilling to submit their references, that is a red flag that you should not ignore. No matter how good the rest of their credentials look, stay away. Previous employers and other references might confirm your impressions of the individual, or they might share other “red flags” that you missed. When you speak with other employers, ask about the worker’s punctuality and work quality. Ask why the person no longer holds that job position.

Consider paying for a criminal background check. Another service you can use to check for criminal records and past behavior is Intelius or SentryLink. If they have any dark records, you can be sure to come up with those here. Ask your local police station for guidance to get an accurate report. Many companies offer background checks via smartphone apps or the web, but their reports can be misleading. Some RAL owners might find this step a little intimidating, but it is worth remembering that these potential employees are the face of your business and are responsible for ensuring your resident’s health and safety.

Make the job offer. If the candidate accepts, then put your agreement in writing. Include a mention of a trial period before the job position is considered permanent. A contract for home care should also include: job duties, wages, payment schedule and method, start date, termination policy, time off and other benefits.

Include the Clients

Once you have established that the candidate is likely going to be the person you choose to fill your open position, it is good practice to involve the clients in the process. It can be very beneficial to have them interact with your residents to better evaluate their service of care and their rapport with your clientele and their families. This is a great way to hire someone that your seniors would be able to relate well and communicate better with, not just someone who looks good on paper. After all, this individual will be working daily with your residents. Another helpful tip is to identify common interests with the caregiver, which can be a huge boost to the success of the relationships in your business, not only between you, your manager and the caregivers but also with your residents.

Decide the Terms of Engagement

You can either decide to hire the caregiver as a full-time employee or contractor. The decision will mostly be based on the amount of money you are willing to spend to keep them with you as well as the amount of liabilities you are willing to take on. Making them an employee means you are required, under law, to take care of their taxes and other benefits (Medicare, social security, unemployment tax, etc.).  On the other hand, keeping them as a contractor means they would be paying their own taxes. However, you will still have to file appropriate documents around the terms of engagement (such as a 1099 form with the IRS).

Following the establishment of the terms of engagement above, an employment contract is important to help keep everyone in check about what is expected of them, and what they are entitled to. This would be a great reference in case any altercations come up in the future and can help alleviate any confusion when it is time for employee evaluations.

A solid employment contract should, at least, contain points like:

  • The job description
  • Expected hours of work
  • Schedule to be maintained by the caregiver
  • The rate of payment
  • Period of payments and
  • Every other element that you deem worthy of inclusion, especially everything you agreed upon during the interview process.

Provide your new employee with the proper employment forms, allow them go over it and make sure that all necessary documents are signed before having them begin working, to cover any issues of liability should something unforeseen come up.

It is worth reiterating a previous key point, that when you are going through the hiring process consider hiring backup workers. You are hiring real people, not super humans. Make sure that you are prepared to cover all the needs of your RAL home and its residents without stressing in case an employee falls ill or otherwise needs to skip a shift.

Check in during your caregiver’s work shifts. Especially when the work arrangement is new, spend time at the home to help familiarize the caregiver with your seniors’ needs. Periodically drop by unannounced during a shift to ensure that all is well. When setting up employment, schedule a regular time to meet with employees to address concerns about job duties and to evaluate the status of your residents’ health and well-being.

As you spend more time in your residential assisted living business, you will want to come up with more detailed systems and checklists to streamline your hiring processes that helps you identify and hire the right people. Until you get to that point, though, the tips and information found here will be a good starting point and get you headed in the direction that you want to go.

It is also worth mentioning that sometimes we need to adjust our expectations around staffing. Gone are the days where an employee loyally puts in 20 or 30 years of work into one company. Nowadays, it’s simply unrealistic to believe that most part-time assisted living care staff are going to stay with a RAL home for years on end. This is especially true for the community’s youngest part-time workers. To stand out from the crowd and distance yourself from other competitors, focus on creating an engaging and dynamic community and company culture. If a community can succeed in retaining an employee for one year, their chances of keeping them around long-term may increase exponentially.

Good help might be hard to find at times, but it is very possible. It might take some to get used to new processes, but if you persist in seeking excellence for your residential assisted living home, you will be interviewing a stream of highly qualified applicants in no time.

These are just a few of the numerous methods and tips that we help RAL owners adopt in their businesses to help create models of success in the residential assisted living industry. We have additional training that covers every topic you can imagine concerning RAL homes, setting up and running a successful RAL business, training and managing employees and every other assisted living topic under the sun. As valued members of our community we would like to continue to offer tips to help you find the residents that you are looking for to fill your RAL homes and create greater success in your business. You may already be familiar with some of these tips, so they might be a good reminder for you, or some of them may be new ideas that will help your business grow. And if you would like more information about additional training, visit:

The RAL Academy is here to help you succeed, so don’t put it off any longer. Come out to one of our amazing interactive 3-Day Fast Track events, where industry professionals will teach you everything you need to know to get started and excel in this amazing industry. Take control of your future and get involved in a unique market that allows you to help others while creating a sustainable business that can provide for your family for decades to come.

The Convenience of Home Study

Don’t have the time to set aside a weekend learning about the incredible opportunities in residential assisted living? We’ve got you covered. We offer a Home Study Course that will teach you what you need to know to hit the ground running in assisted living. Learn on your own time and at your own pace. Learn everything from strategies to find funding for your business to how to hire and train care staff, how to market your Residential Assisted Living home to the communities around you, and what not to do that will end up saving you thousands of dollars, and so much more. You will also have access to real-life case studies from students and associates who have taken the course and implemented it, creating countless positive cash flow success stories.

Sign Up for Our Informative Webinar

The Silver Tsunami of seniors is hitting the shores now. These seniors will be depending on a robust network of care homes, care-givers, medical professionals and the investors to support this vibrant industry. Be one of the first to respond to the fastest growing demographic shift in the U.S. today.

In the U.S., 180,375 people every month turn 85 years old. Most of these people will need assistance with daily activities and the current crop of nursing homes and care facilities are ill-equipped to give them the help and dignity that they deserve. Along with every great need comes great opportunity.

The Residential Assisted Living Academy is here to help you take advantage of the opportunity in this relatively untapped market, while also helping the most vulnerable in our society.
Our experienced professionals will show you how to start a Residential Assisted Living business that can create substantial, recurrent cash flow. Check out our Assisted Living Business Accelerator course and learn how you can convert a residential home into one for assisted housing and senior living,
while creating a stable business and income stream for life!

Along with the critical training you will receive, we will also include invaluable bonuses absolutely free. Bonuses like, 6 months of live support and group Q&A calls, handled by leading experts in the field, they will help answer all of your questions and guide through all of the important topics in the assisted living space.

These bonuses are available for a limited time. Don’t miss out on this amazing offer. Take your first steps toward financial freedom today.

Build Your Network with the Residential Assisted Living National Association

We can’t encourage you enough become member of the Residential Assistant Living National Association, which was formed to bring our industry together and to provide critical resources needed by every owner, operator or investor in Residential Assisted Living. Whether you are an owner, operator or an investor or just looking to learn all you can about the incredible opportunities in senior housing, the RAL National Association is the community for you. Get help from industry professionals and learn how Residential Assisted Living is the answer to set you on the path to financial freedom and success.

Some of the invaluable resources for our members include:

  • Group purchasing power with access to over 200 companies
  • Lobbying and legal support focused on the Fair Housing Act and Zoning
  • National Marketing for your RAL home
  • Continuing education for direct care staff
  • Strengthening and supporting the RAL community
  • Monthly newsletters addressing important issues facing RAL homes
  • Private Facebook page, building support and community
  • Access to business opportunities, investors, qualified operators and administrators
  • And much, much more

For anyone who wants to get started, expand, invest in or help support the mission of providing high quality senior housing and care in a residential setting, the RAL National Association is a must for anyone serious about their financial future in assisted living.

– Do Good and Do Well, my friends.

Emmanuel Guarino & Bekah Guarino

Emmanuel & Bekah, Rising Stars in the Residential Assisted Living Industry

Last year, VoyagePhoenix reached out to Emmanuel and Bekah Guarino, two members of our RAL Academy team, to interview them about the incredible work they are doing in the Residential Assisted Living space. VoyagePhoenix is an organization that showcases business and artistic trailblazers in the Phoenix metropolitan area. They sat down with Emmanuel and Bekah to discuss their journey in this exciting industry, their passion for assisted living and the success they have found as entrepreneurs in RAL investment real estate.

Emmanuel and Bekah detail their formative years pursuing traditional college education and finding the cursory path from collegiate studies into career was not for them. Emmanuel notes his dissatisfaction and the feeling of “going through the motions at university,” realizing that “it was more of a business transaction than a quality education I was receiving.”

After graduating from Arizona State University, he realized that he wanted to do something more and that his college degree was more symbolic than actually being the impetus to launch him into his professional career. He recounts the moment he recognized his appreciation for homes and real estate, noting, “I had always had a passion for homes. I would always get excited when I would get to go to a new friend’s home and see the layout and the designs.”

This passion would blossom into an expansive real estate business that later turned into specializing in residential assisted living real estate. More than five years later and these two entrepreneurs are making waves in the assisted living space. Coming on board with the RAL Academy, they have turned their passion for real estate into a thriving business that has double in sales over the past year and they are looking at the potential of expanding into other states.

Some of the primary strategies they have embraced are increasing automation, creating a road map for where they are going and being specific about what qualifications must be met for them to take on a listing, which has been instrumental in their success and extremely helpful in getting them to where they are today.

Emmanuel has also dived head first into the assisted living side of the real estate, going through extensive training on the ownership and operation of residential assisted living home and has become a growing voice in the industry. Initially drawn by the motivation of helping seniors and learning how to set up an assisted living home that provides quality accommodations and superior care, Emmanuel has shown his passion for training others to succeed in the world of assisted living.

“We are very passionate about this industry and the freedom that it can provide those who choose to get involved.”

Concerning the real estate side of their business, Emmanuel and Bekah specialize in selling luxury assisted living homes that are licensed for 10 residents with majority private rooms and above average rates. What sets them apart is their intimate knowledge of business. “Our family runs three of these homes here in Arizona, and we personally help teach real estate investors how to get started in this industry. We know the inner workings of the industry and how to effectively evaluate these very niche businesses, which has quickly helped us grow to be the top sellers of care homes.”

“It is such a rewarding industry to work in, as we get to see just how many lives are touched when we help our clients buy and sell their assisted living homes and provide an amazing service to seniors who need a comfortable home to stay in with loving caregivers.”

The Sales Process for Residential Assisted Living

As an elite real estate duo focusing on Residential Assisted Living Homes, Emmanuel and Bekah have established a system for guiding clients through the sales process. It all starts by developing the relationship, getting to know the customer and determining how their services and unique RAL brand will fit best with what the client is looking to accomplish.

Unlike other real estate classes, residential assisted living sales involves more than the basics of location, square footage, appraisal value, etc. It is necessary to carefully examine all of the factors that will lead to a more accurate assessment of the RAL home value. Things like, how long the RAL business has been running at the location, number and size of bedrooms for single or shared occupancy, average rate per resident, the surrounding community and proximity to freeways and emergency medical services, as well as many other critical factors. Another consideration is whether the RAL business will be sold with the real estate, and, based on the longevity of the business and profit margins, how much equity has already been developed.

The next major step in their process is to tour the client’s home and make sure that the assisted living home meets their criteria. Having established a preeminent standard of excellence in the industry, they have made a name for themselves dealing in higher end and even luxury residential assisted living homes. There are so many people involved in residential assisted living nowadays, so in order to continue their reputation for exemplary standards, they might pass on representing some residential assisted living homes that do not align with their brand.

During the tour Emmanuel and Bekah will compile a thorough evaluation of the business, focusing on the property condition, day to day operations, level of care for the residents, and any other factors that might contribute to the valuation of the business and property. Discussing the details with the owner and gaining a better understanding of their future goals within and outside of the assisted living industry.

The next step in the process involves crunching the numbers. Getting the client and sales team on the same page with regards to value and profitability is crucial moving forward.

Often times, RAL owners who have poured years of hard work into their business might not be able to see their RAL business and the real estate connected to it objectively, like a prospective buyer would.

So, coming to an accurate assessment of the value of each as well as what the sales team believe they can sell them for can be a delicate subject to discuss, but one that is fundamental to the sales process.

In order to achieve this, the clients need to provide proof of the profitability of their RAL business. The team examines the rent rolls (a list of what each resident has been paying for the past few months), at least one year of profit and losses paperwork, or tax returns if they are available. It may seem like a lot, but in order for the sales team to provide an accurate evaluation the numbers need to be correct. When selling the property and business potential buyers are looking to finance these assets and banks are going to require proof of profitability in order to lend on the home. After all the data is taken into account, Emmanuel and Bekah walk the client through the resulting assessment and detail how much they believe they can get for the sale of the business and real estate.

Then they walk the client through the listing presentation, describe what showings will look like, and detail the best strategy to market the RAL home. This is followed by signatures and paperwork determining the listing, financial expectations and the length of the marketing term that was agreed upon.

From there, Emmanuel and Bekah use their large network of assisted living home buyers to start making inquiries and schedule showings. Their substantial number of connections in the industry helps insure that they bring only the most qualified buyers through the client’s home. Once the tours have commenced, the numbers discussed and offers start coming in, Emmanuel and Bekah help guide the relationship between seller and prospective buyers.  There is a great deal of work that is involved with selling and buying RAL homes and it is important that all parties involved have feel comfortable with each other, not to mention the fact that it is so much more than a business and the real estate on the line. The residents, their families, and the care staff will all be affected and it is critical to find the right connection with the right buyer who will continue to provide excellent care service.

The best offers are then presented to the seller and once the team receives an offer with the appropriate terms, the sales team moves forward to accept the offer and begins getting all necessary paperwork in order and all documents signed.

Unlike residential sales, RAL homes do not have a typical 30-day close and 10-day inspection period. Because it is a commercial sale, it will usually take 3-5 months to close while the buyer is securing their financing. Also, it is worth nothing that with RAL’s it is extremely rare for a buyer to be paying all cash, and if they are, they will still want to see proof of profitability and may expect a discount. In fact, most buyers will acquire either an SBA loan or a commercial loan and it takes time to secure lending on these loans.

Throughout the sales process, Emmanuel and Bekah do everything they can to assist the RAL owner in understanding and feeling comfortable with the terms and procedures. Specializing in this area of real estate is a unique skill and they have years of experience navigating all the intricacies of residential assisted living operations and sales.

Leaving a Legacy

With many years under their belts and many more ahead, Emmanuel and Bekah discuss their goals and the legacy that they want to leave. As they continue to expand their real estate business, Emmanuel has also developed his expertise in residential assisted living operations and has taken on a more active role training RAL Academy students to successfully take advantage of the opportunities in assisted living. He is quickly becoming one of the leading voices in the industry and explained to VoyagePhoenix his motivation for helping other become successful., stating, “When my time is up on this planet I want to know that I made a difference in this world. I don’t just want to make a bunch of money or do something that won’t last.”

There are not many industries that afford a person the chance to do well financially while doing so much good for others. Residential assisted living is a unique space with unique people who are changing the world, one assisted living home at a time. We are so proud of the work that Emmanuel and Bekah are doing and we can’t wait to see what amazing things that they will accomplish in the future.

If you would like to learn more about the exciting opportunities in residential assisted living or if you are interested in acquiring or investing in RAL real estate, Emmanuel would love to have a conversation with you.


Phone: 480-567-8264

Email: [email protected]

Or if you are a RAL owner and want to continue to learn more ways that you can make an impact in this amazing industry, check out the resources at the Assisted Living Network or on our YouTube channel for more great content.

Success Interview with Jeremy

Before the holidays, Gene had the opportunity to catch up with a former RAL Academy student who is doing great things with his business in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jeremy, who attended the 3-Day Fast Track course in June of 2018, took the training he received and put it to work right away, getting started with his first residential assisted living home in less than two months!

Jumping in with both feet right away is something that Gene and the rest of our instructors encourage everyone to do. There are so many distractions in life and opportunities can come and go, and if we give ourselves enough time, it’s amazing how many excuses we can come up with that will keep us from reaching our potential and making progress toward our goals.

But Jeremy wasn’t about to let this opportunity pass by, so he did his due diligence, did his research and ended up choosing to acquire an existing RAL business as his first care home, which was already licensed for 10 residents. As he set up his RAL home he made the important decision to keep the care staff who were already employed by the previous owner. Many of these employees had been there for a number of years and had developed a familiarity and bond with the residents and their families. This is another tip that we encourage new owners to consider. If the existing care staff are competent and flexible in working with your new operating procedures, then it is usually beneficial to keep them on rather than hiring and training all new staff. As with any new arrangement, there will be a period of transition for these employees as you implement the agenda and goals you have for the care home, as well as additional training to equip them to help you reach those goals. But having a team in place from day one can be a huge help.

Jeremy also shared with Gene some of the things he learned at the RAL Academy 3-Day training that he found most useful as he started out with his first RAL home. Firstly, his decision to buy an existing RAL business and home was far easier than creating from scratch, plus it affords the opportunity to start generating income right away. Although, the down side is that you are limited with the level of renovation and remodel you can do. It can be too much of an impedance with those residents who are living in the home and the disruption to their lives and schedules is something that you will always want to consider.

Another resource Jeremy found helpful in the 3-day course was the detail given to budget and expenses, noting the importance of finding the right balance with things like food costs. Starting out in assisted living, many of these details would not be patently clear, and without someone sharing real world experience with you about how to keep costs low, you could end up wasting a great deal of money. At the RAL Academy, we always encourage our students to raise the bar and offer excellent service and care to seniors, but there are also ways to achieve this without breaking the bank.

Let’s raise the bar by offering superior care for our seniors.

The truth is, you can only learn so much from sitting and listening in a class, but once you get into the actual experience and practice of the business, it becomes very real. The things you learned that you might have initially brushed off as, maybe not as important, you start to see how necessary they are and how each element can impact other aspects of the assisted living business.

There are some details of residential assisted living that you can be told numerous times, but until you get involved yourself, you might have a difficult time understanding just how relevant they may be. Jeremy affirmed a few of these “learn by doing” elements, an important one involving the residents is understanding the different personality types of your seniors. Some residents may have approached senior housing willingly, while other may have been more reticent and encouraged by family to move in. So, dealing with varying levels of positivity and participation is something that will undoubtedly be a hands-on learning experience, for both you and your care staff.

Some residents might need more care in the morning and less in the afternoon, while others might need more assistance in the evening and are fairly self-sufficient throughout most of the day. When preparing meals, some residents might appreciate a more strict regimen and eat at the exact time every afternoon, while others might be more inclined to eating after others have already gone before, where there is more space and freedom to take their time. You will find there is great nuance to dealing with different personalities and the daily patterns to which each resident has become accustomed.

Jeremy recounted additional elements of the training whose importance didn’t become fully apparent until he started actively running the business himself. For example, medication management and doing everything that you can to help maintain the health of the seniors. It is vital stay on top of the resident’s medications as they each have their own needs and health issues. There is little room for error with the scheduling of medication. It is also worth considering that the health of the seniors will vary, somebody might get sick one day and another day it could be somebody else, so being prepared to respond to these changes is crucial.

Train your care staff to be flexible.

These are all areas that you and your care staff will need to learn to navigate, but these challenges are much easier to handle when you can lean on the experience of professionals, like our RAL Academy staff, who have done it all before and are available to assist you along the way.

Currently, Jeremy has a great manager who runs his care home, who he found through a recommendation from Gene at RAL NAT CON 2018. Just another one of the many benefits of networking in the RAL community and getting involved with other RAL owners and employees. You may not have all the connections to find the right people to meet all of your needs, but with the RAL Academy you have a vast network of resources and it’s only a matter of letting us know what you need. We are here, not only to train and equip, but also to assist you in making the right connections and surrounding yourself with the people that are going to help you be successful.

Now that his RAL is up and running smoothly, Jeremy is at the home about three days a week and he is currently looking to buy his second care home and is searching for potential properties within a reasonable distance from his first home. His goal is to start with a 3-pack of homes, all relatively close to each other to aid in the sharing of resources, like care employees who might be needed to assist at one of the other locations from time to time. Once he has his three houses up and running he will assess whether he wants to continue to expand his RAL business further.

His final words of wisdom and encouragement for prospective students…don’t jump in with a small RAL home. Get right in with a 10-bed home, or whatever the maximum occupancy that your city allows. While it may seem daunting at first, it is just as much work to do 5 beds as it is to do 10, so “if you’re going to do five or six, you might as well have more revenue with more residents.”

“It makes perfect sense to Go Big.”

Also, “do your research. Take the 3-day training course.” “You will definitely learn a lot. You will meet a lot of great people. And go into it with an open mind.”

We couldn’t be more proud of Jeremy and we are so excited about the success of his RAL business. We can’t wait to see him progress on his journey in this exciting industry and go on to open up his three pack of care homes, continuing to fulfill the motto of Doing Good and Doing Well.

We would love to help you do the same. So why not start your journey toward financial freedom and security today. If you’re interested in checking out what opportunities there are for you and if you would like to learn at your own pace in the comfort of your home, take a look at our home study course. Or connect with our professional experts in person at our Live 3-Day Fast Track event. Get trained by industry leaders who have been successfully operating residential assisted living businesses across the country for years and learn the secrets of the trade. Take it from Jeremy and get equipped for success in this awesome industry, setting you on your path to financial independence and security.

Take control of your future! Join us at the Live 3-Day Fast Track training course held in Phoenix. We would love to help you get started with Residential Assisted Living and write your own success story like Jeremy.


[email protected]

or call us at 480.704.3065

Sign up today!

Rental Property Owner & Real Estate Investor Podcast

Sooner or Later, every one of us will be faced with the challenges of providing safe and comfortable housing for our aging population. Whether you’re looking for a housing solution for yourself or a family member, or you’re an investor interested in profiting from this need while doing good for others, there is a lot of information you need to know before going down this road.

Insider’s Guide to Investing In Senior Housing

The Insider’s Guide to Investing in Senior Housing, “America’s Best Financial Opportunity for the Next 25 Years!” is an exciting new book that you will definitely want to pick up. This text is the definitive handbook for those wanting to discover how to best capitalize on the massive demographic shift called “The Silver Tsunami.”

Written by seasoned business and investment experts, brothers Gene and Jim Guarino share how to participate as an active or passive investor in the exciting new real estate investment opportunity of senior housing.

Read about their journey and what led them to shift their entire professional focus toward educating and equipping others to invest in this relatively untapped opportunity.

Drawing on decades of experience in business and investing, Gene and Jim show you step-by-step how to take advantage of the opportunity in senior housing, while helping others in the process.

There are so many real estate and investment plays out there, but there are few opportunities with such a concrete foundation. In this case, the foundation is based, not on market fluctuations, but on verifiable numbers regarding population demographics in this country.

“The number of seniors in our country is expected to double to more than 72 million by 2030. And by 2050? That number will hit 83 million. However, the senior housing story isn’t just about numbers. It’s about understanding how powerful demographics translate into meaningful trends and changes in our society, our culture and the economy. As you know, we’re living longer, families are working more, and the number of loved ones available to care for our aging population is dropping at a record pace. But the real message here is that this demographic shift is creating both tremendous wants and needs-and unparalleled opportunity.”

What is the cause of this demographic shift?

With the explosion of birthrates in the 50’s and 60’s, the Baby Boomers are now entering into the ages where they will need assistance, and so far, this country has not sufficiently accounted for that dramatic shift in senior population. People are going to continue to age and as they do, society will need to find ways to care for them.

“The Silver Tsunami isn’t just a storm, it’s a multi-decade, record-busting gale.”

This excellent book not only details all the facts and figures pertaining to the untapped potential in senior housing, but it also explains why Residential Assisted Living is the best way to make the most of that potential.

You may not know this but, senior housing has outperformed all other real estate asset classes over the past ten years, including hotel, industrial, office, retail and apartments. “Senior housing has the potential to stabilize your portfolio while keeping it safe as well. In other words, it has a proven track record of weathering the down times.”

Pick up this book and learn how Residential Assisted Living has the potential to give you and your family financial security for years to come.

Gene and Jim’s motto is Do Good and Do Well. Residential Assisted Living is not only a real estate or investment play, but a call to action. Our parents and grandparents are depending on us to create a network of care homes and facilities, staffed with compassionate caregivers to provide for them as they enjoy their twilight years with dignity and grace.

Many are familiar with the concept of a nursing home, and it rarely calls to mind a place that we would feel comfortable sending our own loved ones. Gene and Jim recognized that there is a better way to care for our seniors and they want to show you how.

So don’t hesitate.  Your future awaits.

I hope you enjoy reading it. So, don’t wait any longer, click the link and get your copy today.

Do good and do well!
-Gene Guarino

P.S. Don’t forget to review the book once you’ve finished reading it, and feel free to share this link with anyone else you think might be interested.