Starting In Residential Assisted Living: Marketing vs. Sales

Marketing and sales are two uniquely different components that rely on one another, but do not confuse the two, particularly not now in residential assisted living. Marketing and sales are related somewhat like a married man is to his mother-in-law. That relationship could be loving and caring, or it could be antagonistic.  

The three common culprits of a bad relationship between marketing and sales is:

  1. miscommunication
  2. misunderstanding
  3. lack of consideration

Regardless of which applies to you, all of these culprits lead to dysfunction.  This unfortunately is the tense relationship of marketing and sales in many organizations. It is completely confounding how some organizations and industries define marketing and sales as the same thing – they are not. They are not interchangeable nor is expert knowledge in one identical to that of the other. Each is its own discipline and requires proper education and training in order to fulfill either successfully. When it comes to senior living, in other words to your Residential Assisted Living home, the confusion between marketing and sales is just as prevalent as it is in other industries. 

In large established organizations such as AOL, H.J. Heinz, and P&G, marketing is the think-tank. The marketing department is consumer-centric and conducts in depth analysis and study that explain what the consumer wants, needs, will and will not purchase. These studies also examine what the consumer thinks about certain products, services and their means of making a purchase decision. This data contributes to essential decision-making in these large organizations, and also drives how these organizations structure themselves. Data also help organizations develop strategies to engage the consumer with predictable success. For your RAL home, do you have such a think tank? Do you partner with a company that provides such data to small businesses? Have you considered factoring hard-core marketing data into your decision-making process? If not, you should.  It could be the difference between a fully occupied residential assisted living home vs. an empty one. Marketing focuses much of its energies on what will drive the 4 Ps:  Product, Pricing, Promotion, and Place. 

  • Product – an actual item or service. 

a) For your RAL home, it is the exceptional high-quality service of care provided by the owner and staff.

  • Pricing – should be based on value and market. 

a)     Lower price does not always translate to great purchase. A good pricing strategy will leverage the value of the product or service.

  • Promotion – who is informed, when are they informed and how are they informed about your RAL home.
  • Place – where is your RAL located and where do you find the right clients for your RAL.

Included in your Marketing Plan is branding, positioning, target market, and new product development, as well as contributing to overall business strategies. While concise, this is essentially what a true marketing department does. Notice how sales isn’t even mentioned when defining the details of marketing. In well run organizations, sales take the research of the marketing department and dissects it.  They peel back the layers to determine how to use this information to take a product or service to market.  

This data drives how the sales department will create: 

  • proper messaging
  • targeting
  • timing
  • frequency

Marketing drives brand or product awareness, consideration, and adoption, while sales ensures that those who are interested in your product turn consideration into a purchase. When this understanding is clear, the husband has a great relationship with his mother-in-law, which means your residential assisted living home is likely to be more successful.

The Digital World

This becomes particularly important in the present era of digital marketing, where basic marketing tactics like flyers, print ads, direct mail, and brochures will no longer do the trick. No paper passing happens online.  

Digital marketing and consumer-informed marketing strategies require much more sophisticated skills and experience. Consider the following questions:

  • What is your digital presence?  
  • Is your RAL home easily found online? 
  • Does your RAL home engage with clients electronically?  

If your RAL is absent online or barely present, many opportunities are being missed. However, even in the year 2020, many companies are behaving like dinosaurs. Marketing and sales require different leaders with different skill sets. When examining your residential assisted living business, determine which skill set is lacking? So often, it is marketing, because many business owners do not understand or value the benefit of marketing intelligence.  

In the digital economy, marketing intelligence is essential to success, as well as effectively defining the difference between marketing and sales. Therefore, collaboration between the two is incredibly important. Confusion between the two will result in chaos that decreases revenue.  However, when the two are working in tandem with one another, the results speak for themselves. Collaboration is the key to success and failure, especially in the digital world.

There Are Other Options

While residential assisted living homes focused on senior living, they are not nursing home facilities. As such, they must operate with precision. The key to the success of RAL homes is size and location. Its small size gives it a far greater value proposition than a nursing facility.  Therefore, owners must be focused and intentional about its operations.

Have you thought about creating a position called a chief revenue officer (CRO)?  This position is a highly coveted marketing position because:  

  • Good marketing intelligence will drive increasing revenues.  
  • This role has been shown to drive the joint objectives and vision of your RAL by fostering collaboration between it and sales. 

Sales is not just the person talking with prospective residents, but a successful RAL business relies on all employees to function to some degree as a sales agent. They are ambassadors of your brand. Exceptional service in all areas drives retention, which creates financial stability for the entire organization. As such, the CRO becomes the conductor in the orchestra, ensuring everyone does their part to deliver the symphony. It is their job to make sure there is a continuous feedback and collaboration loop between sales and marketing. Sales must feel comfortable providing feedback to marketing about how effective their efforts are. Marketing must feel comfortable taking feedback from sales – together they have a single goal of achieving revenue objectives. 

What Is Most Important?

If you accept sales and marketing as two different areas of expertise and in need of an executive heading both sales and marketing, you must decide which of the two skill sets is most important. If it’s marketing, hire a seasoned sales leader to report into the marketing executive.

A marketing function should not only own the RAL brand and positioning, but it also should:

  • Be responsible for bringing the brand to life through all customer touchpoints. This includes the selling process. 
  • Create consistency through aligned marketing activities.
    1. Traditional marketing channels
    2. Digital marketing channels
    3. Communication channels such as radio, television and Google ads.

Combined with this is sales training, which contributes to the brand equity of your assisted living business over time. However, if the priority is sales leadership and expertise, hire a full-time or contracted senior strategic marketer to provide sophisticated marketing skills. As described in the bestseller Good to Great, the best leaders recognize their weaknesses and hire people to fill those gaps in expertise. This reflects strength, not weakness, and delivers better business results.

As senior living moves through and beyond COVID-19 with the goal of making up census declines, organizational structure, and return on investments, internal expertise will be increasingly critical. Marketing will be more essential than ever because key aspects concerning the consumer have changed. In some instances, the consumer has been on hold awaiting the opening of new residential assisted living homes. Will they be able to find your new RAL home?  Will you be able to find the right residents for your business model? 

What’s The Difference In 2020: Sales Vs Marketing?

There is no doubt the internet has fundamentally changed the way people buy, and this upheaval has helped make fortunes for certain businesses. These businesses are often those that choose to stay nimble and adjust, even as the ground shifts beneath them.

Sales and marketing have been elements of business since the days of bartering, but they are constantly evolving, especially in the past 2 decades.

  • Roughly 70-percent of buying decisions are made before a shopper talks to a salesperson. 

a)     Customers are self-educated by way of website content. 

b)     What are customers learning about your RAL online?

  • Consumers are far more informed about products and services prior to talking with a representative than ever before in history.
  • Consumers today inform organizations about what they expect, want, will pay for and in some instances how much they are willing to pay. Many consumers have already done comparative pricing.
  • Consumers have read the reviews of your residential assisted living business, which include all staff. If they visit your home, they are impressed with what others had to say.

How does all of this affect your residential assisted living business?  Your digital presence must be above par with that of your competitors. Potential residents and their families should feel that they already know a plethora about your home. It becomes the job of the salesperson to bridge the gap between their electronic understanding and the reality of the home, which should be nearly the same. Clarity and confirmation become the aim of these sales professionals. 

What Is Marketing?

Simply put, marketing is any business action that creates interest or gathers knowledge about a potential buyer or customer. In a more traditional model from previous generations, this meant creating advertisements and buying media space to get those ads in front of consumers. In the world of inbound digital marketing, this means creating content that informs website visitors about how your assisted living home can help solve their problems. Where will your residential assisted living business fit into this paradigm?  

What Is Sales?

Traditionally, sales took over once a business knew a prospect existed. If an advertisement got someone into a store, a salesperson took it from there. At companies practicing inbound and content marketing, the salespeople still function in a similar way, but much of the heavy lifting is done by the digital footprint of your brand. In addition to all of the information a prospect may have gathered from online resources, they have also begun to trust the business that has shared that content. Trust is the currency of all business. It is crucial, fragile, and slow to develop. If businesses can begin to cultivate trust by way of their websites, the sales process can be shortened accordingly. While the digital world has adjusted how sales professionals get involved, the reality is sales professionals still must get involved.  

In the residential assisted living industry, families do not turn over their loved ones to a computer.  They leave them in the hands of trustworthy people. Therefore, staff and caregivers are essential. How do your sales professionals, which encompasses all staff, engage and interact with your current residents? When prospects tour your home, how does the staff interact with them?  What do residents say about your home? All of these questions and answers will dictate the success of your business.

The Tools That Help Sales And Marketing Gain Success

Digital marketing requires digital management.  How will you keep up with all of the data that will come your way? How will you keep track of who inquired, what they inquired about, when they expect an answer? There are a lot of questions and answers that range from A-Z that the Residential Assisted Living Academy will help you explore. Join us today and let’s get your journey off on the right foot. Marketing and sales might seem to be a lot to digest; however, we have experts that will point you in the right direction.

What’s the Best Education for An Entrepreneur?

The only constant for an entrepreneur is change. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride to a destination you hoped would be easy to reach.  

It is full of ups, downs, twists, flips, and sometimes abrupt stops. For many, a crash or two or three is included in the adventure.  

What makes specialty education for entrepreneurs so different from a business school or an elite graduate school?

While a formal education is great for a business leader to have, there are other experiences that equip the entrepreneur that traditional education cannot articulate.

Some of the most valuable forms of education an entrepreneur can gain come in unique forms.

In fact, some of the best forms of education have nothing to do with academic studies or well-written business articles in the most acclaimed journals.  

The entrepreneur’s training is conducted under the long shadows of industry experts, on the golf course, or even in a casual conversation with a seasoned entrepreneur awaiting a flight in the airport.

In light of this unique educational process, the following list comprises 13 need-to-know perspectives for entrepreneurs seeking to successfully initiate or expand their business.

1. Learning from Other People’s Mistakes

Learning from others who have gone before puts you well ahead of the curve and can prevent you from making costly mistakes. It is far more affordable and less heart wrenching.  

Nothing provides more clarity than learning from fellow residential assisted living homeowners.  

  • Avoid recreating the wheel.
  • Acknowledge when a wheel already exists.

Instead of stumbling in the dark, connect with other RAL owners who are living in the light. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Who are your reliable contacts?
  • How do you reach the right people?
  • Who can you depend on to give you the best information possible?

It’s time to stop running plays as if a playbook does not exist. Seek partners and comrades through the Residential Assisted Living Academy.

2. Managing Yourself and Your Cash

Many entrepreneurs are far too casual. Starting and growing a successful business is hard work. Entrepreneurship is no task for the faint of heart.  

Successful entrepreneurs work hard, master their time and energy, and learn to manage their cash – this is how you leave a legacy.   

That’s right, successful entrepreneurs manage their personal lives well.  

Character Traits of Success Entrepreneurs

  1. Frugal
  2. Focused
  3. Diligent
  4. Determined
  5. Knowledgeable
  6. Connected

Experienced entrepreneurs recognize that cash is king in a small, growing empire, and those who manage it well will be successful. 

The marriage of personal and professional accountability is not an option for business owners who plan to thrive for the long haul. 

3. Building Relationships

It is a major misnomer that entrepreneurs are all lone wolves. That simply is a mistruth. The most important thing you can learn as an entrepreneur is that you can’t do this alone. 

The prerequisite for success is that you operate in a team atmosphere.  

How so?  It starts with alignment.  

RAL owners, operators, and investors must network with like-minded professionals, which lends itself to a circle of people who operate as you do with comparable values and similar training.

Do not hesitate to network and build relationships. 

You need training and a well-connected network to make your RAL home a success. Start building the right relationships today.

Nothing beats a party of like-minded people. That’s where the Residential Assisted Living National Convention comes in the game plan.  

That’s right. Join up with others who are operating the businesses that you want to emulate.

4. Learning from Your Own Failures

Although often feared, failure is one of the best road maps to success. It is so for many reasons – failure produces the kind of humility that makes entrepreneurs restart with an open mind. 

Think about it.

Throughout childhood, the lessons that still remain in your mind are those associated with the biggest mistakes you ever made – likewise is the case with entrepreneurship. 

Failures aren’t the goal, but when they do come, don’t make the mistake of running from them without gleaning something valuable out of the situation.

Overcome what you think might be standing in your way and truly recognize where you want to be and how to get there. 

The answer might not always be clear initially, and the end result might be different from what was previously planned. Failure has many lessons.

Therefore, shake off fear and embrace the adventure. You can’t thrive as an entrepreneur shackled to the chain of fear.  

Cast it off and allow yourself to take risks – measured risk that is.

5. Understanding What the Best People in Your Field Do

Learning what the best experts in your field do gives you confidence because you can duplicate their benchmark for producing success.

Fortunately, in this time, owning and operating a RAL home is not a completely new idea. While it is still revolutionary, owning a RAL home has a blueprint to success associated with it.  

This is thanks to the hard work and dedication of people like Gene Guarino, founder of the Residential Assisted Living Academy. 

Alignment with the folks at RALA is more than mere training – it’s an experience that puts people on the path to success.  

It is an affiliation that associates industry leaders with like-minded entrepreneurs.  

It is a culture of help, support, encouragement and accountability. These are the four jewels entrepreneurs seek when aligning with organizations.  

6. Building A Great Team

Self-reliance and wearing multiple hats may be an asset early on, but it is ultimately an enemy of scale. You cannot fully operate three RAL homes by yourself.  

The thought is ludicrous.  

You must become a leader and a team member, not a manager. To do this, especially early in your entrepreneurial career in the RAL industry, help is mandatory.

Contact the team at Residential Assisted Living Academy. They will show you how to transition from a manager to a leader.

As a result, leaders find the best people to manage their RAL homes.  

7. Pivoting Quickly

Any entrepreneur will tell you that there is never a point where they have everything figured out. Entrepreneurship is more of a journey than a destination – embrace the race.  

You have to take your best calculated guess and go.

Yes, analysis is necessary but not to the point of paralysis. Paralysis is the cause of death of many businesses. 

So, the key is to pivot fast when things don’t go the way they were intended. 

Self-pity and loathing are characteristics of those yearning for predictability. Predictability is not what gets an entrepreneur in the game, but it is the act of engagement itself.

Therefore, learn to make a change in the game plan, while in the midst of running the play. Have no fear about pivoting while in play.   

8. Making Time for Self-Reflection

Besides having the ability to focus, to be self-aware, and to be compassionate, successful RAL entrepreneurs are reflective. 

Daily, RAL owners must be intentional about reflection. There is nothing more pitiful than an entrepreneur lying to themselves.  

Think about your RAL home when you are not present in it. Allow yourself the space to dream big and envision a brighter, more productive future.  

Be intentional about this as it will be the lifeline of your heart and mind. The RAL owner must be able to see beyond their current place in the business.  

Write these visions down and read them aloud to yourself – this will make them real – this will give them voice – this will make them reality. 

You need not give voice to your vision alone. Connect with others who are doing likewise and grow as a community of RAL homeowners.  

The annual Residential Assisted Living National Convention takes place in October, and it’s the best place to connect with professionals from every perspective of the industry.

9. Seeking the Mentorship and Guidance of Experienced Leaders

There are very few substitutes for failure to teach you lessons. Failure is a common denominator because we’ve all experienced it. This is where it comes in handy to have a competent mentor.

Not a stereotypical cliché or unreliable relationship, but a true mentor who will take the time to instruct you. 

There is one question you have to start by honestly answering for yourself. Are you trainable? 

This question can only be answered with the help of others who have worked closely with you on new tasks that required pliability.

If you are trainable, then a mentor is the most effective way to propel your success in the RAL industry. Are you ready to connect?

Are you confident in your ability to listen and follow the lead of experts in your field?

If so, it’s time you connect with the Residential Assisted Living Academy. Do it today. Experts are waiting to help.

10. Having A Financial Education

Entrepreneurs often fail because they don’t truly have a grasp on their numbers. A passionate, hungry entrepreneur will do whatever it takes to bring their idea to life.

However, your business can collapse faster than it took to build without a true understanding of break-even numbers.

It’s important to understand how profit and loss works and the difference between assets and cash flow. 

Getting educated on numbers is key.

Nothing rings truer for a RAL owner. You must know what it takes to keep the place running optimally.  

You need not guess at this. The analytics are done. The data is available. Contact the professionals at the RAL Academy for the help you’ll need to prosper without limitations.

11. Understanding Universal Change Patterns

We tend to approach every change as if it is unique. Some change is cyclical and other changes are novel.  

Yet, some change is industry wide. Get the facts.  

In order to make decisions about the necessary changes for your RAL home, the key is becoming knowledgeable. 

You must be informed about the possibilities of change due to external factors that will impact your RAL home.  

Such information is available and understood by seasoned owners and investors. Find yourself in the company of these people today.  

The RAL Academy offers 3-day training courses spaced conveniently throughout the year – this comprehensive training is the key to your success. Do not delay. Avoid the loss of time and money by getting trained by those that have learned over years of personal experience. 

12. Having the Ability to Learn from Any Situation

There is no better education than running your own business and then educating yourself on-the-go using mastermind groups, your peers’ experiences, books, blog posts and podcasts. 

That’s right, the sources of an entrepreneur’s education are as broad as they are deep.  

Some of your education will be gleaned from industries totally unrelated to residential assisted living, others will be intimately tied to the industry.  

Be sure to connect with a mentor, either formal or informal, to ensure you have reliable information at all times.  

As the future owner of a business that affects the lives of residents and their families intimately, these are relationships that must be protected and strengthened.  

This can only happen if you get connected and stay connected. 

13. Getting Out There and Doing It

Another invaluable part of education you can receive as an entrepreneur is found in the doing.  

While formal education develops learning skills in the student, entrepreneurial education develops go getters that chisel vision into reality. 

Theory is important, but doing is vital.  

Therefore, do not delay and begin your education as a RAL owner. The Residential Assisted Living Academy mixes concepts with practical application, which continues producing the most successful RAL owners in the nation.   

GET THE EDUCATION YOU NEED TO SUCCEED

There are initial steps necessary for entrepreneurs, especially those operating in the RAL industry to get specific training geared and focused to meet their needs.  

It’s simple really.  

The rest is up to you. What should you do? 

  1. Listen.  Do not say you want a mentor and then disregard what they share with you.
  2. Read.  Be sure to read materials that are industry specific – grow broad and deep.
  3. Connect.  Entrepreneurship is not a vacuum.  Hunting in a pack reaps great rewards.  
  4. Change.  Learn to love change.  Change is your constant – stagnation is your enemy.  

Okay, you have an understanding of the basic and philosophical needs for success, but are you ready to take the next step? Let nothing hinder you.

Get started with the Residential Assisted Living Academy today. 

RAL NAT CON 2020 – A Game-Changing Virtual Experience

The nation’s largest Residential Assisted Living National Convention is transforming into a game-changing  virtual experience.

The 2020 event is scheduled to present a digital platform with the hottest topics in real estate, business and investing is senior housing, and assisted living. 

With more than 10,000 baby boomers turning age 65 every day, and 4,000 turning 85 a day, assisted living is facing a Silver Tsunami of seniors.

Opportunities in this industry are growing rapidly because Residential Assisted Living is the best alternative for millions of seniors in America.

This convention is the ultimate opportunity to position yourself to succeed in this booming market. 

  • Network with like-minded entrepreneurs from across the country.
  • Connect with industry lenders, interested investors and equipment and support service providers. 
  • Learn need-to-know information and tips from industry professionals.

The Residential Assisted Living National Convention is the annual rally point that allows interested entities, entrepreneurs, and industry experts to assemble as part of the senior housing solution. 

RAL NAT CON Top 12 Hot Topics 

  1. Pro Marketing Tactics to Quickly Fill Your Home
  2. How to Fund Your RAL Home
  3. Learn the Ins and Outs of Placement Agencies and How to Use Them Properly
  4. Discover Solutions to Legal and Zoning Issues
  5. Learn the Best Practices for Finding, Training, and Retaining the Right Staff
  6. How to be a “Hands-Off” Investor
  7. How to Use Asset Protection Strategy
  8. How to SAVE BIG on Taxes through Accelerated Depreciation
  9. How to Keep Thorough Records of Medication Usage
  10. How to Best Prepare for an Emergency
  11. Insure Your Home Properly
  12. Add Value to Your RAL Home Through Consistency and Stability Tactics

This 3-day annual event is set to launch, packed with excitement, social networking with digital happy hours, and a laundry list of exciting and informative topics.

Guests can expect high impact tips and strategies that will increase your business momentum. 

Did you know that the Residential Assisted Living National Convention is the country’s premiere event that stimulates the growth of an entire section of the market? This is your chance to get in on the investment opportunity of a generation.

2020 – THE YEAR OF CLEAR VISION

In residential assisted living, clear vision is critically important, especially during difficult times. As an industry of current and future RAL owners, we will help you get your vision clear. 

A clear vision has many benefits in business, especially for these three reasons:

  1. Unifying: A clear vision provides a gathering point for common interests that makes everyone feel connected to the greater whole. Clear vision defines a deeper meaning for the work, while unifying workers as team players focused on the vision of caring for our nation’s seniors with excellence.
  2. Inspiring: A clear vision is powerfully inspiring. It imbues a motivational effect on everyone within the group. Clear vision creates the kind of energy, enthusiasm and commitment that fosters change. It produces persistence during difficulties that remind you of why you started in this incredible industry.
  3. Focal Point: Focus provides a greater sense of direction for goal setting and business planning. Having a focal point guides your decision making along the way. 

Key Steps to Defining Your Company Vision

Having a clear vision is so important in business, and residential assisted living is no different. Here are 3 pro tips to consider when defining yours:

  1. Be Positive: Vision based on fear can limit your results.
  2. Be Specific: A vision should be short, detailed, and directional.
  3. Be Ambitious: Dream big. A good vision sets standards that force your business to stretch.

AN EXPANDING RESIDENTIAL ASSISTED LIVING INDUSTRY

A massive wave of aging seniors is already influencing an undeniable demographic shift.

Baby boomers and their parents are facing the realities associated with assisted living and senior housing. 

For seniors who are not ready for a nursing home, yet unable to stay home alone, Residential Assisted Living is the best alternative. 

The opportunity this provides for entrepreneurs, lenders, investors, equipment suppliers and support service providers is growing by the day.

This year the Residential Assisted Living National Convention has been amplified by allowing attendees to benefit from more access to speakers and vendors. 

Register to maximize your experience with residential assisted living.  

THE VIRTUAL RAL EVENT OF THE YEAR 

Take advantage of this power-packed virtual experience from the comfort of your own home or office.

This year there will be more speakers, more professional tips, more excitement, and more opportunities for attendees to easily connect and network.

Unlike during the live conventions, virtual attendees will gain access to every single keynote presentation and educational breakout sessions.

You will no longer need to choose between 3 or 4 great topics taking place at the same time.

Registered participants will also be provided a complete directory of every speaker, sponsor and exhibitor.

This directory will highlight the 3-day schedule, information and training materials. By joining the conference remotely, virtual attendees will interact with like-minded entrepreneurs and industry professionals to further equip themselves for success. 

This 2020 event will be even more incredible than the previous sold out conventions. 

This is one virtual event that is strategically designed to build successful industry owners, operators, and investors.

Reserve your place today.

REGISTER NOW

www.RALNATCON.com

October 9th-11th, 2020

Friday – Sunday

Start preparing now for your opportunity to be a part of this incredible event. Carve out space in your calendar to be a part of the solution for senior housing. 

Register now and get ready for the first virtual Residential Assisted Living National Convention.

Entrepreneurs: Here’s Why You Need A Mentor

There are many distinguishing benefits of mentors, even for entrepreneurs, and it’s important to value their significance if you plan to achieve long-term success. 

Mentors. They’ve been there, done that and have seen it all. Many bear the scars of wars fought, won, and lost.  

They’ve recovered from various disappointments, unwanted lawsuits, failed partnerships, accountants that lack detail, and inexperienced lawyers.  

Many have also unsuccessfully tried to independently balance business and family.  

  • Why seek such a person?  
  • Why should you take their advice?  
  • Why listen to their story?  

Another’s setback can be your step up in life.  A mentor can facilitate a much smoother, more productive path as opposed to the battled test one.  

Many owners of Residential Assisted Living homes have struggled and failed because of the absence of a mentor.  

Families have suffered, some unbeknownst to the fact that their RAL homeowners failed to secure the support needed to operate their home efficiently and effectively.  

Why? No training or no mentor.   

It behooves entrepreneurs to seek reliable mentorship if serving families in need, especially if doing good is a passion for entering this life-changing industry.

In an age where instant gratification is glorified, it’s unsurprising that many entrepreneurs and young founders do not seek out a mentor.

Mentorship is an age old concept.  It is the kind of relationship that is irreplaceable and invaluable.  

Throughout history, mentorship was not only regarded as an option, but a mandate.  Mentorship was a necessary stepping stone into adulthood and leadership of all sorts.

Even those desiring to serve as the head of a family needed a mentor. However, today, many seem to think they can just “google it,” and become an expert.  

This is not the case – google provides information, not experience and relationship. 

While arguments abound on why entrepreneurs do not need mentors, most successful tech titans have founders who had mentors. 

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Steve Jobs. Jobs was mentored by Mike Markkula, an early investor and executive at Apple.

Eric Schmidt mentored Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google.  

RAL owners are no different – you are trudging in a new concept revolutionizing an old industry.  

Many startup entrepreneurs didn’t start with a mentor and unfortunately the same is true for RAL homeowners.  RAL homeowners without a mentor often fall into the following trap.

10 RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH STARTING A RAL BUSINESS WITHOUT A MENTOR

  1. Start in this industry oblivious to the many unwritten rules
  2. Secure and fund the wrong property
  3. Hire the wrong contractor
  4. Oversee the construction/renovation/build-out of the home
  5. Hire another contractor to fix what the prior contractor could not
  6. Fail inspection after inspection due to specific state specifications 
  7. Hire what appears to be a great staff only to discover they are less than qualified and you lack the knowledge to properly train them
  8. Struggle to get their homes fully occupied because of poor marketing
  9. Suffer the unnecessary losses of money and time 
  10. Fail to reap the benefits of owning a successful business

And the list goes on and on.  

What is encouraging about the above list is that it is totally preventable.  How so?  Clarity is optimal here.  Get a mentor.  

Securing a mentor in the RAL industry is not as difficult as you might think.  In actuality, the Residential Assisted Living Academy was continued to support the growth, development, and overall well-being of RAL homeowners.

These resources and professional tips also ensure that residents will have the opportunity to safely reside in quality care homes.  

The Residential Assisted Living Academy seeks to educate owners of RALs to fuel the industry so that it can flourish.  

Have you heard?  Did you not get the memo?  

Baby boomers are starting to occupy RAL homes, and they want senior living on their own terms.  Get ready for this Silver Tsunami by getting connected with a mentor in the industry.

Preparation is key and sustainability a must.  

You will not sustain in this rapidly growing industry without this ancient concept of mentorship. You need a trusted voice of reason, accountability and support.

7 REASONS WHY SECURING A MENTOR IS OPTIMAL

  1. Building A Business Beyond Reading Books

When seeking a career in business, it’s important to know that not every lesson can be learned from a book.

While books can provide a foundation of vast business knowledge, firsthand stories about business experiences often give deeper insight.  It allows you the kind of relationship to be able to ask questions and gain added insight. Mentorship is about vulnerability.  Why?  Mentorship is a relationship not a retail book transaction. 

Once mentors warm up to their mentees, they begin to share those intimate details that really dictate whether one is successful or not.  They open up about the pain of life struggles, like divorce, wayward children, angry staff, the first time they had to terminate an employee and the list goes on.  Books do not provide what the right mentor relationship can.

2.     Humility Helps Increase Outcomes

Listening to a mentor increases the chances of success because it gives the entrepreneur the inside story.  CEOs, COOs, CFOs, founders of multimillion-dollar companies have all been mentored and continued to be mentored.  What’s the difference between them and you – truthfully? Perhaps that answer is summed up with one word, humility. The burden of leading organizations, having the responsibility for so many families while maintaining a viable brand in a crowded marketplace can only be forged with the right support.  Many leaders have more than one mentor.  It depends on your personal and professional needs.  However, what must be recognized is the need for humility to reach out and ask for help.  No man is an island. The Residential Assisted Living Academy offers the RAL homeowner quality training and mentorship opportunities that are unparalleled in this industry.  

3.     Networking Beyond Your Limited Contacts

Experienced mentors usually possess a wealth of valuable contacts. That means the mentor has access to contacts that can be shared to build a powerful network. Investors have a tendency to put the most trust in companies recommended by friends.  Word of mouth remains the most reliable form of sales because of the trust factor.  In the RAL industry, nothing is more true.  Many students of the Residential Assisted Living Academy were recommended to attend by friends in the industry.  Their stories are powerful and the vast expansion of their networks – impressive.  The value of networking can only be expressed by the very people who have benefited most from it. Their testimonies far outweigh any written prose. Some networks are only available or made available to those who are mentored and adhere to the advice of their mentor.  When trust is fostered, your mentor will open up the floodgates of their network.  

4.     Expert Feedback Is Invaluable 

Working directly with a mentor provides useful perks. You’ll be able to secure answers to direct questions and have conversations that create clarity. Direct feedback often leads to learning details that might not be known otherwise. Owning and operating a RAL home requires one to have this type of access to timely advice and feedback.  It will prevent mishaps and even catastrophes.  Owning and operating a RAL home is a dynamic enterprise. As a result, two sets of eyes on an issue are far better than one – expert feedback is invaluable.  The inexperienced RAL homeowner can operate with confidence because behind every decision is experience.  

5.     Business Longevity Starts with Lifelong Mentorships

Sticking with the same mentor for long periods of time fosters longevity. Surprising? No.  The best entrepreneurs in the world sustain lifelong mentorship relationships.  It makes the difference, holistically. A mentor contributes to resilience by providing guidance that generates responsibility and goals. Navigating the complicated waters of the residential assisted living industry makes resilience a necessity.  So, where can you find a mentor?  Relax, you are already in the right place.  The Residential Assisted Living Academy carefully fosters these relationships so that your RAL home will flourish.  

6.     Learning How to Control Your Emotional

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient, is about controlling emotions, which is crucial to business success. Mentors can give tips on how to resolve heated conflicts with employees or customers.  Let’s face it, RAL homeowners face so many obstacles that your emotional health is compromised.  However, it needn’t be.  With the assistance of a mentor, you will be properly guided as to what is:

  • a real problem
  • a artificial problem
  • a situation requiring immediate attention
  • a situation that will resolve itself

Does maturity bring about a higher EQ in entrepreneurs? Yes.  How will you get there?  How will you become a RAL homeowner with a high emotional quotient?  Align yourself with the Residential Assisted Living Academy today.  The quality of your business experiences will depend on the quality of the training and mentorship you receive.  

7.     Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement

Depression, frustration, and failure do not take root when mentorship is in place.  The encouragement received from a mentor will create such strength and confidence in the RAL homeowner that facing obstacles will become an acceptable task.  Expect obstacles, relish the challenge presented by them, and face them with confidence.  

Building and operating a RAL home takes a significant amount of fortitude, but it is so achievable.  Why? You do not build or operate alone.  A mentor can walk with you each step of the way.  Sometimes the mentor will walk in front of you, showing you where the pitfalls and potholes exist.  Other times, the mentor will walk beside you, so that you can see the lay of the land and learn how to read the terrain.  Yet, there are instances where your mentor will walk behind you, allowing you to lead based on the training and development you’ve been given.

RAL ACADEMY IS A GREAT PLACE TO START 

Whether you have already begun in the residential assisted living industry or you are researching the opportunity, you don’t have to go it alone.  

The Residential Assisted Living Academy is a great place to start. 

Reach out to us today

Time is of the essence and your professional and personal success is directly connected to the mentorship offered by Gene Guarino and other experts at the RAL Academy. 

Starting in Residential Assisted Living: Attracting Others to Your Brand

Attracting others to your brand is key to the success of your residential assisted living home. 

Ever wonder why some people seem to have friends everywhere? Have you ever gone on vacation and met a person who didn’t meet a stranger?  

Do you have a friend or associate who makes friends with ease? Do you know how this happens?  

It is rather simple, yet something many struggle to achieve.

In short, people like to talk. That’s it. Nothing more to it.  

What does this mean, and what do people like to talk about?

The truth of it is, people like to talk about themselves. Self-explanation is not necessarily based upon a person being conceited, narcissistic, sociopathic or just downright obnoxious.

People often do not get the opportunity to express their thoughts or sentiments about any particular thing in life. So, when they do it’s usually an expansive interaction.

Additionally, it’s often easier to express yourself with a stranger than with those around you. So, people who want to make friends do so by allowing others to express themselves. 

People who listen more than they speak tend to have friends everywhere because people feel as if they’ve made a connection.  

Comments Made About Listeners

  • “John understands me.”
  • “Kathy just gets me.”
  • “Isn’t Ryan just the easiest person to talk to about anything?”
  • “Jack is trustworthy.”
  • “I know Tamika well.  We talk all the time.”

In actuality, many of these friends, who are casual acquaintances, know very little about the person whom they call friends.  

Regardless of the true nature of the relationship, people who make friends everywhere do so because they are empathetic – they listen.  

They really enjoy getting to know people.  How about you?

  • Do you enjoy getting to know people? 
  • Are you patient enough to allow someone else the opportunity to provide you with a little self-explanation?
  • Are you interested enough to remember some basic facts shared with you by someone else?

Yes, I’ll admit you may need to be a bit nosey. Nothing is wrong with being nosy, as long as you keep your nose to yourself.  

But, avoid gossiping about what someone has shared with you no matter how personal or impersonal it may be.  

Friends may very well become prospects, partners, investors or even advisors to your residential assisted living business.  

So, whether you are searching for prospects for your business, talented staff, investors or the right partner, the basic keys to building friendships will benefit you more than you can know.  

These relationships tend to rebound at the right time. They are invaluable. So, how do you do it?   

FIVE KEYS TO MAKING FRIENDS

1. Do not try to sell your greatness. Just be yourself, and remember, people really are into themselves. This skill is key with attracting investors, the right investors.

a. You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get others to be interested in you.” 

b. Maintain eye contact. This shows that you are listening, interested and fully engaged.

2. Don’t wear a frown like it’s a prize – it’s not. A positive attitude and an endearing facial expression go a long way in senior living sales. Smile! It won’t hurt you, and it can improve your overall health, too.

a. Be upbeat and engaging. Be energetic and enjoy the moment.

b. Your vocal tone should match your body language. Upbeat but not overbearing. You don’t want to scare someone off.

3. Just ask. You do not need to know it all. Mispronouncing someone’s name is an easy fix. Ask them the pronunciation. It will take you a long way, especially in engaging prospects and investors. People know if their name is difficult and you’re asking them to teach you and put them in the driver’s seat. This is where prospects and investors prefer to be – in control of the situation. So, let them drive, while you are respectful of them. 

4. Listen more than you speak. Ask probing questions, which demand elongated answers. Let people talk through their process without your interference. Let them bump around and come to a conclusion. Asking the right questions allows the prospect/investor to make the right decision.

a. The 80/20 rule works best: 80% listening, 20% talking.

5. Appreciation goes further than you think. This is simple, but in order for it to be effective, you’ve got to mean it.

a. Saying “thank you,” is nice, but showing “gratitude” is another level. It’s the small things done that matter.

IMPORTANT FACTS TO REMEMBER

Vanity is not a friend maker. Many people assume likeability and attraction are tied to physical appearance. Wrong.  

While physical appearance does play a role in likeability, it is a small aspect when compared to your personality and behavior. 

Consider this.

Would you rather spend a valuable vacation with a beautiful person possessed with an ugly attitude or an average-looking person with a beautiful attitude?

Your answer to this question will expose your level of vanity.

The following are some very basic tips to attracting people to your RAL brand:

  • Look clean and dress accordingly. You won’t attract a high-class businessperson wearing dirty clothes.
  • Maintain a high level of personal hygiene. 
  • Never swear or use foul words. It’s extremely unattractive if not just plain rude.
  • Never put somebody down in your conversations and treat everybody equal.
  • Don’t pretend to be somebody that you aren’t. You are the best version of yourself that anyone could ever be.

6 WAYS TO ATTRACT MORE CUSTOMERS TO YOUR BRAND

Customers are looking for companies from which they can make a continual connection.  People at their core, want to be brand advocates.  

People associate with brands more than you might understand. Brand advocacy is fostered by trust.   

In other words, while you are searching for customers to love your brand, customers are also searching for companies and brands to love.

Think about it, with all the current market choices, and the limited time people have to make decisions, it’s much easier for them to find a trusted brand.

This takes away the frustration of searching, the risk of buying an inferior product, or the experience dealing with a long delivery time.

So, what does it take to attract potential residents to like and eventually love your RAL brand? 

What must you do to attract the right people to your residential assisted living home?  

How do you cultivate a relationship with the right people in the marketplace who will become your next brand advocate?  

Remember brand advocates also protect their brands.

Unsure about this?  

Go online and say something insulting about R&B singer Beyonce. Watch how fast members of her “Beehive,” come after you.  They protect their brand.

So, here are 6 ways to attract more customer love through retention marketing.

6 TIPS TO PROTECTING YOUR BRAND

1.     Understand Them

The only way to truly understand someone is to listen Talk less and listen more. It really is that simple. Get people talking by asking deep probing questions. Your prospects and investors will find talking with you is therapeutic. They’ll become comfortable and more than likely engage in a business relationship with you. Remember, it’s not as much about price as it is value. When people value you, they do business with you.

2.     Build Relationships

The best way to build relationships is through empathy. It really makes a difference.

3.     Stay Relevant

With an abundance of emails, offers, and online retailers selling comparable products, prospects for your RAL are looking for the easiest and fastest way to find what they want and make their purchase. Sending relevant information only. It’s best to send email communications with links to your webpage, where they can be driven to the information that interests them most.

4.     Be on Time

If you’ve promised a deliverable, that is, if you’ve set an appointment or made some sort of commitment do everything possible to keep to it. One safe practice here is to under promise and over deliver. That means, give yourself plenty of wiggle room to deliver on your promise. If you know you can deliver in 5 days, make the deliverable in 7 or 8 days. Then, when you are early, everyone is happy and impressed.

5.     Keep the Conversation Flowing

Shortly after your prospects or investors have departed, send them a message. Keep it simple by just saying “thank you.” Be sure to invite them to another event, join your community electronically, or ask for a follow-up meeting, especially with investors. Always remember, eating is a social activity and breaking bread gives people the feeling of family. 

6.     Reward Them

Everybody wins at your residential assisted living business. Whether prospect or investor, everyone gets a prize. People love receiving gifts. Cost is irrelevant. Give away prizes.  

  • Little gifts bags stuffed with chocolates, hard candy, brochures, coupons or even a gift card if your budget supports it.
  • An envelope with a “thank you” card, gum, etc…

Starting in the residential assisted living industry can be daunting, especially if you attempt to do so alone.  

This, however, does not need to be your experience.  Why not make some friends?

Join us and experience the journey of a lifetime with people who you’ll come to know as friends.

We Don’t Mind Listening!

Navigating Through Challenging Projects

There are some proven professional tips to maneuver through any tough time in business, and these strategies will help you survive struggles successfully.  

Business, by its very nature, is an adventure to be conquered. It is a call to make something happen, as a result, profit is your reward.  

Business involves planning, execution and reflection.  

It requires developing and improving your product, service, reputation and engagement.   

Residential assisted living business owners must be ready to engage full heartedly with a mental determination to navigate through obstacles.

It has been said that difficulties affect businesses in three ways. 

                  3 TYPES OF BUSINESS CHALLENGES                   

1.     Businesses that have faced difficult times.

2.     Businesses that are facing difficult times.

3.     Businesses that succumb to difficult times. 

Issues manifest from human resource challenges to lawsuits, but questions remain about best strategies to overcome difficult times. 

What does one do to thrive in the midst of difficulties? What clarity does one need to really succeed in business?

Starting a Residential Assisted Living home is no different from any other business. It comes with a known and unknown set of challenges.  

However, there are concrete answers to cope with these challenges – there are solutions to these difficulties.

There are eleven absolutely non-negotiable things that have continually proven to be the most helpful strategies to grind through difficult times. 

11 STRATEGIES FOR DIFFICULT TIMES

  • Don’t Make Things Worse by Doing Nothing
  • Deal with Facts Not Fiction
  • Always Cement Your Relationship with Your Existing Customers
  • Use This Situation to Rethink Your Business
  • It Is Time to Get Out and Chase Business
  • Be Careful Who You Spend Your Time With
  • Be Prepared to Try “NEW”
  • Invest in Your Business
  • Invest in Yourself
  • Find Someone to Mentor You Through Challenging Times
  • Learn from The Experience

Your residential assisted living business can continue to thrive during pandemics like COVID-19 and other unexpected challenges.  

When those obstacles surface, and they will, how will you deal with them? The following 11 strategies provide detailed content and helpful ideas for facing challenges in business. 

1.     Don’t Make Things Worse by Doing Nothing

Making no decision is, in fact, making a decision. Whenever you see a disaster looming, the single most important thing to do is to evaluate where you can take action. Sometimes, an owner can be a little like a deer in the headlights, disbelieving the reality staring brazenly at you. By doing nothing, avoiding decision making at such a critical time, we miss the optimal moment to succeed. Make a decision and take decisive action. Sometimes, when starting a residential assisted living home, difficulties seemingly come from nowhere. You are not the first to experience this, nor will you be the last. Therefore, take the time to understand what the challenge is and face it head on with boldness. Do not shirk at it. Your future residents are depending on you to make it happen, and the prize for facing these challenges is gratitude coupled with profit. 

2.     Deal with Facts Not Fiction

When thrust into the throes of difficulty, it is a necessity to get the facts. Anxiety comes because of nervous thoughts that troll the mind. Cold-hard-facts resolve anxiety in business. Do not get anxious about:

  • What could be… 
  • What might happen if…
  • If we don’t do ‘X’ we’re going to go out of business

The truth is these thoughts are falsehoods. They have no factual basis. Your Residential Assisted Living home is not the first to face such difficulties. As the owner, you need to calm down and become pragmatic. Get the facts. COVID-19 has scared America beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations. Nursing homes have become ground zero of the pandemic. It is easy for an owner of a residential assisted living home to become paranoid. However, what are the facts: 

  • Smaller homes work better than big box facilities.  
  • Infection rate in RALs is incredibly low.
  • The survival rates when a case is diagnosed is rather high.  

So, what does that mean? It means you can calm down, develop a plan, preserve your sanity and serve your residents. In addition, you need to plan for the post COVID-19 RAL. There will be a need for more RALs. Why? The facts are the facts. Adult children will always want the safest place for Mom and Dad, especially if COVID-19 or some other virus plagues America in the future.  So, get ready.

3.     Always Cement Your Relationship with Your Existing Customers

Tough times have a way of crippling a business owner. It is as if business paralysis sets in and the owner is unable to function properly. Shake that mindset off and engage with your existing residents and their families like never before. Connect with them in the most meaningful way and assure them of your attention and concern for their well-being. Explain to them how you will navigate the difficult times, if they need to be informed of them, and trudge forward relentlessly.  It is up to you to foster trust and confidence with your residents and staff. When residents and staff both trust and have confidence in you, they will rise to the occasion with you. You are not alone. Acknowledge those who partner with you when difficult times emerge. Throw a “Thank-you” party, give gift bags or simply send a card. Show gratitude to your residents, their families, and your staff. 

4.     Use This Situation to Rethink Your Business

Tough times are crossroads in business, and they provide an opportunity to make hard decisions about what is working and what is not. This is the perfect time to stop and really reflect on your business and make the necessary changes. The Residential Assisted Living Academy model works.  It has a proven track record of success, coupled with data to confirm growth based upon demographic studies and real estate feasibility studies. Yet, there are things that occur within each RAL that may or may not be contributing to the overall success of the RAL. Difficult times tend to highlight these things and you may need to reconfigure operations to adapt to the changing economic sphere. Make the decision, take action, and do what is best for your RAL business.

5.     It Is Time to Get Out and Chase Business

The old adage says, “you are always selling.” This is most certainly true in the RAL business.  Selling should not be looked upon as unfavorable or beneath an owner. Quite the contrary, it should be a primary role of the owner or manager. Nothing gets purchased if it is not sold. A detailed and effective marketing strategy with accompanying sales tactics should be in full operation at your RAL. This is especially crucial at the present. COVID-19 has scared many RAL owners into paralysis. This should not be your posture. You should actively be planning and engaging the community through social media, mail campaigns, webinars, online tours and information dissemination. Why? What RAL will get visited when the COVID-19 pandemic is abated?  During these trying times, many adult children are discovering how much help Mom and Dad really need. Also, hidden medical conditions are being discovered as many doctor’s offices were closed for an elongated period of time and symptoms became unhidden. Many seniors have been at home and have suffered loss of function or may have fallen. Do not stop selling. As an owner, you are always selling because by selling you are helping.  

6.     Be Careful Who You Spend Your Time With

Another old saying is “if you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.” Avoid harbingers of doom. These people have nothing but negative thoughts about everything. COVID-19 has made them the Nostradamus of America. Get away, now. You are the owner or future owner of a very successful RAL. Your business addresses hard times with a solution. When you make a statement, it is one of hope and confidence, not doom and gloom. It is imperative that you lead the way to the future, not follow the weak into the pit. Your future residents, staff and families are depending on you to guide them.  

7.     Be Prepared to Try “NEW”

When what you are doing isn’t working it makes sense to try something different. This sounds logical, yet so many businesses slowly fail simply because they kept doing the same thing. For instance, consider taxi cabs. When was the last time you called for one? Here’s another, what happened to public pay phones? Hmm… If you are a business owner in a changing industry, maybe it’s time to make a change – try something new. Fortunately, the assisted living industry is turning toward smaller RAL homes, now more than ever.

8.     Invest in Your Business

Fear has crippled many business owners, and unfortunately among them are owners of RALs.  However, now is the time to make thoughtful investments in your business. By doing so, you prepare your RAL for the post-COVID pandemic. One should not prepare for the game once it has already begun. At that point, it’s too late. Therefore, it is time to give the home a fresh coat of paint, upgrade the website, fortify the brand, train your staff, invest in new technology.  Do not cease building your business, internally. Strengthen what you have so that it will be strong enough to handle the influx that is soon to come. 

9.     Invest in Yourself

The best investments are not made in financial instruments, real estate or business opportunities.  The best investment is made in you. Therefore, do not neglect to strengthen your skills, expertise and savvy. You must develop as a person and as a business owner if success is to be yours.  Difficult times will come, if they are not already upon you. Whatever is in you, will come out. If fear is in you, fear will manifest. If pride is in you, pride will manifest. But, if humility and ingenuity is in you, creativity and confidence will manifest. You are what you study. Therefore, it’s time to get in class. Stop skipping school and get engaged, now. It is critical for the present as well as the future. The past is behind you, but if you have missed valuable lessons history has taught, you will repeat that class. Get ahead and connect with Residential Assisted Living Academy.

10. Find Someone to Mentor You Through Challenging Times

If you have someone who you admire and respect and who you know has been through a similar challenge, why not reach out and ask for help? Be honest and share your challenge. Inform them of how significant the challenge is for you. This type of vulnerability will get you far in business. The misnomer of “only the strong survive,” is rooted in pride and arrogance. The truth is those who ask will receive. Ask for help, ask for advice, ask for guidance, and you will get help, advice and guidance. The Residential Assisted Living Academy is full of instructors, owners and industry experts who feel the need to serve others. This is not a place for the proud. It is a place for the humble, those who serve relentlessly, those who reap the reward of their labor. So, connect with us now.

11. Learn from The Experience

This can be such a cliché, but it is true. Most RAL owners are really good at beating themselves up for things that go wrong, but there really isn’t much to be achieved from this. Far better to take a step back and learn from the experience. What would you do differently next time? What were the clues that you should have picked up on? What are you going to do to make absolutely certain that this never happens again? You can learn a lesson from others.

LEARN TO NAVIGATE ON ROUGH TERRAIN  

Get the clarity you need to equip your RAL business to survive during difficult times.

Do not fear.  Get informed. The Residential Assisted Living Academy has the information you need to make an informed decision.

Why go it alone?  

The RAL Academy will show you step-by-step how to maximize this opportunity to net profit $5,000, $10,000 and even $15,000 per month, even during nationwide economic challenges. 

Take the time to learn how to really manage and navigate difficult times. There are people who have trudged before you. 

RAL Academy has people with the experience, industry intelligence, and grit to help you succeed in this process.

Contact us today in order to get the help needed to develop into the leader you have the potential of becoming. 

Tips to Succeed with Your Startup

The Residential Assisted Living Academy provides informative blog content to keep you up-to-date on the latest in assisted living. This week we have a checklist to help educate readers on steps you should take when starting a RAL business.  This checklist serves as a great to-do-list reminder. Here’s the catch, to-do-lists and frequent reminders are not the components that create successful businesses. 

So, what are the components needed to start a successful residential assisted living business? The Residential Assisted Living Academy has scripted a success strategy based on 16 professional tips. 

16 Tips for Starting and Succeeding in Your Own Business

  1. Know Yourself
  2. Choose the Right Business
  3. Verify the Market 
  4. Research Your Competitors
  5. Plan to Succeed
  6. Know the Operational Needs
  7. Don’t Procrastinate
  8. Start Small
  9. Know that Mistakes Will Happen
  10. Learn from Others
  11. Be Business-Minded 
  12. Be A Visionary 
  13. Network Amongst Investors 
  14. Put Yourself Out There 
  15. Embrace Digital Marketing
  16. Keep Learning and Trying New Things

Unfortunately, you will not succeed in business by merely completing a list of tasks. Nor will your business be a success just because you think it’s a good idea.

Keep reading to learn what will make or break your business. The following tips will reveal what determines if your business will succeed. 

Sixteen Tips To Starting A Successful Business

1. Know Yourself

It is imperative that you discover what motivates you. This will help you determine how much of your time, talent and treasures you’re willing to risk in order to achieve lasting success. Unquestionably, most business-minded entrepreneurs want to make millions. Although, most multimillion-dollar success stories start with sacrifice. What are you willing to give up in order to reach your goals? Money isn’t the only sacrifice successful people make. 

  • Experiencing long work hours
  • Being stretched out of your comfort zone
  • Balancing family and work

Ultimate success will demand that you keep your business plans balanced with your personal and family goals. It’s important to also balance your personal resources with your business assets. Knowing yourself is critical to success – always ask yourself, “What is my big why?” Most residential assisted living owners and operators share something in common. They started their business for an opportunity to make money while helping others in the process. After learning the details involved in the RAL opportunity, most people think this is just too good to pass up. So, what’s your motivation?

2. Choose The Right Business 

While most people are searching for the latest and newest business opportunity, it’s important to remember that new is not always better. One old formula still works – ‘find a need and fill it.’ If you aim to unlock the door of unlimited success, you must learn the art of finding a need and filling it. Needs generate income. As a result, accommodating needs build profitable businesses. Although, even with this thought in mind, no single business works for every entrepreneur. However, residential assisted living is a business that offers success to anyone with the drive and willingness to learn. 

3. Verify The Market 

Do your research. It’s important to logically evaluate your business ideas. Is there an actual market for what you are trying to achieve? Avoid making the mistake of assuming that because you like your own idea that others will too. Confidence is important – believe in yourself.  At the same time, minimize your risk for loss simply by taking a detour and doing your research, instead of making assumptions. 

The residential assisted living industry has fact checked the numbers and verified the need. With 10,000 seniors turning at 65 every day and 4,000 turning age 85, the need for RAL businesses are supported by the rising numbers. These baby boomers are sure to shape the next narrative of this country’s economy. The market for residential assisted living is verified as a rapidly rising tsunami of seniors heading for the assisted living market. 

4. Research Your Competitors

All businesses are sure to have competitors. Competition is another reason why research is important. Dig deep to discover everything you can about your competitors. This type of research will be required through the life of your business. This is one of the things we emphasize repeatedly during the RAL Academy training. Get to know what else is out there, how they operate, and what you can do to improve on it.

5. Plan To Succeed

If you’re not seeking investors or putting a huge sum of money into your idea, an elaborate business plan may not be necessary. However, don’t be mistaken, you’ll still need a plan. Identifying your goals, destination, and a skeletal layout of your roadmap will empower your business to develop and grow. As you learn more about prospective residents, competition and best practices, your plan is likely to change. Stay focused.

6. Know The Operational Needs

When starting a business, instead of only focusing on making money, train yourself to think about how the business will operate. Just a few basic examples:

  • How will service be delivered? 
  • How much support will be needed?
  • Will you need to accept credit cards? 
  • Will you invoice customers? 
  • Who will follow up to be sure you’re paid? 
  • Who will build and maintain your website and social media presence?  
  • How many employees will you need to hire? 

Even if you’re starting a small personal service business, these are operational concerns you should plan for in advance. When it comes to residential assisted living, these questions will be extensive. Fortunately, the experts at the RAL Academy are here to help you along the way.

 7. Don’t Procrastinate

People are often advised to ‘go slow and take your time.’ This causes individuals to run the risk of procrastination. The successful entrepreneurs have seldom had all the pieces in place prior to starting a business. With no uncertainty, you have to do your research, have a business plan, secure a tax identification number and meet other necessary requirements. However, aiming for perfection prior to putting your plan into action may result in the kind of procrastination that prevents your business from ever launching. 

8.     Start Small

Starting small allows you to take controlled risks. Testing ideas on a smaller scale, building what works, and tweaking what shows promise eliminates unnecessary risks. Contrary to popular belief, most successful entrepreneurs are not risk-takers. Starting small saves successful entrepreneurs from walking blindfolded onto weak limbs. 

9.     Mistakes Will Happen

Successful people learn from their mistake – they don’t get fixated on failures. Mistakes are going to happen, but don’t allow them to demoralize you. Learn and move on. Instead of pointing the blame, look for alternate paths or set more attainable goals. Instructors at the Residential Assisted Living Academy can help you minimize your mistakes. They share their own shortcomings and success tips during their 3-day training. 

10. Learn From Others

Mentors are priceless. In addition to mentors, network amongst like-minded groups to learn everything you can about the RAL industry. 

  • Attend conferences 
  • Join network groups
  • Take training courses 

Be sure to seek out RAL training courses that are conducted by experts. Learning from more experienced professionals in the industry will save you a lot of time and money. The Residential Assisted Living Academy has helped countless new entrepreneurs succeed. Learn from others by using their years of experience and hard work to make your journey easier and less costly.

11. Be Business-minded 

Successful business-minded entrepreneurs know how to keep business money separate from personal funds. They also understand the importance of keeping track of income and expenses. Invest time thinking about what regulations your business will need to adhere to. 

12. Be A Visionary 

Understand the difference between working for yourself and building an ongoing business. If you want to build a business, you need to develop systems and methods that allow you to hire other people to physically do the work while you map out the vision.

You limit the potential for growth if you don’t bring in other people to work for you. RAL owners enjoy the benefits of self-employment, but unlike other startups, you don’t need to learn everything on your own through trial and error. Visit www.RALAcademy.com to learn how visionaries can bring their plans into fruition. 

13. Network Amongst Investors 

If your new business venture requires investors to grow, you’ll need to connect with the right circle of people. Get to know investors. Local angel and venture capital groups are a good place to start networking. Start by attending meetings and joining groups. 

14. Put Yourself Out There 

Be a go getter. Ask for what you want. Being a good listener will actually help you create the kind of relationships necessary to get what you need. Remember, people like to do business with people they know. Get the ball rolling. Afterward, keep it rolling by repeatedly reaching out and introducing yourself to new people.

15. Embrace Digital Marketing

A comprehensive digital presence is necessary for small, large, local and national businesses. There are several components needed for digital marketing. 

  • Professional website
  • Email list 
  • Social media presence 

While word-of-mouth referrals are significant, a strong digital presence is necessary for your RAL business to thrive. Prospective customers are likely to look you up on the web before they decide whether or not to contact you. Special offers and practical information can encourage prospects to occupy beds in your residential assisted living home. 

16. Keep Learning And Trying New Things

Remain open to new ideas. So, don’t let yourself fall into the rut of saying “this is the way I’ve always done things.”

  • Are there newer or better ways to market your RAL home? 
  • Are prospects asking for something you’re not offering? 
  • Is there a different type of senior you should be targeting? 

Reading materials and listening to feedback from seniors and their adult children are the components needed to continuously learn and try new things. 

The Ral Academy Is The Best Place To Start 

The success of your residential assisted living business starts with learning the right information from the right resource. There are a lot of questions and answers that range from A-Z that the Residential Assisted Living Academy will help you explore. Join us today and get your journey started on the right foot. These 16 tips to succeed will motivate you to put the right practices in place; however, the RAL Academy has experts that will point you step-by-step in the right direction.

Considering Investing in Assisted Living? A Great Place to Start

Many of today’s baby boomers are facing the reality that their parents faced. A massive wave of seniors is coming, and their influence in every demographic shift is undeniable. These seniors are in need of assistance. Many people made plans as this particular generation holds to the mantra of “take the bull by horns.” However, sometimes the bull bucks the rider and these riders need care. As a result, many seniors find themselves in need of assistance with activities of daily living because of a variety of situations.

  • Knee replacement, which requires physical therapy.
  • Hip replacement, which can affect overall health and constitution.
  • Multiple falls, making it impossible for seniors to safely live at home alone.
  • Loneliness, leading to health deterioration after a spouse has passed.

Regardless of the reason, baby boomers do not like, nor do they want to live in nursing homes – they prefer a specialized environment. They want residential assisted living that is more like their own home, rather than a big box facility. This is why residential assisted living is the best alternative for millions of seniors. Did you know that 10,000 seniors turn age 65 every day and 4,000 turn age 85?

As these boomers continue to get older and live longer, the need for senior housing and assisted living continues to grow. The opportunity this provides for entrepreneurs, lenders, investors, equipment suppliers and support service providers is growing by the day and you do not want to be left behind. Let’s be clear – baby boomers will need assistance. They will only accept assistance on their own terms. They have dictated that the big box facility just won’t do.  So, what’s the alternative? 

Learn From The Best In The Industry

Owners, operators and investors get involved in the residential assisted living industry because:

  • They want to help families safely and reliably take care of their loved ones.
  • They want to provide great employment opportunities for healthcare workers.
  • They want to create an investment vehicle for themselves and their families.
  • They want to engage in meaningful real estate development.

The list goes on and on, but what is important is that the need is high, and there is a place for businesses to thrive in the residential assisted living industry. The American population is growing, specifically amongst the senior demographic. The needs of seniors, especially these seniors – the baby boomers – will mandate a shift in the way seniors are cared for in the golden years. Therefore, do not miss the chance to get involved in this thriving, growing, and booming industry.

The Residential Assisted Living 2020 National Convention will be another spectacular learning experience. The topics are broad and deeper, the presenters are captivating, and the participants are just out of sight. That’s you, by the way. So, join us this year as we cover a plethora of topics designed to make you as informed as possible.

Ral Nat Con 2020 Topics

  • Pro Marketing Tactics to Quickly Fill Your Home
  • How to Fund Your RAL Home
  • Learn the Ins and Outs of Placement Agencies and How to Use Them Properly
  • Keep Thorough Records of Medication Usage
  • Discover Solutions to Legal and Zoning Issues
  • Learn Best Practices for Finding, Training, and Retaining the Right Staff
  • How to be a “Hands-Off” Investor
  • How to Use Asset Protection Strategy
  • How to SAVE BIG on Taxes through Accelerated Depreciation
  • How to Best Prepare for an Emergency
  • Insure Your Home Properly
  • Add Value to Your RAL Home Through Consistency and Stability Tactics

The Residential Assisted Living National Convention is unlike anything you’ve experienced in the assisted living industry. Every year, business owners, managers, caregivers, industry leaders, vendors, and anyone exploring the RAL industry gather to learn new strategies, share best practices, and get important updates. Guests are also encouraged to network with these like-minded entrepreneurs in the industry. Join the 2020 convention by registering now. 

The Silver Tsunami Of Opportunity Is Here

With 77 million baby boomers in the country, this mega-trend cannot be stopped. The US Census estimates that 70% of aging seniors will need help with their activities of daily living. Where will these Americans find a happy and safe place to live their golden years?  It should be in your new residential assisted living home.  How can you make this happen? Register for the Residential Assisted Living 2020 National Convention

Starting in Residential Assisted Living: Social Marketing

As owners and future owners of residential assisted living businesses begin learning the keys to success in this industry, it isn’t long before you take into account the importance of marketing. Marketing matters. It may be obvious to many, but just like any entrepreneurial endeavor, marketing remains an important element in the success of the business. It is not enough to simply build an assisted living home, find qualified staff, and then just sit back and watch the cash flow come in. It requires marketing. 

Residential assisted living is a service, although an incredibly important and in-demand service, it is still a service that requires marketing. Just like any other service, the public needs to know that you exist and what exactly you have to offer. As you learn more about this amazing industry and navigate your path to RAL success, it is worth taking the time to process how your business will be made known to the public. Afterall, if you are going to put in the time to build or acquire a residential assisted living business and all that entails, you would do well to consider your potential marketing strategy.

Our RAL Academy instructors often advise entrepreneurs to look around at assisted living homes and facilities around the community to see how they are run and what they are doing to market themselves. What is working and what isn’t? Are there things that other assisted living businesses are doing that you could do better? Marketing is not guess work. Leave guess work for board games. Marketing is scientific. It is the nuts and bolts that drive the sales engine. Marketing brings clarity to an otherwise unclear attempt to reach the right people at the right time with the right product/service. If you want your home to be fully staffed, occupied and well respected, effective marketing is the wind that blows the fog from the path allowing business owners to see clearly what to do and when to do it. Marketing converts dreams to reality. 

Be mindful, many business owners desire their enterprises to be staffed properly, occupied fully and well respected in their communities, but have you thought why so many are not? The answer is simple: the owner probably played the guessing game instead of using the strength of proper marketing. So, what exactly should an owner of a residential assisted living home do?  Most owners are not marketers by trade or education.  How does an owner effectively market his/her residential assisted living home? To be clear, marketing is a science, but it is an adaptive one. As time ticks forward, an understanding of the consumer is vital because the mindset of the consumer changes. How so?

Staying Relevant Amid Consumer Changes

Many owners assume the way to reach the right customer with the right product at the right time is to market to the demographic for whom they desire to serve. In other words, in the residential assisted living business, many market to the senior who will become a resident. This is not altogether wrong. It is likely that seniors aren’t going out of their way to move into a residential assisted living home. It is their adult children who are often the potential client. If one has been educated by the Residential Assisted Living Academy, then a market feasibility study would have been done long before any construction or renovation of a RAL home. This study uncovers so much information about the community and the needs within it. It also details the challenges in erecting a residential assisted living home and approximately when one would be needed.  

Demographic studies are included so that the potential owner understands the “who, what, when, where and how” of doing business in a particular community. What does any of this have to do with marketing? The answer is simple. The market feasibility study will help focus an owner on the needs of the RAL home, and how the needs should be communicated. Many aging seniors do not use social media, but their children do. Therefore, traditional marketing strategies might be nice for grocery store shoppers, but social media captures the adult children.

In other words, the adult children of seniors are the people owners need to reach. They are the people who are asking:

  • Where should we place Mom?
  • When should we talk with Dad about moving out of the house?
  • How are we going to convince our parents that they can no longer safely reside in the family home of 50 years?

This conversation is being had by the children of Baby Boomers via text messaging, direct messaging through Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, and presently video conferencing via Zoom. What does that mean for the owner of a newly established residential assisted living home? If you are not advertising via social media, the key decision makers will seldom know your home exists.

The “Thirds” Marketing Strategy 

1/3: Promote Your Content

The easiest type of content to produce is promoting the brand of your residential assisted home. The stage of your home, whether new or renovated is inconsequential. Your home may have:

  • Added a new amenity,
  • Received a highly acclaimed award,
  • Hosted a special event.

This needs to be advertised and publicized with the appropriate angle that will benefit your establishment. You also want to engage the potential client by encouraging them to take action. This actions starts by encouraging consumers to visit your assisted living home web page and engage in the following steps:

  • Fill out contact information so you can keep in touch,
  • Click to call and learn more about your home,
  • Chat online with a specialist who can encourage a tour or virtual tour.

It doesn’t stop here, though. Content needs to be diverse in order to captivate the various learning styles of the potential residents.  

Content Ideas To Promote Your RAL Home

  • Blogs
  • Vlogs 
  • Press releases
  • Event Announcements
  • Photos of staff and residents
  • Video testimonials
  • Reviews

All of this content should be consistently promoted via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and on search engines such as Google and Yahoo. There is a balancing act that must be performed with all of this information.  

2/3: Share Others’ Content

It is not just about your residential assisted living home. Today’s decision makers integrate information. They compare and contrast content as they seek to validate information. Therefore, do not be egotistical. It is important to identify and share content from other sources that is of value to your audience. You can then leverage that content to enhance your brand and stature as a subject matter expert. For example, you can provide links to reputable senior living resources. They should be:

  • Dependable
  • Chosen based on care types
  • Relevant topics to your brand
  • Topics that best align to meet the needs of your target audience. 

3/3: Interacting with Others

In the senior living world, it is important to engage potential residents and their families. Ask visitors for their opinions. Why? Today’s potential prospect wants to voice their opinion quickly and concisely. They want you to know what they think of your brand.  What’s the owner’s reward for creating an interactive platform for their residential assisted living home?

  • Community connection
  • Comments, likes, and shares

Stay on top of questions and any negative comments or reviews you may receive and respond in ways that reflect positively on your community. Marketers should think about how to use social media. Think about what attracts you and what is an instant turn-off. Furthermore, think about your parents, aunts, uncles or grandparents who may need to relocate to a residential assisted living home. How would you make that decision?

Social Media Marketing During The Pandemic

When COVID-19 hit and Americans began to quarantine themselves, what did they do? 

  • We reached for our phones.
  • We grabbed our laptops.
  • We started searching sites on our desktops and devices.

People found themselves spending countless hours liking and sharing funny videos on Facebook, even tapping that new “hugging heart” emoji to show everyone how much we care. 

Some even liked and loved content that they thought bizarre. People wanted to stay connected.  Humans are social creatures, not isolated robots.

So, are you formulating a plan to promote your future residential assisted living home adequately on social media?  

7 Effects Of Proper Marketing That Will Impact Where You’ll Be After Covid Is Under Control

  1. Increases brand awareness. Since your target demographic is visiting social media multiple times a day, you have numerous opportunities to connect with them.
  2. Humanizes your brand. Creates a more direct connection with prospects, residents, caregivers, the local community.
  3. Establishes your RAL home as an expert in your care field. RAL homes that do not post relevant content consistently will not appear as knowledgeable.
  4. Gives you better reputation control. Using social media, you highlight positives and address negative issues before they turn into crises.
  5. Provides a tool for crisis management. Use social media to properly and effectively respond to a crisis in a meaningful way.
  6. Helps get you more reviews. Facebook reviews are looked at by so many consumers prior to taking the next step.
  7. Helps increase website traffic. By sharing community-specific content, it drives individuals from social channels back to the website.

Stay Connected To Ralna For More Tips For Success

Social media, especially Facebook, is where your future prospects are going in greater numbers to dig deeper into your community. How will you seize the moment? Remember, it is only a moment. Today’s client/consumer exists in the moment.  You must seize the moment, digitally. RAL Owners and future owners are strongly urged not to waste another moment. The enormously increased activity of social media will likely go back to normal once COVID-19 passes.

Therefore, will you seize the moment? Will you be ready to promote your future residential assisted living home adequately? Will you engage potential clients/consumers where they are currently residing – in front of laptops and smartphones? Seize the moment. Remember, it is only a moment.Visit www.RALNA.com for more information.

Smaller Is Better In Assisted Living

The harsh reality today is that, in light of Coronavirus, more people congregated in enclosed spaces is proving to have devastating consequences. What about seniors in assisted living? The solution is simple. Smaller is better. There are many types of assisted living available, but what is the most beneficial for seniors, what do they prefer, and what is best for their health and safety?

Residential assisted living provides seniors care and assistance in a small, home-like environment. Instead of 50 or even 100 seniors in a large facility filled with nurses, care staff, and countless other support staff coming and going, residential assisted living homes primarily have less than a dozen residents with a couple caregivers and a manager.  If an outside observer was looking for a solution to keeping seniors safe during this pandemic, the choice would be clear – keep seniors in smaller home-like environments. This is usually where seniors prefer to live anyway.  Not only is residential assisted living an amazing financial investment opportunity, but the change that investors and RAL owners can bring to seniors’ lives is impactful and can’t be overstated.  

Covid-19 Primes Senior Living For Rise Of Small-house Models

America finds herself ensnared with the continuing pandemic of COVID-19. When considering what is best for the most vulnerable among us, sensible measures reap great reward. Isn’t smaller better?  Smaller what?  Smaller housing arrangements. Residential assisted living homes are clearly more ideal for the present condition of public health and affairs in America.  These homes are opposite the big-box like facilities so common across this country.  Plus, residential assisted living is more ideal to the way seniors prefer to live. For today’s baby boomer, residential assisted living reminds them of growing up as a child.  Big families, a house, a yard, neighbors to play with, games and barbecues, especially in the summer. As such, small-house senior living may be well-suited to handle the disruptions of the COVID-19 era. This may help boost the model’s popularity going forward — but the industry will first need to overcome obstacles regarding the way these communities are developed, financed and licensed.

According to Jim Stroud, co-founder of Capital Senior Living, after leaving Capital at the end of 2008, Stroud set out to find the next generation of senior housing models. “Let’s figure out what model we think that the baby boomers will move into,” he said. They aimed to discover a model that is flexible and resilient enough to withstand future change. Stroud told Senior Housing News, “We settled on the small-house concept.” Why the small-house concept?  It’s more like home. Stroud’s vision became reality in Sonoma House Assisted Living & Alzheimer’s Care, a community with seven small-house buildings in Carrollton, Texas. 

Sonoma House opened its doors in 2013, and in the years following, Stroud Companies spent time honing the community’s operational model. Now, Stroud believes the concept is ready for expansion. It’s only a matter of time before the “big-box” senior living companies embrace the small-house trend, too. “I’ve come from the big company mentality and understand it,” Stroud said. “The big companies are going to recognize this product type, and they’re going to recognize that smaller is better.” There is a sense that small-house senior living may emerge from the current era as a more attractive option, particularly if the model can prove its worth in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  Smaller is proving to be better. 

Small-house Success

There is evidence to suggest that these smaller communities are better equipped to prevent the disease’s spread. How so? For clarity, let’s examine some case studies throughout America to capture the effect.

I. Perhaps the most well-known example of the model is the Green-House Project, a nonprofit that senior living innovator Dr. Bill Thomas founded in the early 2000s as an alternative to traditional long-term care settings. Today, there are 268 active Green House homes in the U.S., about 80% of which are licensed to provide skilled care, and the overwhelming majority of them are nonprofits. Green House properties typically house up to a dozen residents living in homelike facilities with private rooms, and are staffed by “universal workers” who provide a wide range of services and care. Green House operates with the philosophy of:

  • autonomy for each resident
  • resident controlled care scheduling
  • resident driven meal planning 
  • resident selected activity schedule and activity choice

What is the impact of COVID-19 in Green House Properties?  

  • 9 out of 245 active Green House Project homes have reported a positive case of Covid-19
  • 6 deaths overall, according to Susan Ryan, the organization’s senior director. 

The smaller, less congregate nature of small homes is just one piece of the puzzle. The universal worker concept means the communities have fewer workers coming and going, and caregivers are able to develop much closer relationships with residents. This gives them an edge in detecting health issues or behavior that’s out of the ordinary. The intimacy developed in these types of homes gives way to better disease control and early detection of any sort of symptom. There are also numerous other senior living providers that have mirrored the approach in creating their own household models that aren’t officially affiliated with the organization. Though these vary in size and scope, most house no more than one or two dozen residents.  With a lower census and the greater capacity to social distance, smaller is better. Some of these small-house senior living homes have reported minimal levels of COVID-19 and have touted the model as key to their success. 

II.     Another example is Assured Assisted Living – a company headquartered in Castle Rock, Colorado.  To date their Covid-19 results are as follows:

  • 10 small-home communities in the Centennial State
  • 3 positive cases of Covid-19 among its residents
  • All 3 were asymptomatic, but were able to be successfully diagnosed
  • All 3 have since recovered

Again, Francis LeGasse Jr, President and COO of Assured Assisted Living, credits the smaller model as the reason for such early detection and swift response to the Coronavirus pandemic. And even if COVID-19 does hit one of its buildings hard, LeGasse is confident that having a smaller model puts Assured Assisted Living in a better position to adapt and address the health needs of its residents. In fact, Assured plans to use its COVID-19 success in a new “great things come in small packages” marketing campaign.

III.   Shepherd Premier, a McHenry, Illinois-based senior housing provider with five small homes, has not yet seen a case of COVID-19 among its residents or workers, according to CEO Brandon Schwab. Like LeGasse, Schwab believes the small-house model is much more amenable to infection control.

“When a home is 10 to 15 beds compared to 150 to 200, you can control the spread of anything drastically easier,” says Schwab. “I feel that this type of home is going to be the Uber of this particular industry.” In essence, Schwab is alluding to significant market disruption.  The small-house model will revolutionize senior living much in the same way Uber did the taxi cab industry and Amazon the big-box mall.   

IV. Boise, Idaho-based BeeHive Homes has:

  • 216 small-home senior living franchises across the U.S. 
  • a small number of positive Covid-19 cases among staff 
  • 1 case among its  residents
  •  0 deaths reported thus far. 

The model’s flexibility, coupled with its more intimate nature, helps with infection control measures, according to BeeHive co-owner Dennis Toland. It is becoming blatantly clear – the smaller residential assisted living home model works for more than agreeable housing.  It is safer.

Solution Vs. Problems

Among architects and even some developers, there is a sense that many senior living residents will take note of the small-house model’s success after the pandemic. Demand for residential assisted living homes will rise. However, the small-house or residential assisted living home model is not a “cookie cutter” model.  This concept is diverse. The small-house communities of tomorrow may resemble single-family homes, as many small-home communities do today. This is far from the only option, according to Dan Cinelli, a principal at Perkins Eastman. This concept of senior living fits anywhere in America. 

Truthfully, it is America. “It can be rural, it can be suburban, it could be a single-family home that’s detached, or it could be a vertical model,” Cinelli says, referring specifically to the Green House Project model. Residential assisted living homes are found in commercial zones as well as residential. They fit wherever they are needed. For instance, the vertical model may hold the most promise for shaking up the formula. Instead of arranging bedrooms throughout a single-story residence as many designers of small-house buildings do, architects of tomorrow may instead place them in buildings with multiple floors, with appropriate access like elevators, etc. Two projects Perkins Eastman shared as an example of this design.

  • a three-story small-house building at the Rochester Jewish Home in Rochester, New York
  • a four-story small-house building at the Goodwin House in Alexandria, Virginia. 

In both examples, residents live in spaces with private rooms and bathrooms, decentralized dining and other features that could help with infection control. COVID-19 conscience construction is crucial in the present day and will continue to be beneficial long into the future. The vertical model in particular could prove popular among senior living developers, according to Joe Hassel, principal and co-leader of senior living at global architecture firm Perkins Eastman. He says, “the vertical model is much more cost-effective in the sense of land utilization and acquisition costs.” With lower construction costs, the opportunity for investors becomes even more financially attractive. Two other projects in Dallas may also offer a blueprint for the way forward, according to David Dillard, principal with D2 Architecture. 

  • The Vistas at CC Young, a nine-story assisted living building
  • Ventana by Buckner, a 12-story continuing care retirement community (CCRC)

While neither fits the definition of a traditional small-house community, they do include many of the model’s core household-centric principles. Dillard says, “The small-house model was a solution waiting for a problem, and the problem is COVID.”   The model is not perfect.  It has its issues and challenges.  For instance:

  • Affordability of small-house communities
    • More of a boutique-style arrangement means boutique pricing.
    • Planning for small-house construction projects can be challenging.
  • Resident rooms are spread farther apart requiring more creative land uses and design considerations.
  • Small-house communities can be harder to license for senior living services.
    • Regulators don’t always understand the product type as well as assisted living or memory care. 
  • Stroud finds this the biggest challenge in growing the model – regulatory agencies.

“When you go to someone that has not dealt with a small house before, then you have to educate them,” Stroud said. But that doesn’t mean the model can’t adapt as challenges arise. Like the architects at Perkins Eastman and D2, Stroud believes a vertical small-house model could help bring about the product type’s next evolution. The broader campus model may be the most expensive and is the least feasible in urban areas. Therefore, towers with the neighborhood concept per floor are more ideal.

Assisted living providers will navigate the post-COVID world in a manner similar to how assisted living and memory care providers hammered out their model in the early 1990s. Larger senior living companies will embrace the trend eventually. What remains to be seen is whether they will forge ahead with stand-alone small-house models, or whether they will instead integrate those buildings and concepts into their existing campuses. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, smaller residential assisted living homes continue to thrive. 

Do Good And Do Well

Smaller is proving on a daily basis to be better. Care is better. Engagement is better. Above all else, safety is logically more feasible in these smaller settings. Residential assisted living homes are primed to take America into the future as the optimal senior living model. The Residential Assisted Living Academy has a proven model for success that teaches students how to do good by seniors and do well financially. Gene Guarino and his team of experts will walk you through the process from A-Z during his 3-day accelerated course. To learn more information or get assistance, visit www.RAL101.com and get ready for the next big investment opportunity of a lifetime. This winning business blueprint will help you get started and scale your business and profits. Use the right resources to learn a better way to launch a successful assisted living business. Simply put, smaller is better.