High Five!! You just secured a move-in! Your job is done now, right?
Imagine how scary it is on moving day at a retirement community or skilled nursing center. I would compare it to the first day of high school, which I know was not as glamorous as we all may have hoped. How can you make your new resident feel welcomed? How will you ensure the first impression that sold them on the community is felt again on this important day? It’s simple, use the information from the discovery process to welcome your new resident to their new home.
First, how will your new resident be greeted?
Will they be coming with family or in some cases being brought by ambulance transport? Plan ahead for this first moment. Make sure your staff is prepared and ready to assist. Do you have a valet cart to help move items in? Do you have a staff member who will be able to help unload items? The key is knowing what time to expect the resident and making sure the whole team is ready to help!
Second, what is your WOW factor?
Is there a welcome home sign with their name in the lobby or on their door? This is so simple to accomplish, but often overlooked. It would be great if every resident had a welcome party on their first day, but we know that is not practical. Determine what YOUR team can do to impact that initial feeling on move-in day.
Third, do you have a one extra or welcome gift?
What can you have waiting in the room or apartment when your new resident arrives? Remember what you learned in the discovery process. Does your new resident like playing cards? Bird watching? What is their favorite snack? Having a welcome gift in the room is nice, but personalizing it will evoke more feeling. Wouldn’t a personalized note from the team make you feel good about the decision you made to move in? This small gesture can make a big impact.
Think back to that first day of high school again where the unknown was the scariest part. Would you know anyone in your classes? Who would you sit with at lunch? Will you join a club or a sports team? All of these same feelings can be felt on move-in day at a retirement community as well. As a team, you want to help ease these concerns by assisting your new resident through the what-ifs. Having resident ambassadors or a welcoming committee is a great asset to have. They can help a new resident assimilate and learn the routine of a community. Help the resident by being a matchmaker for new friends, tablemates, etc, by using that discovery information again.
The goal is to create a wonderful first day in a new home by using the same tools that helped you to secure the sale. The first 24-48 hours in a new place are key to resident satisfaction and retention. Make sure your team has a plan for new residents and there is ownership to the process. Remember, you want this new resident to stay, or if in the case of a short-term stay, you want them to come back! Don’t forget, the sale is not over when the contract is signed.