3 Strengths of Mid-Sized Operators

When you’re a small- or mid-sized operator, it’s easy to focus on the challenging senior care market around you. Your smaller communities face competition from large Senior Living providers, such as…

  • Brookdale, which has more than 1,121 communities.

You may wonder how you’ll keep up with the massive size of these chains and competitors like them, especially with their ability to discount to drive sales.

The good news is that small- or mid-sized operators have their own set of strengths. Your communities contain distinct characteristics that set them apart from your larger competitors and can help you create a solid base of raving-fan residents. The key is knowing what makes you special and leveraging those qualities to drive revenue and increase occupancy.

This article is the first blog post of a two-part series. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at your strengths as a mid-sized operator. In next week’s article, I’ll show you how to leverage those strengths to help you drive revenue.

Let’s get started with understanding 3 strengths your community may have—strengths that can influence prospects to move their loved ones into your community.

  1. Mid-sized operators can be more mission driven than larger providers.

You probably have an important story behind why you operate your smaller senior care community. Perhaps you’re continuing the tradition of a family-run nursing home. Or maybe you saw the need for better senior care and started your community.

Whatever your story is, recognize that your community is defined by a mission that will set it apart from its competitors and resonate with your prospects.

Your organizational mission can be a key role in building trust with your prospects during inquiries, follow-ups, and on-site community tours.

The adult daughter has probably seen headlines reporting serious scandals in the senior care industry. For instance, in July 2015, one large Senior Living provider had to pay $13 million in a class action lawsuit settlement after reportedly lying about the care it gave residents.   

When your sales representatives explain to prospects that your community is driven by a mission—not stockholders or profits—it’s easier to build the trust that closes leads.

  1. Mid-sized operators may have long-time staff members.

If you’re a smaller operation, you may have staff members that have been at your community for years, and it’s likely that your smaller size is a contributing factor.

In 2014, McKnight’s published an article by long-term care expert Dr. Barbera. In the article, Dr. Barbera summarizes the research on employee turnover in long-term care and reports that employees are less likely to leave a nursing home if they…

  • Have the perception of being valued by nursing and supervisory staff.
  • Are considered an important part of the care team.
  • Have positive relationships with their coworkers.

Your community’s smaller size makes it easier to create these essential ingredients for long-time staff, something that might be difficult for your larger competitors.

Long-time staff signals stability and trustworthiness to your prospects. For the adult daughter anxious about finding a quality community, having your sales representatives inform her of your established staff can put her mind at ease.

  1. Mid-sized operators promote a personalized experience for residents.

Another strength your community may have is a more personalized atmosphere for your residents. According to information from a 2015 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, this factor may be a reason smaller nursing homes have a greater percentage of top-performing communities than larger nursing homes.

Here are some statistics from the article:

  • For nursing homes with less than 60 beds, 39% received a five-star rating.
  • For nursing homes with 60–120 beds, 20% received a five-star rating.   
  • For nursing homes with more than 120 beds, only 14% received a five-star rating.

The article gave one possible reason the five-star ratings declined with the larger communities: larger operations seemed to have staffing problems with less skilled nursing attention given to residents.

Recognize the advantage you have over bigger, more affluent corporate care providers. Your operation may be small, but you can still provide your residents better care than a larger community. And your smaller size allows both you and your directors to interact with residents and their families.

Your community’s personalized experience is a key selling point to help you drive occupancy for your community.

When prospects call in with questions or schedule an on-site community tour, it’s important to do more than just point out your strengths.

Your director of operations, nursing staff, and sales representatives alike need to learn how to build the emotional connection with prospects to drive revenue and shorten your sales cycle.

Enroll your staff in sales training to improve occupancy and effectively compete in today’s marketplace. Email me at tbild@bildandco.com or text 813-390-3349 with your name and number.

Be sure to tune in next week for the second part of this series. I’m going to show you how to use the strengths we covered in this article to bolster your efforts to move the needle on occupancy.

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