SECRETS OF A PLACEMENT AGENT
Chuck Bongiovanni, MSW, MBA, CSA, CFE, CPRS
Placement Agent Secrets That Home Owners Don’t Know
Being in the referral and placement business for 27 years, I could write several books about the industry and teach classes to care home owners about the do’s and don’t of the industry. I have seen it all. However, the one thing that I have kept to myself for all those years were the keys to why families chose specific assisted living communities or residential assisted living homes.
What would your business look like if you had those decades of marketing knowledge? I’m going to share just a few of those golden nuggets here. The first has to do with perception.
When I asked residential care home owners why they believe the home down the street is always full, the typical answers I heard were;
- “Other homes charge less or undercut me in pricing.”
- “Other homes pay discharge planners for residents.”
- “Other homes are bigger and look more expensive than mine.”
- “Other homes are friends with the busiest placement agent.”
Why I asked residential care home owners why they believe big facilities get more tours than them, the typical answer was;
- “The big communities have millions of dollars to pay for marketing.”
For years I have listened to the above statements, smiled, and with a slight smile on my face, making them think I agree with them, but I don’t. I know the truth. The truth is most residential care home owners genuinely believe all the mentioned statements or excuses, but I have to tell you, they are simply not true. It’s time that some of my 27 years of secrets are revealed. A little later, I will share with you how you can benefit from all of my tips, recommendations, and secrets also.
“Other homes charge less or undercut me in pricing.”
The statement that buyers are liars is probably the most truthful statement ever spoken in the assisted living and residential care home industry. When agents ask families what their budget is, most families equate budget with income. If mom’s income is $4,000 per month, that’s her budget.
- SECRET REVEALED: Most families under-disclose their true budget by at least $500 per month.
Families will pay more for services, unique services that no other home offers. For example, large communities talk about their ice cream socials during their tours, do you? Do you have ice cream? Of course you do, but do you mention ice cream social? If they mention it and you don’t, the communities earn a few points with the family, and sometimes a few points are all that is needed to tip the scale in their direction.
- SECRET REVEALED: Families will pay more if you have a unique service or services.
Other homes charging less than you isn’t the issue. If it were, every time they were full, you would be getting knocks on your door for those potential residents.
Agents use care homes that undercut other homes as “bait.” For example, if a family says their mother can only afford $1,800 per month, agents will show them homes that will accept $1,800 per month. A skilled agent will end up placing in a better quality home for $4,000 per month, not by being deceitful, but by being open and honest with the family about the actual care needs and costs.
- SECRET REVEALED: If you are being toured a lot by an agent and families aren’t choosing you, you might be one of their homes the agent is fishing with.
“Other homes pay discharge planners for residents.”
In 27 years, I can honestly say that I knew of one agent who was paying off discharge planners and a few care home owners. Yes, there are rumors about others, but these stories are usually started by other home owners who have empty beds. Placement agents can market to discharge planners because they represent more than one care home option, and that’s why discharge planners use them.
- SECRET REVEALED: Discharge Planners want multiple choices to offer their patients
“Other homes are bigger and look more expensive than mine.”
Rarely do families chose residential care homes because they look like a palace. Looking like a palace brings up feelings of being cold and distant, the exact opposite of what families are looking for.
- SECRET REVEALED: A home owner who knows how to give an excellent tour can have a modest home and always be full. Agents know exactly what families are looking for and how to present it.
“Other homes are friends with the busiest placement agent.”
Just because you get along with a placement agent or you go to lunch with them doesn’t mean they will tour your home more. It just doesn’t work that way. Discharge planners want and expect stable placements. If hospital readmissions occur due to a problem with the care in a residential care home, the discharge planner will stop using the placement agent.
- SECRET REVEALED: It isn’t about being friends, it’s about your ability to close the deal with the family member. The more families you close, the more tours you will get.
“The big communities have millions of dollars to pay for marketing.”
It is true; large communities have millions of dollars to spend on marketing. However, it isn’t the amount of money they spend, its the name recognition and the power of their brand name that brings potential residents to their front door.
Families know their name because they usually have several in their city, and hundreds of them nationwide. Even without the money spent on marketing, how can one care home in St Louis, Missouri compete with a brand with 900 locations?
The same phenomenon happens in the placement industry. The larger the agency, the more clients they help, the more money they make.
- SECRET REVEALED: There is power in branding and scaling up in numbers.
There are many many more Placement Agent secrets that can be revealed to you.
Would you like to know how you can take advantage of them?
- Your home can be the first one placement agents call when they have a new potential resident.
- Your home can contract with major long term care insurance companies, just like the big boys
- Your home can have a nationally recognized name
- Learn how to give the tour that no family could deny
- Learn precisely how to market to discharge planners and have them refer residents to you.
If you could partner with an organization with the experience of teaching over 1,000 people how to get into the residential care home business and who had the skill and know-how to place over 100,000 residents into residential assisted living homes nationwide, would you want to know more? Click Below.