Q&A with Marissa Gardner of Prestige Senior Living: The Evolution of Partnerships with Assisted Living and Senior Placement Agencies
The world of senior living has evolved, and so have the partnerships between assisted living communities and senior placement agencies. Marissa Gardner, an industry professional, shares her insights into these changing dynamics.
Q1: Marissa, could you tell us about the role of senior placement agencies and their original intention in assisting seniors and their families?
Marissa Gardner: Certainly. Senior placement agencies, for the most part, are well-intentioned organizations that aim to support seniors and their families, particularly during times of crisis. They work to identify and understand crucial factors such as budget, location preferences, care needs, and timelines. The goal is to connect them with communities that align with these criteria. The objective is to ease the burden of research for families, empower them to make informed decisions, and provide communities with well-qualified leads.
Q2: How has the partnership between assisted living communities and placement agencies evolved over time?
Marissa Gardner: Over time, we’ve observed a shift in this partnership model that has raised concerns. Today, it seems that some referral companies heavily invest in SEO and aim to capture as many leads as possible. In this revised process, leads are quickly passed on to advisors who then distribute lead information to assisted living communities within a broad geographic range, often regardless of whether the prospective resident is a suitable fit or not. This has led to a repetitive sales process that can leave families feeling confused, overwhelmed, and unsure about their information’s privacy and use.
Q3: What are the main concerns that senior living operators like Prestige have regarding this evolution?
Marissa Gardner: The primary concern revolves around the disconnect between the business and the people it serves. While many referral agents are well-intentioned individuals, they may not be fully aware of the ethical challenges within the industry until they’ve been in it for some time. This disconnect can lead to practices that prioritize profit over the well-being of seniors and their families. While we don’t want to wage a war against well-intentioned individuals, we are certainly committed to addressing unethical business practices.
Q4: How do Prestige’s core values guide its approach to working with senior placement agencies and prospective residents?
Marissa Gardner: At Prestige, our core values—respect, integrity, commitment, and trust—serve as the foundation for our business practices. When working with leads from placement agents, our priority is to promptly and thoroughly qualify the leads for our community and guide them through the move-in process. If it becomes clear that our community may not be the right fit, we are committed to helping them find a suitable place, all without charging any fees.
Q5: Could you share a personal reflection on how working closely with seniors has impacted your life and perspective?
Marissa Gardner: Working closely with seniors has been a profoundly enriching experience. I’ve found a level of gratitude that I didn’t know existed. Seniors have provided me with a new lease on life, and the privilege of being part of their journey has been a deeply transformative experience.
Marissa Gardner’s insights shed light on the evolving landscape of senior living partnerships with placement agencies. Her commitment to ethical practices and genuine care for seniors and their families serves as an inspiration for the industry as a whole. We are proud to partner with industry experts like Marissa!
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