Liz Breen is a prominent figure in the senior living industry, boasting a remarkable career that spans over two decades. With a background steeped in experience and expertise, Liz has held various pivotal positions, including Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Marketing Director, and Regional Director of Sales and Marketing at a range of senior living organizations. Her journey as a senior living sales and marketing veteran began in the early 2000s, making her a witness to the dynamic evolution of the senior living landscape.
In her current role as the Enrollment Director at Pine Park Health, Liz brings her vast wealth of knowledge to bear in the pursuit of excellence in senior living services. Her insights into reputation management, online lead generators, and local placement agencies have been invaluable to the industry. In this Q&A interview, Liz shares her perspective on the challenges and transformations in the senior living sector, providing a unique glimpse into the intricate workings of this vital field.
Q: What was your experience with online lead generators and local placement agencies for senior living leads on prospects?
A: It was like a double-edged sword. No one likes paying for referrals and leads when you are already investing in your own marketing efforts and advertising. But when these platforms brought in qualified leads, you had to evaluate whether the margins worked out, and at times, it could be a reasonable arrangement.
Q: Do you think the landscape has changed?
A: Absolutely! I remember the days when you could walk the hallways of hospitals and establish relationships with case managers and other referral sources. However, the market has become saturated with digital options. It seems like there are new local placement agencies popping up every month.
Q: How does the growth of these senior living lead generators impact Assisted Living communities?
A: I personally know some highly experienced placement advisors, and I respect them. However, many senior living advisors advertise as free placement agencies and then don’t really do the footwork of getting to know clients’ needs, presenting a few options and touring those places with them. Instead, they stake their claim to that lead and send it to all of the senior living communities where they have a contract which causes more stress for the family and the senior.
Q: How does this directly impact Senior Living communities?
A: Assisted living communities should primarily focus on their residents and staff, especially during the current staffing shortage in senior living. When they have to pay high referral fees, it diverts resources that could otherwise be reinvested into their own communities.
Q: Do you see any shift in the overall archaic senior living model?
A: Yes, there is a noticeable shift. There is a growing emphasis on relationship management and genuine reviews from families and staff within the communities. Change typically begins from within, and the push for more transparency and authentic feedback is transforming the senior living industry.