How To Master Senior Living Reputation Management

Senior Living
Published on:
January 31, 2024
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In the senior living industry, your online reputation is the key to success. Prospective employees, family members for those within the community and potential clients will search online before choosing a vendor. And you want their search to turn up nothing but glowing reviews. 

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87% of people decide to drop a facility if there is a problem with the reputation of the brand they have chosen. 

Reputation management is about building an influence around a brand, that speaks trust and quality.

It is crucial for bringing in more residents because once a senior living home loses its good name it may find it difficult to recover from the damage done.

Given the dynamic nature of this industry, keeping up with the trends may feel like an uphill battle, but it’s not impossible.

Through this post, we’ll walk you through the essential steps to help you master senior living reputation management. You can also download our free senior living activities calendar that you can use to plan some fun and interesting activities for your residents. 

To continue your learning, check out our comprehensive Senior Living Operations Management Guide.

What is Senior Living Reputation Management?

Senior living reputation management is the proactive and reactive process of monitoring, protecting, and improving the online reputation of a senior living facility.

This process includes identifying and responding to online reviews and feedback, as well as proactively working to generate positive reviews and build a strong online presence.

There are several ways that a senior living community can improve its reputation management strategy. For example, addressing any negative reviews quickly and effectively, and working to resolve any complaints or issues that are raised. 

Why is Reputation Management crucial for senior living?

👴 New resident acquisition

When a potential resident tours a senior living community, he or she is likely to take into account the online reputation of the community before making a decision. A positive online reputation will make the community more attractive to potential residents, while a negative reputation could lead to decreased enrollment. 

💯 Resident retention

A senior living community that is doing a good job of managing its reputation is likely to have higher resident retention rates. This is because happy residents are more likely to recommend the community to friends and family. Fewer people are likely to move if they feel happy and comfortable in their surroundings.

🚀 Increased brand awareness: 

A good reputation leads to increased brand awareness, as more people are likely to hear about the community through positive media coverage or online reviews.

Elements of Senior Living Reputation Management

Reputation management for a senior living community is a combination of different tactics and strategies. Various components form the basis for building an online reputation strategy that works in your favor. Let’s take a look at some of them:

🌐 Online Content

Everything we read, see and hear online is content. Online content is the cheapest yet the most effective way to create a solid reputation for your senior living facility. You can do this through social media, paid advertisements, blogs, emails … the possibilities are endless. Here are some types: 

📱 Owned Content

The online promotional content that you create to build the reputation for your brand/business is called owned media.

This is the content that you see on Social Media, Emails, business sites, and every other customer touchpoint. A good rule of thumb would be to position your content strategy in a way that presents your senior living facility as a place of comfort, safety, support and fun. 

💖 Earned Content

Another part of reputation management is leveraging earned media. Earned content could be in the form of mentions, shares, reposts, or reviews. Earned content is something you cannot pay for.

Think Google 5-star ratings, a sweet testimonial video on your Instagram Reels, or the star ratings on your senior living satisfaction survey. 

💸 Paid Content

Content that is produced and leveraged through paid channels will help you attract your target audience and get local elderly interested in your services. Various forms of paid content can help a brand build its reputation: PPC advertising, display ads, paid social media promotion, influencer marketing, etc.

🤝🏽 Referrals and partnership content

There are a few things you can do to generate referrals and partnership content to build a reputation for your senior living facility.

Resident referral programs can help senior living facilities generate referrals through the existing residents. This not only increases the business for the facility but also serves as a tool to create a closely-knit community. It's achieved through referral discounts or gift hampers for the residents who are referring others. Residents who are satisfied and happy with the services offered at the

👄 Word of Mouth Content

Senior living facilities need to monitor both positive and negative word-of-mouth content in order to manage their reputation effectively.

This can be done by providing valuable, quality services that attract new residents and maintain the satisfaction of current residents. Word of mouth content can help brands leverage how it is portrayed to the public, and can help manage their reputation.

When customers are talking about your brand online, it is important to listen and take note of what is being said. You can then use this feedback to improve your products or services. If you proactively create positive word-of-mouth content, it can help boost your brand’s reputation.

📺 Offline Marketing (TV, Radio, etc)

Offline marketing like TV or radio can help build reputation for senior living communities by increasing awareness and consideration. It creates a sense of credibility and trustworthiness for the facility. It can help you build relationships with potential residents and their families.

⭐ Generating positive reviews

Community outreach is another important aspect of reputation management. Having a positive relationship with the local community can help mitigate any unforeseen negative publicity. Events and activities that benefit the community and showcase the positive aspects of your senior living facility are a great way to achieve this.

Leveraging customers’ experience to get positive feedback/reviews on social media or on your website is a game-changer.

😊 Responding to negative reviews

One key element is crisis management. In today's digital age, it's easier than ever for negative news or reviews to spread like wildfire. In times like such two things will keep your brand reputation intact - empathy and patience. It’s often not the conflict but the approach to addressing it that set a brand apart. 

Most often it boils down to the quality of service. It’s the extra mile that turns a total stranger into a raving fan and prevents the above negative situations from happening. 

Let’s see the importance of the working pillars that can play a role in the reputation management of a senior living facility.

Importance of Maintenance in Reputation management

It is important to maintain a good reputation in the community in which the property is located. This includes keeping the property clean and well-maintained. A well-maintained property is a reflection of the owner or management company and shows that they care about their property and the people who live there. It is also important to maintain a good reputation with the residents. If the residents are happy, they are more likely to tell their friends and family about the property, which can help to attract new residents.

🧰 Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is important in reputation management as it limits unexpected breakdowns, accidents, and falls. Effective preventive maintenance will mean less equipment downtime, fewer interruptions to critical operations, efficiency, and increased safety for the deskless workers.

🛠️ Proactive Maintenance

Proactive maintenance is also an important type of maintenance for Senior Living Facilities.  Whereas preventive maintenance helps with equipment upkeep, proactive maintenance fixes issues before they cause a complete breakdown. This could mean replacing parts that are near the end of their life or fixing damage that isn't stopping an asset from working.  In brand management, appearance can be as impactful as functionality, so properties should invest in proactive upkeep.

⚙️ Reactive Maintenance

While preventative maintenance is important in preventing issues from arising, reactive maintenance plans are key in decreasing the time to correction of problems. Reactive maintenance (also known as breakdown maintenance) refers to repairs that are done when equipment has already broken down, in order to restore the equipment to its normal operating condition. 

Importance of Operations in Reputation management

Operations in the senior living community have a direct impact on the facility's reputation. Well-trained staff who are empathetic and attentive to residents' needs help create a positive image for the community. Spotless common areas and well-maintained resident facilities also contribute to a positive reputation. Organized housekeeping teams and well-run laundry operations are important factors in maintaining a positive reputation. To improve operations, facilities utilize standardized checklists and processes. Xenia's comprehensive resource library makes this easy.

Here are some ways you can improve operations for a pleasant experience for the residents 

👩 A well-trained staff 

No one likes staying in a hostile environment or a place that makes people feel like a patient. This is one of the reasons why the elders do not particularly love senior living homes. If the staff is courteous, kind, and respectful to the needs of the elderly, assimilation for them becomes much easy. Serving staff members who are approachable, available, and have the patience to make life easy for the residents pave the path for customer retention and great word-of-mouth recommendations. 

🛎️ A well-organized housekeeping team

Make sure that the amenities promised to residents are delivered on time with care and respect. Use technology to serve better and quicker. A well-organized housekeeping team that is prompt and effective can make a drastic impact on the lives of the residents and make their everyday experience pleasant. 

🍽 Nutritious and tasty meals are served at appropriate times

Healthy food does not have to always be boring. If you can creatively execute a menu that serves the palate as much as the health, there’s sure to be an interest. If everyday food feels like a surprise, then it is inviting to the residents to make an effort and stay healthy. 

Importance of Communication in Reputation Management

Communication is key in any relationship, especially when it comes to reputation management. By being proactive and communicating with those who live in your community, you can nip any negative sentiment in the bud and prevent it from spreading. Additionally, regular communication will allow you to get feedback from residents so that you can improve your community and better meet their needs. Furthermore, by promoting positive reviews and stories about your community, you can help build a strong reputation that will attract new residents.

By being proactive and communicative, you can manage your reputation, and keep your community thriving.

It is important to ask Residents for feedback in order to identify problems before they turn into a crisis. By connecting with staff, problems can be solved more efficiently and effectively. In addition, by responding to negative reviews online, a brand can position itself more favorably in the market. 

Importance of Resident Activities in Reputation Management

Activities are one of the most important aspects of reputation management for senior living communities. They provide a valuable opportunity for residents to get to know each other and connect on a deeper level. 

Faith Tap via Giphy

Residents who are engaged and have things to do tend to be happier and more content with their living situation. This positive reputation often spreads to family and friends, who may be more likely to recommend the facility to others. 

We should understand the importance of resident activities and strive to create a variety of programs that appeal to all interests. From arts and crafts to fitness classes and social events, we should have something for everyone. Xenia's comprehensive Senior Living Activities Calendar can help make this easy.

Tips for managing your senior living reputation

In order to manage your senior living reputation, it is important to be proactive and stay in communication with your residents. By being active and engaging, you can help to build a positive reputation for your community.

Here are a few tips for managing your senior living reputation:

  1. Attempt to maintain good relations with customers, employees, and other stakeholders by providing quality service and being responsive to feedback. Make a concerted effort to promote the company's brand image through effective marketing efforts, including advertising, public relations, and product positioning.
  1. Monitor your social media platforms for any potential issues that could damage your reputation. If you see something that might be problematic, take immediate action to address the grievance. 
  1. It is important to remember that criticism, whether it is constructive or not, can be an opportunity for growth. When responding to criticism, it is best to do so with humility and an open mind. It is also important to keep in mind that not all criticism is created equal, and some of it may be more helpful than others.

How to create a reputation management plan?

One of the best ways to manage your senior living reputation is to create a reputation management plan. This plan will help you stay on top of any potential issues that could damage your reputation.

🔦 Identify areas of focus

Some areas of focus that may be included in a reputation management plan are public relations, marketing, social media, and product positioning. It is important to choose the areas of focus that are most important to your company and focus your efforts on those areas.

📝 Create a detailed task list

It is time to create a list of tasks that need to be completed in order to address the above areas. This list should include things like creating marketing materials, responding to customer complaints, and monitoring online reviews.

📲 Allocate roles and responsibilities

Once you have created a list of tasks, it is time to assign responsibility and set a cadence for completing those tasks. This will help ensure that the reputation management plan is executed effectively and on schedule. 

📊 Track progress, review and improve

Keep track of progress and make sure that the tasks in your reputation management plan are being completed as planned. This will help you ensure that your company's reputation is protected and maintained. Reviewing the plan and improving on the process will ensure that the crises are averted ahead of causing damage.

Protect your brand and standardize your processes with Xenia

Maintaining a good reputation is important for any business, but it can be especially critical for small businesses. A good reputation can help you attract new customers and keep your existing customers loyal.

Technology can help you with all of these things. Automating your operations with Xenia can help you free up time to focus on other aspects of your business, and monitoring tools can help you keep track of your online reputation.

Xenia Senior Living Software
Xenia Senior Living Software

If you're not already using technology to help manage your reputation, now is the time to start. Xenia can help you get started quickly and easily. If you are interested, reach out for a free demo!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question? Find our FAQs here. If your question hasn't been answered here, contact us.

Why is preventive maintenance important in the reputation management of senior living facilities?

Preventive maintenance is vital for senior living facilities as it ensures that the physical environment is safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing, directly impacting residents' quality of life. Regular maintenance prevents unexpected breakdowns and accidents, thereby reducing equipment downtime and ensuring smooth operations.

A well-maintained facility reflects positively on the management, contributing to a good reputation as it shows care and attention to the residents' living environment.

How can senior living facilities respond to negative reviews to improve their reputation?

Senior living facilities should address negative reviews with empathy and patience, demonstrating a commitment to resolving any issues.

Responding promptly and effectively to such reviews is crucial.

The approach should involve understanding the resident's concerns, offering a sincere apology if necessary, and taking concrete steps to rectify the situation.

Transparency in communication and showing a genuine willingness to improve can turn a negative review into a positive experience for both the resident and the facility.

What are the key components of effective senior living reputation management?

Effective senior living reputation management includes various components such as proactive handling of online content (including owned, earned, and paid media), generating positive reviews, addressing negative reviews empathetically and promptly, maintaining high standards in facility maintenance (including preventive, proactive, and reactive maintenance), streamlining operations for resident satisfaction, and regular communication with residents and staff.

It also involves engaging residents in meaningful activities to enhance their experience, which positively impacts the facility’s reputation.