Addressing Cost Increases with Residents

Addressing Cost Increases with Residents

“You’ve Got Questions . . . We’ve Got Answers”

We struggle with a very real and emotional issue; the annual increase in monthly service fee increase for senior living residents.  How do we address this issue with our residents?

You are dealing with a very significant financial challenge. First, the facts; 1) seniors will only get a Social Security increase of 0.3% in 2017, 2) short-term CDs and money market funds have returns of less than 0.3%, 3) inflation as reported by the September, 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items is currently 1.5%.  These indices may reflect inflation of individual commodities, but the CPI does not appropriately track the real world of a senior’s typical costs incurred in senior living communities.  The two areas of highest cost for sponsors and owner/operators are dietary, representing approximately 20% of total operating expenses and direct care, typically representing over 40% of operating expenses.  In 2016, the annual increase in employee wages represented approximately 2.5% to 3.0%.  Similar increases are planned for 2017.

Current industry benchmarks reflect annual monthly service fee increases of approximately 2.5% to 3.5% for 2017.  The industry typically attempts to realize a 0.5% to 1.0% positive spread between a community’s annual increase in overall operating expenses and offset moderate increases in monthly service fees.

In attempting to make these numbers work, consider at least the following; 1) occupancy enhancement, 2) responsible expense reduction and 3) optimized unit pricing.  Enhanced financial performance represents both a pressing need and a huge opportunity frequently overlooked by many owner/operators.  In in 2017 and beyond, it will become a significant imperative.


An operations analysis by MDS will identify opportunities for improvement. A detailed overview includes Optimizing Income statements; expense management while increasing Net Operating Income, Operating Margin, Cash Flow. Contact MDS today for an appointment.


Has Your Senior Living Community Adapted to the New Information Paradigm?

Has Your Senior Living Community Adapted to the New Information Paradigm?


New Information Paridigm, senior living consulting, senior living consultatnts, Moore Diversifed Serivces

Welcome To The New Information Paradigm!

There has been a new day dawning concerning the flow of information in the Senior Living industry the last few years. Some in marketing/sales have gotten this and some haven’t quite embraced the movement yet. The larger movement has been from transaction-based selling to relationship building. Transaction-based selling is where the sales person shows the prospect the living unit and dining area and then does a 30-minute information dump about their community.

Relationship building involves a lot more listening than talking, asking the right questions, really being interested in the prospect’s current situation, their history, wants and needs, and opinions, and really CARING about them, not just lip service.  In this piece I’m not going into the entire relationship building concept, but more how the information is exchanged today. The New Information Paradigm!

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10 Must-Dos for Community Call Takers

10 Must-Dos for Community Call Takers


CallCenter[1]Over the last few years, the Senior Living space has done an outstanding job attracting top educated talent to the industry. We have become very good at developing and working with complex models and plans in all aspects of the business. But, along the way, some of the very important little things have fallen through the cracks. These little details are specific to sales and marketing and are essential components and relating to prospects and closing a sale.

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What is Your Digital Media Strategy for 2015?


digital media strategy, senior housing consulting, senior housing consultant, Moore Diversified Services Are you about to move right past this post because you don’t believe you need one? THINK AGAIN!

Digital Media is now an integral part of any comprehensive marketing strategy/plan. While some products and services may use digital media more than others, every business needs to utilize digital media in some form to build and enhance client and customer relationships.

Product Marketing vs. Relationship Marketing

There was a time when you strictly marketed your product or service to your target audience. While that is still a part of an effective marketing plan, relationship marketing is extremely effective in our industry. As a provider in the senior living and housing industry you actually have two target audiences. The first target audience is the senior themselves. The second is the family members of the senior who may be the primary decision maker or at minimum highly influential in the decision making process. You must be building relationships with current and potential customers as well as their family members.

In the case of a senior living and housing community, if an individual is not a resident or has a family member as a resident, you still want to be the first community they think of if the need arises or if someone asks for a recommendation. This means getting your community name out there and engaging with the public, resident or not. This process does not have to be complicated. Start with a simple plan and build from there.


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Wishing You and Your Family a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!


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Happy Holidays From The Staff of MDS

We at MDS would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you dedicated to the service and care of the many residents aging successfully in communities around the world a Safe and Happy Holidays!

We especially thank those that will tend to residents on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; there is no day off in an industry such as ours.  To many of these residents, you are their family and you will make their holidays bright!

Thank you for your commitment to the betterment of the Senior Living and Senior Housing Industry.

Can your office survive without you? If it can’t you are doing it all wrong!


Empower Definition Magnifier Showing Authority Or Power Given To Do SomethingThe sign of a true leader is one who is constantly creating new leaders.  These type of leaders inspire, motivate, educate, support and mentor others into positions of leadership.  They cultivate the skills of others and strengthen their weaknesses.

In Boy Scouts, one of the main premises of the Eagle Scout project, and something you will be grilled on in you Eagle Board of Review, is the question: could your project have happened without you? In order to have a truly successful project, it must be so well planned out AND you must have designated, informed, trained other participants that a) you as the project leader do not actually work on project day and b) if you cannot show up for any reason, the project proceeds as planned.

This so goes against our nature of needing to be needed.  We tend to feel if our business or department can survive without us, we have no value.  We MUST adjust this way of thinking! If business as usual can proceed without you, then to your credit you have hired some very capable employees and you have trained them so well they know how to do their job. This then frees you up to focus on the big picture, more time for strategic planning and business growth.

Do you think you must be involved in every little aspect of your department? Do you require frequent updates and details on every project? Now we get into micromanaging, stay tuned…


Kim Jimenez has been a regular contributor to the MDS website and MDS blog for the past 15 years.  Kim holds a supervisory position in a Fortune 100 company and has extensive experience with a multitude of employee, training and leadership issues.  She is currently obtaining her degree in Human Resource Management at Southern New Hampshire University.

Strategic Planning Webinar

Moore Diversified Services presents Plug-In and Prosper Webinars:

Part 1 – Where Do I Start?
Thursday, Nov. 6
1:00-1:30 p.m. (CST)


At Moore Diversified Services your success is our goal. We are committed to equipping our clients with tools and strategies to make their businesses successful. As we close out fiscal 2014 and approach 2015, MDS would like to offer a special, COMPLIMENTARY webinar series on Strategic Planning.     Plug in with copyright

Join Roy Barker, Director – Special Projects at MDS, for “Part 1 – Strategic Planning: Where Do I Start?” as he answers this question and provides insights into strategy planning.   Topics will include:

  • Selecting a team
  • Employee Buy-In
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Data Driven Indicators
    • Operations
    • Marketing
    • Employee Turn-Over

Space is limited. Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to learn from a company with over 40 years of experience.  Click here to view webinar flyer


Gold Is So Yesterday … Go Platinum!


A guest on an NPR show I was listening to the other day mentioned the “Platinum Rule” in the context of how we treat others. I had no idea what they were talking about. Now, after a little research, I can see that I’m very late to the party. This is a concept that has been around for some time. For those of you who may be living under a rock, like myself, the Platinum Rule now trumps the Golden Rule.      platinum-rule1

The Golden Rule is, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Platinum Rule, however, is, “Do unto others as they would like done unto them!” What a novel concept. While the Golden Rule sounds good on the surface, it is really kind of self-centered. This would mean that we think we know what is best for everyone else because that’s what we like or we want. While this could be very true, it could also be the furthest thing from the truth.

With people we have just met or known for a short time, we may not know exactly what they want. This is the beauty of the Platinum Rule. It causes us to shift focus from us to them. It forces us to try and determine what the other person really want or likes. It forces us to be an active listener and maybe even ask some questions. This also meshes well with one of my favorite Covey teachings, “We must first seek to understand.”

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What Else is Aging at Your Community?


groovnickThis is a continuation of the top priorities for success in 2015 and beyond. Previously, we talked about increasing resident age and acuity levels. In this edition, we will explore the impact of age on the physical plant. Because there were a lot of communities built in the 1980s and 1990s this has led to quite a bit of older inventory still in use today. Some owners have done a great job keeping up and some … not so much.

The old saying is true. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Curb appeal can be inviting or may discourage prospects from stopping. The first step the prospect and their families take into your community will be the lasting image in their minds.

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Be an Appreciative Rock Star!


I love music. I can’t sing or play an instrument, but I do love music and music trivia. Recently I had the good fortune to see a great band, one that has been around for many years, at one of my most favorite venues in the entire world, the Casino Ballroom in Hampton rock_star_logo2Beach, NH. It was a terrific show and fun was had by all, (including the guy sleeping in our car when we came out! For those who follow me on Facebook, you understand, and for those who don’t, that is an entirely different story.)

But, as we were leaving the concert we walked by the band’s bus. I was very surprised and saddened to see what happened next. Although there were only about ten fans around, two of the band members ducked their heads down attempting to hide from us. The sad thing was that, although most of us were old enough that we were past the “star-struck” stage and autographs don’t mean that much to us, there was a young man there who had been waiting patiently to meet the band and possibly get an autograph. It was troubling that they couldn’t have taken 10 minutes to sign a few autographs and mingle with their fans. It would have done wonders for their image. They seem to have forgotten how and why they had become so successful … fans liking them and their music.

With a Little Help From My Friends

It made me think of the senior living industry and other businesses I patronize. People like to be known and recognized. I go to a couple little local restaurants and diners where I know the owners. They never fail to stop by and say “hey” and make you feel welcome and appreciated for your patronage. I have befriended a manager at a national chain and he never fails to stop by my table and talk for a few minutes and even comps my meals most of the time. If I see these people on the street, in a different environment, they still speak and we treat each other as friends.

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