+1-602-845-1320 support@optionsfsl.com
Article written by Chuck Bongiovanni President of the NPRA

So, is the Referral and Placement Industry doomed?  That is a question that I have been hearing for the past few weeks and nothing has frustrated me more.  Not because I believe it is, but because others do.  My morning started with agents sending me a link to an article about an online agency proudly showing off a no-contact virtual tour app that they feel will change the industry.

The interviewee felt that families wouldn’t want to go physically tour anymore and that if they did, they would only go to one community.  After reading it, two thoughts came to my head.

· Those who believe our industry should go to a “no-touch” model are more “out-of-touch” than I thought, and:

· Of course, the online agencies want a “No-Touch” future for our industry, it makes us all “users” in a virtual world called the internet where they are giants.

When I think of giants, I think of movies where giant people or creatures blindly walk over cities stepping on people.  Maybe I am not too far off base with those images.  But the biggest mistake I see of these giants is that they underestimate the power of people. I think they forgot that people in those movies always defeat the giant in the end.

They underestimate families who love their parents.  They underestimate people’s feelings.  They underestimate the power of the American spirit. They underestimate every human being that is reading this right now.

I don’t condemn them.  I understand and feel sorry for them.  I understand how a model where families aren’t really families but are just another lead.

I understand how, because of that, they believe that technology can replace people.  But there is a difference between a lead and a family.  A lead doesn’t stay up all night wondering if a parent fell on the way to the bathroom.  A lead doesn’t feel the pain when their parent forgets their name.  A lead’s heart doesn’t stop every time the phone rings, and a lead doesn’t understand how important it is to find a safe, quality senior living community.  A lead doesn’t connect with you to let you know intimidate details of their loved one’s life, so you can make a better placement.  A lead doesn’t understand any of that, but families do.

However, when you live in a world where you throw away emotion, a lead is just another data point of technology.

Technology can’t hug, smile, and make others feel like everything is okay.  Technology can’t empathize.  Technology doesn’t have a shoulder to cry on.  Technology can’t smile or laugh, and technology can never be a true expert in this industry.

If we want to know how technology can connect with us, ask a senior who is on a ventilator in a hospital.  To them, technology is the cold, lifeless, non-person who is at their bedside when they breathe their last breath, alone and scared because their family can’t be there next to them.

If you believe a family member is not a person, but just a lead, anything you just read doesn’t “compute” to you. .

Let me help you understand the difference.  A person is not “unqualified” or a “win” in a database somewhere.  A person doesn’t just count if he or she hits your bottom line or not.

A person doesn’t give up, they embrace challenges and break the rules.  They are the ones who refuse to let their environment dictate who they are and what they should do.  A person is not data. They are not digital avatars in an online world. A lead is not a human.  People are humans and we have adapted to change for thousands of years.

Are families truly going to not tour anymore?   Maybe only those who don’t care.  A “lead” might not tour again but families will because of one simple reason, we crave personal touch.

People are craving to become human again.  We can see it all around us.  It started yesterday when many states began their reopening process.  People were fighting to help small businesses stay afloat.  They obeyed the 25% occupancy rules in restaurants and they demanded haircuts.

Now maybe we will have to accept some slight modifications for the next 6 months until our medical experts can get this virus under control, but it’s not going to stop people from caring where their loved one lives.  Would a mother choose a daycare for their 2-year-old daughter from a virtual tour?  I don’t recall seeing an app for that.

Yes, maybe we will have to wear masks when we physically tour communities.  Yes, maybe we will have to take an immediate COVID-19 test before we visit a loved one..  Who cares?  We want to visit our loved ones and families want to have the right of choice by physically touring potential senior living communities for their loved one.

These are not barriers or roadblocks, they are just temporary detours on the road we are on right now, nothing more, nothing less.

Maybe online agencies want things to change?  Maybe a no-contact model is the best model for the future?

Perhaps that would work in a non-emotional world where families are just leads and finding a safe, quality senior living community is just another “win” in their CRM system.

But again, when you live in a world behind a computer screen without human contact, a “virus” takes on a whole different meaning.

Is the Referral and Placement Industry Doomed?

So, is the Referral and Placement Industry doomed?  That is a question that I have been hearing for the past few weeks and nothing has frustrated me more.  Not because I believe it is, but because others do.  My morning started with agents sending me a link to an article about an online agency proudly showing off a no-contact virtual tour app that they feel will change the industry.

The interviewee felt that families wouldn’t want to go physically tour anymore and that if they did, they would only go to one community.  After reading it, two thoughts came to my head.

· Those who believe our industry should go to a “no-touch” model are more “out-of-touch” than I thought, and:

· Of course, the online agencies want a “No-Touch” future for our industry, it makes us all “users” in a virtual world called the internet where they are giants.

When I think of giants, I think of movies where giant people or creatures blindly walk over cities stepping on people.  Maybe I am not too far off base with those images.  But the biggest mistake I see of these giants is that they underestimate the power of people. I think they forgot that people in those movies always defeat the giant in the end.

They underestimate families who love their parents.  They underestimate people’s feelings.  They underestimate the power of the American spirit. They underestimate every human being that is reading this right now.

I don’t condemn them.  I understand and feel sorry for them.  I understand how a model where families aren’t really families but are just another lead.

I understand how, because of that, they believe that technology can replace people.  But there is a difference between a lead and a family.  A lead doesn’t stay up all night wondering if a parent fell on the way to the bathroom.  A lead doesn’t feel the pain when their parent forgets their name.  A lead’s heart doesn’t stop every time the phone rings, and a lead doesn’t understand how important it is to find a safe, quality senior living community.  A lead doesn’t connect with you to let you know intimidate details of their loved one’s life, so you can make a better placement.  A lead doesn’t understand any of that, but families do.

However, when you live in a world where you throw away emotion, a lead is just another data point of technology.

Technology can’t hug, smile, and make others feel like everything is okay.  Technology can’t empathize.  Technology doesn’t have a shoulder to cry on.  Technology can’t smile or laugh, and technology can never be a true expert in this industry.

If we want to know how technology can connect with us, ask a senior who is on a ventilator in a hospital.  To them, technology is the cold, lifeless, non-person who is at their bedside when they breathe their last breath, alone and scared because their family can’t be there next to them.

If you believe a family member is not a person, but just a lead, anything you just read doesn’t “compute” to you. .

Let me help you understand the difference.  A person is not “unqualified” or a “win” in a database somewhere.  A person doesn’t just count if he or she hits your bottom line or not.

A person doesn’t give up, they embrace challenges and break the rules.  They are the ones who refuse to let their environment dictate who they are and what they should do.  A person is not data. They are not digital avatars in an online world. A lead is not a human.  People are humans and we have adapted to change for thousands of years.

Are families truly going to not tour anymore?   Maybe only those who don’t care.  A “lead” might not tour again but families will because of one simple reason, we crave personal touch.

People are craving to become human again.  We can see it all around us.  It started yesterday when many states began their reopening process.  People were fighting to help small businesses stay afloat.  They obeyed the 25% occupancy rules in restaurants and they demanded haircuts.

Now maybe we will have to accept some slight modifications for the next 6 months until our medical experts can get this virus under control, but it’s not going to stop people from caring where their loved one lives.  Would a mother choose a daycare for their 2-year-old daughter from a virtual tour?  I don’t recall seeing an app for that.

Yes, maybe we will have to wear masks when we physically tour communities.  Yes, maybe we will have to take an immediate COVID-19 test before we visit a loved one..  Who cares?  We want to visit our loved ones and families want to have the right of choice by physically touring potential senior living communities for their loved one.

These are not barriers or roadblocks, they are just temporary detours on the road we are on right now, nothing more, nothing less.

Maybe online agencies want things to change?  Maybe a no-contact model is the best model for the future?

Perhaps that would work in a non-emotional world where families are just leads and finding a safe, quality senior living community is just another “win” in their CRM system.

But again, when you live in a world behind a computer screen without human contact, a “virus” takes on a whole different meaning.

So, is the Referral and Placement Industry doomed?  That is a question that I have been hearing for the past few weeks and nothing has frustrated me more.  Not because I believe it is, but because others do.  My morning started with agents sending me a link to an article about an online agency proudly showing off a no-contact virtual tour app that they feel will change the industry.

The interviewee felt that families wouldn’t want to go physically tour anymore and that if they did, they would only go to one community.  After reading it, two thoughts came to my head.

· Those who believe our industry should go to a “no-touch” model are more “out-of-touch” than I thought, and:

· Of course, the online agencies want a “No-Touch” future for our industry, it makes us all “users” in a virtual world called the internet where they are giants.

When I think of giants, I think of movies where giant people or creatures blindly walk over cities stepping on people.  Maybe I am not too far off base with those images.  But the biggest mistake I see of these giants is that they underestimate the power of people. I think they forgot that people in those movies always defeat the giant in the end.

They underestimate families who love their parents.  They underestimate people’s feelings.  They underestimate the power of the American spirit. They underestimate every human being that is reading this right now.

I don’t condemn them.  I understand and feel sorry for them.  I understand how a model where families aren’t really families but are just another lead.

I understand how, because of that, they believe that technology can replace people.  But there is a difference between a lead and a family.  A lead doesn’t stay up all night wondering if a parent fell on the way to the bathroom.  A lead doesn’t feel the pain when their parent forgets their name.  A lead’s heart doesn’t stop every time the phone rings, and a lead doesn’t understand how important it is to find a safe, quality senior living community.  A lead doesn’t connect with you to let you know intimidate details of their loved one’s life, so you can make a better placement.  A lead doesn’t understand any of that, but families do.

However, when you live in a world where you throw away emotion, a lead is just another data point of technology.

Technology can’t hug, smile, and make others feel like everything is okay.  Technology can’t empathize.  Technology doesn’t have a shoulder to cry on.  Technology can’t smile or laugh, and technology can never be a true expert in this industry.

If we want to know how technology can connect with us, ask a senior who is on a ventilator in a hospital.  To them, technology is the cold, lifeless, non-person who is at their bedside when they breathe their last breath, alone and scared because their family can’t be there next to them.

If you believe a family member is not a person, but just a lead, anything you just read doesn’t “compute” to you. .

Let me help you understand the difference.  A person is not “unqualified” or a “win” in a database somewhere.  A person doesn’t just count if he or she hits your bottom line or not.

A person doesn’t give up, they embrace challenges and break the rules.  They are the ones who refuse to let their environment dictate who they are and what they should do.  A person is not data. They are not digital avatars in an online world. A lead is not a human.  People are humans and we have adapted to change for thousands of years.

Are families truly going to not tour anymore?   Maybe only those who don’t care.  A “lead” might not tour again but families will because of one simple reason, we crave personal touch.

People are craving to become human again.  We can see it all around us.  It started yesterday when many states began their reopening process.  People were fighting to help small businesses stay afloat.  They obeyed the 25% occupancy rules in restaurants and they demanded haircuts.

Now maybe we will have to accept some slight modifications for the next 6 months until our medical experts can get this virus under control, but it’s not going to stop people from caring where their loved one lives.  Would a mother choose a daycare for their 2-year-old daughter from a virtual tour?  I don’t recall seeing an app for that.

Yes, maybe we will have to wear masks when we physically tour communities.  Yes, maybe we will have to take an immediate COVID-19 test before we visit a loved one..  Who cares?  We want to visit our loved ones and families want to have the right of choice by physically touring potential senior living communities for their loved one.

These are not barriers or roadblocks, they are just temporary detours on the road we are on right now, nothing more, nothing less.

Maybe online agencies want things to change?  Maybe a no-contact model is the best model for the future?

Perhaps that would work in a non-emotional world where families are just leads and finding a safe, quality senior living community is just another “win” in their CRM system.

But again, when you live in a world behind a computer screen without human contact, a “virus” takes on a whole different meaning.