Many Americans go about finding the perfect senior living community the same way they research that coveted 60” flat screen television – by reading online reviews.
Senior Housing News recently ran the following article, which highlights the importance of online reviews for senior living providers: http://seniorhousingnews.com/2014/11/13/senior-living-reviews-rise-first-stop-online-shoppers/?_hsenc=p2ANqtz–kelVhOmZaGYHyFY1Iy2Do3XAucvFrTOYxvWxEns6fxCBUtT6i5ouqHQIOaykmjc1Xc5ivZDsRqCELL4JW5ieihASiVoCQPFbcC4D3P5KWg44YfyY&_hsmi=14903779. The article cites some pretty interesting statistics – including that “[s]eventy-three percent of Americans say they would pay more for a community with favorable online reviews, and 82% say they use online reviews as part of their assisted living selection research.” Further, the report cited by the article notes that its survey respondents ranked the importance of details about a facility’s amenities, services and ratings scores equally and that “many more people use online reviews to choose assisted living facilities than they do to choose doctors or lawyers” (report available at http://www.softwareadvice.com/long-term-care/industryview/online-reviews-report-2014/).
However, with a plethora of information at our fingertips and the rampant use of the word “google” as a verb, we really shouldn’t be surprised by these statistics. Senior housing owners and operators should absolutely expect its potential customers to research the facility online and should take great care to monitor and be cognizant of their online reputation.