strengthening your business

Not all aged care homes are the same

When we look at results of surveys such as the Stewart Brown Aged Care Financial Performance Survey Sector Report it is make or break time for many in the industry. While there is currently plenty of commentary on the poor results by numbers it is important to look at ways in which an organisation can positively impact its performance.

While there has been recent negative press about aged care, the majority of homes do an absolutely amazing job. Every. Single. Day.

In aged care we are not really good at letting the world know about the difference we make in people’s lives. Making sure potential customers understand the difference between you and “Shady Pines” down the road is critical.

five key steps

In order to best put your organisation or service forward there a some critical steps to ensure you get this right.

  1. Keep up to date with your competition

This is not just a matter of looking at prices on their website but really understanding what your competition is up to.

A recent project undertaken for a client demonstrated that pricing had not changed much within a particular, highly competitive, local market. What had changed was that competitors had really upped their game and were providing an exceptional experience and follow up.

In another example, the pricing and number of places in the area had not changed but the quality of the stock had undergone a transformation, resulting in a once highest rated provider being ranked in the bottom third of the local market.

  1. Understand supply and demand

Yes, Australia has an ageing population but, until supply is uncapped and we move to a truly contestable market, some area have a considerable oversupply of residential places. Combine this with an increase in home-based services and the fact that more males are living longer (so two people can “cope” at home together for longer than one person alone) and you can understand why occupancy is softening.

An understanding of your local market demographics and socio economic profile will ensure you meet the needs of the area in which you operate.

For one of our clients Ideal has reviewed the market, current and future demographics in the area, current services and those under development and has identified the opportunity for growth. Ideal is now assisting to develop the concept for a future facility that will operate on a model that addresses future care needs while achieving maximum return.

  1. The price is right

Frequently we see many organisations had set their pricing and then left everything. Markets change and providers need to make sure they adapt.

Some examples where we have helped clients recently include:

  • Review of a portfolio with some increases, some decreases in RAD pricing resulting in improved occupancy overall
  • $28m uplift in RAD pool at a site
  • Streamlining Additional Service offering and fee structure to ensure it met local market forces
  • Determine best approach for refurbishment at multiple sites
  1. People are your best asset

Ensuring that all members of the team understands the importance of delighting your customers. Education, training and cultural transformation programs involving the entire team is a far better investment than a quick “sales training” exercise for your receptionist.

For example, over a twelve month period Ideal worked with a client to develop a marketing strategy that focused on the unique value proposition offered by the aged and community care services. The result of the marketing strategy achieved improved occupancy in residential aged care and growth in community services in an increasingly competitive market.

  1. Get them talking

Once you have delighted your customers they are going to do most of the work for you.

Ideal is regularly engaged to review options for the growth and redevelopment of existing facilities and the feasibility of the establishment of new locations. This enables our clients to make smarter capital investment decisions.

If you would like to explore how you can improve the performance of your business please contact Ideal on 1300 179 675 or hello@theidealgroup.com.au