Question of the Month: Transparency

“Transparency” has become a rallying cry. What does transparency mean to you and why is it so important?

Challenge presumptions

By Marcus Van Ameringen

Vice President of Business Development

12 Oaks Senior Living

When compared to the multifamily business, which publishes data on every conceivable metric, seniors housing is less forthcoming in producing customer usable data. There are multiple reasons for this lack of disclosure, such as the assumption that revealing rates and care levels online will create sticker shock and drive customers away prematurely. 

Adult children routinely scour the internet for the best deals on virtually every product they buy only to be confounded by a perceived lack of transparency when “buying” senior living.

That being said, we create value in the customer’s mind when we articulate the costs of the real estate component and the care components. I am in favor of showing customers on the community website a candid baseline.

Many equal partners

By Jon Fletcher

Vice President

Presbyterian Homes & Services

Employees, residents and their family members are equally important partners in delivering and achieving successful outcomes in seniors housing. Each deserves as much clarity and respect as possible in sharing and helping all to understand the current state of the organization, challenges, opportunities, pricing, life enrichment and healthcare outcomes. 

This is all with the goal of giving residents and their family members the ability to make the most informed care and housing decision possible.

It all comes back to trust

By Bill Pettit

Managing Partner

Black Dog Capital Advisors

Transparency has always been the foundation of trust in everything we do professionally and personally. Risk reminds us of the importance of transparency. 

Take your pick in seniors housing today: team member and resident safety during COVID; survey results, staff training and experience during workforce shortages; liquidity, debt service coverage and free cash flow of an operator with a pending recession and rising interest rates. 

In their own way each of these realities today demand transparency. How an organization and this industry respond to the call is a test of the trust placed in us.

We’re all on the same team

By Valerie Whitman

EVP, Sales & Marketing

EyeWatch Live

Transparency means open, honest and proactive communication in all we do, which fosters trust, respect and loyalty. Over the 20 years I’ve been in this industry I’ve seen forward movement, but there is more work to be done. 

Years ago, reviews or a quality rating system for a senior living community didn’t exist, nor did pricing on a provider’s website. As a servant industry, we need to recognize and believe that we’re all on the same team, wanting the best outcomes for all. Transparency will only help evolve our industry, which we’ll all benefit from.