Placement Agent: Question and Answer

In this town, what percentage of communities are you contracted with?

If the percentage is not close to 100%, they are not a useful resource. A referral agency gets compensated only if it places someone in a community.  If the agency only works with 5 out of 10 communities, they will only inform families about the areas where they have contracts, whether it is a good match or not.

Do you tour communities with every family?

This should be an emphatic YES! On-line agencies that handle everything by phone or internet are unable to fully comprehend the family's requirements. A family may have time to address difficulties while spending time with them. It gives them a sense of security and trust when a bond is created. It also allows the adviser to have a greater understanding of the family dynamics and all the needs of the client.

What is the referral fee communities pay you?

Every penny spent on a referral detracts from the money needed to give real therapy. Despite the fact that fees vary, we've discovered that the larger on-line based organizations charge more than 90% of the first month's room rate. The majority of family-owned referral costs are around 50%. That's a significant difference in fees and money that may be spent on senior care.

Do you only send qualified leads to communities, or do you also send a lead to every community on your list in the families' desired location?

The aim of care providers and social services is to ensure that seniors get the best possible care. While this might not seem like something that should fall within their realm of responsibility, it is actually very important. When a placement agency sends out an email to every neighborhood with one potential applicant, it does two things. First, it makes it more difficult for the family to find the finest solution to their problems. Every family is overwhelmed with phone calls from communities that were emailed regardless of whether they could afford the community or not. It leaves families where they started confused and exhausted. The second issue with "mass" lead distribution is that it takes a long time for the community's admissions coordinators to sort through them. It takes a lot of effort to go through referrals. When a referral or lead isn't "qualified," it bogs down the system and results in delay of treatment.

Would you allow them to work with another referral agency if they don't think you are a suitable fit?

This is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, most organizations will respond yes to this inquiry. You'll need to delve a little deeper. The real issue is whether they will contact a community and withdraw the referral for a family so that a new agency may be paid by the community. I've spoken with a number of clients who have experienced difficulties in obtaining assistance from a nationwide referral agency and yet when they contacted a local placement counselor, the new company was unable to get compensated from the community. When a contract is signed between a consumer and a referring agency, the original referring source is compensated. If the family wishes to work with someone else, many smaller local agencies will withdraw the referral. Most nationwide agencies WILL NOT. This means that either families have to take on the project themselves or smaller companies do the work for no pay, while the original company gets money simply for sending an email to a community.

A decent rule of thumb is to suggest a local, family-owned firm that does not charge families. They are usually run by knowledgeable advisors with significant medical backgrounds who are actively engaged in serving our elderly community.

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At St Louis Family Resources, we are a multi-service company that will focus on providing you with Fast, Friendly, and Flexible service.


Contact Us

St Louis Family Resources
167 Lamp & Lantern Village #107
Town & Country MO 63017

Terry Peterson
(314) 926-1980
[email protected]

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