Do you know how much each move-in costs you? You probably have a number in mind. The odds are, however, that your number is wrong. That is because there is an element to the move-in process that most community operators don’t include. It’s your admissions process. Yes, it has a cost, and it’s higher than you might think. 

Here are four key areas that can cost your community hundreds of thousands of dollars in a very short period of time:

Unsigned documents: When inadvertently unsigned or missing documents are discovered in an audit, it can result in a publicly recorded deficiency against the community. Consequently, a resident who realizes he or she never signed off on a chargeable event will resist payment. Ultimately, the community will have to take the hit. An example of this is one of our clients who told us that before installing digital admissions software (ours is Admit+), the organization was losing an estimated $3,000 per month in waived early move-out fees. That is because the resident never signed the associated documents.

Lost move-ins: The slow, laborious process family members must go through to complete documents can lead to decisions to put off the move-in. That re-opens the field to your competitors, who may be able to offer an easier, faster move-in process. Before you know it, what was your soon-to-be resident already may have made the move to a community a few blocks away. 

Staff overhead: Staff can spend weeks of valuable time chasing paperwork. And you are paying them to play phone tag and send emails cajoling the residents and family into signing and returning forms. That’s a lot of low-value work at a high-value cost. 

Out-of-date documents: Regulations and resulting documentation change throughout a given year. Let’s say, for instance, that you change paragraph five of the resident handbook. How do you know each location is using the most current version of your documents? If you’re using paper, you can’t know for sure until it potentially is too late.

These areas represent tangible, bottom-line costs to your community. It also is important to understand some additional challenges presented by out-of-date admissions processes, however. These take the form of misunderstandings between residents’ families and your staff members, higher staff turnover, a negative hit to your brand and greater difficulty in competing with the tech-savvy, progressive community down the street.

The good news is that where there are costs, there are potential savings.

Fortunately, with each hidden cost described above, there is a “flip side” — the savings your community can incur by tightening up and streamlining your admissions process. Simply put, moving to a digital admissions platform brings a level of visibility and accountability that is not possible with manual processes.

Here are a few additional benefits of admissions automation:

  • Significant time savings: Solutions such as Admit+ are proven to close residents faster. Our clients report saving more than an hour per move-in. Multiply that by an average of 1,000 move-ins per year and communities stand to gain an average of 125 work days in time. That’s time that can be used for driving more move-ins. For instance, an additional 20 move-ins would result in millions of dollars in added revenue.
  • Visibility:  Management now knows in real time when any document or process has been completed. The platform allows access to all forms online, making it easier for remote people with power of attorney to review and execute key documents. This ability gives everyone instant access to required information when it is needed. It also marks the time spent by residents on each form, helping the sales team identify those that are taking longer to complete. That visibility enables them to proactively reach out to residents who need help. 

Digital admissions platforms have taken a time-consuming series of redundant steps and integrated them into a smooth, highly efficient process. Major players in this industry have recognized the value that digital admissions platforms bring to their residents, staff members and organizational bottom lines. In fact, digital admissions platforms are rapidly becoming the de facto standard installed in new communities. 

As our industry prepares for a new, more discerning generation of residents, operators are seeking ways to gain a competitive advantage. The struggle with lower occupancy rates brings with it narrower margins. That means operators must find ways to win more residents while reducing costs.

Embracing solutions that help eliminate the “hidden” costs associated with the admissions process is an important first step. Faster, less expensive move-ins that provide a better experience for all involved will help operators sustain and grow in this dynamic and challenging industry.