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Don't Get Tricked by an Online Search

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

To put it bluntly, don't ever enter your loved one's information into a form online when you are doing a community search. This week, two potential clients called me to help them find a place for their parent, only to realize that they already committed to another search service. Unfortunately, those services provided no help at all. In fact, they caused extra problems because communities from all over the metro area stared pummeling them with emails and calls. Neither of these clients meant to commit to that service and felt like they had been tricked.

How did that happen? They typed their parent's names and the location they were targeting into a form online. Those companies even put up pages pretending to be specific communities. They make it confusing on purpose.

Why do they do this? Almost all communities have signed agreements with the big search services saying they will give a referral fee to the first service that provides the name of the potential resident. The strategy is to spray a name out to as many places as possible, then collect a fee when the resident moves in somewhere. At best, all you get is a long list of communities that may or may not be a fit.

In contrast, I spend a long time learning about the resident and families and curate my suggestions based on what they need. I also do a ton of research on the communities and provide a lot of hand holding throughout the whole process.

I will always have a conversation with a client who has done this accidentally, but sometimes I'll be locked out of working with them. If you or someone you know is even thinking about a search make sure to tell them to be careful online. Don't give away one of your valuable assets before you even get started.

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