November 19, 2020
Choosing a senior living community in Dallas can be overwhelming. Conventional wisdom in days gone by was to avoid talking to strangers, and certainly, eschew going to them for advice!
But that was in days gone by. Today, the wonder of modern technology in general, and the Internet specifically, have put millions of strangers easily within our communication reach, and we as a society are embracing that. We are now consistently, and even increasingly, going to complete strangers for information, advice, and recommendations.
We’re talking about online reviews, which we automatically check when researching businesses and organizations, in preparation for a purchase or some similar type of commitment. Not only do we check them, but we also trust them.
We’ve always sought advice. We depend on the opinions of others to influence what we do, buy, experience, or try. But once upon a time, we’d first check with our friends or neighbors before trying out a new business or service. Our fear was that trying unfamiliar things is risky, and our hope was that someone we knew could assuage that risk. While we still have the same fear and hope, we don’t need to rely on people we know to have the related insight or familiarity to share. Online reviews share opinions from customers who have already had a relevant experience.
Rather than strangers, we view the people who take the time and energy to write reviewers as our peers. Their reviews are valuable because what they write helps us navigate uncertain terrain, avoid wasting money, or putting someone’s safety or well-being at risk. It helps us feel confident in our decisions.
Online reviews are perceived as trustworthy, unbiased advice. Consequently, they are extremely influential in terms of persuasion. Reports indicate that almost 90% of consumers put as much faith in online reviews as they do in personal recommendations.
The NY Times wrote that the Internet has “democratized the ability to review.” We don’t have to wait for experts to provide their stamp of approval on a good or service. Instead, anyone who feels strongly, can write what they think or have experienced, online.
The blog Shopper Approved explained,” There are millions of online reviews on many different platforms, giving us the opportunity to receive consumer insight from real people who have gone before us.”
“Gone before us” is important, particularly for senior living. Choosing a senior living community in Dallas is, as Senior Living Foresight stated, a “life-altering experience, up there with getting married, or having your first child…” For many seniors or adult children, researching retirement communities is navigating unchartered territory. With little, if any, experience themselves, they are seeking information and reassurance that will help identify a safe, engaging, and healthy . community. People writing reviews about senior living have real-life experiences that they’ve found to be so meaningful that they’re moved to write about them and share. And more often than not, they’re honest, forthright, and heartfelt.
Most people researching senior living communities will start online. While the retirement community’s website will undoubtedly share pertinent information about living options, amenities, programs and activities, and the residents, reviews go a step further. Reviews share uncensored, unsolicited, unpaid-for information. Online reviews allow us to learn about the community through individuals who have the experience.
Here are two of the most recent reviews of Monticello West:
Kendra on Google wrote:
Looking for a home for a loved one is an emotional and stressful situation, and more so during a pandemic. The staff at Monticello West was amazing, thorough, kind , understanding and really an important lifeline during a huge decision to make for a loved one. I really appreciate the guidance and support.
Delores on Google wrote:
The family of (resident name) wishes to express our appreciation and gratitude for the care, concern and expertise of the entire staff of Monticello West–always–and especially during the past few months going through this terrible time. Everyone there has gone the “extra mile” to see that the residents and their families were comforted and cared for, and we are most thankful You are our extended family also.
At Monticello West, we’ve gained our residents’ and their families’ trust and have worked hard to earn their respect and loyalty. We’re proud of our community, and of how we’re perceived by our residents and their loved ones!