How to Be An Award-Winning Senior Living Community

How to Be An Award-Winning Senior Living Community

Since we announced the SeniorAdvisor 2013/14 Excellence Awards a few weeks ago, many communities have asked us what they can do to win next year. Take a tip from our winners with these best practices.

Be an Outstanding Community

The first step, of course, is having a great community that your families love. If people love your community, they’ll want to tell everyone they know about it, and they’ll be happy to write online reviews to help spread the word about how great your community is. Last week, we blogged about what these award-winning senior living communities had in common. Read the post to learn what matters most to families choosing senior care.

Get Good Reviews

In order to be considered for the Excellence Awards, communities had to have met a minimum number of reviews, and their average overall rating must have been 4.5 stars or above. One surefire way to improve your community’s online reputation, as well as increase your visibility in the search engines, is to amass a large number of positive reviews. Several of the winning communities have embraced online reputation management and invited their residents to review. SeniorAdvisor offers free tools for our communities to use to invite reviews – you can directly invite reviewers via email, or you can print out a personalized flyer to share with reviewers in person.

Many of our winning communities got creative about encouraging people to write reviews. Here are some of their ideas:


  • Go around the tables at mealtime with an iPad and ask your residents if they would like to leave a review.
  • Include a link to your reviews page in your newsletter, blog, or email announcements.
  • Offer a computer class for your residents and walk them through the process of writing a review.
  • Each month, hold a drawing where you draw out the name of a resident or their family member who wrote a review, and award them with a private dinner.
  • Bring your Resident Ambassadors into the mix. Read the story of a passionate resident who did all he could to get reviews for his Portland assisted living community.

Respond to Reviews

people at computer

Hand in hand with getting good reviews is responding to the reviews you get on your page. By regularly responding to your reviews, you show reviewers that you appreciate and pay attention to their feedback. This affirms for them that writing a review for your community is a worthwhile endeavor, which will make them more likely to encourage their friends and family who also have experience with your community to write a review. Furthermore, new visitors to your community page will see that you take reviews to heart, which will paint a positive picture of your community in their mind as one that is responsive to concerns, and will encourage them to either visit your community if they haven’t already, or write their own review if they already have. In this way, you create a positive feedback loop that encourages others to review your page because they know their thoughts will not go unheard.

Need some help when it comes to writing a response? Check out our blog post Responding to Online Reviews of Your Senior Living Business, or see how these award-winners do it:

We hope these best practices help you throughout 2014 as you manage your online reviews! What has worked best for your community? Share your tips in the comments!

Based in Austin, TX, Amelia is the former Content Marketing Manager for When she’s not writing about online reputation management, online reviews, and social media in the senior living space, she enjoys yoga and running with her dog Rockefeller. She graduated from Wellesley College cum laude with a dual degree in English and Medieval/Renaissance Studies.


  1. home remodeling February 28, 2014 Reply

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like
    this one nowadays.

    • Author
      Amelia Willson February 28, 2014 Reply

      Thank you very much! The theme is Flexform by Swift Ideas.

  2. Esther March 10, 2014 Reply

    Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.

    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where
    to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions?

    • Author
      Amelia Willson March 10, 2014 Reply

      Hi Esther, I recommend setting up a WordPress account. Determine your audience and then customize the look and feel of your blog accordingly, and cater your blog posts to that audience. Thanks for reading!

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