In this informative piece in collaboration with Bounce Forward, we look at pricing in care homes, along with its importance and the legal requirements of the CMA.

When a prospect walks through the door of your care home, top of their list will be:

How much will this cost me and I am getting good value for money?

We know good care isn’t cheap and it is so important that you demonstrate the quality and benefits of your service in proportion to the price your prospective resident will pay to live in your care home – giving them a ‘value for money’ explanation.

Your team may be fantastic at building rapport with your enquiries, encouraging them to visit your home and carrying out super showrounds. They may have just the right empathy when meeting families and potential residents, and have a beautiful home they are really proud to show – but what happens next?

Sarah Loveday, Founding Partner at Bounce Forward* told us, “We have found so often when carrying out our mystery shops that a home stumbles at this next stage – telling the customer exactly what fees they will be paying, should a loved one move into their home”.

This can be understandable; many people feel uncomfortable discussing money.  However, unless you have detailed pricing information to give to your new enquiries, you may well be in breach of consumer law.

In 2018, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) published the first of its advice for care homes, stating that there is a legal obligation for care homes to be transparent with their fees and that this should be in the form of a ‘key facts’ sheet in an information pack or inserted in your brochure.  This information should also be clearly available on your website.

“If we visit a care home where there is no fee information set out on a professional, detailed sheet, that home begins to lose our interest,” Sarah continues.  “Many homes have a ‘sales manager’ and the information is in the pack we are given, but often we are shown around by the Home Manager or administrator, and discussing money does not come as easily to them.

If so, it is even more important to have this information written down.  In many homes we have to ask for prices at the end of our visit; we are not automatically given them.  We have visited homes where the Home Manager has hastily scribbled a ‘from’ price on the back of the brochure and homes where we are promised an email with pricing after our visit, but we never receive it.

Unless your care home gives your visiting families full, detailed fee information, you could easily lose their interest and trust.  If there is very little to choose from between your home and your local competitor who has all the information professionally printed to give you, the chances are you will lose your enquiry to that competitor.” 

Families expect to be told the weekly price, so why not use this to your advantage?  Take time to understand their needs and show them the relevant features and benefits of your home.  Take time to fully explain to them exactly what you can offer their lived-one – not just in terms of care, but meals, activities, lovely events where families are welcomed… all the enhancements that make your care home stand out.

*Bounce Forward offer mystery shopping services and enquiry handling training specifically to the senior care sector.  www.bounce-forward.co.uk    info@bounce-forward.co.uk.