September 14, 2015 // 2:40 PM
You Made My Day!
Written by Scott Miller
Last Tuesday a woman stopped by to drop off an application. I’ll call her Susan. As with many people who choose Garden Spot Village, she was younger. She had a question and Megan was with someone else who was signing an agreement. Since I’m Megan’s back up, I went out to talk to Susan. She jumped right in, “I didn’t know if I should submit an application or not. My husband died several years ago . . .”
“I’m so sorry,” I commented, but she was on a roll and kept right on talking.
“. . . and he always said we couldn’t afford Garden Spot Village because it cost too much. He’d say to me, ‘You are never going to live at Garden Spot Village, so you might as well forget it.’ Some of my other friends who don’t live here also said it would cost way too much and I should forget it. A couple of weeks ago one of my friends who lives here said I should just give you an application and see what happens.”
“That is what we always recommend,” I said, “you never know until you actually submit an application.”
I looked it over and suspected it would be approved, but I never comment until we actually run it through our financial model. I explained to her, “We have a very sophisticated financial model that we use to evaluate an application. We enter your income and your assets. It takes into consideration your age and how long you will live here. We figure in the amount you will pay for an apartment or cottage and the monthly fee. Increases in the monthly fee are taken into consideration and we make allowances for growth in your income, assets and social security. We anticipate cost of living increases and inflation. We also add in allowances for healthcare in case it’s needed in the future. The model gives us a very good idea of how your resources match up with living here.”
“When will I get an answer?” she asked.
“Well,” I said, “we usually run it through the model within a couple of days after we receive it. I review it and if everything looks okay then it goes to our chief financial officer and our chief executive officer for approval. After that it comes back to marketing and we prepare a letter and send it out to you. If some of us are out of the office it can take a couple of weeks, but everyone is here this week so I suspect you will hear from us early next week.”
She thanked me and said she was nervous, but that she looked forward to hearing from us.
We ran the model that day and my suspicion was correct; she could afford it. As mentioned above, you get a letter after you are approved. We touch base periodically but we like to let you control the process which differs from other communities that call you all the time. We created the Radar Screen so that you can manage the process on your terms, not ours. However, since I had talked to Susan and I knew she was anxious, I decided to give her a call.
It was late in the day Thursday when I called. “Hello this is Susan.”
“Hi Susan, this is Scott Miller at Garden Spot Village, how are you this evening?” She was getting ready to go out, I had caught her just before she left. “I wanted to call to let you know that we approved your application and you will be getting a letter early next week.”
She was ecstatic. She had been told she wouldn’t be able to afford Garden Spot Village by so many people who don’t understand the cost or how things work that she was sure she could never afford it.
She just kept saying, “You made my day, you made my day, you made my day!”
It makes me think of our mission “to enrich the lives of older adults as an expression of Christ’s love.” We’re always happy when we can make someone’s day.