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Salespeople staying with the resident for first six months?

I had an interesting discussion with a leading lawyer in the retirement village sector this week.

When should the salesperson hand over responsibility for a customer?

At the moment once a customer says ‘I want to buy’ they are handed over to administration to process the paperwork and contract.

The lawyer says the salesperson has made all the offers on what a great value proposition the village presents, so perhaps they should be staying with the customer at least through to when the settling period is over to ensure their perceived promises are delivered.

This could be six months for some operators.

It’s an interesting idea. What do you think?

Key things to help you everyday

Christmas village ‘To Do’ Check List, by Jodie Prosser

Whilst the Christmas decorations are up, the village choir is carolling and the Christmas celebrations are beginning in and around the village, the village manager’s work is not quite done.

Here are some hints and tips that might help ensure you have a peaceful Christmas season:

Getting in front of some risks

Schedule some time in the diary to disaster-proof your Christmas period:

  • In many states it is the commencement of fire season and unusual weather activities so it is a great time to review the Fire & Evacuation plans and even consider running an Evacuation drill reminder session for residents.
  • Review the emergency contact numbers for residents and remind them of when and what numbers they are to call for the different types of likely mishaps.
  • It is also an opportunity to make sure that you have access to resident’s emergency contact details.
  • Also the emergency numbers for support contractors during the Christmas period. Suggestion: put them in your phone or so they are easily accessible when off-site.
  • Confirm, test and communicate any phone diversions that may be put in place during the holiday period.
  • Ensure the CCTV and safety mechanisms in and around the village are working and have been serviced.
  • It even pays to check with service providers that assist with automated facilities such as automatic gates, lifts and automatic doors if there are emergency contact numbers for their services during the break.
  • If you are handing over to someone else, even within the organisation, during the break, make sure they are prepared for the likely emergencies that could occur, know where to find the required information, who to call, have access to the contact phone lists and are also contactable during this time.

Sales and marketing

  • Consider inviting depositors or potential residents to one of the Christmas activities.
  • Don’t stop marketing just because it is Christmas.
  • Ensure there is a plan for sales enquiries through the Christmas period, especially for those families that only come home once a year and this year is the year, they decide Mum needs to move.


  • Send a Christmas note and thank you to those that have made your job easier throughout the year; might be the plumber that drops everything when you have a hot water issue, the mail man that walks your mail into you on a rainy day, a personal carer that is always smiling and happy to help, or a helpful resident that puts away your office bins. There are generally those people around the village that do more than they have to make sure you thank them and wish them well for the holiday season.
  • Allow some time in your diary to do those tidy-up jobs you have been putting off during the year and get it off your to do list.

Finally, it should also be a great time of self-reflection of the many wonderful things that have occurred or been achieved in your village over the past year. Making a list of these can be rewarding. Perhaps consider sharing them with the residents in the last or first newsletter for the year.

Jodie Prosser

Jodie has 25 years experience managing retirement villages and is principal of Optimum Retirement Services

Key things to help you everyday Things to watch

ResiRatings – now over 600 villages rated

We just completed the resident survey for three village operators. Vasey (NSW), BassCare (VIC) and The Henley On Broadwater (QLD). Plus Oak Tree topped up its previous research findings.

They all got great ResiRating results. Henley On Broadwater achieved 4.5 ResiRating stars, plus 94 Satisfaction.

This is what The Henley On Broadwater looks like on

This is the story behind ResiRatings:

Want to know more? Ask Anna:

Key things to help you everyday Things to watch

AbiBird launches $10 ‘Duty of Care’ retirement village service at ITAC after VIC Coroner’s inquest

In our experience the residents of retirement villages are made up of three groups of people.

The first are outgoing and interested in every social activity. The second group occasionally attend events but keep their circle of friends pretty close. And the third are rarely seen.

This partly explains the sad events in a large Victorian Lendlease village where an elderly woman died but was not discovered for two weeks, despite having a weekly home care service. A very sad event.

The Coroner raised the question of ‘duty of care’. Under the Retirement Village Act residents must be ‘independent’, meaning they can look after themselves in every respect. But the reality is every village has a population of people with increasing frailty.

You will recall Aveo had the same challenge highlighted in the Four Corners program of a resident who had fallen in the hallway of his unit and his emergency call pendant was on the benchtop and he couldn’t reach it. He lay there for several days.

Here is a new solution. AbiBird is an advertiser with us but we think it’s worth mentioning that yesterday at the IT in Aged Care (ITAC) conference in Adelaide their new service for retirement villages was launched.

They will place one or two AbiBird movement sensors in a retirement village unit that can send out an SMS to a mobile phone or an email to the office that no movement is occurring when there should be. You can add a family member to this distribution as well.

The device can learn movement patterns or you can simply set fixed times, like first thing in the morning from 6am to midday.

There are no cameras or audio, so limited privacy challenges.

The cost is negotiable but let’s say $10 per month. There are no wires, no contracts etc and 4AA batteries last for 12 months.

This information is not up on their consumer website. If you want to learn more call or email James Tucker at AbiBird on 0408 725130 or

By the way, AbiBird is a uniquely Australian invention and is already being picked up in Germany and Ireland (of all places).