In this week’s episode of the LTC Heroes podcast, we chat with Jill Steiner, Managing Partner at Dove Estates Senior Living Community, in Goddard, Kansas.
Jill’s father, John, was the original owner of the community. After suffering a stroke during the completion stages of the community’s development, John found himself in need of the services it provided. He moved into the home with his wife, Marilyn.
Today, Dove Estates is owned by John, Jill, and her four sisters.
Throughout the episode, Jill discusses what it’s like to manage Dove Estates with her father living in the establishment, as well as her experience working so closely with her sisters. We learn what it was like for Jill to get to grips with managing the home, especially as she was previously a stay-at-home mum for 16 years.
We discover that serving high-quality food is one of the main priorities of Dove Estates—so much so that they spend less money on marketing than many other competitors because they can rely so heavily on word-of-mouth.
Toward the end of the episode, Jill shares her advice for those hoping to open a senior living establishment.
Learn what it’s like to work closely with family members, by tuning in to the latest episode of the LTC Heroes podcast with Jill Steiner, the Managing Partner at Dove Estates Senior Living Community. Jill owns the senior housing establishment with her four sisters, and her parents also reside at the home.
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Rapid Fire Q/A
If you could change one thing about long-term care, what would you choose?
I would choose the regulatory process and how it’s done. We have surveyors on occasion, and it’s different every time. Each one has a different perspective and different expectations. I would change that. I think that needs to be something a little more regulated and updated.
What’s the biggest change you’ve witnessed in long-term care?
In the business part of it, there hasn’t been much change. I’ve seen a change in the folks that are coming to look for residential care. I’ve found more people are looking for Medicaid situations compared to when we first started.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Probably don’t be a micromanager. I tried too hard to be everything to everyone because I wanted the business to succeed. For my father’s sake, to make him proud, and my mother, of course. To support my family because I was the working parent for two and a half years. Then for my four sisters as well, to make it work for their sake.
What was the hardest thing for you to manage in your first or second year?
It has to be really understanding marketing. Not just advertising but also getting someone to want to move in and make that decision.
I didn’t really know exactly how to do that except build relationships with them, so it didn’t happen overnight. I had some folks that I would show a tour to the first year that didn’t come to move here for maybe three or four years later when they really needed it. So I didn’t know at the time it takes around 18 to 24 months for people to move in. I wished I had known so I didn’t have that pressure on myself and everybody else. I had expectations that were higher than they should have been.I should have been easier on myself.
What do your board meetings look like with your sisters?
Ours are a lot of fun because we’re sisters. Three of them are inactive, they don’t live in the area. So Diane and I are the only active managing partners, so she, I, and our administrator typically.
Our meetings are twice a month. We get together and talk about everything from census, to marketing, to plant operations and such. We make those decisions together with the administrator, because he is who I depend on to run the building.
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