In the latest episode of the LTC Heroes podcast, we discuss marketing and sales with David Hopkins, Executive Director at Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs.

The Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs is a resort-style assisted living and Alzheimer’s residence in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

The episode begins with David sharing more information about his role, including his focuses and challenges. We also learn more about the Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs.

David tells us about his life experiences and how he got into long-term care. And we learn about his family background and his experience working at Disney.

We discover that Disney has thorough training protocols and that David and his team have implemented and executed similar training in Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs.

David also talks about his marketing and sales goals for Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs. He discusses how the team approaches marketing and, in particular,  about targeting referrals.

He shares how he takes his residents’ voices and words and turns them into marketing.

Towards the end of the episode, David shares information on some books that have influenced how he delivers long-term care.

Learn how to implement training practices from Disney into long-term care, by tuning into the latest episode of LTC Heroes with David Hopkins, Executive Director at Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs.


Rapid Fire Q/A


Do you have any unusual hobbies?

I am a chief dog walker. I have two adopted rescue dogs, Chewy and Tango. I voted ‘no’ on the second one, but the family won on that one.

Every morning at 6 am, and every night at 9 or 10 pm, you will find me with two leashes, poop bags, and out walking.


What are you doing to help with staffing?

I come from Disney, and Disney is really big on training. 

So for us, we reach out to the CNA and the nursing schools. We invite them in for their clinicals to come in, pass meds to assessments and get their hands dirty in the senior living care environment. 

They’re in the community. They get to learn your system. They get to work with your staff. 

At that point in time you’ve identified, out of that class of maybe 20 or 30, maybe three or four excellent ones that have connected with your residents and work well with your team. 

It’s almost like an extended job interview with no cost to yourself. We utilize that a lot.


How did you get into long-term care?

It comes with a little bit of genetics. My dad and my grandfather were both truck salesmen. So I guess that a little bit of that got passed down to me. 

Sales is unique in long-term care, right? It’s a process in that you need to understand people and develop relationships. Having gone through that with my dad and grandparents, I said I would never work in senior living. 

I’ve been in healthcare for 15 years. The last six have been in long-term care. But if you asked me eight, nine years ago, I would have said no way, I want no part of that whatsoever. 

God’s got a funny way of saying that’s exactly where I’m going to put you, because I’ve just trained you to figure out how to do this the right way. And we need that, so, by his blessing, I went into long-term care.


Can you think of a specific example that came from your Disney experience that you have implemented and executed inside of your culture?

At Disney, it’s very simple. Disney does four things in priority order. It’s super easy and translates into long-term care and healthcare. 

Number one, safety, you don’t want to go to unsafe assisted living. If you can’t take care of what’s going on in the business, then there’s no reason for you to even walk in the door.

Second thing, courtesy, we’ve got to be nice to people. Unless you’re telling somebody to not jump off the roof, there’s no need to yell or speak harshly to somebody. 

Third – show: it’s about your setting, environment, and culture you’re working in. 

And then the last thing that Disney does is efficiency.


Where are you at in terms of referrals and getting new prospects?

Yeah, so we get a bunch from paid referral sources out there. We’re in Florida. It’s sometimes termed God’s waiting room. 

So there’s a lot of business around here. However, paid isn’t the majority of our referral sources. What we’re targeting are family and friends.



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