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Home Care Agencies

Sep 14, 2023

New Helpdesk for Home Care Partners
coverac7c04a9-c5b3-5162-a054-4cd7a0dabd89 Staff

As of September 1st, our home care partners have access to a new helpdesk to improve the speed and quality of our partner support. Home care partners can now email for any of their account and business profile needs. 

What does this mean for our current home care partners?  Requests emailed to the new helpdesk will be directed to the best representative to assist. No more searching for your assigned account executive. Because the helpdesk will be closely monitored, you can expect faster, reliable response times.

These are the types of requests our partners can reach out to to complete:

  • Update your listing: Add images, change your description, revise your services

  • Edit your lead recipients: Ensure your current team is all eligible to receive leads

  • Request more leads: Adjust your lead cap to capture more volume as needed

As a note, any questions on reviews or about the Caring Stars award should still be directed to or (650) 762-8190.

For any questions related to our new customer service email or other account and business profile questions, reach out to If you are interested in learning more about partnering with, call (855) 590-8989 or complete this form to schedule a demo.


Aug 29, 2023

Time to Shine: How to Qualify for Caring Stars 2024
Denise Graab

In a recent webinar about qualifying for Caring Stars 2024, we shared the incredible journey of the Caring Stars award program and how it elevates senior living communities or in-home care agencies to the top of care seekers’ lists. 

The deadline for the 2024 Caring Stars award is fast approaching: you must have the required stellar reviews profile on by October 15, 2023. To help you understand and achieve this highly-coveted award, we’ve compiled the following critical information for maximizing your reputation on

Why is Caring Stars Worth Your Time & Attention? 

Since its groundbreaking launch in January 2012 as the very first “best senior living” award based on consumer reviews, Caring Stars has evolved into a powerful emblem of excellence within our industry — now encompassing all senior living and senior care directories on 

You read that right: Any senior living community or senior care agency listed on can qualify for the Caring Stars award. 

And unlike other now-similar award programs, there is no application process or fees for Caring Stars, and Caring Stars winners get free promotional gifts too (there are no licensing fees for winners to use the Caring Stars badge). We also don’t require that you be a Caring partner to be eligible for this prestigious award — though our free reputation management support services for partners do help. 

Here's why Caring Stars can be a game-changer for your business:

  • Positive PR and Marketing Buzz — Being a Caring Stars recipient is more than an accolade; it's a beacon that attracts attention and trust. This recognition generates positive PR and establishes your community or agency as a go-to choice for seniors and families. You can see real examples of this in the Caring Stars 2023 winner webinar

  • Engagement and Excitement — Caring Stars doesn't just signify excellence; it engages and excites your stakeholders. It fosters brand loyalty and strengthens the connection between you and your constituents, which can be invaluable for maintaining and growing the success of your business. 

  • Recruitment and Retention Support —  In an industry where recruiting and retaining staff is a continuous challenge, Caring Stars showcases your commitment to quality and can make you an employer of choice.

  • A Trusted Guide — Caring Stars has become more than an award — it's a trustworthy go-to guide for seniors and their families. Its credibility is why for the past two years, Fortune has used it to rank the best cities for seniors and families. 

This reviews program has been proven to attract prospective customers for Caring Stars winners — boosting inquiries and conversions for Caring partners in particular. For example, in 2021 and 2022, the senior living winners partnered with Caring averaged nearly twice as many new resident inquiries and almost three times as many move-ins as Caring’s community partners without the award. This proprietary data is another signal of the power of consumer reviews in helping seniors and their families find the best service providers. 

What Does It Take to Win? 

Earning the Caring Stars status isn't easy, but the journey is worth it. The focus on obtaining and responding to reviews is the key. 

To be eligible for the 2024 award, here are the essential review metrics to aim for…

For senior care agencies and senior living communities with a resident capacity of 21 or higher, you should have:

  • At least 15 published reviews on your listing by the October 15th deadline

  • Across all of those published reviews, an overall average rating of 4.5 stars or higher

  • A minimum of 4 reviews since October 15 of the previous year (4 published reviews between 10/15/22 - 10/15/23)

  • One or more 5-star published reviews with dates in 2023 (at least one 5-star published review dated on or between 1/1/23 - 10/15/23)

  • A published response on every 1-star and 2-star review across all time

For smaller senior living communities and care homes having 20 or fewer resident capacity: The qualification criteria and reviews recommendations are different. In this case, you still need to have a 4.5 stars overall average rating or higher, with one or more 5-star reviews in 2023. You also need to have a response to every negative review. But your total reviews volume requirement is lower, both in total reviews across all time and in the recent year qualification time frame. If your senior living community aligns with this smaller capacity, make sure your listing has up-to-date resident capacity information or you’ll be judged at the higher review volume thresholds instead.

How To Build A Stellar Reviews Profile for Caring Stars

Before we dive into specific resources to help you get and respond to reviews, let’s first help you avoid a common mistake that can hold you back: asking the wrong people for reviews to meet the Caring Stars requirements faster. 

We’re focused on publishing genuine reviews from cognitively healthy seniors and their families. We host their first-hand feedback about your services, and we do not publish reviews submitted by your employees, any industry insiders, or anyone else with a conflict of interest. This policy is covered in our review guidelines too. 

And here are two more important tips: 

  • Don’t collect and/or upload reviews to on behalf of your customers. Our dedicated staff is primed to assist seniors and their families who need a hand in submitting their reviews. 

  • Encourage senior living community residents to steer clear of using their real names as their reviewer screen names — this is a simple measure to protect their privacy, since their home address is published on the listing. 

The fastest, easiest way for your customers to add reviews is via your dedicated review entry form on Point your customers directly to it to save them time and make it as convenient as possible for them to help you achieve Caring Stars status. Not sure of your review form link? Contact our team for help.  

With our reviews-by-phone services, we also have tech-challenged seniors covered! Communities and agencies in our partner network have free access to our award-winning Review Call-in Line and “Review Us on Caring” handouts. 

And that's not all! 

  • If your senior care agency is using Home Care Pulse: we’ve been integrated with them since 2017, with a monthly reviews feed for participating agencies. Many agencies on the 2023 winner list took advantage of this option to get reviews. 

  • For senior living communities in our partner network: we’re doing automatic outreach to the care seekers we've directed your way – collecting their reviews about their tours and choice of your community. And you have access to a nifty tool in Partner Portal to streamline your review request outreach too. 

For all review collection sources in both senior living and senior care: Don't worry if we didn't make the initial introduction of the customer – we’ll accept reviews for all qualified consumers even if we weren’t the original referral source of them to your business. 

To earn the prestigious Caring Stars recognition, it's also crucial that any and all 1-star or 2-star reviews on your listing (across all time) either have a published response or are contested and removed by the 10/15 deadline.

Here are three main ways to respond to reviews on

For an in-depth understanding of how to effectively contest reviews to have them removed, or for tips on how to optimize your published review responses, please refer back to our prior webinar, “From Complaint to Compliment: How to Respond to Online Consumer Reviews.” The Caring Stars 2024 qualification webinar also has a summary of tips for review response. 

Caring Stars deserve the spotlight, and we help shine it on them. Don’t be outshined by your local competitors! Make sure your community or agency is on the 2024 winner list. 

To learn more, please revisit the Caring Stars 2024 webinar recording or read through the slides. Or contact or (650) 762-8190 to reach our Caring Reviews team. 


Jul 27, 2023

Overcoming Objections: The Key to Building Trust in Home Care
coverac7c04a9-c5b3-5162-a054-4cd7a0dabd89 Staff

Have you heard an objection from a potential client and were not sure how to respond? Being able to overcome these objections during the conversation is an essential step toward turning a potential client into an actual one. There are a few key steps to responding effectively to an objection - understand the reason, address the concern, and follow up with a question to continue the conversation. 

The first step is to understand the underlying reason behind the objection. Yes, they may feel home care is expensive, but the underlying reason is that they do not realize the cost-benefit of home care. Once you understand the reason, then you can respond. The first part of your response should be a statement highlighting your understanding of their concern and facts to reassure their concern. The second part should be a follow-up question that redirects the conversation to the potential client and restarts the conversation. 

We have listed out several common objection categories - Cost, Need, Trust, and Timing and some common objections you may hear, as well as recommended responses.

Cost Objections

Some of the most common objections you may hear are related to the cost of home care services. You may hear objections like:

"Home Care is too expensive."

Underlying Reason:

Lack of understanding of the cost-benefit of home care

How to Address:

"I understand that cost is a concern. However, compared to the cost of hospitalization or nursing home care, home care is actually more cost-effective in the long run."

Follow Up Question:

“If cost wasn’t a consideration, what help would you need?”

"We can't afford home care."

Underlying Reason:

Limited financial resources or lack of knowledge of payment options

How to Address:

"I understand that cost is a concern, but we have a range of affordable options, and we can work with you to create a plan that fits your budget."

Follow Up Question:

“We all have to live within a budget. What would make home care affordable for you?”

Need Objections

Another common type of objection you may hear involves whether or not they feel they need home care. You may hear objections like:

"I don't need home care yet."

Underlying Reason:

Fear of losing independence or denial of the need for assistance

How to Address:

"I completely understand your desire to maintain your independence. However, home care can provide you with the support you need to stay safe and comfortable in your own home."

Follow Up Question

“Everyone needs a little help now and again. What kind of support could you use?"

"We're not ready for home care."

Underlying Reason:

Fear of change

How to Address:

"Change can be scary, but we'll be with you every step of the way to ensure a smooth transition and provide the support you need. Home care allows you to remain in the comfort of your own home while receiving the support you need."

Follow Up Question

“We can assist with a schedule that works for you. What types of help would you need?”

"I don't need that much help."

Underlying Reason:

Lack of understanding of the range of services offered by home care

How to Address:

"Our caregivers can provide a range of services, from assistance with activities of daily living to medication management and transportation. We can tailor our services to meet your individual needs."

Follow Up Question

“Tell me a little about your day. What kind of things do you do?”

"I'm looking for assisted living."

Underlying Reason:

Lack of understanding of senior care options

How to Address:

“Many people prefer the familiarity and comfort of their own home, and the ability to maintain their independence.”

Follow Up Question

"Are there specific concerns you have about home care? What accommodations or modifications could we make to ensure you feel comfortable and safe receiving care at home?"

"My family can take care of me."

Underlying Reason:

Reluctance to burden family members or lack of understanding of the demands of caregiving

How to Address:

"While family care is important, it can also be very demanding and stressful. Home care can provide additional support to help ease the burden on your family members.”

Follow Up Question

“What if we meet with you and your family to do a free in-home assessment?"

"I don't want to be a burden."

Underlying Reason:

Reluctance to ask for help or guilt over needing assistance

How to Address:

"We understand that asking for help can be difficult. Our caregivers are trained to provide compassionate care and support."

Follow Up Question

“We are here to help you maintain your independence and quality of life. What do you enjoy doing?”

Trust Objections

An additional type of objection you may encounter is a trust objection. Some examples of trust objections you may hear are:

"I don't want a stranger in my home."

Underlying Reason:

Fear of invasion of privacy or lack of trust in caregivers

How to Address:

"We take great care in selecting and training our caregivers. Our caregivers are professional, compassionate, and respectful of your privacy."

Follow Up Question

“What specific concerns do you have about having a caregiver in your home?” "I don't want a stranger in my home."

"I don't trust home care agencies."

Underlying Reason:

Negative experiences with other agencies or lack of knowledge of agency qualifications

How to Address:

"We are a licensed and accredited home care agency with a proven track record of providing quality care."

Follow Up Question

“What do you need to know to feel more comfortable with us?”

"I'm not comfortable with a male/female caregiver."

Underlying Reason:

Personal preference or past negative experiences

How to Address:

"We understand the importance of matching our caregivers with your personal preferences. We can provide a male or female caregiver based on your comfort level."

Follow Up Question

“What else would you prefer in a caregiver?”

"I don't want to give up my privacy."

Underlying Reason:

Fear of losing privacy

How to Address:

"We respect your privacy and will work with you to ensure that your personal space is respected at all times."

Follow Up Question

“What else is important to you in a caregiver?”

"I'm concerned about the cultural fit of a caregiver."

Underlying Reason:

Uncertainty about compatibility

How to Address:

"We understand the importance of cultural sensitivity and will work with you to match you with a caregiver who empathizes with cultural background and values."

Follow Up Question

“What is important to you in a caregiver?”

"I'm concerned about the quality of care."

Underlying Reason:

Quality concerns

How to Address:

"We take great pride in providing high-quality care, and we have a proven track record of satisfied clients.”

Follow Up Question

“What else is important to you in a caregiver?”

Timing Objections

The fourth type of objection you may hear from potential clients is around timing. Some examples of timing objections you may hear include:

"I don't want to commit to a long-term contract."

Underlying Reason:

Fear of being locked into a contract or lack of knowledge of flexible contract options

How to Address:

"We offer flexible contract options, including short-term and as-needed care. We can work with you to find a plan that fits your needs."

Follow Up Question

“What kind of plan would work for you?"

"I'm not ready to make a decision."

Underlying Reason:

Procrastination, reluctance to commit, fear of change

How to Address:

“That's okay. We offer free consultations to help you determine whether our services would be a good fit for you. There’s no harm in learning more about what’s available.”

Follow Up Question

“When would you like to schedule a free in-home assessment?”

"Who are you? Why did you call me? I’m not interested."

Underlying Reason:

Fear of unknown caller

How to Address:

“We work with You or a loved one visited their website recently to learn about home care in your area.”

Follow Up Question

“Why did you start researching care options?”

Now that you have an understanding of a framework for responding to objections, you can use them while having conversations with potential clients. We also have included an infographic you can save to your phone or computer and reference during these conversations as well. If you have more questions or would like help from our team with converting clients, reach out to us at


Jul 06, 2023

Social Media, The Ultimate Open House Event in Senior Living
Wendy O’Donovan Phillips

Social media is your organization’s open house happening online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We surveyed 100 marketing professionals in senior living to discover how social media marketing is used in the industry to attract older adults to communities, why it is important, common processes and best practices. We have overlayed with your peers’ survey data a few of Big Buzz’s tools and approaches to streamline social media marketing and bolster results. The following is an excerpt of the full eBook.

A Simple 8-step Approach to Social Media Marketing

  1. Set goals. Of all our survey respondents, 49% said they set goals pertaining to social media. Over time, all posts should follow a path that aligns with various points in the conversion process as well as high-level business objectives the organization seeks to reach. This path make clear what types of posts should appear day by day as well as a call to action and measure for each post type. For an infographic showing the path, download the full eBook.

  2. Complete research. Review brand standards, gather survey data and review past social media initiatives and analytics to determine what actions increase followership and engagements and which do not. In our study, 75% of respondents take this step.

  3. Review brand standards. When asked, “How often does your organization consult a brand standards guide when creating social media posts?” 54% of our respondents said monthly and 41% said quarterly. Both are a good cadence for refreshing the mind on the organization’s brand pillars when planning social posts. It is entirely appropriate to integrate brand messaging into posts in the Awareness area of the Conversion Process in the Content Path, ensuring it truly differentiates your organization.

  4. Create the calendar. Most our survey respondents said they develop a new calendar either quarterly or monthly. We recommend quarterly development for organizations posting about four times weekly and monthly development for those posting up to seven times weekly. In fact, 66% of your peers said they ideate and align as a team on the overall social media marketing strategy. For a template you can use for your calendar, download the full eBook.

  5. Create the posts. For each post, ensure the creation team includes an image or video with alt text to describe visuals for people who have trouble seeing them. Be sure every post includes attention-getting or educational text. Include relevant hashtags every time. In our research, we found only 51% of your peers include calls to action (CTAs) on all social posts. Recalling that people take action only when we call them to action, it’s imperative every post include a CTA and link.

  6. Distribute posts. Are you posting adequately on the right social media outlets? Only a strategic marketing plan specific to your organization’s enterprise goals and business objectives can answer that question. To prevent posting across too many channels, expending resources and leaking returns, be sure to have researched which social media outlets your target audience frequents most and focus time and budget there.

  7. Analyze results. While only 49% of survey respondents included data analysis in the social media process, it’s a critical indicator of success or areas in need of improvement. There are a dozen or more data points that social media marketers will measure, but your team likely will gain a clear high-level picture by measuring and reporting on just four metrics: reach, engagement rate, click-through-rate (CTR), and conversion rate.

  8. Optimize and evolve. In analyzing and reporting on results over time, your team will be in good position to replicate more social media efforts that are paying off and improve or retire efforts that are not.

Get your copy of the complete eBook.

Big Buzz is a marketing agency delivering a steady stream of move-in-ready leads to teams serving the senior living industry. For more than 15 years, Big Buzz has helped senior living marketing and sales teams nurture leads to increase occupancy, grow and scale. CEO Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is the author of the book Flourish!: The Method Used by Aging Services Organizations for the Ultimate Marketing Results, has been published in McKnight’s, has been a regular contributor to Forbes, and has been quoted in The Washington Post, ABC News and Chicago Tribune. The Big Buzz leadership team regularly lectures in front of audiences ranging from 25 to 3,000 attendees, including at Argentum and various LeadingAge chapters. Agency awards and accolades include recognition for excellence by the American Marketing Association, Gold Key Award Winner by the Business Marketing Association, HubSpot Academy Inbound Marketing Certification, and Top Advertising and Marketing Agency by Clutch.

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