How much really does a senior living review influence your prospective residents and their family members, and do these reviews have any impact on your company’s bottom line?skepticallady

To help one of our senior living referral partners get answers to these questions, we did a case study that involved more than 100 senior living community listings on our site, with thousands of reviews (about 80% of which had positive 4- or 5- star ratings and 20% that had a neutral or negative rating). The analysis was done in November 2015, covering all-time data for quantity of reviews, inquiries, tours, and move-ins for this partner’s listings on

We found that (on average) their listings with 15 or more reviews had 5 times as many leads per listing, 7 times more tours, and 8 times more move-ins than listings that had only 1 or 2 reviews. Here’s the influence chart for that study:


We’ve since done this analysis for other partners as well and found similar high-influence results: in each of the case studies we’ve found that listings with reviews get significantly more inquiries, tours, and move-ins than listings without reviews or with very few reviews. So we decided to take the analysis one step further by estimating the potential monetary value of the reviews our partners are getting.

In the case study above: the senior living community listings averaged 6 more move-ins with the addition of 13 more reviews, or put another way: with 1-2 reviews, they got 1 or no move-ins, and with listings that had 15+ reviews, they averaged 7 move-ins. The difference is about 13 reviews and 6 move-ins.

Using length of stay data from the CDC and cost of care data from Genworth, the average lifetime value of a senior living resident in this study was estimated to be $117,550. If you multiple the 6 move-ins by that lifetime value estimate, you get $705,300 in incremental revenue from those additional move-ins influenced by reviews. Divide that revenue among the 13 extra reviews it took to drive those extra move-ins, and then subtract the cost of generating those reviews, and you can estimate that these reviews were worth $54,254 each.

We covered this calculation in our August 2016 webinar about senior care reviews, and here’s the visual to help you further understand how we did the math:

There’s no guarantee that every senior living review is going to drive these kind of results, nor that every senior living community is going to see the same level of impact from having 15+ reviews on their listings. The average lifetime value of a senior living resident will also vary by community as well. However, this equation does give you a framework to measure the value that consumer reviews are adding for your senior living business.

First: measure or document the average lifetime value of one of your community’s residents. Second: Measure the influence that senior living reviews are having in increasing inquiries, tours, and move-ins for your community (either through your own analysis, using your online reputation management software, or via collaboration with your referral partners that host senior care reviews as part of their referral program). If you can’t get that data readily, you can use the case study above as a starting point, as we’ve now seen very similar results for more than 5 different senior living companies. Third, take the influence amounts (e.g., 13 more reviews led to 6 more move-ins), and do the math on how much incremental revenue each of those new reviews led to — subtracting your costs of generating those reviews (which may be zero if those reviews were generated by the review website and didn’t involve your team doing the outreach to consumers to get their feedback posted online).

Even if you achieve only half the monetary return that our referral partner did in the case study above: it’s still worth your time and effort to make sure your senior living community is getting reviews online — and taking the time to respond to consumer feedback as well. We offer tips for getting reviews, and are available to answer your questions as well (comment below, or contact

Denise Graab

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