Editor's Note: The following was submitted by 2Sisters Senior Living Advisors, which works with seniors, families, and assisted living and memory care communities in the surrounding area.
Sisters Michelle Tobin Woodbrey and Alyson Tobin Powers decided that when it came to finding the perfect name for their business, it paid to listen to their customers.
A year ago, Woodbrey and Powers launched Perfect Placement Solutions, a senior living advisory service for seniors and families navigating the growing maze of options in assisted, independent and memory care communities, or trying to make an informed decision about nursing home facilities and in-home support services.
Their referral service is free to seniors and families. They are compensated by the communities and companies when their clients move in or otherwise act on their referrals and recommendations.
This referral business model is popular on the West Coast, where both Woodbrey and Powers had worked in senior management, sales and operations capacities in assisted living communities.
Introducing the concept to Massachusetts has required some education and explanation.
“We like to think of ourselves as a resource and extension to the professionals who are already determining the clinical, medical, physical and psychological care needs of a senior,” states Woodbrey. “We specialize in helping seniors with their living needs; helping them find communities where they can thrive. That’s really where we focus. We make it our business to know the specific culture and nuances of each independent, assisted and memory care community in the area through personal visits, which may be outside the scope of existing senior service professionals. And we’ve done the time consuming research that a discharge planner or elder law attorney may not have the time to do.”
Travelling around Massachusetts introducing Perfect Placement Solutions to elder law attorneys, financial planners, social workers and professionals dedicated to serving this exploding population of elders, Woodbrey and Powers quickly became known as ‘the two sisters’.
“In meetings we would find ourselves talking over each other and inevitably we would end up apologizing for what must have clearly looked like odd if not rude behavior," Tobin stated. “We seem to complete each other’s sentences, and when asked a question we would both dive in and answer it at exactly the same second. After a while we’d actually start our conversations by saying. ‘Let us first tell you that we’re sisters’ and that got to be pretty memorable."
Added Woodbrey, “It seemed the more we tried to downplay the fact we were sisters, the more it became obvious that this is what people remembered most about us, so it came to a point where we finally looked at each other and said to ourselves, ‘why fight it?’”.
A year later, the sisters decided to rebrand their company 2Sisters Senior Living Advisors, and re-launching their website to reflect the new identity.
2Sisters has enjoyed growth fueled by referrals from professionals including elder law attorneys, geriatric care managers and financial service providers who understand the value of their personalized approach and high level of customer service, and see it as an adjunct to their own suite of offerings to seniors.
Since founding the company in spring of 2011, Woodbrey and Powers have personally visited and established relationships with independent, assisted living and memory care facilities in good standing throughout Southeastern Massachusetts as well as created partnerships with in-home care companies.
2Sisters has also built partnerships with a network of important senior service resources including; conflict resolution experts, legal and financial advisors, medical and clinical specialists, move managers and scores of other professionals.
As Alyson Powers, the company’s COO, charged with establishing these strategic alliances explains, “In launching 2Sisters we always envisioned becoming a single source resource for seniors and their families as they transition to assisted living or whatever their next life stage will be, which is often be an incredibly stressful time. We can put our clients together with a carefully chosen group of experts who will help them with every phase of this transition. These are companies and professionals as dedicated to serving seniors as we are, and they share our passion for delivering superior customer service,” she concludes.
Both Woodbrey and Powers are Certified Senior Advisors (CSAS) and have a combined 30 years experience in the senior living industry where they have served in care giving, customer service, activities and event programming, leadership training, marketing, community sales, operations and management, in assisted living communities and nursing homes in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.