Months after A Place For Mom CEO Larry Kutscher explained how the company would “reinvent” itself in the next two years, he says the firm has made concrete steps toward that goal.
The nation’s largest online referral platform for senior housing announced Tuesday it’s opening a new office soon near Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas. A Place For Mom also has offices in Seattle, New York City and Naples, Florida.
The new office could eventually be home to 600 new employees and “fits right in” to A Place For Mom’s ongoing strategy to reinvent itself, according to Kutscher.
“We came to the conclusion that one of the things we really needed was an operating center, somewhere we could have a lot of people in one place,” Kutscher told Senior Housing News.
Though A Place For Mom isn’t overturning its core business of helping families find senior housing for their loved ones, it is trying to have more transparent dialogue with its senior living customers — part of an effort to change what has been at times a fiercely contentious dynamic between APFM and senior living providers.
The company aims to achieve this change in part by significantly investing in its workforce and technology.
“I hear all the time from different communities, they want more from us,” Kutscher said. “And we’re investing to be able to provide them more.”
The Kansas City office will serve as home base for managers, finance and human resources workers, local advisors, information technology specialists, engineers, designers, writers, customer service associates and other support staffers.
“We’re going to put our customer support, and a lot of our servicing, and even some of our sales activity all together,” Kutscher said. “We’re going to be building content capabilities, technology capabilities, sales capabilities.”
The location will also become a hub for A Place For Mom employees to swap information, learn from one another and take part in career paths.
The company, which works with more than roughly 16,000 provider communities in the U.S. and Canada, currently employs about 900 people, according to Kutscher. But that number could scale up dramatically in the years ahead, as it plans to create more than 600 jobs in the Kansas City metro area alone.
“We’re definitely adding more people [to work on] looking at our communities as customers and servicing them and building them up,” Kutscher said. “And a number of those will be in Kansas City.”
A Place For Mom landed on Kansas City after examining about 60 other major metro areas in the U.S. Key criteria included a strong local workforce to hire from, and a location that was accessible from all over the country.
And Kansas City isn’t the only U.S. city where A Place For Mom hopes to beef up its workforce. The company is seeking to employ more local contacts to serve as a “bridge” for senior living communities in 10 U.S. markets, including Houston, Philadelphia and Chicago.
“Our goal with that is to engage with the communities in a deeper way and talk about how we can convert more of the leads we send them, and how we can get better at sending the right leads,” Kutscher explained. “We want our folks working directly with the communities as they’re doing this and we think these local contacts will do that.”
Time will tell regarding whether A Place For Mom opens similar operational hubs in other cities. For now, the company is focused on making its new endeavour in Kansas City a success.
“We’re reinventing the company right now. We have a tremendous amount of work going on,” Kutscher said. “So right now, Kansas City is a key focus.”