Stephanie Harris is CEO and Principal of Arrow Senior Living, a St. Louis-based senior living operator that is expanding throughout the Midwest. She is a believer of the power of fine details, and over the years she has fine-tuned the company’s operations and unit mix to maximize potential margins.
In this Hot Seat interview, Harris shares her past experience living onsite at senior living communities and why she embraces transparency and data in all that she does.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person. I like to get an early start on the day to get my head in the game so I’m ready for whatever comes my way.
What is your personal mantra?
Trust but verify.
What is your favorite weekend activity?
As long as the weather is agreeable, my favorite thing is going on walks with my Boston Terriers, Gladys and Glenn.
What inspires you?
Working with sales teams and reviewing metrics.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, who would it be and why?
I love my life and what I’m doing, I wouldn’t trade with anyone … unless it gave me the opportunity to meet one or both of my personal heroes, Ronald Reagan and Bob Newhart.
What was your first job in senior living and what was your biggest on-the-job lesson from that experience?
My first job was working in sales as a travel swat team member for One On One Service to Seniors. Living onsite at each community over the course of 10 years of my life gave me insights into the resident experience that still influence my decisions today.
If you could change one thing about senior living as we know it, what would it be?
I hope we can shift our focus across the industry to more proactive sales. Many sales processes are not patient enough to work through objections and bridge the gap between emotion and logic.
What is your most important people management principle?
Transparency. You always get the best of people when you’re open and give them your best.
What’s one thing all senior housing professionals can do to improve the resident experience?
Listen to understand. I think our biggest opportunity will be figuring out how to create a more collaborative model with our residents.
If you were recruiting someone to join the industry for the first time, what are three words you would use to describe the senior living industry?
Challenge our thinking.