Full Transcript

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

This is Valerie VanBooven with the Senior Care Industry Netcast with leaders with three or more years in the senior care industry, share their advice. So let’s get to it. In a few sentences, tell us who you are and what you do

Ted Gottlieb: www.seniorlearninginstitute.com

Well, thank you, Valerie. I’m this unique hybrid. I’m the only full-time real estate broker, Certified Senior Advisors, Certified Senior Housing Professionals, Certified Dementia Practitioner, and Aging in Place Specialist in the state of Missouri. So I’ve got more initials after my name than I have in my name. I’m also a speaker and educator, a podcaster and Founder of the Senior Learning Institute.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Wow. That is a lot, a lot. So tell us a little bit about your podcast.

Ted Gottlieb

Well, I’ve got two podcasts, both on the whole care network and syndicated throughout the country. One of them is real estate specific. The other one is sponsored by the Senior Learning Institute, which is something that I found, which is advocacy and educational format for everything senior.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Awesome. That’s nice. Yeah. People are always looking for good information, especially at a time in their life when senior care has come to present itself to them or senior care challenges, I should say. And when that happens, people are looking for great advice. So you always want to share, whatever it is you’re doing might be important for somebody out there to listen to you or get some good insight from. So we always love to do that. All right. What is the best thing about serving seniors and their families?

Ted Gottlieb

I have to say, first of all, it’s very self-serving. It makes me feel good, but the best thing is really the satisfaction of knowing that the folks that I’m fortunate enough to meet and run into are being looked after and being advocated for.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah, absolutely. It is a little self-serving because it is very rewarding, but it’s a calling for sure. It’s definitely a calling for all of us who get involved in the senior care industry, I believe. So okay. So let’s talk a little bit about online marketing. We ask this question every time, I know it’s challenging right now in our world, it’s even more challenging to market period. Networking a person’s been put on hold for a little while. So what has been your experience with online marketing? And since you’re doing podcasts and all of that, I know you get it. So what do you do to keep in front of people?

Ted Gottlieb

Yeah, it’s really challenging. I’ve had limited effectiveness connecting with seniors, just based upon the technology gap. I find the most effective tool that I have is Facebook, because that seems to be where most older adults tend to feel more comfortable. But what I’m finding is that, I’m more effective in tracking the older adult children. So the grown children who are in turn listening to what we’re doing and providing support and guidance to their folks. I have to be honest with you, I’m starting to go back towards print and direct mail. I have a print campaign that is in a St. Louis area, a publication that’s published twice a month and that’s highly read and highly visible and that’s bringing people to our seminars and getting them to come online.

Ted Gottlieb

And then, I’m also getting ready to start a direct mail campaign to a very focused group of older adults, living in a particular zip code that have lived in their homes for a certain period of time that you would think would be ripe for considering either aging in place more effectively, which I can help with, or thinking about downsizing or transitioning to potentially a senior living community and that I provide move management and then real estate services for that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That is, you know what? I am a fan of direct mail when it makes sense. And I think that right now, that’s probably unless you’re, I guess… Direct mail is it depends on the market you’re in inside the senior care industry for you. I think that makes a ton of sense, especially because whether it’s Houston or St. Louis or, or wherever you are and whatever market you know the best, you know where those older adults tend to live. I mean, we both live in the St. Louis area. I know where the older adults tend to live and it’s no big secret. And I think that’s great for direct mail because you can identify your audience for real estate and for aging in place and things like that.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

I think for some other pieces of our market, it’s really hard because like home care agencies, for instance, you could do a direct mail to older adults, yeah, but they’re not the ones making the phone call. So it’s a little harder to get that direct mail piece to work as well as one that might be more for encouraging either aging in place or housing changes, either one. So you’re in a great place for direct mail. So I think that’s a fabulous idea right now. Maybe it’s a fabulous idea after November 3rd, because we get so much junk mail right now.

Ted Gottlieb

Absolutely. I actually have a campaign that’s ready to go for 2021 and it really is providing information. It’s not salesy in any way, shape or form.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s good.

Ted Gottlieb

It’s really trying to help.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

And then doing Zoom meetings, I think is, obviously, we’ve talked about this a lot, interacting with people on Zoom, whether it’s in a group, I’m always amazed at how seniors are able to adapt and change with the technology we have to offer today. They’re doing a pretty good job. Not everybody’s super tech savvy. That will always be the case, whether you’re my age or you’re 80, but we do have a lot of seniors who really have adapted well and Zoom calls are okay them and they’re pretty cool about being in a meeting or a networking or conferencing kind of event on a Zoom call. So,

Ted Gottlieb

Well, it’s what we’ve done recently is we’ve taken all of our, what used to be in-person seminars and we’ve gone virtual with them but the other day I did Zoom with my parents. My dad’s 92, my mom is 89 and we got them going on Zoom and had a wonderful conversation. I hadn’t put my eyes on them in seven months.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. It’s yeah, we’re going on eight months. I think we haven’t seen, we there’s some family members we have seen and there are others that we probably won’t see until maybe next summer or whenever everybody feels more comfortable. So Zoom or FaceTime or whatever they’ll do is probably where it’s at for awhile. All right. Cool. So let’s talk about your life experience and your professional experience. I bet there are other leaders in the senior care industry or organizations that you feel like do a really good job or people in your life who’ve been a great mentor or inspiration to you. Is there anybody you’d like to talk about?

Ted Gottlieb

Well, a couple of people come to mind and I’d like everybody to keep in mind too, that I didn’t have the tightest relationship with my grandparents. Always lacking in regard to that closeness that I hope to give to my grandkids one day. So, I met a gentleman. The one reason that I focused on seniors gentleman’s name was Al and he lived here in St. Louis and I met him at the gym and we became very, very close friends. And I watched him from being a totally independent individual to a dependent individual. And I was there every step of the way because he didn’t have the support that he needed from his local family. So he became a very, very important part of my life sand when the real estate industry changed in 2008, I needed to reinvent myself and the light bulb went off.

Ted Gottlieb

So that’s really why I’m working with seniors today because I’ve experienced it with my buddy. Then there’s a gentleman who you might’ve known at High Goo, Ed was the name, a legend in St. Louis, Senior Living Communities. He worked for Spectrum Retirement Communities, and he became a very, very close friend and mentor, and unfortunately passed away prematurely. But I dedicated a lot of what I did, especially my certified senior advisor designation to Ed because of his passion for working with seniors. And then in regard to organizations, there are two here in St. Louis that I’m involved in on a board level. One of them is Aging Ahead, which is meals on wheels. And the other one is Voice and Voice used to be called the Long-term Care Ombudsman. They’re advocates for seniors that are currently living in skilled nursing communities. Especially in today’s times, they need a lot of support and Voice was very active in getting cameras actually allowed in nursing homes in the state of Missouri. So those are two organizations on my passions.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Do you feel Like you get a lot more calls or do you get a lot of calls period, as an ombudsman from folks who are looking for support or help or organization?

Ted Gottlieb

Yeah. I’m not personally an ombudsman, I’m a board member there. The ombudsmen are busy. We need as many as we can get, because yes, there are people that don’t have a voice and need that support, especially in today’s time. So yes, the calls are increasing. The need is there, and we’re doing everything we possibly can to advocate because as the name mentioned, everybody needs a voice. And if you don’t have somebody who is looking after you and looking after your best interests things, don’t always go the way that they should.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Right? Absolutely. I think our senior care facilities and assisted living and independent living communities, we’re all, they’re all doing the very best they can. In for the most part, there will always be a few outliers, but we, we know that this has been super tough for them, especially with isolation and watching their these seniors in a good facility become like family and watching them deteriorate a bit from the isolation or a lot is really challenging. So, both ways I can see families being frustrated and upset, and I can see how some of our best care facilities are struggling to make sure everybody’s happy and make sure everybody’s got something to do and keeping everybody involved and doing those FaceTimes with their family, it’s rough. It really is rough.

Ted Gottlieb

It’s a catch 22 right now. I’ve had several clients who have put off making their move to senior living communities because of COVID and some of them have made the move. I’ve talked to one of them yesterday and he said, well, we’re back in isolation, because I guess there was a COVID outbreak. Then you’ve got the other folks who want to make the move that are aging in place at home, that still feel as though they’re really independent, but technically they’re not because they’re isolated, they’re not eating well, and they need that socialization and they’re panicky as well in regard to making the move. I mean, some of them didn’t want to make it in the first place and other ones do want to make it, but don’t feel comfortable. So it’s a really tough time right now.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. It’s hard to make these your big life decisions and this situation we’re in doesn’t help at all with any of those things. So what piece of advice would you give to other senior care providers?

Ted Gottlieb

I think the biggest thing senior care providers and folks in general is it’s to add value. It’s never about me, it’s never about you, it’s about them. How else can you help someone beyond what you’re officially there for? And I see it at almost every level when it comes to older adults and seniors, sometimes we get so focused on what is we are there to accomplish that we don’t think about all other things that we can be doing. So I’d say add value.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

That’s a good one. That’s very good. Add value in every way you can. I mean, yeah, you’re right. There’s always a little something extra you could do to make somebody day for sure. Absolutely. All right. When you have a win, how do you like to celebrate? That could be anything.

Ted Gottlieb

It’s not one of my strengths. It really isn’t because I just tend to move on, because the way that I perceive it is that this is the way it’s supposed to be. It’s a win, yes, you feel good about it for a second and you follow up with your folks but you just move on. I’m not a celebrator. I don’t go out and buy myself a special something. I just move on to the next one without forgetting what we accomplished in the past that they learned from it and I try to again, add value, but, but I don’t celebrate it and it’s a weakness of mine.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. I think that a lot of us who are carers care a lot about what’s going on and want to help as many people as possible tend to maybe not celebrate as much as we could. And then that doesn’t mean you have to open a bottle of champagne every time somebody is happy, but just taking a minute to think, you know what? This was a good day. That’s good. Or some people have on this when I’ve done these interviews for a long time now. And I’ve had everything from a shot of good tequila to a vodka martini to just dancing in the living room. So everything is any little thing that you do to say, you know what, today was great, working out, doing whatever, it’s a great way to celebrate.

Ted Gottlieb

I just I want to sleep well at night. I really do. And I guess maybe that’s my win is if I know that I did everything that I possibly could, and someone’s in a better place because of it then, great. If not, it keeps me up.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s good. You know, a really good night’s sleep is definitely a way to celebrate, I can attest to that.

Ted Gottlieb

Absolutely.

Valerie VanBooven RN BSN:

All right. Well, I want to thank you for doing the show for being here and sharing your wisdom and sharing with us what you do. That’s what this is about is sharing. Not only with other professionals, but with our consumers, and our families, and friends out there who may be in a senior care type situation, or find themselves heading that direction. We just want to make sure people have resources and share some good news. So thanks for doing this, I appreciate it.

Ted Gottlieb

My pleasure. Thank you very much, Valerie.