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In your shoes

Sales Director Randy Carroll puts his personal experience to good use

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July 6th, 2016
Before becoming Lantern Hill’s sales director, Randy Carroll and his mother, Anne-Louise, researched retirement communities.

Before becoming Lantern Hill’s sales director, Randy Carroll and his mother, Anne-Louise, researched retirement communities.

Before Randy Carroll became an expert in continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) as sales director for Lantern Hill, he was in the shoes of many of his customers and their families. 

“I had never seen one or set foot in one. I really didn’t even know the term CCRC when I first started out,” says Carroll. “Like many adult children, [the research] was really an education process for me.”

Retirement research

His widowed mother, Anne-Louise Carroll, who lived in Florida, asked him to begin researching a broad range of retirement communities closer to the family. 

“Mom and Dad had lived in Jacksonville, Fla., for 23 years. After Dad died in 2008, Mom became less socially active, and she missed her three kids. She wanted to move closer to one of us and live in a social, active community,” Carroll explains. 

With little knowledge about retirement communities, Carroll did what many people do—he Googled communities around his hometown in Bergen County, N.J. 

“At the time, without knowing anything about the industry, I looked at everything,” he says.

Prioritizing by location (within about 18 miles from his home), lifestyle, activities, quality, cleanliness, and people—both staff and residents—he and his mother quickly whittled down the list.

“I began to see how Mom would be more socially engaged, and from what little I knew, that was important for people to age more successfully,” he says. 

Additionally, he wanted to see optimistic, engaged people living and working at the community. “Meeting residents gives you a pretty good indication of what life will be like when you or someone you love moves in,” he notes.

Rising to the top

While mom and son visited several communities in and around Bergen County, “There was this electricity and enthusiasm about their visits to Cedar Crest that really started to appeal to us in terms of hitting those priorities,” he says.

Cedar Crest, the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains and Lantern Hill’s sister community, hit all the marks, and Anne-Louise moved there in November 2013.

“It kept coming out on top, both in the personality of the community and the people we were interfacing with,” says Carroll. “Mom wanted to live somewhere that’s sociable, active, and along the lines of what Erickson Living does—focused on people continuing to live independently.”

His mother’s experience inspired Carroll to pursue a career with Erickson Living. Now as sales director at Lantern Hill, he often puts himself in his customers’ shoes to understand what they are looking for in a retirement community.

“I can relate to adult children who come in researching for their own parents,” he says.

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