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First impressions

Learning about Riderwood in a relaxed setting

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May 25th, 2017
Christy Andrus is one of Riderwood’s two sales counselors. She and Debbie Brumbach are most people’s first point of contact when they visit Riderwood for an appointment and tour.

Christy Andrus is one of Riderwood’s two sales counselors. She and Debbie Brumbach are most people’s first point of contact when they visit Riderwood for an appointment and tour.

Many people’s first encounter with Riderwood is an appointment with one of the community’s sales counselors, Christy Andrus or Debbie Brumbach. That initial appointment is an excellent opportunity to learn more about what the community has to offer and get a sense of whether it’s right for you. 

One thing you won’t get when you visit Riderwood is a high-pressure sales pitch. Andrus says choosing a retirement community is not unlike selecting a college in that there is a right place for everyone.

“I am here to find out what people want to learn about and see, and to answer their questions and show them the community. I am here to find out what is important to them,” she says. “People will choose the community that has what they are looking for, makes the most financial sense, and feels right to them.”

If you’re curious about what you can expect at your first appointment, here are some answers from Andrus to frequently asked questions.

Q: What typically happens at your first meeting with prospective residents?

A: First, I get to know them. I ask about their living situation, what they enjoy doing, what they are looking for in a retirement community. It is all about understanding what is important to them. We then tour the community and see apartment styles that are of interest to them. 

Q: What are some of the most important topics you discuss?

A: People of course want to know how much Riderwood costs. I explain the 90% refundable entrance fee and monthly service package, as well as the refund policy. Riderwood’s Residence and Care Agreement also has full details.

We discuss the concept of a continuing care retirement community. We talk about all the levels of care Riderwood has, including home support and assisted living, and how important it is to have that support available if it is ever needed. 

We also talk about the priority list. This is Riderwood’s waitlist, which essentially secures your place in line for your preferred apartment home style. I go over the reasons for and benefits of joining the priority list, whether they are planning a move right away or in the future. This gives people control over the timeframe of their move and the ability to get the apartment style they prefer when they are ready.

Q: How do you want people to feel when they leave their initial meeting with you? 

A: I want them to feel listened to and heard. I want them to know I have their best interests at heart. I want to be able to convey how much I love this community and what I do, and I want them to know if they choose Riderwood it will be the right choice.

Q: What can people do to get the most out of their first meeting with you?

A: Review our literature, like our free brochure, ahead of time, if possible. This really helps them develop questions to ask and know what it is they would like to see while they are here. 

Q: If people are interested in learning more after their first meeting, what is typically the next step? 

A: Hopefully, they join the priority list. This allows them access to all the benefits, for example, Riderwood’s Live the Life program, which is a complimentary stay in one of our guest rooms for one or two nights. During that stay, they can participate in the activities, have lunch and dinner with community members, and really get a sense of what it is like to live here. 

Another next step would be to schedule a home visit from our personal moving consultant, who can help them get a sense of which furniture pieces and household items to bring and help them create a floor plan of an apartment they like using their furniture measurements. Doing this early provides people with a roadmap for getting their house ready to make the move when an apartment home style they want becomes available.

Q: What makes Riderwood unique compared to other retirement communities? 

A: I’ve been to many retirement communities all over the country, and the lifestyle at Riderwood is by far the most active. We have over 250 groups and clubs and a very diverse population of people with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Riderwood offers approximately 70 classes, including exercise and physical activity, languages, technology, arts, travel, plus discussion groups on topics like economics and ethics. 

I always ask people what they enjoy doing, what they are looking for, and what they are hoping to do when living at Riderwood. We usually have something here that matches their interests. Oftentimes, people start up new groups or clubs when they move to the community.

Riderwood’s health care offering is also unique because our physicians are Riderwood doctors, whose sole practice is here. Other places contract their doctors (if they have them), and many times communities change contracts, which means the doctors all change. 

Other amenities at Riderwood include six restaurants, an on-site pharmacy, bank branches, and convenience stores. 

Q: In addition to an individual appointment and tour, what other opportunities do people have to visit and learn more about Riderwood? 

A: Our expo events and downsizing series provide wonderful opportunities to get valuable information on downsizing, real estate agents, and move planning. When prospective residents are on campus for events, they also have the chance to meet community members and tour different apartment homes, which can give them a good sense of what it is like to live at Riderwood.

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