Ray Hadley points to the Regis Federal Court decision on asset refurbishment fees and the issue of ‘trust’

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Australia’s most awarded radio commentator advised delegates at the LEADERS SUMMIT: “You do have a problem.”

“Perception is everything,” he said. “Your customers have a perception of you and … that has to change.”

From the court case the public will have the same perception as the judge, that aged care operators were asking today’s residents to pay a fee that will benefit tomorrow’s residents, but not themselves.

This did not pass the “reasonable” test.

He said aged care is “very hard to sell”. This current media spotlight is unlikely to make the need for consumers to pay more for aged care more appealing.

Speaking to the additional challenges that retirement has, Hadley advised the sector against seeking a short-term communications fix by employing “the three P’s – a Porsche driving, ponytailed and pierced clever creative type to come up with a simple message and then throwing millions of dollars against it”.

“It won’t work, so save your money”, he said.

He advised to build trust requires a long-term conversation with the consumer – “they understand, they have been around the block too” – where you admit your failures and celebrate your successes.

“We all make mistakes. I am making them all the time but I discuss them with my one million listeners and they understand”.

For aged care and retirement it is an education program that is required – who you are, what you offer and where the value is.

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The Weekly SOURCE is the leading media for retirement living and aged care businesses, delivering sector-specific news through four mastheads. Operating as part of The DCM Group, The Weekly SOURCE also provides a directory of proven sector specialists and an insights exchange.