Member Spotlight: Jim Holmes
At SREI, we love to appreciate people who are doing great work, so our regular “Member Spotlight” will serve to pat them on the back while hopefully inspiring others to strive for the same. At the very least, you’ll get some awesome ideas on how to build your business and be of great service to seniors in your community.
Jim began his training with us by taking part in a few of our classes and instructional outlets and recently finished up his certification as a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP). Even before becoming a member of the Seniors Real Estate Institute, Jim had already begun developing and strengthening relationships with independent living, assisted living, and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) across South Denver. As you know, one of the main things we teach real estate agents is that it is vital to become more than just a typical agent who drops by a senior community and leaves a business card, expecting the referrals to start rolling in.
‘Seniors Visiting Seniors’ Initiative
A brilliant example of Jim’s focus on serving seniors is a pilot program just underway called “Seniors Visiting Seniors “ Here, active and independent senior citizens in the Denver area reach out to seniors who are living in assisted living facilities, regularly dropping by the ALF’s to visit and socialize.
“It’s a fairly simple concept based on giving Seniors an easy way to connect with other Seniors through requested visits within a Senior Community,” says Jim.
“This is based on the exact opposite message we have all seen hung on hotel room doors boldly stating ‘DO NOT DISTURB.’ Instead, the same style of door hanger stating ‘I WOULD LIKE A VISIT’ is given to all residents should they ever want to request a visit for any reason. They may be lonely and just need someone to listen. They may have been dealing with something difficult and just not know anyone well enough to reach out for support of any kind,” explains Jim.
Holmes believes this program will be beneficial to many people on many levels.
1) Staff at the communities can be alerted to any potential physical or emotional problems their residents are experiencing.
2) Obviously, the residents themselves benefit from knowing that someone cares and by the emotional boost they receive from the Ambassadors visits.
3) Senior Ambassador volunteers from within the community have an opportunity to support their peers, stay active and truly enjoy getting to know their neighbors better often by sharing stories and discovering common interests.
4) He hopes this will encourage socialization and connections among the residents of the community themselves, with those who are being visited inspired to get out of their apartments or rooms and become members of the program themselves, visiting others and actively participating in “Seniors Visiting Seniors.”
5) During the summer months, he plans to recruit school-age kids to take part in the program as well, bringing a sense of youthful exuberance to the visits.
Jim and his assistant, Christine Watson and the Community’s Life Enrichment Director are already in the process of recruiting and training more Ambassadors due to the initial 26 requested visits already placed. The pilot program was launched at Someren Glen Community which is part of Christian Living Communities in Centennial, Co. His vision was also that this initiative be mainly senior resident driven and not a burden on the staff. Feedback from the Ambassadors has been quite positive. It’s been a pleasure for them, while making a great difference for all the folks they visit.
Jim’s Public Platform
Jim is also working hard in spreading news of his seniors real estate expertise via his website, blog and social media feeds.
While his blog offers content and information to the south Denver community as a whole, he regularly rotates senior-specific topics into the mix. One week he may provide information on 4th of July activities in South Denver, while the next week he posts an article on “Senior Discounts in South Denver.”
Meanwhile, in this post, he strengthens his relationship with a senior community by helping to promote their full schedule of community activities for the summer.
That’s a win-win and just a couple of the reasons that Jim Holmes is in our Seniors Real Estate Institute Member Spotlight.