The perils of ageing are much more than just biological changes. The emotional metamorphosis that our aged population undergo is beyond anyone’s complete understanding. What they most need, however, is a little compassion, caring, and a dignified life.
The global COVID-19 pandemic further showed us how vulnerable our elderly are – both physically and emotionally. Realizing the dire need to provide a home in the real sense to the seniors, Majestic Residences Franchise Systems, LLC was conceived in the middle of the pandemic. This residential assisted living franchise has its focus on the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the residents, who they treat like family.
Quality senior care and technology using an “ageless possibilities” culture sets Majestic Residences apart from the rest in the industry.
Majestic Residences is a senior residential assisted living home franchise system headquartered in Gilbert, AZ with 32 awarded franchises as of this printing. A residential assisted living home is a regular home in a neighborhood which is licensed to provide care to seniors in a 24-hour a day residential setting. The Majestic Residences brand is the alternative to the large institutional care settings one would see in a typical nursing home or large assisted living facility.
Majestic Residences is on a mission to create “ageless possibilities” for its residents, which tears away the typical assumptions and stereotypes of seniors needing a higher level of care.
“We look at our residents as independent, we’re merely assisting them with any everyday needs they can’t perform by themselves. While there are over 30,000 of these residential care homes across the country, we are positioned to disrupt the industry by introducing nationally branded, high-tech homes in an industry that is ambivalent to engage new technology and is disorganized in their overall marketing efforts” states Chuck Bongiovanni, the CEO of Majestic Residences.
Apart from the Herd
Majestic Residences is not just another care home for the elderly. They choose to be different by operating unique smaller communities with only 6 to 16 residents.
Residential Assisted Living homes have been in existence for over 30 years and yet, few people have heard about this specific care option. Residential Assisted Living homes, also known as Adult Care Homes, Family Care Homes or Residential Board and Care homes are homes located in any residential neighborhood and are licensed by the state to provide non-medical care 24 hours a day for seniors who can’t live independently.
Think of them as large, assisted living facilities but in a smaller, more intimate settings. These homes are staffed by caregivers who tend to the needs of their residents including bathing, dressing, showering, medication management to name a few.
“We look for several key characteristics in a potential franchisee. We prefer franchise partners with a caring personality, some business experience and/or experience supervising others. Unlike many residential assisted living homes, our model doesn’t want our franchisees to have direct care responsibilities. Their role is more of working on the business and overseeing the manager and staff. We want to help them learn the business and scale it to include more homes under their portfolio,” explained Chuck.
Majestic Residences stands out from other residential assisted living homes through innovation, culture, branding and the willingness to lead the industry in technology. “While most of our competitors are somewhat fearful of new technology, we embrace it because it creates a more efficient and increased quality of care and life for our residents,” Chuck observed. “Most of our technology was developed by us or is exclusive to our franchise system. It brings a whole new perspective on life when you see an 84-year-old-senior in a wheelchair “virtually walking” through a forest by using our virtual reality technology.”
It all started in 1995 when Chuck worked as a Medical Home Health Social Worker for a hospital-based Home Health Agency. His role was checking in on seniors after they were discharged from the hospital. He visited them in their personal homes and assisted living communities when he noticed that many of them were being discharged into places that didn’t match their care needs.
Witnessing this, he had an idea of a service which could help families match their care options with their appropriate care needs. “Families for decades were used to using real estate agents to find a new house. I was convinced that finding care for their parents was much more important. I founded my first company called Preferred Assistance. Fifteen years later it morphed into the current largest Senior Placement franchise system in the nation, called CarePatrol,” Chuck stated.
He and his wife, Becky refined their business model with formalized systems and began franchising in 2009. In 2014, they acquired their biggest competitor and doubled the system in the same year. And the rest was history.
CarePatrol was acquired by a large private equity firm in 2018, Bongiovanni stayed on two-and-a-half years before he moved on to Majestic Residences. Before he franchised CarePatrol, he seriously considered creating a franchise system for residential care homes. However, at the time, there wasn’t enough residential care homes in the country for it to make sense. After he stepped down at CarePatrol he followed his passion to franchise the residential care home industry.
The residential assisted living home industry is primed for success in franchising because there is an established and growing market with a built-in demand, the industry is extremely fragmented, it is unorganized with substandard marketing practices, behind in technology which can improve care and in desperate need of general office and backend management.
When you put this all together you have a natural recipe for success for franchising, scaling, and branding. The only problem was that Chuck had no experience in operating a home. The universe conspired to help him realize his dream and he met his business partner, late Gene Guarino and the rest of the Majestic Residences’ team.
Gene was a well-known leader and fixture in the residential care home industry. He founded Residential Assisted Living Academy (RALA), a “school” that has taught thousands of people how to open their own residential care home.
Between Gene’s expertise in the operations of these homes, and Chuck’s experience and expertise in franchising, the duo believed they created something that will have a permanent mark in the assisted living industry. So, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, they took the leap and founded Majestic Residences Franchise Systems, LLC.
Braving the Pandemic
The entire world came to a standstill with the advent of the global pandemic. Those who took the risk of thinking out of the box, not only survived but thrived. And Chuck did exactly that.
It’s only natural to see all the negatives that life throws at you. COVID-19 wasn’t just a curve ball, it was a curve ball, fast ball and a knuckle ball combined. While many in the healthcare industry went into survival mode, he saw an opportunity. he knew that many small residential care homes wouldn’t make it through the pandemic due to negative consumer’s perceptions.
The biggest challenge for him, however, was starting a company in an industry where the consumer was too afraid to purchase their services. While nursing homes and large assisted living communities took the biggest public relations hits, small residential assisted living homes did very well at controlling the virus. There were very limited fatalities compared to the others.
However, due to industry fragmentation and the lack of the power of branding, many of these individual “mom and pop” businesses couldn’t get the message out to the public about how truly safe their homes were.
He knew that many of them would feel alone and on an island during the pandemic, wanting to be part of a bigger support system after it was over. “Our franchised homes gaining higher occupancies during COVID then they had prior to the pandemic,” shared Chuck.
Technology to Ease Care
Chuck believes in the power of technology in the healthcare space. Companies in the healthcare space must invest in new technology and be prepared to adopt a fail-fast business model to realize the technological breakthroughs they need to stay ahead of their competitors.
Companies need to think outside-the-box and take the risk of implementing technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence in their businesses. They must look at new technologies and find a way of making it a solution for a problem they’re currently unaware that they have today.
“At Majestic Residences we took the risk with a new start-up company which created radio-wave technology, which detects in real-time the moment an adult brief becomes wet or soiled. I believe we are going to see many technological advances to deal with problems like the shortage of healthcare workers. I truly believe companies who despise change today will absolutely hate being insignificant tomorrow if they don’t keep up. However, the most important thing about future technology is acknowledging that it can’t take away from human interaction, after all, technology can’t give hugs, at least not yet” emphasized Chuck.
Advice to Budding Entrepreneurs
To a budding entrepreneur in this, or any other industry, Chuck advises not to be afraid to break the rules or upsetting the industry. Never worry about what people say behind your back because they’re behind you for a reason. Bend the norms because innovation isn’t a popularity contest.
Majestic Residences is scaling its operations and offerings and is confident it will have 80 more franchised residential assisted living homes globally. “We know the need is there and we want to be the ones who fill it,” adds Chuck.
Matter of Pride
Awards not only give recognition to an organization for its services but also motivates it to raise its bar. For Majestic Residences, one such recognition skyrocketed its reputation even more.
“We were very surprised and honored to be named “One of Five Senior Living Providers To Watch in 2021” by the SeniorHousingNews.com even before we opened our first home,” Chuck shared. The future of this industry and healthcare in general is growing at speeds no one thought was possible. Majestic Residences is in the fast lane in the residential care home explosion.