For many funeral home owners, their profession can be incredibly rewarding. What greater satisfaction is there in knowing that you assisted in providing peace and comfort during one of life’s most difficult moments? That even for a brief moment, you were an integral part in connecting everyone through their grief to honor and remember a life. While this sense of fulfillment is certainly what brings people into death care, it certainly isn’t what causes them to retire from it. For many of our former owners, there a number of reasons that led them down the path to us. For some, it’s the idea of looking to slow down in life. For others, it’s the changing tides of funeral service and the uncertainty of how to navigate them. In today’s blog though, we’re listing some of the biggest reasons we see when owners come to us.
- Looking to Slow Down
Unfortunately, death doesn’t take a day off and those in the funeral profession know this all too well. They’re no stranger to working weekends, holidays, late nights, and early mornings. Being the owner of a funeral home adds extra work as well in that not only are you seeing families and caring for the deceased, but you’re trying to run the administrative side of your business as well. A majority of our former owners come to us in their 50s and 60s and they’re quite simply looking to slow down after decades in service. Just last year we acquired two funeral homes in Ohio from Rick and Anne Dunbar with their motivation to sell being that Rick had almost 50 years in funeral service and he was ready for retirement.
- Planning for the Future
For many funeral home owners across the country, their business was passed down to them. They could be the second, third, or even fourth generation of their family in funeral service. However, what happens when the owners have no one to pass the business to? Over the years, we’ve encountered a number of owners who had no one in their family to pass their funeral home to and while they weren’t ready to retire, they wanted to begin planning ahead for the future of their business. In June of this year, we acquired two funeral homes and a cremation firm in Virginia that were formerly owned by a couple that never had children. While they weren’t ready for retirement just yet, they wanted to ensure that their hard-built legacy would pass into capable hands, which brought them to us.
- Navigating New Trends in Funeral Service
Just like in any industry, death care is subject to society’s changing tastes and preferences. Over the past couple decades, we’ve seen a rise in green burials, personalized funeral services, and, more recently, live streamed funerals. However, it’s the rising rate of cremation and how to navigate that shift while remaining profitable is what brings some of our former owners to us. According to a NFDA chart, the rate of cremation in 2010 was 40.4%. Jump ahead just ten years and that same chart is predicting 2020’s rate of cremation at 56.4%! For many funeral homes that have always relied on traditional burial, this can be a daunting statistic. Two years ago, we acquired Olthof Funeral Home in Elmira, NY from an owner that had a lot of concerns about the growing shift in cremation rates. He mentioned that by joining Rollings Funeral Service and gaining access to our breadth of knowledge, he was no longer worried on how to stay successful.
Whatever your reasons are, we look forward to opening a dialogue with you and learning how we can help with the next chapter in your funeral home.