Apart Together Nov10

Apart Together

Remote work environments have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Seven months into telecommuting, Yardi employees across the U.S. weigh in. March madness, IT edition In mid-March, Yardi’s IT department miraculously (read: after much hard work and dedication) managed to transition more than 30 global offices into a remote work environment in about two weeks. It was no easy feat. The diligence of the IT department and the patience of fellow employees made for a relatively smooth transition. Virtual town hall meetings kept employees up-to-date on the latest developments from the corporate headquarters. Productivity remained steady as team members learned to navigate workflows from home. Gradually, a new normal set in: video conferencing replaced conference rooms and chats replaced quick conversations over cubicle walls. Social committees reconvened team-building activities to maintain camaraderie and engagement. Pets became coworkers who made (sometimes) unsolicited appearances on calls. Yardi team members around the world began to witness firsthand the joys and challenges of their remote work environments. Different, but still efficient Some characteristics of office culture simply cannot be replicated when working from home. Chatting with coworkers in the lounge, grabbing lunch together and team functions are just a few of the office features that employees missed. “Working at home can be a bit stagnant,” admits Luis Estrada, a marketing writer in Miami. He conducted his interview for this post via Microsoft Teams chat. “My dining room is my new office. It’s routine, same old stuff.” “I miss my coworkers and the close collaboration in the office,” says Evan Hearn, energy management analyst in Atlanta. Taylor Leandro, HR generalist in Santa Barbara echoes the sentiment. “I mostly miss the daily interactions with my teammates and fellow colleagues. I also miss the ability to walk over to someone...

Reach, Racing + Robots Nov09

Reach, Racing + Robots...

Marketing, motorcycles and robotics all find a home within Melissa Zavas. The California native has creatively blended her interests in a way that empowers teens and builds community. The road to Yardi Zavas is a marketing specialist with RENTCafé REACH. She and her team provide search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing and reputation management services to Yardi clients. Learn how SEO and PPC can increase leads by 160%. The most challenging aspect of her job is staying on top of digital marketing trends and Yardi’s quickly developing software. “Yardi is incredibly growth-oriented. We are consistently growing our current software and expanding into new areas,” says Zavas. “But it’s worth it,” she smiles. “I find developing relationships with my clients and across teams very rewarding. I’m also accustomed to the changing demands of digital marketing.” Zavas began her marketing career shortly after college. Her family is heavily involved in the automotive industry, and her father helped found the Baja 500, a Mexican off-road motorcycle race on the Baja California Peninsula. She soon began a mail-order motorcycle parts division as an extension of her family’s wholesale company. “Quickly, I developed a loyal customer base by giving technical advice to match people’s riding styles with the performance parts we sold,” says Zavas. “Mail order was quickly turned into an eCommerce business as internet shopping took off. I created our first website and developed the eCommerce portion. It grew over 12 years. Through those years, I gained experienced in both business and in digital marketing.” Her technological insights and marketing savvy paid off. Zavas was named a Who’s Who Female Owner in the Automotive Industry by Cambridge Who’s Who in 2007-2008. Though Zavas sold her motorcycle parts business, she is still an avid motorcyclist....

Spirited Celebration Nov01

Spirited Celebration

The Yardi Atlanta office recently completed a successful Halloween Week! Going virtual was no easy feat, but the events committee tapped into the office’s love of competition to make a fun and memorable event. Hype years in the making Over the years, the social committees at Yardi Atlanta have helped to develop its office culture. The office is known as a place that fuels its hard work with camaraderie and fun. Annual Halloween celebrations brought team members together in pursuit of glory —until this year. With most of Yardi Atlanta working remotely, the office would not come together to celebrate Halloween. What would normally be a week of in-office costume parties and cubical decorations faced a great challenge in 2020. How could Yardi Atlanta take the festivities into a remote work environment? Would it still be fun and engaging? Undaunted by the task, the social committee launched a series of virtual events that encouraged creativity and competition. Each weekday featured a new challenge or activity to engage team members in the holiday spirit. Monday kicked off with a Pumpkin Selfie contest. Employees showed off their carving skills along with their smiles. The Best Pumpkin Selfie award went to Camilo Perez! After clocking out for the evening, a virtual call taught team members how to be Absinthe mixologists. Tuesday’s Throwback Halloween Costume Pictures conjured fringe haircuts, teased bangs and other horrors better left in their graves. There were real gems and great conversation starters among the submissions. Wendy Caffery received the Best Throwback Costume award. Working from home offers even more creative freedom to decorate! Wednesday’s competition received submissions of Halloween Home Décor, from fun and festive to ghoulish and frightening. Amber Brown earned the Best Decorations award. The workday then ended with Ghost Stories...

State of Senior Housing Oct23

State of Senior Housing...

Senior Housing News recently interviewed Fil Southerland, director of healthcare solutions for Yardi, about the biggest changes in senior living technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, how technology is meeting new healthcare demands and his experience growing up in Idaho, where his father operated assisted living facilities and built his own technology platform to support them. Excerpts follow. Q.: One of the early outcomes of the pandemic was the increase in technology adoption. What are the main silver linings in terms of senior living technology? A.: COVID-19 has definitely been hard on our industry and the residents we’re caring for. I think what it’s really highlighted is the incredible resilience of the organizations and their staff members that we work with. I’ve been particularly impressed with the amount of rapid innovation and technology uptake within the industry. Yardi’s contribution is a broad-based platform that helps providers efficiently manage everything from the care-related side to operations to finances. We’ve continued to add new clients at a rapid pace and we’re also seeing our existing clients working to automate and streamline a lot of their workflows. I think that kind of technology adoption is a necessity now. Over the long term, we’re hopeful that it will produce a lot of good dividends for the industry in terms of care coordination and personalization, wellness, operational efficiency and risk mitigation. Q.: Which changes in senior living technology prompted by the pandemic do you think will last? A.: One area is marketing and admissions. Previously, residents or family members had to come into communities to sign leases or changes to service plans. Yardi has a solution that allows all that to be done online. We’ve seen a lot of interest in that. Also, families considering a community are really concerned about...

Senior Living Changemakers Oct21

Senior Living Changemakers

When Yardi launched its Changemakers initiative last year to capture innovative thinking in senior living, few could have anticipated the profound challenges that emerged over the next 15 months. Changemakers, a collaboration with Senior Housing News, features interviews with leaders who offer creative perspectives on a range of issues including community architecture; care support partnerships with outside parties; the collocation of independent living, assisted living and memory care under one roof; technology issues; and staff members’ work/life balance. Eleven senior living provider executives presented their thoughts on the state of the industry in the Changemakers series for 2020, which is now available as an eBook. COVID-19, of course, ended up overshadowing almost every other issue this year. Mary Leary, a Changemaker with Mather, predicts that the pandemic “is going to catapult the industry forward because we’re having to abandon, at least temporarily, ways in which we have been providing services, which will give us an opportunity to rethink how we may want to do things differently.” Here’s a sampling of other impressions you’ll find in the eBook: “Changemakers definitely are risk-takers. When I first started Silverado, it was such an enormous change that I was proposing to the industry’s norm of bringing in the medical piece, the clinical piece, the 24-hour seven-day-a-week licensed nurses, master’s level social workers, and don’t even get me started with use of pets and children coming in.” – Loren Shook, Silverado “Our communities are designed to fit the neighborhood. It does not look like the sunrise Victorian mansion that gets plopped down into areas that don’t have Victorian mansions. We use the local vernacular.” – Michael Schonbrun, Balfour Senior Living Care “It’s not good enough to say, ‘I’m a risk-taker.’ What does that mean? Does that mean you’re at the firm every other Thursday? It’s not good enough just to be a risk-taker, you have to quantify risk. This [COVID-driven] economic downturn is a great example.” – Dwayne Clark, Aegis Living “We are less focused on the number of changes or the speed, but rather how meaningful the change may be to seniors, their families, and our associates. The number of ideas are infinite and can result in busy-ness rather than improved sound business practices.” — Marc Vorkapich, Watercrest Senior Living Besides sponsoring Changemakers, Yardi drives innovation by offering a comprehensive technology platform for senior living management. Learn...

Meet Dave Eskenazy Oct14

Meet Dave Eskenazy

Data analytics may not be easy, but they’re often necessary. You can’t just gather data. You’ve got to know what the numbers actually mean if you want to push your teams forward in senior living. That’s just one piece of advice that Dave Eskenazy, an industry expert with over 25 years’ experience, recently shared with us. We sat down with Dave to hear how he’s used the Yardi Senior Living Suite to drive growth through technology. From the importance of integration to the value of easy-to-understand metrics, he had plenty of insight to offer. Q: How do you track prospects in senior living? What I love about RENTCafé Senior CRM is that from the very first moment an inquiry is made, the prospect’s name is entered into the system. And I begin to track that. At some point, that prospect moves in, but the ability to move that prospect in and change them from a prospect to a resident becomes so much easier and so much quicker. Oftentimes, when somebody is looking for senior housing, they take a lot of time to really make a decision. But once that decision is made, it’s time to move. Having a lot of that information already in the system – and being able to simply pick up from before – is a key benefit of RENTCafé Senior CRM and the complete stack of Yardi products. One of the things I like most about Yardi is that there are a lot of modules that follow us all the way through the system. And it starts with RENTCafé Senior CRM. Q: How does data sync improve billing? One of the problems with billing is if you have separate systems for capturing your care than you do for billing your...

Changemakers Series Oct08

Changemakers Series

Charlie Trefzger is no stranger to change. Already this year, as president and CEO, he oversaw the rebrand of his company from Affinity Living Group to ALG Senior. At the same time, he reorganized his company’s operational structure. ALG communities now have more autonomy in how they operate, able to make decisions and take action without a set directive from headquarters. That’s not to say that Trefzger and his team don’t support their communities, however. When the coronavirus first started making news, they instituted change after change to ensure resident safety. They reacted fast thanks to having prepared well in advance just for this sort of emergency. “We implemented a pandemic flu policy some time ago. Since, we have tailored it to the COVID-19 policy, which is founded upon the CDC guidelines,” said Trefzger. “We’ve been drilling and practicing that for a good portion of the last year, and Lord have mercy, here we are right now dealing with it.” In recognition of the transformations Trefzger has driven, Senior Housing News has inducted him into the 2020 class of Changemakers. Read on to learn what steps ALG took to slow the spread of COVID-19 and how he believes the pandemic will impact senior living going forward. What have been the biggest changes that ALG Senior has made since COVID-19 hit in mid-March? Gosh, what hasn’t changed? There have been so many things that we’ve had to adapt to, such as visitation; narrowing our network of health care professionals; gathering data and having a greater reliance on data; the screening of our employees; using technology, both for visits as well as data-gathering and for activity programs; the need to address loneliness in our residents and trying to be innovative with visits. Probably our biggest change...

Westmont Living Oct01

Westmont Living

Over the years, Yardi client Westmont Living has developed creative ways to honor esteemed residents. The tradition continues through the age of social distancing, requiring ingenious workarounds that still help residents feel appreciated and valued. Honoring Lt. Dever’s 105th birthday Westmont Mariposa at Ellwood Shores is home to veteran Charles “Charlie” Dever. First Lt. Dever enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941, and he served as a lead navigator in the 98th Bombardment Group flying B-24s during World War II. Devers lived independently until he was 103. He then joined the family at Mariposa at Ellewood Shores. The quiet life that he now lives gave no indication of the surprise that awaited him for his birthday. It began when Lt. Dever’s daughter, Kathy, emailed Vandenberg Air Force Base to plan a surprise for her father. In response, the 30th Space Wing leadership notified its members of the momentous occasion. Active Air Force servicemembers near and far penned more than a hundred thank you letters to the veteran. To deliver the letters and show their appreciation, Vandenberg staff, Kathy and Team Mariposa arranged a grand ceremony. Festivities kicked off with a color guard presentation and speeches by Westwood executive director Peter Bonilla and 30th Space Wing Commander, Anthony Mastalir. Mastalir presented Lt. Dever with a 30th Space Wing challenge coin and granted him honorary membership in the United States Space Force. Vandenberg leadership then presented Lt. Devers with an American flag. Party planners arranged a car parade that would allow friends, family and community members to safely show their support for the veteran. Dozens of cars streamed through the property, showcasing their decorations, cheering and sending well-wishes to Devers. During his speech, Commander Mastalir said, “While Charles will tell you that his years in...

Changemakers Series Sep30

Changemakers Series

It’s easy to attribute the successes of a company to exemplary individuals. Think Steve Jobs of Apple or Elon Musk of Tesla. But in truth, their accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without those who supported them. Marc Vorkapich is quick to say that his people are the key to success. As the principal and CEO of Watercrest Senior Living, a Yardi client, he’s brought together a team of “servant leaders” who inspire trust from both residents and staff. It’s earned the company a Great Place to Work award, and it’s also caught the attention of Senior Housing News. They’ve given him the title of Changemaker for his history of nurturing strong leaders and promoting collaboration at Watercrest. When they asked him about the association between embracing change and taking risks, Vorkapich made it clear that although he may be in charge, his team gives him the confidence to see things through: “When a call for change derives from a desire to serve something greater than ourselves, any sense of risk is far outweighed by the depth of purpose. My risk tolerance is high, as my entire career over 27 years has developed by having faith that I and others surrounding me have been equipped for what lies ahead.” And during the pandemic, his commitment to teamwork and service has helped ensure that Watercrest can continue to provide great care. In this excerpt from his Changemakers interview, Vorkapich describes their COVID-19 response and offers his thoughts on how the virus may impact senior living as a whole. Do you see Covid-19 changing the senior living industry in lasting ways? If yes, how? One thing is certain, there is an increased awareness and understanding of the importance of having a highly competent operations management team laser-focused...

Simplifying Compliance Sep28

Simplifying Compliance...

How do you reduce the costs of compliance such that affordable housing properties are more attractive to investors, easier for residents to find and qualify for, and less expensive to manage? That’s a question Chris Voss has spent the better part of 20 years answering, and he may just be on to the solution. Chris is Yardi’s vice president of affordable housing and PHA Sales and is the founder or RightSource, the newest addition to the Yardi family. A natural entrepreneur, Chris attended college on the east coast and focused his studies on economics. While there, Chris did some web development work for members of congress, an experience that helped grow his familiarity with emerging online technology. After college, Chris was hired by a consulting firm in Washington, D.C. that supported affordable housing developers and operators. Like many affordable housing professionals, Chris found himself unexpectedly in the industry, but soon realized a passion for its mission and processes. “I joke that growing up I wanted to be a doctor right up to the point that I realized I probably wasn’t patient enough to complete four years of medical school. However, my career does give me some of the experience I was looking for. I’m able to help clients realize their long-term operational goals by diagnosing their challenges and solving them with improvements to technology, processes, and people. So, while I’ve come to terms with not actually becoming a doctor, I have the sense of purpose and fulfilment of helping affordable housing organizations operate with a greater sense of health,” says Voss. The sole focus of the consulting firm Chris worked for in the early 2000’s was support of clients implementing Yardi Voyager. Chris describes his consulting career as a deep dive into affordable housing...

Senior Living Wisdom Sep24

Senior Living Wisdom

The senior living industry can be competitive, but it also has no shortage of experienced professionals ready to work together and share their hard-earned knowledge. This sort of collaboration has been needed now more than ever as the industry has had to adapt to new challenges. In search of best practices everyone could use, we interviewed clients who had steadily grown their senior living organizations. We asked them what issues they faced, what goals they pursued and how they leveraged technology in innovative ways. Their answers formed the basis for our How Do You? video series, which you can access and watch on our resources page. But not every piece of advice made it into the final videos. These senior living leaders had a lot to say, and we want to ensure there’s a place for all their insights to be discovered. So we revisited their interviews and pulled their answers together for a new white paper: How do you excel with senior living technology? Here’s a sneak peek at questions we covered: How do you | encourage move-ins? “It’s always ideal to know how close a lead is to moving in. Some leads are two months out. Some are three months out. Some are years out. Understanding that allows us to input a call-out in two years maybe or a follow-up that works for them. We’re not that typical marketing person who’s going to bombard them every week.” – Nicole Graham, Licensed Administrator How do you | improve resident care? “By electronically charting as you go along, it cuts the background stuff out of the process of taking care of a resident. All of the time that they would spend trying to figure out when to chart and what to chart is gone....

Changemakers Series Sep20

Changemakers Series

Charlie Trefzger is no stranger to change. Already this year, as president and CEO, he oversaw the rebrand of his company from Affinity Living Group to ALG Senior. At the same time, he reorganized his company’s operational structure. ALG communities now have more autonomy in how they operate, able to make decisions and take action without a set directive from headquarters. That’s not to say that Trefzger and his team don’t support their communities, however. When the coronavirus first started making news, they instituted change after change to ensure resident safety. They reacted fast thanks to having prepared well in advance just for this sort of emergency. “We implemented a pandemic flu policy some time ago. Since, we have tailored it to the COVID-19 policy, which is founded upon the CDC guidelines,” said Trefzger. “We’ve been drilling and practicing that for a good portion of the last year, and Lord have mercy, here we are right now dealing with it.” In recognition of the transformations Trefzger has driven, Senior Housing News has inducted him into the 2020 class of Changemakers. Read on to learn what steps ALG took to slow the spread of COVID-19 and how he believes the pandemic will impact senior living going forward. What have been the biggest changes that ALG Senior has made since COVID-19 hit in mid-March? Gosh, what hasn’t changed? There have been so many things that we’ve had to adapt to, such as visitation; narrowing our network of health care professionals; gathering data and having a greater reliance on data; the screening of our employees; using technology, both for visits as well as data-gathering and for activity programs; the need to address loneliness in our residents and trying to be innovative with visits. Probably our biggest change...

Fostering Leadership

Like many engineering students, Neharika Jha wasn’t completely sure about her concentration. At the time, she chose computer science engineering. “Not paying too much attention to computer courses taught in school didn’t help initially,” she laughs. But with time, Neharika realized how computer science solved a variety of real-life consumer and business problems. “I realized the positive impact I could have with my learned skills,” she says. “A smartphone today is a million times faster and more efficient than the computers used for the Apollo 11 mission, enabling our first step onto the surface of the moon. This thought of connecting present with past and wondering where it would take us in the future keeps me very excited about the path ahead.” Her knowledge of the computer sciences helped her land a job, but her leadership skills have helped her forge a career and create a legacy at Yardi. Helping clients prepare for the future Neharika joined Yardi immediately after receiving her degree from Pune University. It was 2008, the peak of the financial crisis, and she considered herself fortunate to secure employment. A software company that hired during a recession bode well for her and the organization. “I believed that the company must have very sound fundamentals to be recruiting in those times,” she recalls. “And 11 years later, I can’t thank Yardi enough for the opportunity to join this wonderful organization and be a part of its growth both as a contributor and a beneficiary.” Neharika is currently a manager for an International Practice Global Solutions team. The unit builds, manages and strengthens Yardi’s relationship with some of its biggest clients including Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE and Prologis to name a few. “As a team, we promote the continuity of the clients’...

Changemakers Series Sep01

Changemakers Series

The past decade has been one of extensive change for the senior living industry. In the wake of the Great Recession, many organizations reorganized and consolidated to adapt. The following years saw steady growth and new construction. Now, in the present day, the pandemic is driving transformation and action at a never-before-seen pace. John Cochrane, president and CEO of non-profit HumanGood, has led his company through all of it, adjusting course when needed to better serve their communities. In his Changemaker interview with Senior Housing News, he opens up on his experience. “In a curious way, I think that the economic crisis was a turning point for the industry, and certainly for our company, in creating urgency and creating the need for clarity and accountability,” Cochrane said “That’s where a lot of what we’re doing today started, more than 10 years ago.” With its impact on the industry, COVID-19 has made it clear that speed, transparency and accountability are necessities. Keep reading to discover how HumanGood responded and what Cochrane and his team are doing to successfully adapt to disruption. First, this year has brought unprecedented change. How has HumanGood responded? The pandemic has changed the world, bringing new challenges on how to protect our communities, team members and residents. Operationally, we have sharpened our focus on infection control protocols, communications and technology solutions. The pandemic has shined a big spotlight on our ability to operate safely while continuing to provide an on-brand experience in this dynamic environment. One of the biggest changes we have made, and continue to refine, is to tracking and testing for COVID-19. The ability to trace and test will impact our industry’s ability to provide the services, and care, that can help our residents and team members live their...

Changemakers Series Aug10

Changemakers Series

The pandemic has impacted every segment of the housing industry, but it poses an even higher risk for the most vulnerable in our society. Safe, secure and stable housing has never been more essential. David Block is the director of development for the Evergreen Real Estate Group, which builds, acquires and manages affordable and market-rate multifamily communities across the Midwest. Their portfolio comprises a large number of independent senior living communities, and the company has excelled in adaptive reuse. That is, converting older buildings like hospitals into subsidized communities for those in need. Welcomed by local agencies and appreciated by residents, these unique projects have also caught the attention of Senior Housing News. They’ve given Block the title of Changemaker and interviewed him for his insights on innovative housing solutions as well as the company’s COVID-19 response. Keep reading for excerpts from the talk. Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Evergreen’s senior housing business? Do you think that it could lead to any longer-term changes in senior living? It’s been all hands on deck for our entire team. We have a portfolio of about 10,000 units [including] total units that we own, units that we manage for others, and of that, I think a little more than half are seniors. Our property management side has been working very hard to make sure that the senior sites, in particular, are secure. We’re not limiting visitors yet because these are, by and large, independent living facilities. They’re apartment buildings. They’re not health care facilities like those that have been hardest hit. We’re certainly sending out information to our tenants. We’re making sure that our staff are trained in the hygiene and the protocols that are out there to try to slow the spread of this virus. We’re...

Changemakers Series Jul31

Changemakers Series

Doing things differently is part of what separates Changemakers from the pack. At Priya Living, Founder Arun Paul fully lives up to that expectation. He’s built Indian-inspired independent living communities that bring together not just older adults but people of all ages, races and religion. “When the young people would come in, we started hearing those comments like, ‘This place, we love it. Could we live here if we wanted to?’ We said, ‘We have vacant units, and we need to fill them. Yes, sure. Why not?’” said Paul. Priya Living now has three communities in California with a fourth on the way. They’ve instituted an a la carte model for services, where residents can use their smartphones to request food, care, transportation and other necessities. This willingness to try new approaches has also helped them adapt safely to the pandemic. They were taking steps in the first week of March to prevent the spread of infection, and so far no one in their communities has contracted the virus. In this excerpt from his Changemakers interview with Senior Housing News, Paul describes how COVID-19 affected their business and how they’ve responded to keep residents healthy and happy. How have you had to change operations due to Covid-19? We put a pause on programs and activities and enhanced disinfecting, cleaning and restricted visitation. We did that starting March 6, and then March 16, the Bay Area implemented a region-wide shelter in place. We’ve been fortunate. Knock on wood, we haven’t been impacted in terms of any cases in communities. Do you think Covid-19 will lead to lasting changes in how Priya operates? After that initial phase, we started to look at how we could start to bring our programming back, but use digital distribution for...

Tech Knight Jul28

Tech Knight

When you think of a knight, do you imagine him perched atop an ergonomic office chair? Does he don a headset, wield a mouse and fry fish dinners for those in need? If not, you’ve got a lot to learn about modern knights. Larnoe Dungca is a knight who embodies versatility, strength and compassion in unexpected ways. Starting a career at Yardi Dungca’s career with Yardi humbly began 13 years ago. After his previous company closed, he attended a job fair in Ventura and submitted his resume for a web developer position. Fast-forward and Dungca is now a RENTCafé technical analyst. He assists RENTCafe account managers in CPG Practice Group SB5 as well as other teams. Basically, he helps those who help others. “I really enjoy the satisfaction I get when issues are resolved,” says Dungca.  “I love to imagine the smiling faces of RENTCafé account managers when they say ‘thank you so much!’” Through his work, account managers receive the troubleshooting and guidance needed to solve the toughest software problems that clients face. A knight in a techie’s clothing Dungca is a bit of a hero to our account managers and the clients that they serve. He’s also a hero to his local community—he’s a knight, actually. For a decade, Dungca has volunteered with the Knights of Columbus Council 9969 Holy Cross Catholic Church in Moorpark. The group consists of about 150 men who host regular fundraising and outreach events for the community. One of his most memorable events was the Special Olympics Softball Tournament. “This was my favorite event,” says Dungca. “We made sandwiches for all players, umpires and staff that day at the park. It was great to see all of their cheer while they enjoyed the sport that they loved.”...

Changemakers Series Jul24

Changemakers Series

Leaders in senior living know that you need to take steps to stay ahead of change, even when things might seem normal in the moment. The earlier you act, the better off you’ll be. That idea is a core practice for Richard Hutchinson, CEO of Discovery Senior Living. Throughout his decades’ long career, he’s taken innovative approaches to sales and data that have produced measurable results. And when the coronavirus first began making headlines in January, he started procuring as much PPE as he could for his communities, well before local health authorities were raising alarms. For these reasons and more, Hutchinson was recently recognized as a Changemaker by Senior Housing News. The interview series, sponsored by Yardi, highlights leaders across the industry who are helping to shape the future of senior living. In the excerpts below from his interview, Hutchinson shares his take on how the senior living industry faces change and what it means to be innovative. He also talks about Discovery’s proactive measures to keep residents and staff safe from COVID-19. You’ve mentioned that the industry is set in its ways, and also that the consumer is changing rapidly. Do you think the industry is changing fast enough? No, I don’t think so. I don’t know that many industries are changing fast enough, and it’s the pace and the tempo of consumer behavior and the way the consumers not only want to purchase things incrementally, but generational changes and technology changes, that make it difficult to keep pace. The fundamentals of our industry have been great, so [we have] the good-bad equation. The good news when you have such a great supply-demand equation is that you’ll end up with people who can replicate other people’s product and services and do quite...

Changemakers Series Jul18

Changemakers Series

Will my loved one be happier and healthier in senior living or at home? It’s a question many families are asking themselves now during the pandemic. They’ve seen headlines about case numbers, but they also know they can’t provide the care and attention needed by themselves. “If COVID has taught us anything, it has taught us that we are health care, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be health care in the traditional sense of a hospital or a nursing home,” said Brenda Bacon, president and CEO of Brandywine Living. “We have to be able to convince the public or customers that their loved one will be safe and secure in addition to being happy.” A former board chairman for Argentum, Bacon has a lot of insight into the challenges and opportunities of senior living. She’s taken that unique experience to Brandywine, where she strives to make their communities the right mix of “health care and hospitality and fun.” Bacon has been recognized by Senior Housing News as a Changemaker for her contributions to the industry, and during her interview, she opened up on the difficulties posed by the coronavirus – as well as her strategies for keeping it at bay. Check out these excerpts to see how Brandywine is keeping its residents happy and healthy. What needs to be done to achieve that safety and security you’re thinking about? Any operational changes you’re implementing at Brandywine? On April 4th, we instituted a rule that says “one job only.” In the healthcare industry, employees traditionally work in two or three different healthcare institutions; they’ll work a shift at a skilled nursing and then they’ll go to an assisted living or the hospital, the doctor’s office. Nurses and care managers tend to have...

H.J. Russell & Co. Jul10

H.J. Russell & Co....

Imagine that you’ve enjoyed your home for decades: your kids’ growth charts are on a doorframe in the kitchen, you know your neighbors, and your favorite restaurants all know you by name and order. The neighborhood isn’t what it used to be, but it’s your home. Within a matter of years, a wave of new investments transforms your neighborhood. The cost of living increases and property taxes soar. You can no longer afford the home that you’ve nearly paid off, and you face eviction. That is the reality for many long-term residents of metro Atlanta neighborhoods. Neighborhood ascent, or gentrification, is the process of renovating communities that have experienced disinvestment. Through the process, crime rates drop, property values increase, infrastructure and services often improve. Gentrification, however, comes with grave disadvantages for existing residents including higher rents, higher property taxes, exclusion and discrimination. Yardi client H.J. Russell & Co. is an Atlanta-based firm that conducts construction, program management, and property management. It is aligned with sister real estate development firm Russell New Urban Development L.L.C. Together, they fight gentrification and nurture diverse neighborhoods through strategic projects and partnerships. Atlanta gentrification: an ongoing battle for “home” Atlanta is one of the nation’s largest cities for African Americans with 51.85% of the population identifying as Black or African American. It is also among the top 5 fastest gentrifying cities in the U.S. Several benefits come when investors support a brighter vision for a community. Unfortunately, that vision rarely implements practices that reduce out-migration and encourage long-term affordability. Longstanding residents are often excluded from the vision and priced-out of their homes. Neighborhood ascent does not necessitate segregation or displacement. With strategic planning and real estate firms such as H.J. Russell, neighborhoods can benefit from investment without ousting existing...