Senior Focus Sep05

Senior Focus

In a move intended to anticipate exponential growth in the industry, real estate development firm The Shelter Group, recently sold the entirety of its affordable housing portfolio to Enterprise Homes. Stating a desire to focus on the rapidly growing potential of the company’s senior housing properties, The Shelter Group’s executive vice president and CFO Jeffrey Hettleman told Senior Housing News the decision was also based on the company’s desire to remain “service oriented.” “As Brightview has grown, the two businesses have become different and really served different populations, “said Hettlemam. “Brightview had gotten so much larger, in terms of people, and it operates around the clock, and senior living is much more service intensive that the challenges of doing that well and maintaining our culture required us to really focus on that part of our business.” The Art of the Deal Though neither company disclosed the final purchase amount, the August 1st sale allows The Shelter Group to shift gears towards a complete senior housing portfolio. The switch makes sense given the current makeup of the company’s operations. Before the sale, only 175 employees manned The Shelter Group’s affordable housing portfolio, while almost 3,600 work under the Brightview banner. Enterprise Homes will absorb those 175 employees as well as 43 affordable housing properties located primarily in Maryland. With the purchase, Enterprise Homes will triple its holding by adding 4, 1543 affordable housing units to its portfolio. According to Jeff Kunitz, executive vice president of CBRE Affordable Housing (who worked on behalf of The Shelter Group during the transaction), the company specifically looked for a buyer willing to maintain the properties as affordable housing for low-income families. “It was very important for Shelter Group to find a buyer who would maintain the same high level of...

Collaboration + Community Aug30

Collaboration + Community

In May of this year, senior living provider Merrill Gardens unveiled its newest development, a 196-unit community called BullStreet in Columbia, South Carolina. The project is a joint venture between Merrill Gardens and its multifamily-focused sister company, Pillar Properties, as well as regional partner Second Fifty Communities of Charleston, S.C. “The addition of Merrill Gardens fits our vision for BullStreet perfectly, allowing us to provide living opportunities for all age groups,” said Robert Hughes, president of Hughes Development Corp. and master developer for the BullStreet development in downtown Columbia in a statement about the project. Location, Location, Location Hailed as one of Columbia’s biggest land deals in recent history, the BullStreet project will be built on the 181-acre site of the former South Carolina State Hospital complex. The community sits across the street from a planned 20-acre park and is also close to Spirit Communications Park, home of Columbia’s Fireflies, the city’s Single-A baseball team. “These apartments will be the best-located senior housing units in Columbia,” Hughes said. Paying attention to location is one of the hallmarks of Merrill Garden’s property development agenda. By designing each community with characteristics specific to the area, Merrill Gardens creates a comfortable and welcoming environment for residents so they can relax and feel at home. The company’s multi-family sister corporation, Seattle-based Pillar Properties, develops, owns and manages apartment residences in many of Seattle’s “signature neighborhoods.” “We understand the character of the area and work hard to bring that energy into the spaces we design” the company declares on its website. “Because we’re still family-owned, we do things our way – with a premium on delivering an ideal customer experience as measured by our own exacting standards… our mission is to provide a Quietly Awesome experience at every level of engagement.” Spirit of a City The BullStreet location was chosen by the developers because of the neighborhoods “uniquely urban experience,” generated, in part, by its former use as a state hospital campus. With Spirit Communications Park nearby, residents of the project’s senior living will be able to enjoy walking trails and playing fields while also having access to the stadiums batting cages, Club Lounge and other amenities. While the development include 24-hour dining access and round-the-clock staffing typical of most senior living facilities, tenants will also be able to enjoy more unique amenities including a rooftop deck and sports bar. The project’s developers hope residents will take advantage of the community’s centralized location to partake of area restaurants, stores and other entertainment offerings. “The Bull Street project has allowed us to fulfill our vision of providing seniors with an active and authentic lifestyle in a community in which they are already familiar,” said Clayton Mozingo, Principal and CEO of Second Fifty Communities. He continued, “In partnership with the Hughes Development team, highlighting the rich Columbia landscape as the backdrop of this site has been an exciting experience given the positive change in the area.” A Lifestyle Approach Considered a leader in the senior living industry for the last 23 years, Merrill Gardens currently operating 30 senior living communities in seven states. Deploying a “lifestyle approach” to senior housing, Merrill Gardens makes sure each one of its properties reflects the unique attributes of the community where it is located. The addition of Merrill Gardens fits our vision for BullStreet perfectly, allowing us to provide living opportunities for all age groups,” said Robert Hughes, president of Hughes Development Corp. and master developer for BullStreet. “We are creating a dense urban environment that reflects the diversity and rich character of our city, which is very important to us. We found the best, most experienced companies in the country to incorporate vibrant, interconnected senior living into the...

College Cohabitation Aug03

College Cohabitation

As healthcare technology continues to evolve, universities across the country are bringing senior housing on campus in order to create new models for healthy aging. Hosting seniors on site allows students and faculty to collect healthcare data on residents and use that information to develop proactive solutions to senior care. Highly popular, these university-affiliated retirement communities are a win-win for residents and academia. “There are opportunities in terms of an intergenerational setting as well as the financial health for the retirement community and the college,” Paula Panchuck, vice president and dean of Lasell Village, told Senior Housing News. “There are some beautiful synergies that bond us even more closely.” Symbiotic Studies Across the country, these programs combine continuing education with healthcare and gerontology coursework resulting in the ability to promote research and forge community connections. In many cases, residents are encouraged to participate in classes and other campus activities, while students gain invaluable access to the day-to-day routines of the aging population. Situated within the campus of Lasell College in Newton, Mass, Lasell Village mimics small town living with buildings, including a clock-towered Town Hall, stretching out over 13-acres. By bringing senior housing on campus, Lasell Village promotes retirement living comprised not just of continued care for aging adults, but of a “community with the cultural, social and recreational opportunities of lifelong learning.” Other senior-college partnerships not only welcome residents to explore university offerings, they also seize the opportunity to develop a curriculum focused on aging and senior care. Recognized as one of the Best Nursing Homes in 2016, Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame hosts a gerontology consortium and a four-year school with classes available to students and residents. “It’s a great symbiotic relationship because the students can work with our residents and...

Affordable Housing Jul12

Affordable Housing

In the face of crippling budget cuts, housing authorities rely on innovation, resourcefulness, and advanced software to stimulate growth. Carlos Pizarro serves as Vice President of Housing at Housing Authority of the City of Lakeland, Florida. His decade of experience in the private sector made him an unlikely candidate for the position. That experience, however, is the key to the housing authority’s success. “Public housing and section 8 must change,” reflects Pizarro.  “It needs the private sector and the public sector to work together to create something new. I don’t see the government able to support Section 8 and public housing forever. There has to be an effort between everybody.” Such industry changes are felt across the nation. Fort Smith Housing Authority in Arkansas has managed to ride the waves of these changes under the guidance of Rachel Brown, Section 8 Director. “You can’t depend on public housing funding anymore,” Brown says. “Public housing is going away. A lot of us are focused on converting public housing into RAD.” Fort Smith Housing Authority demolished 170 of its public housing units. The 288 remaining units were converted to Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) units. RAD, per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “allows public housing agencies to leverage public and private debt and equity in order to reinvest in the public housing stock.” The program is an effort to address a $25.6 billion dollar-backlog of public housing capital improvements. Blending funding options within a portfolio, and even within a single project, is one way that housing authorities stay afloat. Discovering untraditional sources of income is another. Innovative Incomes Both the City of Lakeland and Fort Smith housing authorities have created construction and development branches. “We got into developing properties, which is new for a housing...

Going Digital Jun14

Going Digital

By adopting an electronic health record platform with a centralized database, senior living provider Northbridge Companies lives up to its commitment of providing best quality of care to its residents. When Northbridge companies made the choice to transition from paper documentation to electronic health records, the company’s primary objective involved eliminating redundant tasks and improving staff productivity. As someone on the front lines during the company’s switch to Yardi EHR, Marcia Suddy saw firsthand how swiftly technology can improve the workplace. “One of the biggest changes with electronic records versus paper is that you can lay your hands on information very quickly,” she says. “That reduces the length of time needed to resolve issues and helps us provide the best quality of care to our residents.” Live Well, Love Life Founded in 2006, privately owned senior living provider with 15 communities servicing residents across New England, Northbridge Companies has made providing quality senior care a priority for over a decade. Northbridge Community provides its 850 residents with an environment designed to “encourage freedom, offer lifestyle choices, and provide the necessary services to live life to the fullest.” When Suddy began her nursing studies, she quickly realized she felt a connection to seniors. “While I was earning my administrator’s license and BC certification, I absolutely fell in love with senior care,” she says. “I don’t foresee ever doing anything else.” As Regional Director of Care Services for Northbridge, Suddy feels great satisfaction working for a company she describes as being “passionate about senior care.” “It’s such a relief to work for an organization that truly lives up to the values they advocate,” she says. “It’s not just the president of the company, but the associates, the investors, the families. Everyone is committed to providing the...

Senior Living Forum Mar27

Senior Living Forum

On March 29-30, Yardi hosted the second Yardi Senior Living Forum, focused specifically on the needs of our senior living clients,  in Santa Barbara, Calif. The two-day featured speakers, classes, roundtable discussions, computer lab time and more. In advance of that event, Ray Elliot, vice president of senior living, joined us to share insight on the Yardi Senior Living Suite. An end-to-end solution that tracks senior living residents throughout their housing journey, the suite includes Yardi EHR for health care records, numerous offerings from Yardi’s ancillary product line, and continues to expand. Senior living is a rapidly growing segment of the multifamily housing market, and Yardi is developing new and improved technology offerings that cater specifically to this client base. Read on for insight on the Yardi Senior Living Suite. What is your mission on the senior living team? Elliot: Our mission is to help senior living providers provide better care to their residents through software and technology. We aim to streamline both the property management and care services on a platform that is efficient, mobile and adaptable. What does the Yardi Senior Living Suite look like? Elliot: Our greatest strength s our single solution stack. I do not believe any other vendor can take you from the initial contact that starts the resident relationship, all the way through the resident lifecycle. RENTCafe Senior Living can be used to market the communities. Prospect and mass marketing is done in CRM. From there, our clients manage their communities, health care records, medical care and other resident services from a single database. RENTCafe Senior Living augments the resident relationship by allowing the resident and family to make payments online and view care related information. Added together, this level of functionality is unique in the market space. Many other technology providers address just one segment of...

Senior Living Trends Feb14

Senior Living Trends

As the year begins and a new administration takes office, senior housing providers are gearing up for change. While a certain amount of anxiety is to be expected, according to George Yedinak from Senior Housing News, many of the developments that will take place over the next twelve months merely build upon preexisting circumstances. “While operators, owners, and others will be reacting to possibly dramatic changes,” he writes, “some senior living issues that have been top of mind for years show no signs of abating.” Occupancy and Oversupply According to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care, nursing home occupancy remained flat through the end of 2016 even as the number of units in development continued to rise. That trend will likely continue across all types of senior care well into 2017. With the pool of potential residents unable to match supply, even well-established providers may find themselves “protecting their turf.” “New supply could affect everything from rents to marketing budgets and wages,” writes Yedinak. “Developers looking to build, or buyers on the hunt for good opportunities, will feel even more pressure to judge the supply-demand forces in a given market.” Although consumer purchasing power has steadily increased over the last year, increasing pressure from new supply will undermine rent escalation. As a result, says Yedinak, any rent increases in competitive markets will likely hover around two to three percent rather than the standard three to four percent. “Getting rents right will be even more of a balancing act than usual in 2017,” he warns, adding that operators should be aware of the “steady drumbeat within the industry to cease discounting altogether and increase pricing transparency, to meet consumer expectations.” Staffing Shortfalls For the last few years, workforce woes have plagued senior...

Senior Living Forum Jan16

Senior Living Forum

Whether you are a director, care provider or sales and marketing professional, you won’t want to miss the Yardi Senior Living Forum. With an eye towards expanding training and networking opportunities for Yardi clients, Yardi launched the Yardi Senior Living Forum in 2016. After the resounding success of the inaugural event, a second Yardi Senior Living Forum has been scheduled March 29-30 in Santa Barbara, Ca. The smaller event offers a more focused presentation of Yardi products designed to meet the specialized needs of clients working in the senior living industry. Participants will get the opportunity to gain deeper insight into the Yardi Senior Living Suite, including Voyager Senior Housing, Yardi EHR, Senior CRM and RENTCafé Senior Living. “Support is a focus for us,” Ray Elliott, Vice President of Senior Living, explained when the 2016 Senior Living Forum debuted. “That includes how we help the client to implement the product, and ongoing support afterward “We recognize that the senior living industry has unique training staffing needs.” A YASC Alternative Set against the backdrop of sunny Santa Barbara, the “American Riviera,” the primary goal of the Yardi Senior Living Forum is to create a one-of-kind educational and networking experience. While YASC will continue to be a valuable resource for Senior Living clients to attend classes on general functionality and ancillary modules, the conference now includes only a limited amount of Senior Living specific content. For expanded, detailed coverage of the products in the Senior Living Suite, the Forum is the best option. The forum will provide in-depth instruction by Yardi Senior Living technical staff, along with product roundtables and product roadmap sessions. The Forum will benefit operational staff, including executive directors and administrators, clinical directors and healthcare professionals, sales and marketing staff, and business managers. A full conference registration includes...

Food Truck Fun Jan13

Food Truck Fun

Food trucks provide the perfect vehicle for senior living communities looking to increase brand awareness and improve the resident experience. With a sense of celebration and a tang of the exotic, food trucks do more than sling tacos – they bring people together. Over the last few years, these compact purveyors of tasty treats have taken over parking lots and commandeered fairgrounds. Now senior living providers are getting in on the fun. For communities looking to attract new prospects and enhance the resident experience, food trucks are an easy way to update dining options and lure prospects. That’s because dining rates high when it comes to assessing the resident experience. As the introduction to the latest report from Senior Housing News on senior living dining trends explains, “Dining drives senior living businesses – there’s no question about it.” Connecting the Community For many senior living residents meals provide a critical link. In the dining hall, seniors interact with each other, staving off isolation and providing an antidote to loneliness. Holidays, special events – even just Sunday breakfast – all offer the opportunity to foster a sense of community. As a  2010 report from Unidine reiterates, “Senior dining programs facilitate social interaction, support medical care as well as health and wellness objectives and provide a critical link to the lives and communities of residents.” Expanding Experiences Because of senior’s unique nutritional needs, meal planning at most communities is complex. Everything from ingredients to taste to medication side effects must be taken into consideration. Dietary restrictions and weight management are equally important. With so much micromanagement, there’s little room for spontaneity. Adding food trucks to the rotation allows communities to provide a little variety while still keeping a close eye on the menu. “I see no...

Next-Gen Employees Dec12

Next-Gen Employees

The senior living industry needs 1.2 million new employees by 2025 in order to meet demand, and that means finding new ways to connect with job-hunting millennials. That “silver tsunami” set to transform the senior living industry will not only change the way providers reach out to residents and provide care, it will also impact staffing and employment outreach. A recent study conducted by Argentum indicates that the senior living industry will have to increase staff by 1.2 million within the next ten years. While some of these new hires will be professionals already working in the industry, a significant portion of potential prospects will be millennials. So how can a senior living provider successfully connect with these young, tech-savvy job seekers? The answer lies in leveraging the latest technology to cultivate a ubiquitous web presence based on partnerships, networking, and a clear articulation of the non-income benefits of committing to a career in senior living. The College Connection According to a recent Senior Housing News report, most college grads conduct their career search through a university program. As a result, the report urges senior living providers to nurture affiliations with local colleges to heighten awareness of career potential within the senior living industry. “We’re facing some real leadership challenges,” Kevin Heffner, director of external relations at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County (UMBC)/ Erickson School, told Senior Housing News. “Some of the titans of the industry are retiring. We’re doing the best we can to develop leaders to fill that void. Providing the opportunity for continued education, in the form of a master’s program or internal certification program, would also make a potential employer stand out from the pack. Not only will these incentives lure ambitious recruits, it also provides potential employees with...

No More Falls

For many senior citizens, the choice to move into assisted living begins the moment staying at home becomes dangerous. Tripping over carpet or a tumbling down a flight of stairs can no longer be dispatched with an ice pack or a trip to urgent care. For adults 65 and older, these incidents often result in broken bones, head injuries or even death. But what if a fall could be predicted and prevented? That’s the hope behind a new sensor system developed by the Sinclair School of Nursing and the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri. Through a combination of onsite monitoring and data analysis, the sensors record the gait and speed of residents. That information can then be used to forecast when a fall might be imminent helping care providers take action before calamity. “Assessment of these functions through the use of sensor technology is improving coordinated health care for older adults,” Marjorie Skubic, director of the MU Center for Eldercare and Rehabilitation Technology, tells Engineering.com in a recent interview about the sensor system. Watchers on the Wall The sensor project is part of ongoing research currently underway at TigerPlace, a Missouri retirement community that promotes “aging-in-place.” Part of a collaboration between Americare Corporation and the University of Missouri, TigerPlace’s main objective is to “maximize the independence of residents while supporting research.” The facility has been using the sensors as part of ongoing research to study how early detection of “changes in function” can be used to target health problems before they become critical. As part of that process, the project’s In-home Monitoring System (IMS). IMS wirelessly records and shares motion data and images collected by sensors placed throughout the home. If significant changes in activity are detected, the system can send...

Truth in Numbers Oct24

Truth in Numbers

Thanks to detailed accounting options and superior customer support, Sentio Healthcare Properties continues to expand its use of Yardi Voyager across its property portfolio. As a REIT specializing in senior living, Sentio Healthcare Properties oversees a diverse portfolio ranging from medical office buildings to senior housing, including independent living, assisted living and memory care facilities. At the company’s Orlando headquarters, about 20 employees work with third party operators at 34 properties located in 16 states. “REITS are not the easiest structure to understand,” admits Julia Avallone, Manager of Property Level Accounting and Asset Management (CPA) at Sentio Healthcare Properties. “I’ve been at Sentio nearly three years, and I’m still wrapping my brain around all the accounting complexities. That being said, I think it’s rare to find an accounting role where you feel that you are making a positive contribution to somebody’s  life. I feel that my role at Sentio is mission driven and contributes, albeit in a small way, to the quality of life the residents in our facilities enjoy.” Making the Switch to Senior Living Avallone began her career in public accounting mainly for real estate clients. Eventually, Avallone decided to transition into another industry, and one of her managers recommended Sentio. “My husband was also in public accounting, and it was too much to both work in the (same) industry,” explains Avallone. “I was looking for a change, and one of my managers knew the controller at Sentio. It was a good fit.” Avallone used to handle accounting for approximately half of Sentio’s portfolio, but is in the process of transitioning to an asset management role. Because Sentio’s properties are located in a variety of different markets, each community comes with its own advantages and challenges. For example, Texas recently moved to...

Disruptive Change

Adoption of electronic health records in assisted living is a disruptive change worth implementing declares Senior Housing Business magazine.  As Eric Taub points out in a recent article for Senior Business News, assisted living communities have dragged their feet for too long, many still stubbornly relying on paper notes and other “low-fi.” record keeping. While these facilities have been able to limp along so far, Taub argues that “going high-tech is no longer an option. It’s not a case of simply providing a perk for residents but rather becoming a necessity to stay financially viable.” “That’s because the model of the assisted living industry is changing,” he writes, “Moving from a social framework with a medical conscience to a medical model with a social conscience.” The first step, according to Taub, involves adopting EHR and EMR systems, but implementation should follow a thorough understanding of the processes, procedures and costs. “While EMRs may be an obvious solution to more accurately tracking resident health and coordinating care with other providers, the implementation of such a systems is not,” explains Taub. “Assisted living communities face significant obstacles in switching their pen-and-paper based medical records to an electronic version.” “Change is hard,” admits Taub, “especially one as fundamental as introducing technology to a formerly analog world.” Tom McDermott, Vice President of Sales for Yardi Senior Living agrees, telling Taub that for many senior living communities, technology is not a priority. “Most people would rather get a root canal than change software,” he says, pointing out that facility managers and administrators often juggle many duties and  struggle to prioritize their strategies. Nevertheless, Taub believes resistance is futile – soon assisted living communities will have no choice. “Baby boomers will demand it,” Life Care Services’ EMR director for Life Care Services Susan Adams, tells Taub. “I...

Affordable Housing Aug25

Affordable Housing

While senior living options continue to expand and improve, older adults with limited resources often find themselves without affordable alternatives. For decades, Rona Barrett made a name for herself covering celebrity news – and plenty of gossip – for a myriad of publications and television networks. What began as a prescient vision of the future of celebrity marketing soon grew into a syndicated column, a highly celebrated memoir, and a stint on Good Morning America. But Barrett abandoned the gossip mill long ago, and has recently set her sights on helping provide affordable housing for senior citizens. Barrett admits to in an interview with Buzzfeed that her time in the spotlight took its toll. After years of dodging misogyny, anti-Semitism, and simple lack of vision, Barrett ditched the press corps and headed to the Santa Ynez Valley. “The day I left Hollywood, I canceled all my subscriptions: Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Ad Age, everything to do with the entertainment industry. I left it all behind. I came up over the pass here to the Santa Ynez Valley, and I thought, Oh my god, this is exactly where I want to be.” These days, Barrett spends her time and (formidable) energy advocating for The Golden Inn & Village, a “first-of-its-kind” mixed-use development comprised of low-income housing for seniors and local families. The Golden Inn and Village includes 150 affordable units, 60 of which are earmarked for low-income seniors and 60 assigned to memory care and assisted living. An additional 27 rental apartments will be made available to employees and their families. Funded primarily through Barrett’s foundation, the project also received $23 million in tax credits, which will help with a portion of the projects equity funding. Barrett herself has helped raise more than $4.2 million for the project through her...

Brexit Bonus Jul08

Brexit Bonus

While international markets reel in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, U.S. REITs and senior housing providers are well poised to not only survive, but thrive. It will be months before the international markets begin to feel the effects of the Brexit vote, and probably years before any real assessments can be made on the economic and political impacts of Britain’s decision to exit the European Union. With uncertainty and fear looming, Senior Housing News (SHN) presents a mostly reassuring profile explaining how the U.S. senior housing market can weather the storm. The bottom line: U.S. senior living providers will not only survive, but perhaps even thrive thanks to a mix of strong portfolios, stable property values, and domestic insularity. Evolving Circumstances There’s plenty to worry about in terms of Britain’s separation from the E.U. Many predicted complete economic Armageddon and while the U.S. stock market did experience a round of sell-offs and tanking stock values, overall international markets seem to be holding steady. Additionally, some REITS with senior housing in their portfolio actually performed quite well, with both Ventas and HCP ending the day on an upswing. Although a weakened British pound may introduce another layer of caution, slower expansion does not necessarily translate to catastrophe. In fact, many U.S. REITS may capitalize on the opportunity presented by a more favorable exchange rate by increasing property acquisitions in the U.K. “[Brexit] will give them more of the field to themselves because the levered investors are going to find debt financing somewhat difficult in the next couple of quarters,”  Keith Harris, London-based executive director for specialist markets at CBRE Limited, tells SHN. “…I think the international investor who can take a long view on currency hedging is going to be fine. If anything, the...

The Shelter Group Jun27

The Shelter Group

For the Shelter Group’s LaTonya Lawson-Jones, Yardi’s suite of products provides enhanced operational efficiency and a personalized customer experience. “Time is money.” It’s an old saying, but for LaTonya Lawson-Jones, effective time management is key to a robust bottom line. As Business Systems Manager for the Shelter Group, LaTonya helps oversee a robust portfolio of 50 affordable housing properties, including 35 senior housing communities. LaTonya supervises a team tasked with tracking expenditures and providing support for a variety of electronic medication administration ad electronic health records applications. Multiple Tasks, One Solution With a roster of multifamily and senior living communities valued at $2 billion, the Shelter Group’s affordable and senior living properties cover a vast swath of the eastern seaboard, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. In order to coordinate its multi-state operations, the Shelter Group relies on a whole host of Yardi products. “On the affordable side we use Yardi for our entire workload, from the prospect to resident screening to move in,” explains LaTonya. “On the senior housing side, we also use Yardi for marketing and in the business office for billing, managing services, and for all of our reporting needs.” With Yardi Voyager Affordable Housing doing a majority of the heavy lifting, LaTonya is eager to incorporate CRM, EHR, and EMR. “We are looking forward to using these products,” admits LaTonya. “We are working towards getting all of our employees on eLearning, and I found out that will be out soon, so I’m excited. We really can’t wait for the implementation to start.” No More Paperwork Most business managers agree the invoice process can be time-consuming and fraught with error. Submittals and approvals create lag, and hours are wasted tracking expenses and waiting for the right signature. Three...

Ventas’ Vision Nov03

Ventas’ Vision

In the trillion-dollar healthcare real estate market, success is often measured by continued revenue growth and steady asset appreciation, but Ventas is taking a more holistic approach. Ventas Inc., an S&P 500 company, is considered one of the nation’s leading real estate health-care investment trusts (REIT). With a market value of $18 billion, the company’s property portfolio includes everything from acute care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to senior housing communities. In 2014, the company decided to initiate a series of building improvements designed to reduce energy use and water consumption while also managing and lowering utility costs. The retrofit projects may have been conceived with an eye on the bottom line, but saving money was not the only goal. As  Brian Fry, director of asset management at Ventas, recently explained to Senior Housing News, the company looks at this commitment to increased building efficiency “through a bit of a different lens than just dollars and cents.” According to Fry, who heads up Ventas sustainability projects, the ultimate objective is “improving building quality and promoting healthier living and care environment.” Saving Energy, Water and Cash Last year, the company committed $3.8 million for building rehabilitation and structural improvements at several of its senior housing communities. So far, the company has focused on properties in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The improvements have included replacement of lighting and electrical fixtures, along with upgrades to plumbing and other improvements. The upgraded facilities have already experienced a reduction in energy and water consumption, and the utility costs have decreased as well. But even more importantly for this publicly traded company beholden to stockholder expectations, the ROI on these sustainability projects has been exceptional. In fact, Fry predicts company’s 2014 sustainability projects will provide payback in less...

RENTCafé Senior Living Oct07

RENTCafé Senior Living...

Yardi recently released RENTCafé® Senior Living™, the latest addition to the Yardi Senior Living Suite™. This much anticipated tool makes it easier than ever for senior care providers to promote transparency and engagement with seniors and their responsible parties. Imagine one fully integrated site that allows your clients to monitor the care experience and communicate with care providers. Now imagine that the same portal allows residents to make payments and track maintenance requests. With these features combined, you’ve only brushed the tip of iceberg. RENTCafé Senior Living is capable of so much more. RENTCafé Senior Living fuels customer satisfaction by combining access and convenience. From a desktop or mobile device, residents and their loved ones can take an active role in the care experience. Lengthy wait times on the phone and restricted office hours no long impeded access. With RENTCafé Senior Living, users have resources at their fingertips. At any time, authorized users have access to resident health records, prescriptions, activities calendars and participation logs. Residents’ loved ones can rest assured that their senior is cared for and enjoying the amenities that the community has to offer. One of the most popular features of RENTCafé Senior Living is the convenient online bill pay tool. Authorized users can access current and past statements. They then have the choice to make a single or reoccurring payment. Withdrawal options include ACH, credit card and debit card accounts. If there is ever a question, users can contact the care provider directly. Problems are reported and tracked in real time. Both users and care providers stay up-to-date on the most recent developments. Another popular feature is the maintenance request option.  Web savvy residents or visitors can report problems and track follow-up efforts from their smartphones. Service requests initiated through...

Repurpose + Revitalize Sep21

Repurpose + Revitalize...

The concept of home comes in many shapes and forms. For the senior residents of South Hills in Pittsburg, home arrived in the shape of a high school. A school was probably one of the last places that seniors thought they would spend their golden years, yet Yardi client Congregate Management Services and its development arm a.m. Rodriguez Associates saw an unparalleled opportunity in the vacant property. Account Manager Terri Zaegel recalls the conceptualization of the senior housing community. “The City actually came to Anthony Rodriguez and said, ‘We have this huge, beautiful building. We don’t want it torn down. We don’t want that space just vacant. Can you help us out?’ He developed it into housing for seniors.” Rodriguez, founder and chairman at Congregate Management Services, has gained a reputation throughout the region for his ability to transform vacant commercial and industrial properties into beautiful multifamily housing. His gift is helping small cities and towns breathe new life into some of their most challenging neighborhoods. The repurposing projects prevent economy-crippling urban decay. According to the Pittsburg Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), a study in nearby Philadelphia reveals that houses within 150 feet of a vacant or abandoned property experienced an average net loss of $7,627 in value. Governments lose significant tax revenue on vacant properties as well, sometimes averaging as much as 83 percent of the owed balance. There is a strong correlation between vacant properties, an uptick in the cost of municipal services, and an increased crime rate. The PCRG report states that “41 percent of abandoned buildings could be entered without use of force; of these open buildings, 83 percent showed evidence of illegal use by prostitutes, drug dealers, property criminals, and others.” Arson and vandalism are among other crimes that plague neighborhoods with...

Oakmont Senior Living Jul08

Oakmont Senior Living...

Many couples would deem themselves successes to have raised five children. Bill and Cindy Gallaher not only did that, but also founded and built senior community developer/builder Oakmont Senior Living in Santa Rosa, Calif. For good measure, they also founded an international adoption agency. Married for more than 41 years, the Gallahers brought two daughters into the world and adopted three other children. Along the way, they’ve built more than 40 senior communities, including assisted living, independent living and continuing care retirement communities. But they have no intention of resting on their laurels. Currently under construction on four sites, they expect to begin construction on as many as a half dozen additional locations this year. Last year, Oakmont Senior Living captured the 2014 MultiHousing News Excellence Award, Best New Development: 55+ for its Fountain Grove Lodge in Santa Rosa, Calif. The development is the nation’s first independent senior community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, with the option of continuing care services. The prospect of working with a partner didn’t appeal to the Gallahers, but the idea of building for the LGBT community did because they felt it would fill an important social need. The initial project undertaken in 1978 by Bill and Cindy Gallaher was a small spec house in Davis, Calif. Cindy’s contribution was choosing the finish material, and helping with some construction tasks. Bill handled the rest of the project himself, from drawing the plans to the finish work, Cindy recalls. “From that small beginning to the current day, we have worked as a team in all our development and construction projects,” she said. “I believe our success, both as a couple and as partners in business, has been rooted in a division of labor, and in the deep respect...

Miller-Valentine Group May22

Miller-Valentine Group...

As the nation’s apartment industry revels in Gen Y’s affinity for apartment living, developing high-density, high-amenity projects in urban centers across America, there is another force shaping the industry: aging Boomers. In 15 years one in five Americans will be 65 and older and the 50-plus generation will swell by 23 million individuals, reaching 132 million, data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University shows. This high-velocity growth is already spurring concern within the industry in regards to providing adequate housing to the nation silver-haired demographic. One company that has its eye on the future and is planning to meet the needs of aging Boomers is Miller-Valentine Group (MVG). Founded in 1963, Miller-Valentine has been developing, building and managing multifamily housing for over 30 years. The company’s portfolio includes both luxury and affordable housing, as well as senior and military housing. With a presence in 17 states, MVG is the 24th largest owner of affordable real estate in the country and has developed in excess of 13,000 units. While the company continues the deliver non-specialized apartment housing too, shifting American demographics are evident in the company’s development pipeline. Of the seven apartment communities that will open through summer 2015 three are designed for adults 55 and older and one is targeting residents 62 and over. Miller-Valentine’s independent living communities are designed to meet the needs and desires of adults over the age of 55. MVG collaborates wit h federal and state housing assistance programs to deliver quality housing for aging adults at a moderate price. To accommodate the active lives of its residents, MVG offers home maintenance-free independent living, with amenities such as community rooms, walking paths and community events, ensuring social, educational and recreational opportunities. One such community is Ashley...

Yardi Senior CRM Feb24

Yardi Senior CRM

Yardi announced today the release of its new Yardi Senior CRM product, an advanced customer relationship management solution built into the Yardi Voyager® Senior Housing platform and integrated with all the Yardi Senior Living Suite™ products. “We matched the capabilities of a traditional CRM system with the workflows unique to senior living, and we did so within a complete business solution built on the latest mobile and Web-based technology available,” said Eric Kolber, vice president of senior living for Yardi “Yardi Senior CRM delivers powerful metrics to calculate return on marketing investment, enables insightful sales pipeline projections using real-time data, and facilitates accurate pricing proposals for prospective residents based on assessed healthcare recommendations,” explained Kolber. Data generated through Yardi Senior CRM flows freely throughout the Yardi Senior Living Suite. “The complete integration of our ERP, CRM, and EHR solutions streamlines workflows and improves data integrity. For example, when a prospect hits a certain point in the sales cycle, Senior CRM notifies nurses that a needs evaluation is required, and their resulting recommendations automatically flow through to subsequent pricing proposals. Information is easily shared between sales and clinical staff, and all relevant data carries forward to billing functions and accounting personnel. No interfaces are required, and no redundant data entry is needed. Staff are kept informed and alerted to actionable items in real time,” said Kolber. Yardi Senior CRM is a browser-based solution accessible from any desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. “Senior CRM gives leasing agents mobile access to all of the tools they need to easily and effectively work with prospects and convert leads into sales,” added Kolber. Yardi Senior CRM is a component of the Yardi Senior Living Suite which includes Yardi Voyager Senior Housing for managing occupancy, accounting, and property management,...

CrowdStreet & Mainstreet Nov14

CrowdStreet & Mainstreet...

Earlier this year, an overhaul to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS) opened to the doors to new sources of startup capital. Several changes are still under evaluation yet Section II, which dictates the guidelines for advertising, now allows firms to use ads to garner support from accredited investors. As a result, several commercial projects have successfully raised the funds needed to get off of the ground—some raising as much as $30 million. Leading senior housing developer, Mainstreet, successfully used crowdsourcing to jump start its Bloomington, Indiana senior rehabilitation facility. In addition to its traditional marketing strategy, Mainstreet took advantage of the new guidelines by creating television and internet ads to garner support. The firm also partnered with CrowdStreet to get the word out about the project. CrowdStreet is a virtual marketplace where accredited investors can shop for opportunities; users find detailed information on upcoming projects and can participate with an e-signature and a predetermined minimum contribution. Within four weeks, the duo had raised $1.6 million. “By providing access to a larger pool of accredited investors and streamlining the fundraising effort, CrowdStreet helped Mainstreet raise a large amount of capital in a very short period of time without diverting focus from their business,” said CrowdStreet Co-founder Darren Powderly. “The CrowdStreet marketplace is designed to simplify transactions between U.S. accredited investors and real estate operators like Mainstreet. This Bloomington campaign produced a tremendous result and we look forward to generating more interest and capital for Mainstreet in future projects.” To some extent, CrowdStreet was an easy sell. Mainstreet’s proposal seems promising enough; the demand for senior care and housing facilities continues to rise. While there are several novice developers trying to clamber onto the senior bandwagon, established names like Mainstreet offer investors the security...

Aging in Place Oct29

Aging in Place

In the traditional American Dream, renting was a transitional phase before upgrading to home ownership. That trend has all but vanished as mature adults rediscover the joys of renting. Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University estimates that 2.2 million additional Baby Boomers will enter the rental market within the next decade, soon accounting for more than half of renter household growth. As more seniors turn to renting, many multifamily communities are exploring aging in place features that can appeal to seniors as well as younger generations. The National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want report has identified key accessibility features that residents crave: Master suite on main No one wants to haul themselves up and down stairs for a shower, especially not as they get older. Aging in pace rentals require a full bath on the main, ideally with a separate restroom for guests. While this is easy for most apartments, condo and townhome owners may face hurdles when marketing to seniors. Wide passageways Doorways that are at least 3’ wide and hallways that are at least 4’ wide make it easy for maturing adults to maneuver, especially if assisted by a wheelchair. Barrier-free entryways Seniors avoid rentals with stairs anywhere between the parking area and the unit’s entrance, preferring communities that provide ramps and elevator access. Consistent flooring is also a coveted factor. Seams between different surfaces, such as carpet and hardwoods, could cause residents to stumble. Accessibility features Small touches make any house a home. For adults who plan to age in place, a home that is customized with accessibility features makes daily tasks less daunting.  Low cabinets and countertops, support structures in bathrooms, and walk-in showers aid users who may have limited mobility. Lighting As our vision declines, traditional...

Senior Housing Oct23

Senior Housing

Real estate professionals ranging from multifamily developers to REITs are launching themselves into the senior housing market, hoping to cash in on the next frontier for Baby Boomers. While most analysts agree that the industry isn’t in immediate risk of inflating another bubble, the looming threat lies in the lack of housing diversity. Reports from the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry state that occupancy is at 89.9 percent and rising, and that annual asking rent growth has increased by 2 percent. Newly constructed or remodeled market-rate housing for younger seniors will experience the greatest growth at 3.1 percent each year, predicts Green Street Advisors. Yet many of the newer facilities are out of the price point of Baby Boomers who are woefully underprepared for retirement. Herein lays the potential bubble. The industry is at risk of flooding the market with high-end communities. An unstable affordable housing market and limited middle-income options leave the demand of many consumers unmet. The writing is already on the wall: frequent budget cuts plague affordable housing programs. Middle-income seniors and those who do not qualify for subsidized housing face a lack of product options. A report from Hart Research Associates suggests that 64 percent of seniors (64%) believe it will be challenging to find quality housing that meets their physical needs as they age. 61 percent of seniors find it challenging to secure housing that is affordable. Diversifying the new construction and renovation efforts would solve two dilemmas at once, avoiding a senior housing bubble and meeting the demand of a notable demographic of consumers. “There is a bigger opportunity in the senior living industry and a need for a middle-price point product,” says James Gray, president and founder of Bridgewood Property Group. Such projects can be...