The rapid growth of the older population is a bright spot for growth in senior living. But will quality keep pace with this demographic growth? “The workforce is the key to the future,” said Fee Stubblefield, founder and CEO at The Springs Living. Based in McMinnville, Oregon, the company owns and operates 18 senior living communities in the Northwest. Two new developments are underway. “Solving the workforce challenge is the number one issue impacting the quality of senior housing,” he added.
Ever heard of senior housing tourists? No, they’re not busloads of elderly travelers crisscrossing the country to visit assisted living communities. They’re not mature sightseers either, snapping photos of the latest amenity spaces. Instead, senior housing tourists are how Kai Hsiao describes newbie investors, developers, and operators in the senior housing industry, many of whom have failed to appreciate the healthcare aspects of the business.
The pandemic has not only affected operators and their ability to care for their residents but has also required equity and debt partners to revisit how they look at revenues, expenses and returns. In the latest NIC Leadership Huddle event, hundreds of senior housing and care leaders gathered virtually to hear from industry capital providers. The discussion focused on questions such as: Have capital providers altered their views on underwriting metrics, LTVs, recourse, and rates? Have relief funds provided through governmental programs exasperated or helped expense models? And how will COVID impact the structuring of capital on a go-forward basis?
As the pandemic eases, seniors housing and care operators are looking ahead. What lessons have been learned over the last 15 months to bolster consumer confidence? What strategies will boost occupancy?