In the last couple of weeks just about every senior living media site has published a story on the latest data release from NIC except Senior Housing Forum. I have spent a lot of time thinking . . .
By Steve Moran
In the last couple of weeks just about every senior living media site has published a story on the latest data release from National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) except Senior Housing Forum. I have spent a lot of time thinking . . .
I should write something since everyone else is
My friends at NIC probably think I am a jerk for not writing about this
I am not surprised by the numbers and I don’t think anyone else is either
HOW CAN I WRITE SOMETHING THAT IS HELPFUL?
This data is really important to have because it helps us understand the state of the industry. Without the data we would be lost. I would also note, there is this curious phenomena of decreasing occupancy and increasing rates. It worries me a lot. I don’t believe it can continue and when it breaks it will be a time of great concern.
The problem is that it can be easy to look at your organization’s occupancy numbers or an individual community occupancy number and if you are close to that national average be complacent in a horrible kind of way.
If you are at or just below, it becauses it’s easy to say . . . “Not my fault, nothing I can do to fix it, oh well.”
If you are just a bit above the number at say 91% it becomes easy to say . . . “look at me. I am way above the market . . . I am good.” When objectively 91% still leaves a lot of room for improvement.
These are opportunity numbers and not discouragement numbers; here is why:
In order for those numbers to be averages, it means there are communities that are well above the average number (and correspondingly companies well below); this means there are senior living communities and senior living organizations that are beating the averages and beating them big time.
On occasion it may be because they are in a “lucky market” where occupancy is still high, but mostly they are doing it because they have created a secret sauce (which is usually not all that secret) and executing well on it. That means you can too.
Given the growing senior population, our averages should be higher. But today we have this huge problem of folks seeing senior living as a place they go to decline and die. What if we actually told the story of seniors moving into senior living communities, becoming more active, more alive and living longer and healthier. We would not have enough capacity instead of excess capacity.
It seems clear we need a broader product mix. We have seen a tiny bit of this with religious communities, ethnic communities, same sex communities, but it may be that we need more.
How are you taking these numbers and using them to inspire your organization?