The first of two sets of reflections on NIC 2013. Essentially all positive, and yet at the same time, some varied perspectives.

Some of my writing this week and over the next few weeks will either be directly related to National Investment Center (NIC) or will reflect topics that were discussed at NIC.  It will seem like overkill to many of you who didn’t and don’t attend  (and maybe to some who did).  

At the risk of telling secrets I would even tell you that on the days that I publish a NIC story, I can see a noticeable decrease in web traffic so it always give me pause. In spite of that, I will continue to publish these stories, because I believe NIC is the most important senior living conference that takes place.  

What happens at NIC makes it possible for new senior communities to be built (or in some cases not be built) and the refinancing that takes place as the result of NIC, frees up capital to finance even more communities. I reached out around number of people who attended NIC this year and asked if they would be willing to provide their reflections on the conference in a sentence or two or in a couple of paragraphs.  I got some of both.  

Some names you will recognize and some you won’t.  Some companies you will recognize and others you won’t.  Some are really big and some are pretty small.  If I received a comment I am publishing it. I want to express my profound gratitude to each of you who took the time to send me a comment.  If you were there and have something to add, feel free to use the comment space below the article.  

This article has about half of the comments I received, the rest will be published early next week.

NIC Reflections

“At this year’s NIC there was a lot of energy and enthusiasm from both operators and the capital investors with respect to where the industry is headed over the next few years.  There is a realization that an increased focus on resident-centered care delivery models (that direct more care in lower cost settings) will drive significant shifts in market dynamics.” Granger Cobb, Emeritus Senior Living

“It was my first NIC and I found it very informative.  I really liked the General Sessions and some of the break out sessions.  I enjoyed the networking as well and could not believe the number of attendees all in one place!  It was a great experience.” Julie Davis, VP Customer RelationsAmerican HealthTech

“As a first time attendee of the NIC, my over all experience was great. The biggest impression of the conference is that it is not a “trade show” but a networking opportunity that is geared specifically to the Senior Housing Industry. This all allows for a very effective and efficient forum to actually get business done. I would highly recommend the NIC Conference to anyone in the Senior Housing business.” Charles McDonaldBrookwood Management Company

“Health Care REIT was proud to be a premier sponsor of the conference.  We saw a number of attractive investment opportunities and we are actively looking for new operating partners. We look forward to supporting the continued growth and success of the industry” Chuck Herman –  Healthcare REIT 

“There seems to be a resurgence in investment capital and deals”. Adam BentonStellar Senior Living

“I’ve been going to NIC for 17 years now with my colleagues at Juniper Communities and I always enjoy the conference, but not for the typical reasons I suspect.  The typical reasons involve the chance to network with new lenders and the opportunity to find new deals, and the conference is certainly great for those things.”

“But for a midsize, below-the-radar-screen company like Juniper, the conference is a great way to catch up with old friends and relationships we have built over the years.  It’s also a good way to bond with my colleagues at Juniper – it gets us out of the office and gives us the chance to yuck it up together.  I guess we should be more focused on short-term deal production when we’re at NIC, but I’d like to think that longer term relationships with people you really enjoy, pays dividends over time.  Maybe those dividends just come in the form of a few laughs or some good stories, but that’s worth a lot and it’s good for the soul.” Chuck Hastings – Juniper Communities

“Seniors housing continues to evolve as an institutional investment class, with increasing amounts of data and transparency.  NIC MAP data has shown that the asset type is recession-resilient, having weathered the economic recession with slow, but no period of negative rent growth.  This compares favorably with other commercial real estate asset types.  Moreover, NCREIF data shows that institutionally-owned seniors housing has outperformed other asset types in terms of total returns and income returns.” Beth Burnham Mace, Director – AEW Research|AEW Capital Management, L.P.

“The NIC conference was full of great energy with so many more attendees. The breakout sessions were insightful and provided lots of useful information. Great conference. Thanks.” Paul Bradford, Director of Construction & Real Estate A New Perspective Senior Living Affiliate

“It is the most expensive industry event I have ever attended, but it was worth it. Everyone in the industry was there; the sessions were instructive and the networking was intense and invaluable.” Jim Kornick, Principal – Avison Young

“I work primarily in the FHA space and so my focus was seeing where and how FHA can stay integral to the seniors housing industry.  I heard tremendous enthusiasm for the growth of the industry.  FHA played a major role in helping our seniors industry restructure its debt load over the past few years, and now we need to work with FHA to help the senior industry satisfy its growth needs.”

“My biggest take away from the NIC is that FHA’s Section 232 construction program is needed now more than ever.  Not only to satiate the needs of a rapidly growing seniors population, but to continue our countries’ economic recovery.  We grow to succeed in this country, and in the seniors housing industry, FHA can and should play a major role in facilitating that growth.”

“With regard to the recent efforts to link defunding of Obamacare to the Federal budget and debt ceiling led by Sen. Ted Cruz, I just wonder if it is normal to vote in favor of the bill you filibuster against.  To me, that’s not a sign of being able to develop a winning strategy.” Rod Owens, Esq. – Krooth & Altman