Seniors Housing Business

ASHA 2018

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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sumer outreach efforts. I will also continue to be an advocate for research and educa- tion. In my company, we are always listening, learning and looking at the long view. We're trying to get a better understanding of what the consumer is looking for. We're try- ing to develop a sense of how he or she wants to live, how we can be a catalyst for a better life and how we can best anticipate the needs of the consumer today and tomorrow. ASHA also has a variety of ongoing educational and research initiatives. The association continues to invest significantly in research that is focused on helping our pro- fession gain a better understanding of our consumer. There are all sorts of things that we're learning that will ultimately help our members provide living opportunities that allow people to thrive. What do you see as the most pressing issue(s) facing both operators and owners today? Grust: We are dealing with the fastest-growing segment of the pop- ulation. We haven't quite gotten to the baby boomers yet (the oldest are 72 years of age), but you are seeing a tremendous amount of new devel- opment coming on line. The critical element going forward is increasing the awareness that this is a great industry to work in. Our Achilles' heel as an industry is finding people who we can not only hire, but also inspire, set up for success and retain to serve the senior population. Let's face it: most of these com- munities need hundreds of people to serve this population. If you are doing it right, the staffing ratios are fairly intense. We touch the lives of a lot of people, and we need to find employees who are as passionate about and committed to serving this segment of the population as we are. While we're heightening the awareness to the consumer that this is a great place to live, we also need to emphasize to the workforce that this is a great place to work. Every- body is trying to figure out what the right formula is for hiring and retaining workers. But we're finding that inspiring people, training people and helping them realize that they can impact lives positively no matter what part of the commu- nity they are working in is just as important as hiring. There is a rewarding aspect to working in senior living. It's not just about delivering on a promise to your financial partners. When you pull back the cover, this is an indus- try where you can impact people's lives positively. Is ASHA the vehicle to deliver the message that the industry can be a great place in which to work? Grust: While ASHA can certainly continue to educate operators and be a thought leader for who its custom- ers are, each company needs to fig- ure out how to create a culture that makes it a compelling place to work and thrive. The unemployment rate is extraordinarily low (hovering near 4 percent nationally). Meanwhile, there has been a surge of develop- ment all over the country. Everybody is anticipating this age wave that is really about five years away. I want everybody to be success- ful. I truly want this industry to be identified as one where someone can trust that the decision to move into a senior living community — a decision often made by either the adult daughter or the senior — is going to be a catalyst for quality of life at this particular stage. So just like in any business, it's a question of how you compel people to select you. It's a word-of-mouth business too. You can do all the advertising in the world, but it still seems to be a very local business. Word-of-mouth VALUATION & ADVISORY SERVICES | The best real estate investment decision-making comes from actionable insights and accurate information. With a team focused solely on seniors housing leveraging the industry's most powerful valuation platform, CBRE helps clients make the right investment decisions. How can we help you transform your real estate into real advantage? SENIORS HOUSING ADVANTAGE. AS H A 50 2018 2018 ASHA 50 71

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