Seniors Housing Business

FEB-MAR 2018

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

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50 Seniors Housing Business n February-March 2018 By Jeff Shaw The essence of Allegro Senior Living could be summed up in two words: "family" and "history." Allegro was originally founded in 1875 as a mortgage banking company named after its then-owner, Edward K. Love Realty. After sev- eral generations of Love family members and various spin-off companies, Allegro is now a seniors housing owner-operator run by the father-son team of Laurence and Doug Schiffer. The two Schiffers — CEO and COO, respec- tively — oversee a portfolio of 17 properties totaling approximately 2,100 units. The proper- ties are largely located in Florida and Georgia, with current expansion plans underway in St. Louis and New Jersey. The company's specialty is private-pay senior living: independent liv- ing, assisted living and memory care. The company targets high-end residents and maintains strict brand control through a hori- zontal company layout — there's only one per- son between each executive director and the COO. Seniors Housing Business spoke with Doug Schiffer to discuss the company's long history, working with his father, and Allegro's steady growth into new areas. Seniors Housing Business: Tell us a bit about the founding of Allegro and how/when you became involved. Doug Schiffer: The company began back in 1875 as Edward K. Love Realty, a mortgage banking company bringing East Coast money to the Midwest. Fast forward to the mid-1970s. My father got involved with Andy Love, the great grandson of Edward K. My father and he got together and turned it into a real estate company as opposed to mortgage banking, developing all sorts of real estate types including the only type of senior living there was — some early nursing homes. In 1998, we got involved with Hallmark Senior Housing, about the same it seems like everybody started in seniors housing. With Hallmark, we built our first properties in St. Augustine and Tallahassee, Florida. The St. Augustine location was originally the only one called Allegro. Back then, properties weren't named for the company, but with a local flair. The guy run- ning the company at the time was concerned with getting us ahead of our competition — Anastasia Island Assisted Living — in the phone book. Allegro is a good word, meaning "lively," and it came before Anastasia in the phone book, so that's how we got Allegro. I joined the company in 2000. I was at our sister company, Love Funding, for 14 years, the last five of which I was only doing seniors housing. I moved laterally inside our sister companies to Hallmark. Around the mid-2000s, we decided to com- bine everything into one name. We had Love Management as the operator, each property had a separate name, and Hallmark Senior Housing was the owner. I really believe you think you work for the company that is your email address, so I needed to get everybody on the same page. We renamed everything Allegro. SHB: That's a long history with the Love family. Schiffer: Andy Love is still part of the com- pany as my father's partner. The Love name is part of who we are, though Love Funding is no longer part of the company. SHB: What's it like working with your father? Does anyone else in the family work there? Schiffer: Yes, there is another Schiffer in the family, my brother Peter. He basically does the same thing I do but for our hotel company, Love Hotel Company. He's in the same seat I am for seniors housing. Working with my father is great. At this point I'm really running the company. He's the CEO, I'm the COO. We're a nice yin and yang. He's a real estate guy; I'm an operations guy. Between the two of us, we have great buildings and great staff. SHB: Have you always been in the family business? Schiffer: Yeah, I came out of business school and immediately started at Love Funding in New York. I used to joke with my father that I wouldn't report to him directly until he was known as Doug's dad, instead of me being known as his son. It was hard for him not to remember that I was once a five-year-old. It took a long time, but we both worked hard to keep business at business and home at home. We achieved it, and now it doesn't matter because wherever we are we're talking both. We can do both all the time. Expanding Allegro's reach SHB: You're based in St. Louis, but the bulk of your portfolio is in Florida and Georgia. What's the strategy behind your geographic spread throughout the Southeast and Mid- Doug Schiffer, President and COO, Allegro Senior Living n The SHB Interview Company morphs from a mortgage banker to a top regional seniors housing operator over 150-year history. Schiffer, right, poses with Allegro's 2017 Associate of the Year.

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