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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52 www.seniorshousingbusiness.com Seniors Housing Business n February-March 2018 ties. We've gone as low as 5 per- cent on an acquisition. We're always the operator, though. We like to have some skin in the game, though we occasionally do a deal where we're purely the man- ager. We have buildings where we own 50 percent, all the way down to management deals where we own 0 percent. SHB: So you're okay taking on the extra risk of ownership? Schiffer: Most of the investors want us to have skin in the game. That puts us side-by-side, all growing together. It's also about money for us. We are a for-profit, and more money is made on the real estate side of things when you monetize down the road than with a 5 percent management fee. SHB: How fast are you growing, and what's your growth strategy? Schiffer: We took on five proper- ties last year, between acquisitions and management agreements. That was a lot for us to bite off. We don't necessarily need to slow down, but we recognize that part of what makes Allegro suc- cessful is being hands-on and rec- ognizing what's going on with our residents. I want to make sure we don't just keep growing and forget to take our time. Our growth will be sustained. I'd love to see us at 25 properties in the next year or so. I'd be fine with us growing only with what we can build, which is a couple properties a year. My goal for 2017 was to hit 15 properties and we're at 17 now. I wanted to build out a corporate structure that made sense, where I could hire great people. We're at a size where we can breathe eas- ily and have the right properties in the portfolio without feeling like we need to add something just for the management fees. We restructured the company about two years ago so that I could have a greater understanding of what was going on at each prop- erty. The only person between each executive director and me is the director of operations. We're a pretty flat organization in that way, as opposed to having a lot of regional directors. I was starting to feel I didn't know what was going on at every property all the time. That gets unwieldy if you get too many properties. It's a family business, and I want all the associates to feel like part of the family. That's a really impor- tant part to our success. We're not just a corporate structure. We're people who care about people. SHB: What makes a property uniquely Allegro? Schiffer: There are two answers. The first is the physical struc- ture when it's built by Allegro — there's that "wow" factor when you walk in. We work hard for our new construction to have that bou- tique hotel feel. Even more importantly is that "hello" you get right upfront at the reception desk. You're here, we welcome you. It's that culture that oozes forward regardless of what building you walk into. As we have grown, our prop- erties do not all look the same. It's not like walking into the fast food joint with the counter on the right. But it is our culture that will continue to make our properties unique. How do we make people excited and inspired? Our tagline is "inspired senior living." That means getting up in the morning and having whatever your idea of a good time is. When you first walk in the door of an Allegro community, we have a list of values. The last one is the most important one: that we find joy in life. There's no reason to do any of this if you don't wake up and say, "Let's have a great day!" Finding labor solutions SHB: What do you believe is the biggest challenge currently facing the seniors housing industry? Schiffer: Those exact people I was just talking about, the employees. With so many properties now being built, there is a real issue of getting good people and having them stick around. That's why it's so important to do what's right for them, to train them. It's not just pay. That's a major component, but people don't stay just because they want to be paid more. It is a struggle. We are struggling to get good, qualified folks who have the right desire and the right attitude. The real issue is what's happening with personnel, paying them properly, keeping them inter- ested in the job. We can teach them all sorts of skills, but you can't teach desire and culture. They Build something great. And enjoy the journey. We orchestrate the people and processes of your construction project, making it easy for you to bring your vision to life. meyer-najem.com The atrium of Allegro's community in Stuart, Fla., features a grand staircase showcasing the multiple levels of the community. The property offers 195 units of independent living, assisted living and memory care.

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