The Urban Alternative presents itself as a creative development concept for the urban senior; herein called the Metro Senior. Previous blogs discussed the characteristics of this new consumer as well as the efficiencies created by an Urban Alternative (UA) model. Should every organization consider this new product? Probably not. Instead, let’s explore the key indicators that suggest the type of organization that could find success in this endeavor.
The sponsoring community or “Mothership” must be healthy, from a financial, organizational and management standpoint. All major financial indicators such as the debt service coverage ratio, days cash on hand and other covenant measurements should establish a strong credit reputation. As important as financials are the quality of leadership, both from a management and board level.
STRONG WAIT LIST
New development should not have a negative impact on your existing community. The current wait list for the independent living accommodations should be significant and productive. Productive means that when there is an occupancy opening, a prospect high on the wait list is generally ready and willing to move. The deeper and more productive the wait list, the better. Some of these people will become your Urban Alternative ambassadors spreading the word to friends and neighbors. A few on your current wait list will choose to move to the Urban Alternative Community, but the majority are different in their desire and preferences.
To be successful in creating an Urban Alternative Community, the downtown must be vital and engaging. No one will wish to move to a tired or deteriorating urban area. Vital areas provide numerous eateries, churches, libraries/museums, and opportunities for entertainment.
TRAIL BLAZING ATTITUDE
Lastly, your organization must have an entrepreneurial spirit. Have you always looked for ways to improve your organization and extend your reach? Does your organization pride itself for being a leader, being a trail blazer? Does your organization’s leadership, again both management and board, have the willingness and spirit to be first?
Hopefully, quite a few of our blog readers will see themselves in the criteria above. Stay tuned for the RD Blog next week to discover the first steps to exploring development of an Urban Alternative Community.
Read our Related Blog Entries
Introductory blog to the urban senior: Preparing for a New Consumer.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.