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Another alternative for customers is build to rent – a new challenge to retirement villages

In Europe and America the concept of really long-term rental leases is common.

Very simply, a renter can rent their apartment home for, say, 50 years in the lease.

Unlike Australia, where most leases are a maximum of three years, with the 50-year lease you can settle down knowing that your apartment is your home for as long as you want it to be.
 

Build to rent in Australia

Over the past 24 months, there has been a significant jump in the developers and financiers committing to the build-to-rent model here in Australia.

They are all medium to high-rise apartment developments in key city or suburban locations, next to shops, medical services and transport.

Same but different to retirement villages

The appeal for ageing Australians is they can sell the family home and keep all the cash as a lump sum, which they draw down slowly, paying the monthly rent.

They get a new home in a vibrant community. In most cases the developer commits to provide a building manager – who acts like a concierge. Sounds like a retirement village.

However, it is different because the residents don’t have all the protections provided by the Retirement Villages Act, which has very real benefits.

But there is no escaping that build-to-rent adds choice, and the number of homes coming to the market is big.

Last week, Macquarie Bank announced it was creating a new division called Local. Over the next five years, it intends to build 15 to 20 build-to-rent buildings with more than 4000 rental units – and these are just some of many coming to the market.

Your skills in demand

We are already seeing build-to-rent developers looking for community managers. Your skills will be in high demand. Watch this space.

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Future of retirement living with care – ‘Never Move Again’ 9 penthouses size 437 m²/ $5 million

Sydney has briefly held the record for the most expensive retirement village home, at $4.7 million in beachside Cronulla – the vertical village Sage By Moran.

But this record will be short lived, thanks to the in-construction 2×19-storey village Odyssey Chevron, on Chevron Island just behind Surfers Paradise.

This is an extraordinary development, and gives village managers an insight into where careers can take you.

Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities has been created by veteran village operator Phil Usher, who in 2002 created Tall Trees, among the very first private aged care operations working under the Retirement Villages Act.

His concept is simple: Odyssey will provide care into your village home right up to palliative care stage. And it is popular.

Phil’s first new development is Odyssey Robina Stage 1. A medium rise village, it sold out, and work has begun on Stage 2 with a record of five to seven apartments being sold each month. 

https://issuu.com/the_weekly_source/docs/private_aged_care_goes_big_2

Odyssey Chevron takes Phil’s vision to a completely new level.It’s afive-star hotel-style development including specialist disability accommodation, and has a section for allied health clinics. The top three floors will house nine penthouses at 437sqm each with panoramic views over the Gold Coast, and are anticipated to sell up to $5million. 

Most importantly, though, there will be a dementia level, where couples can live together as long as they possibly can by creating a secure area on the same level.

https://www.odysseycommunities.com.au/news/odyssey-on-the-today-show/

We recently came across this video of the residents enjoying a staycation through COVID lockdowns, which we thought you may like.

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Rental Villages on the Rise: Eureka – A Case Study

Last week, in our sister publication- SATURDAY, we covered the subject of Rental villages and how this sector is fast becoming an area to watch, with some interesting initiatives.

Cameron Taylor, Group Chief Operating Officer of Eureka Villages shares they are being driven by a new ‘Resident First’ approach across their 40 rental villages nationally – achieving 98% occupancy

https://www.eurekavillages.com.au/

They are focused on residents feeling safe, secure and engaged in a village that is now genuinely their home. He points out to do this, every decision they make has to come back to make the residents time in the village the best it can be.

The average time a resident stays in a rental village is now 3.3 years.

Results have spoken for themselves, with the business growing their underlying profit before tax by 31% to $7.36 million and a total revenue of $27.5 million.

Move to permanent employed Village Managers key

Central to the strategy has been a shift from a contractor Village Manager to an employee Village Manager.  Other key changes that have been implemented:

  • Village chefs have taken on a second in command role and maintenance staff have been brought in-house to act as support staff.
     
  • Village Managers can therefore look after the residents and the support staff look after the Village Manager

Kitchen Club Initiative

Another key initiative is the Kitchen Club – this is where their cooks and chefs have a platform to showcase meal ideas, menus and food presentation to raise the standards among each other.  It has become a real talking point and a brilliant outcome for the residents. 

https://thedcminstitute.com.au/industry-news

They have also found it to be a real art to find kitchen staff who enjoy being around older people.

Home Care

With the average tenure at their villages is currently 3.3 years and average age is 78 to 80.  Similar to Retirement Villages, they are finding if care isn’t offered, they are losing residents sooner to residential care options. 

Following a recent survey 59% of their residents are on care plans and it is definitely an area for them moving forward.

More rental villages is the future

With expansion plans in the immediate future, so are plans of re-designing the product – whilst still keeping building costs low.  Their current project in Wynnum, Brisbanefeatured in the picture above, has been designed with higher ceilings to 2.6m, natural lighting and full size kitchen and appliances.

To read the full story please click HERE.

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Are Community Apartment Projects (CAPS) the Villages of the future?

As reported in last week’s SOURCE we have created a new name to describe apartment developments that target Baby Boomers with a community support offering – CAPs, or Community Apartment Projects.

We are seeing increasingly more developers like Bolton Clarke, Platino and Frasers Property who have realised that providing ‘community’ plus concierge support is a winning value proposition to seniors who are 65-75 ‘young’. 

They look and act like retirement villages but for a younger market and outside the Retirement Village legislation.

As Village Professionals this is an important step for your future career growth to upskill in managing these multi million-dollar developments. 

In Brisbane we have Traders In Purple engaging the well-known community group Burnie Brae to deliver ‘community’ to their apartment development. The Full article is here

In Sydney a large proposed CAPs campus is being developed by Platino. They will providean onsite concierge, access to a full suite of home-care services, and the ability to change and/or increase the levels of care if necessary – all while staying in your own home which allows the resident to live independently. The full article is here

Baby Boomers are a different customer and new styles of villages are emerging. Your skills will be increasingly in demand – which is healthy!

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‘Mediate, before it escalates!’: specialised Seniors mediation service launches

Ever wondered if you could call in a mediation service to break the ice? Now you can.

As we recently reported in The SOURCE, three industry experts, with combined 50 years industry experience, have unveiled a new mediation service for Retirement Villages, Manufactured Home Parks and Aged Care Facilities. 

Senior Living Mediation (SLM) aims to provide practical, cost effective and efficient dispute resolution solutions for operators, park owners, residents and homeowners throughout the country. 

“At SLM we share a genuine belief in the benefit of community living and a desire to help create and maintain harmonious communities,” said Aileen Stewart, SLM’s codirector and founder. “Mediate, before it escalates! is the catch cry of SLM and it could not be more true”. 

“SLM has facilitated the resolution of several long-running disputes in Queensland and New South Wales, reaching a successful resolution in an under a day,” said Ms Stewart. 

SLM’s practical mediation solutions are in keeping with values and principles of the Retirement Living Code of Conduct and are conducive with the ‘facilitative mediation’ model. 

Pictured: Senior Living Mediation’s lawyer Danielle Lim, Complaints Specialist in Land Lease Communities Gillian Moore and former TriCare Operations Manager Aileen Stewart

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NZ operators take up DCM Institute village management professional development program

The New Zealand Retirement Villages Association has joint ventured with us to take our ongoing professional development program to New Zealand operators.​

DCM CEO Chris Baynes and I presented the joint initiative at the RVA National Conference in Auckland. Judy Martin and Jill Donaldson also flew across for the launch.

In New Zealand, operators have invested significantly in building trust within the community, together with Government and the peak resident’s association.

In January, the RVA and the Retirement Villages Residents Association of New Zealand (RVRANZ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), committing to closer collaboration and co-operation.

https://www.thedcminstitute.com.au/

The establishment of professional development for retirement village management has been a major objective of residents for some time. The RVA Education Committee identified that the DCM Institute program delivered the content, structure and proven participation, and it was a better solution to bring DCMI to New Zealand than attempt to build from scratch.

They identified that as little as 10% of the content requires “Kiwi-ising’.

You are most probably amongst the 350+ village executives now enrolled here in Australia.

It is with your participation and feedback that has allowed us to build DCMI into what it is today, and we must say it’s very rewarding to be recognised by our New Zealand friends who in many areas lead the world in retirement living operations and support of residents.

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Planning ahead – the number of home care providers is about to collapse

Here is something to put in the back of your mind. Our DCM group colleague Chris Baynes is giving a webinar presentation today for 200 IT executives in the aged care space about the reforms from the Royal Commission and the impact it will have on home care and residential care.

He is proposing that the number of home care providers will collapse over the next three years. Some commentators are saying that over 700 providers could be reduced to as few as 50.

https://www.thedcminstitute.com.au/

The implications for village operators is that the remaining big suppliers will be far more powerful in negotiating to what level they will support village operators in marketing home care as a given support service in a village.

From the chart above, you can see that the 16 largest home care providers have 47% of the Home Care Packages while the 562 small home care providers have just 15% of the Packages.

The Royal Commission reforms require operators to have significantly stronger back office IT and workforce training and oversight. The smaller operators are unlikely to have the cash to make these investments.

At the same time, the home care workforce is likely to be attracted to the higher wages and culture that big operators will be able to offer with the efficiencies and easy technology they will be introducing.

Chris’ advice: keep an eye on your local home care providers and build relationships with the operators that you feel most comfortable with the quality of service but also are most likely to survive.

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Property Council leading the way for retirement villages in SA

Last week, the Property Council Retirement Living Committee held their first face-to-face committee meeting since the beginning of the pandemic in South Australia. 

As part of their visit, Executive Director Ben Myers (pictured above right) and his team were entrenched in lobbying local politicians in relation to the current legislative review.

On Thursday, the RLC had the opportunity to make representations to the Greens at Parliament House.

That evening, a networking event was held allowing SA operators and the RLC to speak with the Shadow Minister of Health, Chris Picton, who highlighted the importance of the sector and a very balanced view on the role of retirement villages.

Leaving no stone unturned on Friday, Ben and the Property Council’s SA Executive Director, Daniel Gannon, held an intimate lunch with the presiding Minister of Health, Stephen Wade (pictured above left).

The lunch allowed both national and local operators the opportunity to discuss issues facing the sector, including:

  • the importance of choice for the consumer;
  • the impact the Royal Commission may have on retirement living; and
  • the important role that villages will and do play as part of the ageing journey for many South Australians.

Operators shared their commitment to achieving best practice – with 50% of villages now being signed to the Code of Conduct, many working towards Accreditation and I was afforded the opportunity to provide an update on the commitment to professional development and career paths for village professionals.

The Minister also heard about the important role that retirement villages played during the height of the pandemic at no cost to the Government and the intention to continue to provide both ‘user pays’ and federally funded home care services to residents when and if they require them.  

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Welcome to Year Three for the DCMI Village Management Professional Development Program

Thank you for supporting us!

What a huge achievement by the DCM Institute team to be moving into our third year with consistent and growing participation in the Village Management Professional Development program.

We are all very proud – and appreciative – especially with the significant impact of COVID on DCMI participants and the need to restructure the program to deliver workshop days online.

We had to ensure you continued to receive great value, professional development and new opportunities to feel connected to the wider industry.

Sally boosts participant support

Six months ago, we introduced a participant care service to our program to ensure that participants continue to be well supported.

Sally Middleton joined our team to fulfil this role and she has conducted over 250 individual participant check-ins to support our participants achieve their learning goals.

Sally has also onboarded or provided portal refresher sessions to over 140 participants, and supported over 20% of participants to find the information they are looking for either in our online portal or on industry-specific websites. 

Jacqui boosts sales and leadership

Whilst COVID put a temporary hold on the face-to-face workshop days, the DCMI team continued to innovate. We engaged Jacqui Perkins to lead Retirement Village specific Sales & Leadership interactive masterclasses. 

Jacqui brings fresh concepts – always important with sales. The feedback on these masterclass sessions has been great and we have seen a number of sales consultants join the program to access these masterclasses and the valuable information available on the online Knowledge Centre portal.  

Face to face networking is back

However, what we are most excited about is we are heading back to Face-to-Face activities! Village network meetings have already been held in SA, NSW, Vic and soon to be ACT, WA, QLD & TAS.

Even better, we return to Face-to-Face workshop days in June. 

The DCMI team will return to the capital cities to conduct these valuable Professional Development workshop days. We are so looking forward to getting back to these sessions and the added value of the shared learning we get to share together. 

Please join us; please invest in yourself

If you are interested in joining the VMPD program, please register here.

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Stockland confirms Four Corners is behind us: retirement village resale number best since 2017: 190 homes/3 months​

It would appear that the shadow of the June 2017 Four Corners retirement village exposé is finally behind us, with Stockland announcing they delivered 190 resales in the three months January to March.

This is 10% up on the same quarter last year and their best Quarter result since June 2017 when Four Corners did its damning and largely erroneous exposé on villages.

Stockland’s result is even better given they but made even better by the fact that this year it has four big villages less in its portfolio, having sold them to Derek McMillan’s Centennial Living in December last year.

Family home prices to surge

More good news for village sales, Stockland points out that COVID has driven 255,000 Australians to return home since March last year, driving demand for new housing, backed by stable, low interest rates.

See the consistency of new Stockland enquiries below.

Stockland further charts the decline in new builds in recent years and the lag that is coming in 2022 to 2025. Demand will be for 125,000 new homes a year while supply will be just 80,000 homes.

The pressure on existing family home prices will be great, generating faster sales to join a village.

The high level of demand for detached homes, represented by the light blue line in the chart above, while supply is the dark line and undersupply by units the dark bar.

Stockland land lease first month sales: 25 homes

At the same time, Stockland’s confidence in land lease communities is rewarded by achieving 25 home sales in one month in its first LLC development. See next story.