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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stockland is expanding its participation in the Over 55s housing market with ambitions to open 10 land lease communities in the coming years.
As we reported HERE, ‘Thrive Nirimba’, located within its $5 billion Aura community near Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, only began construction in October last year, and commenced sales in late February. They achieved 25 sales in the first five weeks.
It will consist of 244 homes and community facilities built on its 2,400ha AURA greenfield development. The LLC homes in the first stage will be sold for around $460,000, about $100,000 less than surrounding homes.
Stockland has a pipeline of 3,000 LLC home sites across 10 projects nationally and speaks to more acquisitions.
At times we need to take a step back and think of the sector we work in and the impact it makes on our community.
Our sister publication The SOURCE has been publishing some interesting analysis lately on how many people retirement living actually touches, and also how many new customers we need to bring on board each year.
See the chart above. You can see that across land lease communities and retirement villages we have 300,000 residents across Australia.
Our residents have placed their faith and wealth in our hands, so to speak, a great vote of trust.
At the same time, each resident has about three people that they are closely involved with, as friends, carers and supporters. Many of them will also be a beneficiary of the transition of wealth in the village home at some stage. So there is a financial ‘touch’ as well as an emotional touch.
This adds 900,000 people to a total of 1.2 million Australians that we have a touch point. Given all these ‘direct touch’ people will be aged over 40 years of age, we reach 14% of all people over 40, which is very powerful.
35,500 new sales a year required
In our own bubble, we don’t think of the big picture sales effort that is required to keep our sector humming.
From the chart below you can see that with rollovers and new builds, we need 35,500 new customers to sign up each year, or if you like, 97 every day of the year, including Christmas Day.
With an average village and LLC home now valued around $450,000 to buy in, we need to generate $16 billion in sales a year or $44 million every day.
We are BIG business! If each family home sold to buy into our sector is valued at say $600,000, then $21.3 billion in family home sales have to take place. Imagine all those young families upgrading – it is exciting we think.
As village professionals, we are vital to this ongoing sales process. We are the face and the brand of our community within our local community. It’s a big job.
(If you do not receive The SOURCE newsletter on a Tuesday, you can ask for a free subscription HERE – it’s the best news source on retirement living).
It’s a fight between QLD and NSW on which Government is going to introduce a new round of village regulations first, with other states copying and catching up.
This week has been Victoria’s turn and the Government is looking to embrace buybacks, following QLD which first introduced them, but also NSW in having different buyback periods depending on whether it’s a metro or regional village.
Village operators now have just a month to respond to the latest options paper from the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation on the proposed reforms to the Victorian Retirement Villages Act 1986 (Act).
The 88-page paper lists 19 potential reforms for consideration, including:
Mandated buybacks for retirement village units not re-sold within a specified timeframe.
Amending the RV Act to clarify the definition of a retirement village.
Improving disclosure obligations, including requiring all fees to be disclosed in advertising materials.
Improving understanding of retirement village payment models by defining ‘deferred management fee’ and introducing yearly contract check-ups on request
Reforming the contract process by requiring contracts to be in plain English and introducing a requirement that residents must get legal advice before signing contracts.
Amending the Act to clarify all maintenance and repair requirements.
Extend the cooling-off period for retirement villages and/or introduce a settling-in period.
Amending the timeframe for charging fees to departing village residents for personal services and maintenance charges.
Clarifying reinstatement and renovation requirements for RV residents and operators.
Regulating the share of capital losses and gains.
Enhancing internal dispute resolution procedures, including removing the role of residents’ committees in resident disputes and/or mandating a Code of Conduct.
A new mandatory Code of Conduct to spell out the rights and responsibilities of RV operators and residents.
Clarifying the arrangements for residents’ committees.
Improving staff qualifications with mandatory qualifications for retirement village managers and staff.
Developing a compulsory village accreditation scheme.
Reforming the external dispute resolution process with mandatory conciliation and the establishment of an Industry Ombudsman.
The Government acknowledges concern from operators that mandated buybacks “would present significant financial challenges for operators, particularly for those operating in regional areas.”
Unsurprisingly, residents and advocacy organisations supported their introduction, but the report states there were “mixed views” about the length of time that should pass before a residence is bought back.
“Timeframes of six, 12 or 18 months would provide a starting point to further develop this option,” the paper says.
Operators have two options to respond – by responding to the paper or completing a survey.
If you do one thing in the lead up to the May Federal Budget – grab yourself a coffee and watch this 15-minute thought provoking discussion from Tammy Berghofer, Partner at MinterEllison, about the potential impact of the Royal Commission recommendations on retirement village operations.
There is a very real opportunity for villages to be the major winner from the Royal Commission.
Tammy outlines the opportunities and important considerations for both operators and front-line village professionals. She highlights the future expectations of residents and the questions village professionals will need to consider.
In this video Tammy has simplified the Royal Commission impacts to village operations into 3 key areas:
Impact of a new Aged Care program
Instead of three different ‘aged care programs’ (CHSP, Home Care and Aged Care), it is likely they will all converge into one, with people entering the system and then carrying through to high care
Universal entitlement to care – everyone gets to care for free
Increased choice, control and flexibility
Expansion of Care at Home
This is what the Government wants / long term care strategy requirements
Need for expanded termination processes
Village and care residents will be older and have higher health and acuity needs
Increase skills and knowledge for village professionals
Influence on village built environments
Ageing in place considerations will increase in importance
Assistive technology use will increase in importance