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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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Facility Manager Things to watch Village Operator

The CEO focus on team culture and ‘high performance’

Team Culture and leadership is now more important than ever before to deliver a great working environment, which incidentally greatly supports staff retention.  This incidentally includes retention of village management, with vacancies at an all-time high.

In last week’s issue of SATURDAY, our editor Lauren Broomham talked with RetireAustralia’s CEO Dr. Brett Robinson on their success of zero turnover of their village managers in the last 18 months across their 28 villages.

Brett explains, their focus on training and development – and the group’s strong team culture – has been critical to staff retention and delivering best outcomes for residents.

Rugby High Performance Leader

A relatively new CEO to the sector, Brett is a former international rugby player for the Wallabies, which he followed up with heading the Australian Rugby Union’s High-Performance unit.

Brett also trained as a doctor and has spent much of his life working with the private sector including Mondial Assistance, Cancer Care and Bank of Queensland.

He recognises the Village Manager is the most important person in the business.  It is also criticalto identify the right person with the right capabilities and skills, and then to heavily invest in them and their training.  To this end it is no surprise – Retire Australia have recently signed up all their team to the DCM Institute.

It’s a front-line that delivers

Brett tells us when he worked in cancer care, the cancer nurses were the organisation’s greatest asset, because they genuinely cared about the patients and their families.  He sees this as very similar to what we do in our sector, where people join villages seeking a caring and supporting community.

He does note that this is not always easy for small to medium businesses as there is a significant cost in this investment. However, the payoff is huge in terms of staff retention and satisfaction.

To read the full and fascinating story – please click HERE.

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Latest industry developments Things to watch

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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Reporting Results Things to watch Village Operator

Building trust with the new customer remains key

As reported in our sister publication SATURDAY, last weekend, the pandemic and isolation has seen a buoyant sales market for many operators however the focus needs to remain on the customer relationship.

We are seeing new village customer’s as being older, now 76 to 80, compared to 10 years ago when 73 was the average age.  This means a shorter time in the village and more frequent rollovers, with the integrated model of care becoming more increasingly a game changer.

Today’s customer is wanting more, so therefore with 65% of Australian villages older than 25 years, the pool of potential customers open to older stock is shrinking.  Insert Community Apartment Projects (CAPS) and Land Lease villages who are targeting the younger over 55 population.

Village operators are continually having to lift their game in extra services and facilities to attract residents.  Christopher Rooke, Partner and Managing Partner of One Fell Swoop comments “People are cashed up and spending more wisely, with much higher expectations around the built form and lifestyle experience”.

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

First Impressions are Everything

These higher prices and demand for quality product are growing higher expectations of the customer.  They are demanding a more authentic and open communication approach, therefore educating prospects, throughout the sales process and right through to making their chosen village their new home is essential.

The article continues to explore how one operator in particular Village Glen founded by Chas Jacobsen and managed by Peter Nilsson, Chief Operating Officer explains the buyer journey can take years and therefore building a long-term relationship with the new customer is key.

Peter also says “In my view the brand is the village manager and the village staff, because they are the ones who can make a difference to the resident’s life. So for that reason we have the management team involved in the sales process.” 

As you all know in building these long-term relationships, you are building trust and by the time they move in feel part of the family.

To read the full article please click here. 

https://thedcminstitute.com.au/industry-news
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Key things to help you everyday Things to watch Village Operator

Getting consultation right is vital in building happy communities

Consultation is something most of the Retirement Village Acts around the country refer to as being a useful practice to achieve change.   

However, in my experience the consultation process can be an area of misunderstanding and even result in disputes between operators and residents.    

In a recent newsletter put out by Office of Ageing Well – SA they shared some great considerations around consultation, included below. 

“Consultation in its most basic meaning is the act or process of formally discussing something. Discussion means the act or process of talking about something in order to exchange ideas”.  

It is worth noting consultation, as an act, does not have the same meaning as an announcement (a public statement of fact, occurrence or intention) nor is it a negotiation (a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement).

Keeping residents fully informed about what is happening in the village and providing opportunities for them to provide feedback and ask questions is vital to creating trust, preventing misunderstandings or disputes, and creating a harmonious community.

Why is Good Consultation Important in Villages?

Good consultation practices include three main areas:

  • Making residents aware of the matter that is being discussed
     
  • They are given a proper opportunity to express their views
     
  • That these views are taken into consideration when a decision is made

It is recommended that the matter which residents are being consulted about, is provided in writing prior to a discussion, so as to allow residents to consider and discuss the proposal with each other and family members.  

It can also be useful to follow up written consultation with individual/s and/or group meetings to allow residents to discuss options, ask questions or to clarify any issues which may be causing confusion. 

Office of Ageing Well also provided some great tips below, they suggest you do for improving consultation practices.  These are all ones I can fully endorse.   You may want to consider including these activities in your annual consultation plan to do several times a year.

Improve the level of resident satisfaction, by increasing the number of opportunities provided for residents to have their say 

  • Make consultation a habit 
     
  • Keep in touch with your residents on a regular basis   
     
  • Aim for dedicated Q&A sessions on a regular, planned basis  
     
  • Embrace positive and negative feedback—you will learn from it. Don’t ignore feedback or dodge complaints.  
     
  • Find out what aspects of life in the village are most important to the residents and then measure how well these are achieved
     
  • Consult before making changes and before any decision is finalised, otherwise it is not consultation, merely information provision
     
  • Very early on in my career in this sector I learnt the importance of regular, transparent, honest and two-way communication.  

I always tried to recognise the community is the residents’ home and therefore they should have the opportunity to input into how their community is being shaped.   

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Women Leadership Roles on the Rise in the RV Sector

For the second successive year land lease community, rental village and tourism park operator Ingenia Communities has ranked second in the 2021 Chief Executive Women (CEW) Senior Executive Census for companies listed on the Stock Exchange.

For the second successive year land lease community, rental village and tourism park operator Ingenia Communities has ranked second in the 2021 Chief Executive Women (CEW) Senior Executive Census for companies listed on the Stock Exchange.

The census, which tracks gender balance and female representation of Australia’s largest publicly listed companies.

“Women compromise more than one-third of our Company Board and two-thirds of our executive leadership team,” said Ingenia CEO Simon Owen. “Our experience is that it is in every company’s best interest to ensure diversity both in representation and in ideas and thinking – it can have a significant impact on your ability to innovate and grow, and ultimately your bottom line.”

https://www.theweeklysource.com.au/ingenia-communities-recognised-for-women-in-executive-leadership-roles-66-of-leadership-team/

The push to acquire and nurture female talent in Ingenia comes from a top-down approach led by retirement village veteran and Ingenia Chairman Jim Hazel, who for many years has mentored prospective female directors through the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Ingenia Chief Investment Officer and General Counsel, Natalie Kwok (pictured above), is one executive who was developed through internal channels.

“The company has always taken a merit and capability-based approach. I am really grateful for the fact that I was not pigeonholed in one field – with Ingenia if you are good at your role, you get opportunities to grow and succeed,” she said.

This is also great news for Village Professionals to grow with an industry that recognises executive talent and supports a clearly defined career path.  The DCM Institute is the perfect vehicle in taking those first steps, on an evolving professional development journey.

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Jobs Things to watch Village Operator

Village operators worried as older managers are retiring and difficult to replace

Workforce supply is increasingly difficult across the country, but as our sister publicationSATURDAY explored in its last issue, the retirement Village Manager is proving to be of the hardest to secure.

It can take up to three years for a Village Professional to feel fully in control of their role and understanding of the village business that they manage.

So when a Village Manager leaves the sector, they are taking with them a head full of knowledge and experience.

51% of VMs leave within three years

This is a significant challenge when you consider that there are just 1,500 Village Managers across the country and research commissioned by DCM with KPMG (2019) found that 51% of Managers leave the sector within three years.

One operator last week said over 50% of their village managers have now been in the job for less than two years.

The SATURDAY editors found that to replace this skill drain, operators are recruiting younger Managers.

Paul Burkett (photographed), the Director and CEO of Baldwin Care Group, said he has had two village managers retire in the past 12 months to be replaced by younger managers in their 30s.

They need to be fast tracked in their knowledge and supported with tools and training.

Paul has two new Village Managers taking part in the DCMI program and says he is seeing the difference that it is making to their confidence. “They realise that they’re not Robinson Crusoe and there’s other people sharing the same problems,” he said.

Pay is a challenge recruiting the new, younger generation of Managers. The average Village Manager salary is still around $80,000 despite the responsibilities being equivalent to that of a hotel manager.

Paul pays above scale and offers yearly bonuses based on KPIs around accreditation, meeting regulations, guest surveys, sales and more.  He says training and networking opportunities are also critical.

Maintenance roles are also proving difficult to fill as the retiring builders and tradespeople in these roles are also departing, while home care workers are hard to source due to lockdowns and resignations.

COVID-19 has made the challenge of retaining and attracting staff even harder, while residents can be demanding that staff are fully vaccinated, which is also a challenge.

Paul says he has lost some staff recently because they did not want to be vaccinated.

How then to appeal to the new generation?

What is the take-out? Demand far exceeds supply of professional Village Managers and Management.

With villages emerging as one of the big answers to the Royal Commission goal of more people on Home Care, living independently, aged care operators are moving to develop new and bigger villages, especially vertical villages. This is increasing demand even further for Professional Management.

More regulations, audits and increasing board responsibility for standards being met (plus concerns about insurance) are driving operators to invest in Professional Development – and remuneration reviews.

The question then is: will the new Baby Boomer customer/resident be prepared to pay more for a higher standard of Village Management – and are village operators ready to invest in their human capital?

You can read the full version of the SATURDAY village Workforce article HERE.

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Have you got casual employees? You need to know these new changes to the Fair Work Act

In March, changes were made to the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) relating to casual employment.

If you are a village that uses casual staff, for roles such as cleaners, personal carers, overnight services and others, then it’s important you familiarise yourself with the changes. 

For information on the changes, visit Changes to casual employment – industrial relations reforms.

Pathway from casual to Permanent 

In last week’s South Australian Professional Development workshop day Josh Abbott, a Partner with retirement village specialists O’Loughlin’s Lawyers, outlined the basics of the new requirements for causal employees.

https://www.oloughlins.com.au/

The new requirements are to create a pathway for casual employees to become full-time or part-time (permanent). They call this ‘casual conversation’.

Casual employees can become permanent by their employer offering casual conversion or by making a request to their employer for casual conversion.

However, small business employers (15 employees or less) don’t need to offer casual conversion to their casual employees. Other regulations may apply, which you should check on the FairWork website.

This process is relevant for any staff who have been employed for a period of at least 12 months (or 6 months in some awards), and during those 12 months have worked systematic hours without any significant changes. 

27 September

“Josh reiterated all casual contracts must be updated with the new casual definition and Non-Small Business Employers must determine which casuals they need to offer part-time or full-time employment to under the casual conversion process, as outlined above by 27 September 2021…”

Essentially, this means that if you have casual staff that are working similar shifts on a regularly rostered basis, you should be seeking legal advice. You will need to be compliant by 27 September and be aware of the implications for your organisation, under the new requirements of the Act. 

It could be that these employees must now be offered the opportunity to convert to part-time or full-time employment. 

Your legal advisor will also be able to advise you on the paperwork required.

The other major changes he outlined require:
 

  • Employers are now required to give each casual employee a copy of the Casual Employment Information Statement (CEIS) before, or as soon as practicable after, their employment commences;
     
  • Non- Small Business Employers (employers with more than 15 employees) are to give their existing employees a copy of the Casual Employment Information Statement as soon as possible after 27 September 2021; and
     
  • Non-Small Business Employers are to comply with the casual conversion process in the National Employment Standards in the Act by 27 September 2021. 
     
  • The Act essentially defines a casual employee as a person who has:
     
    • Been made an offer of employment by an employer on the basis that the employer makes no firm advance commitment to continuing and indefinite work, according to an agreed pattern of work;
       
    • Accepted the offer on that basis; and
       
    • Become an employee on the basis of that acceptance

Good luck!

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Latest industry developments Things to watch

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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‘A Life Changing Life’ Campaign on your TV soon to attract new staff

https://mumbrella.com.au/new-aus-gov-campaign-from-mc-saatchi-looks-to-encourage-a-career-in-carer-roles-698620?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=READ%20MORE%20%C2%BB&utm_campaign=Mumbrella%20Daily%20-%2017%2F08%2F21

The Australian Government has launched a new campaign to raise awareness around the employment opportunities in the care sector, especially home care.

The ‘A Life Changing Life’ campaign, tells the stories of real care and support workers, and the people they support.

It’s great!