Market Trends

How New Leaders, Tech, Markets Will Define Senior Living’s ‘Transitional Decade’

In just two years the oldest baby boomers will be turning 80, bringing with them their wants and needs. Adittionally, the industry is to be undergoing generational shifts as new leaders take on the roles of the ones to retire, which will catapult a wave of new ideas into the years ahead, according to Nexus Insights Founder and longtime industry thought leader Bob Kramer.

“Both on the nonprofit and for-profit side, we’re going to see a major shift in leaders, who will be in their 40s and 50s, not their 60s and 70s,” Kramer said. “They have a different approach to data, they have a different approach to technology. And they aren’t wedded to, ‘This is the way we’ve always done it before.’”

According to Senior Housing News, For years, senior living operators have talked about the need to collect and share more real-time data with their partners, often on the ownership side. The idea is that such data is needed to better align companies on community operations, and give them better visibility into ongoing operational trends as they happen.

But as important as operators have said data collection and analysis is, I haven’t seen many companies truly invest in the processes needed to have complicated data operations.

In 2024, that is changing with companies like LCS. The organization first began heading down the path of data collection two years ago when it hired its first data scientist. Now, LCS has four data scientists on the payroll, and on Jan. 1 the Des Moines, Iowa-based company brought a new reporting tool online that newly appointed CFO and Chief Investment Officer Dan Lahey called an “important win.”

Using the dashboard, LCS leaders can view an up-to-date tally of occupied units, available entry-fee dollars, how many days a unit has been on the market and other “real patterns.”

“It’s a new discipline for us, … actually having data scientists on staff is just a different animal,” Lahey said. “Sometimes that means they’re challenging preconceived assumptions; they’re also painting the picture of what the next opportunities [are] that we can unlock.”

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