NIC attendees optimistic about long-term prospects, president says

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NIC President Robert G. Kramer
NIC President Robert G. Kramer
Underlying reasons for Thursday's record crowd at the annual meeting of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry are hard to discern, the group's president told McKnight's. More than 1,800 providers are attending the event, said NIC President Robert G. Kramer.

"The fact that we are having our largest attendance ever is testimony to the fact that people are positive about this field,” Kramer said. “Even though the economy is struggling, they see great opportunities ahead for the seniors housing and care sector.”
 
Another strong draw is the "the opportunity to serve a new generation that will be arriving over the next 10 to 20 years. So right now we see operators willing to introduce themselves to capital partners so they can grow to meet those future demandss. And investors -- such as REITs, private equity, institutional investors and lenders -- are seeking to develop relationships with folks that they think are best in class operators. "
 
Kramer added that communities may go by different names in the future.

"We are going to serve people from age 85 to 110,” he explained. “Our greatest selling point is socialization. The fact that someone is looking forward to joining you for breakfast does more for our product than any marketing that's out there."

The new product will probably go by a different title as well, he predicted. Rather than, say, assisted living, it will more likely be referred to as a life enhancement or life-fulfillment community, he predicted. The NIC show continues with more speakers and educational sessions through mid-day Friday.
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