LeadingAge OH Month of Marketing Webinar Series

Virtual Webinar

Session Date & Time: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from 1:00pm-2:30pm ET

Thought Leadership and Educational Session:

Embracing New Marketing Strategies in a Post-COVID Environment

The Senior Living COVID-19 Sentiment Report surveyed more than 23,000 residents and staff at senior independent living communities across the country, along with prospective future residents to better understand what it was like to live and work in a senior living community during the pandemic and to identify whether prospects felt differently about moving to a senior living community due to the pandemic. The results of the survey demonstrate that residents overwhelmingly felt safe during COVID-19 and confident their communities had taken appropriate precautions to keep them safe. The study also identified there are opportunities for improvement.

This session will focus on the results of the report as it relates to marketing. It will include a facilitated Leadership Roundtable Discussion about how providers plan to leverage the data to enhance their marketing approach, redefine the value proposition that senior living has to offer, and implement innovative marketing and sales solutions to improve prospect and waitlist engagement and ultimately increase census.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will hear the results of the COVID-19 Sentiment Report – A survey of independent living desirability and safety;
  2. Learn best practices and innovative ideas specific to sales and marketing to increase census as we are coming out of the pandemic;
  3. Learn how to leverage the data to enhance the resident experience, redefine the value proposition that senior living has to offer and implement marketing and sales solutions to improve prospect and waitlist engagement and ultimately increase census.

Featured Speakers:

  • Lynn Daly, Executive Vice President, HJ Sims
  • Mica Rees, Chief Brand and Growth Officer, Ohio Living
  • Aimee Riemke, Vice President of Marketing, Greencroft Communities
  • Shona Schmall, Director of Marketing & Sales for Cooperative Development
  • Dana Wollschlager, Partner & Practice Leader, Plante Moran Living Forward

Contacts:

As we continue to experience fluctuations in our capital markets, HJ Sims is committed to Tracking the COVID-19 Impact.

Market Commentary: Pleasant Paths

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by Gayl Mileszko

Twenty four centuries after the Athenian statesman leader Pericles gave his famous oration honoring the many warriors who were killed in battle after the first year of the Peloponnesian War, Commander in Chief John A. (“Black Jack”) Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans group comprised of former Union Army soldiers, issued General Order Number 11 designating May 30 as a day to commemorate comrades who died in defense of their country in the Civil War by decorating graves “with the choicest flowers of springtime.” He urged that “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. … Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

Originally called Decoration Day, the first national Memorial Day celebration took place on May 30 of 1868 at Arlington National Cemetery, where both Confederate and Union soldiers were buried. Local tributes to the fallen had been taking place for several years. Waterloo, New York, and Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, Macon, Georgia, and Richmond, Virginia are among the towns and cities that lay claim to being the first to hold an observance. At the turn of the 20th century, May 30 was re-designated as Memorial Day. After World War I, the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars, and the tradition of adorning one’s clothing with a single red poppy in remembrance was born. In 2000, Congress passed “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” calling on the people of the United States in a symbolic act of unity to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation in the pursuit of freedom and peace.

Bond markets close early on Friday ahead of this Memorial Day, largely in acknowledgement that traders and investors will be among the 37 million Americans expected to hit the road to join family and friends to celebrate high school and college graduations and the unofficial start of summer. Red, white and blue décor will prevail at parades, speeches, barbecues, and picnics. Millions will place flags on gravesites, millions will watch the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and millions more will be checking prices at nearby gas stations to see how much this first vacation of the season will cost them. Inflation anxieties prevail, and with good reason. Every penny increase in gasoline takes $1 billion out of the pockets of American consumers. The national average price of gasoline has fallen 1.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.02 Monday — but they are up 14 cents from one month ago and $1.07 higher than one year ago. These increased fuel costs, along with disruptions in the reliability of transportation and labor, a general trend toward inflation, and a head-snapping surge in demand have also been factors in the recent major increase in the prices of supplies of supplies such as plywood, steel, and copper as well as foodstuffs including beef, poultry, fish, and dairy.

In addition to the rising cost of dinner itself, travel is the topic of many family dinnertime conversations. Las Vegas has always been a favorite destination and it happens to be the site of the first large, in-person trade show scheduled in the United States since the pandemic began. Conventions have historically generated about $11 billion in annual revenue for the Las Vegas area and employed tens of thousands of workers, but the pandemic has shut all this activity down for 14 months.  Without blackjack, tourists and trade shows, the Las Vegas area posted an unemployment rate of 33.5% in April 2020, and half of the 60,000 members of the Culinary Workers Local 226 still remain out of work. But state and local officials are seeing green shoots. Gambling revenue in the state totaled a whopping $1 billion in March, the highest monthly total in over eight years. Convention bookings are increasing for later this year and next year, but how quickly they resume may hinge on the success of the three-day World of Concrete convention which begins June 8 at the new $989 million addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center and its outdoor parking lot. The gathering will operate under previously approved limits of 80 percent capacity, social distancing of three feet, temperature screenings, and hand-sanitizing stations. Hundreds of major trade groups will be watching closely to see if this first convention goes off without major issues and literally paves the way for the return of business and tourism in popular convention cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

The pandemic is not over, but during this phase life is clearly becoming more pleasant for many. New COVID-19 cases dropped to 53 on Monday and there is good news about school re-openings in the fall. There are few mandates but the return to campus, to work, to entertainment venues will place heavy reliance on the “honor system.” Honor is a watchword of the National Guard, the military reserve force dating back to 1636 which is under the dual control of state and federal governments. There were 26,000 members of the Army and Air National Guards called to the U.S. Capitol in January; two thousand troops remain but they are slated to head home this week as Members of Congress return to their own home districts. The calendar shows that only about 31 voting sessions remain until the end of the fiscal year on September 30, so that does not leave a lot of room for legislative action on spending bills, infrastructure, or many other policy priorities. The municipal bond industry is closely watching to see the contents of the Green Book on Friday; this publication will include revenue estimates and detail the Administration’s tax proposals and those in public finance hope that there will be a provision restoring advance refundings on a tax-exempt basis. There also appears to be growing bipartisan support for a new incarnation of Build America Bonds to aid in rebuilding critical infrastructure. Treasury officials may address these plans in its tax report, expected to be released during a busy week that includes three auctions involving $180 billion of bond sales.

U.S. Treasuries, municipal, and corporate bonds as well as stocks and gold have all strengthened in the past week at this writing. Bitcoin trading took a volatile path with the market value plunging about $1 trillion from a peak of $2.6 trillion earlier this month and the wild price swings gave stocks some pause. The Dow at 34,393 is up 1.5% in May and 12.4% in 2021. The S&P 500 at 4,197 is up slightly this month and 11.7% year-to-date. The Nasdaq at 13,661 is off by 2% since the start of the month but up 6% this year. The Russell 2000 at 2,227 is down 1.7% in May but up nearly 13% since the start of the year. Oil prices at $66.05 per barrel are up 4% on the month and 36% this year. Gold at $1,883 an ounce has gained more than 6% in May but nearly flat on the year.  Silver at $27.75 an ounce has risen 7% this month and 5% since January. Bitcoin at 37,403 has plunged 34% this month but is up 30% in 2021. On the bond side, Treasuries are nearly flat on the month at this point. But the 2-year Treasury at 0.14% is 2 basis points higher on the year, the 10-year at 1.60% has risen 69 basis points, and the 30-year at 2.29% is 65 basis points higher.  The 10-year Baa corporate bond yield at 3.23% has fallen 4 basis points this month, but is 58 basis points higher in 2021. For a variety of technical reasons, municipals have been less impacted by Treasury moves, inflation talk, Fed speculation, and chaotic crypto. Expectations for higher taxes, light volume, increased supply of taxable munis and nonprofit corporate CUSIP issuance, record levels of inflows into muni bond funds and ETFs for 11 straight weeks, heavy cash generated from coupon income, calls and maturities with no options for reinvestment at the same yields have all kept munis strong and fairly rangebound this year. The 2-year AAA general obligation bond yield at 0.14% is up 4 basis points this month but flat on the year. The 10-year yield at 1.01% is up 2 basis points in May and 30 basis points in 2021. And the 30-year benchmark yield at 1.57% is 2 basis points lower on the month but up 18 basis points since January. High yield municipal bond indices reflect returns of 3.90% so far this year, while leveraged loans are up 2.82%, high yield corporate bonds are up 1.93%, convertibles are up 0.93%, investment grade munis are up 0.78% and preferreds are up 0.24%. On the other hand, Treasuries are down 3.84% year-to-date, investment grade corporate bonds are down 3.17%, taxable municipal bonds are down 2.39% and mortgages are down 0.86%.

This week’s muni slate includes more high yield offerings than we have seen all year. It includes a $308 million non-rated start-up green bond financing for Enso Village in Healdsburg, California, a $150 million non-rated deal for Lutheran Services for the Aging in Salisbury, North Carolina, a $100 million non-rated Waste Pro USA solid waste disposal issue in Florida, a $70 million non-rated taxable deal for Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital in Arizona, a $58 million refunding for BB+ rated Lasell University in Newton, Massachusetts, a $16 million BB rated issue for Seven Generations Charter School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, a $12 million non-rated Wisconsin Public Finance Authority deal for High Desert Montessori Charter School, and a $10 million non-rated financing for Seven Oaks Classical School in Ellettsville, Indiana. Last week, the Government of Guam sold $278 million of Ba1 rated business privilege tax refunding bonds; bonds were structured for forward settlement in October and had a 2042 maturity priced with a 4% coupon to yield 2.54%.  Grand Forks County, North Dakota brought a $120 million non-rated green financing subject to the alternative minimum tax for Red River Biorefinery; the 2043 term bonds were priced at par to yield 7.00%. The Public Finance Authority issued $67 million of BB+ rated refunding bonds for Rider University in New Jersey with a single term bond in 2048 priced at par to yield 4.50%, and a $6.4 million charter school financing for Lead Academy with a 2056 maturity priced at 5.00% to yield 4.50%. The North Carolina Medical Care Commission came to market with a $44.4 million BBB rated deal for The Forest at Duke that had a 30-year final maturity priced at 4.00% to yield 2.38%. Tipton Academy in Michigan had a $6.4 million BB rated financing priced at par to yield 4.00% in 30 years.

For current offerings, portfolio reviews, and financing options, we invite you to reach out to your HJ Sims representative this week. For the holiday weekend ahead, we wish you and your family safe journeys and pleasant paths.

Exclusive Opportunities For Our Clients

MoneyShow Orlando 2021

Please join HJ Sims for MoneyShow Orlando June 10-12 at Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. Visit our team at Booth 303. Join us for two special presentations on June 11, 3pm-4:15pm, and June 12, 11am-11:45pm:

What if You Choose Not to Follow The Crowd? POWeR Your Portfolio.

What if you could stress test the Top 10 positions against world, political or economic scenarios?

What if you could identify investments that might adversely impact your portfolio within a rising inflation environment?

What if you could help design your own strategies (i.e., socially responsible or disruption innovation)?

What if you could identify investments that could help offset Capital Gains taxes?

Join Cliff Edelmann, Geoff von der Linden, Les Campbell, John Koene and Jonathan Jarow.

Pending LIBOR Replacement

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LIBOR, which has been the primary index upon which Senior Living Bank Loans and Swaps have been denominated in new and existing financings, is to be discontinued and as such a replacement index is needed. Borrowers should consider the use of an alternate index, and this piece provides expertise on the pending LIBOR replacement as a consideration for senior living organizations.

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Market Commentary: Bells and Whistles for the City That Never Sleeps

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by Gayl Mileszko

The New York Stock Exchange has invited occasional guests to ring the ceremonial opening bell since 1956. The current practice is to have them stand on the marble balcony weekdays at 9:30 a.m. to mark the start of the day’s trading. At 4 p.m., they bang a gavel after the closing bell, which is sometimes met with cheers at the end of a long, hard day of loss, or boos when no one wants the day’s rally to end or if the guests inadvertently cut short the precise 15 second ritual. The 18-inch bell, specially manufactured by the G.S. Edwards Company of Norwalk, Connecticut in the late 1980s, is said to have the sound of a brass bell tuned to the pitch D with an overtone of D-sharp. It replaced several other bells and, going back to the 1870s, a Chinese gong. Since 1995, company executives with NYSE stocks or exchange-traded funds have been permitted to ring the bill, often on the day their company goes public or releases a new product. Celebrities, dignitaries, charities and other groups are also often invited or may apply for the honor. The selection process is a bit mysterious, but the lucky ones are invited to sign the wall and become a permanent part of exchange history.

On Monday, May 17, the NYSE welcomed the Madison Square Garden Sports Company and JP Morgan Chase as they virtually rang the closing bell to celebrate the New York Knicks making the playoffs. That morning, the Chairman of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority had the honors of pressing the green button, activating the big silver bell and prompting cheers from the assembled floor brokers and media representatives. The bell resounded across the floor for ten seconds to mark the return of 24/7 subway service in New York City earlier that morning. The Chairman was accompanied by representatives of the authority’s front-line workers who later noted that ridership had achieved pandemic records on May 14 with 2,265,489 subway trips, 104,885 on the Long Island Rail Road, 85,684 on the Metro North Railroad, and 1,188,284 bus rides.

Prior to the pandemic, average MTA weekday ridership totals routinely exceeded 5.5 million in the subway system alone. That number fell to a low of 300,000 in April of 2020, primarily heroic healthcare workers and public safety officials. On Monday, full overnight subway service resumed for the first time since May 6, 2020 when the subway system was closed for an unprecedented cleaning regimen involving 500 stations. The return of round-the-clock service paves the way for the end of the city’s outdoor midnight curfew and lifting of limitations on restaurant capacity, but brings with it new concerns about safety on the part of riders. Violent crime and harassment remain significant fears for many, while others worry about the possibility of a new coronavirus wave as a result of travel in trains and buses often equated to sardine cans.

Taxpayers and bondholders have additional questions and concerns. Even before the pandemic, rating agencies cited the MTA’s budget imbalances, missed capital commitment goals, capital funding risks and escalating debt. That debt has more than tripled in the last 20 years and now totals $49.4 billion. Some wonder if the Authority is whistling in the wind when it comes to projections about a return to pre- pandemic ridership levels given polls showing that the majority of city office workers do not plan to return to work five days a week under any transportation scenario. More than $14.5 billion of federal aid has plugged at least two years of budget gaps and reduced the immediate need for additional deficit borrowing but questions remain about the agency’s structural deficit, its plans for funding a five-year $51.5 billion capital program, its central business district tolling program, its labor issues, debt service, escalating retiree benefit costs, and doubtful ability to raise fares for the foreseeable future.

The U.S. bond market never officially closes so there are no bells to mark its sessions. There is round-the-clock trading in U.S. Treasuries and other bonds but the bulk of activity occurs between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and there are plenty of whistles throughout the trading day to accompany tickets written at unusually high and low levels. The A3/BBB+/A- rated MTA is among the largest U.S. municipal bond issuers, and is very actively traded. It has been in the market seven times since the pandemic began and twice tapped the Federal Reserve’s Municipal Liquidity Facility last year. At the time of this writing, the 5% MTA Transportation Revenue Bonds due in 2042 are trading at $108.333. The 5% MTA Transportation Revenue Green Bonds due in 2044 are trading as high as $124.80. In the current market, with limited supply available to satisfy demand for tax-exemption in high-tax states like New York as well as for bonds of relatively high credit quality, these are by no means the highest prices we are seeing. Certain taxable State of California general obligation bonds are trading over $164, and taxable New Jersey Turnpike bonds over $158. Tax-exempt Massachusetts Water Resources Authority bonds are trading over $151 and Mayo Clinic bonds over $150. At the opposite end are odd lots of bonds that have defaulted. These include subordinate Puerto Rico Highway bonds trading below $14 and St. Paul Port Authority parking ramp bonds just over $25.

In the new issue municipal market last week, investors scooped up and paid up for bonds at points on the credit scale with very little compensation for the extra risk. School bells rang for the triple-A rated San Antonio Independent School District which had a $268.3 million low-cost financing structured with 2051 term bonds priced with a coupon of 2.375% to yield 2.29%. Twelve hundred miles away, the Florida Development Finance Corporation issued $89.2 million of non-rated bonds for The Glenridge on Palmer Ranch in Sarasota with a 30-year term bond that had a 5% coupon but priced to yield just 127 basis points more than San Antonio at 3.56%. The City of Forest Lake, Minnesota brought a $29 million non-rated charter school transaction for North Lakes Academy that had a 2056 maturity priced at 5.00% to yield 3.90% and the City of Woodbury, Minnesota issued $21.9 million of BB-minus rated bonds for Woodbury Leadership Academy that included a similar 35-year maturity priced at 4.00% to yield 3.15%. The Colorado Educational and Cultural Facilities Authority sold $25.1 million of Baa3 rated bonds for Aspen View Academy that had a 2061 final maturity priced with a coupon of 4.00% to yield 2.95%.

Inflation alarm bells tolled again last week after the consumer and producer price indices came in higher than estimated. All three major stock indices weakened as did Treasuries and municipals while oil, gold and silver prices climbed. Halfway through the month of May, the Dow is up over 1% to 34,327, the S&P 500 has slipped 17 points to 4,163, the Nasdaq is off by more than 4% at 13,379, and the Russell 2000 is off 39 points to 2,227. Oil prices are up 4% to $66.27, at $1,868 gold has gained more than 5% and silver is up nearly 9% to $28.19. Bitcoin prices have plummeted 25% to 42,562. The 2-year Treasury is flat at 0.15%, the 10-year yield is up 2 basis points to 1.64% and the 30-year yield is 7 basis points higher at 2.36%. The Baa corporate bond yield is flat at 3.27%. The 2-year muni yield climbed 4 basis points to 0.14% and the 10-year yield is 3 basis points higher at 1.02%. The 30-year AAA municipal general obligation bond benchmark is flat at 1.59% but valuations hit a record low against Treasuries last week. The long muni yield slipped to 68.4% of its Treasury counterpart after having averaged about 103% between 2001 and 2020. We invite you to ring your HJ Sims representative to discuss any of these developments between your own day’s opening and closing bells.

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Four Innovative Financing Strategies for Life Plan Communities to Create Operational Cashflow during COVID-19

With how unpredictable the last year has been, it would be foolish to believe that we can reasonably predict what will happen in the next five years as it relates to Life Plan Community financing and capital markets as a whole.

However, we have learned in recent months that communities can implement innovative financing tactics to create operational cashflow in this current market situation. Here are some thoughts, considerations and possible opportunities for your organization.

Read more insights from Melissa Messina, SVP, HJ Sims, in the Love & Company Blog.

LWC21 Technology Brunch Session

In this session from our 18th Annual HJ Sims Late Winter Conference, in February 2021, thought-provoking insight from an expert panel focused on the role of technological infrastructure, and integration in the flexibility and strength of an organization – important themes for fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic and the future. In this age-qualified industry, technology presents both challenges and opportunities, a few that have been highlighted in this session include:

  • Tech Use among Seniors
  • Organizational Technological Infrastructure
  • Integration of Technology
  • Emerging Technologies

Tech Use Among Seniors

The session opened with a general overview of technology usage research conducted by Pew Research Center. Included in this research were several standout statistics. As of 2016, Pew reported that smartphone adoption among surveyed seniors (people aged 65+) had nearly quadrupled from 11% to 42%; the panel echoed that the technology-adoption trend has only continued. Pew also notes affluent and better educated seniors are more likely to report smartphone ownership. However, despite the trends towards technology use amongst seniors, the Pew research points out that technology use was significantly lower amongst seniors aged 75+ compared to their younger counterparts. Transitioning from the use of technology among prospective senior living residents, the panel moved to discussions of the role of technology within senior living organizations.

Organizational Technological Infrastructure

To frame the discussion of organizational technology adoption, Nick Patel used a “Technology Maturity Model” pyramid to represent organizations’ level of technological maturity and adoption. His analysis showed that the fundamental aspect of technology adoption is a solid foundational network and data infrastructure. He defined this as the internet and data sharing networks that allow for layering of more complex data collection and distribution. For example, without reliable and accessible internet, investment in complex resident tracking software is ineffective. For most organizations, the climb to the top of this pyramid can take three to five years. 

Shaun Smith noted that the pyramid prototype is the useful to his organization. In relation to Asbury, the organization was able to head off some of the technology stress of the Pandemic to buttress Albright’s technology infrastructure. Nick echoed this sentiment. Organizations which had already begun scaling the pyramid were more prepared to pivot at the onset of the Pandemic.

However, sometimes there are still unforeseen  technological challenges. When Asbury staff needed to reach its LIFE Center participants (Pennsylvania’s PACE program) at the onset of the Pandemic, they quickly realized those seniors were largely without access to broadband internet or smart technology. Pivoting, the team at Asbury canvassed door-to-door with iPads. Though it was originally a challenge, the processes they developed are now used to more quickly onboard new residents. 

Integration of Technology

An important theme that emerged during the discussion was the human component of technology. AJ Peterson, as a technology solution provider, discussed how their goal is to craft platforms integrating all of the  technology tools into the workflow. He highlighted the importance of obtaining feedback from the end user throughout the process of developing a tool. If tools are easier to navigate, and fit the working needs of those using them, they are more likely to be adopted widely. Shaun echoed these sentiments, saying they have found that technology must be human-oriented. Adoption and integration are easier if there is a human connection element on the front-end. Residents and caregivers increasingly adopt the technology if they have human-centered training at the start. AJ also noted the ways in which these tools will continue to shift. Particularly, he discussed the role virtual care would play as part of the larger care strategy. He positioned the question: How does the entire care team engage with residents and  family members? They are anticipating growth in the remote patient monitoring space and seeing a shift that emphasizes a wellness-focused model, where risk is identified sooner and mitigated.

Emerging Technologies

The session concluded with discussion related to the emerging technologies impacting the senior space.  Whereas some tools, used to reward employees, may somewhat alleviate staffing and expense concerns, other tools, like VitalTech, Trueloo, Apple Watches, and Amazon Alexa, may allow more seniors to stay at home longer. Likewise, Mynd VR, Zoom, Mirror, and other technologies allow seniors new outlets to improve mental and physical health. The panelists all shared interest in how these new technologies would impact the aging space, but they unanimously voiced the need for careful adoption of the right tools versus chasing the newest technology.

For more information, please contact Melissa Messina at mmessina@hjsims.com.

For coverage on any of our other conference sessions, please visit our events page.

Panel of Experts

Nick Patel
President
The Asbury Group – Integrated Technologies

Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith
President & Chief Executive Officer
 Albright Care Services

AJ Peterson

AJ Peterson
Vice President and General Manager
Netsmart Technologies

Replay our 18th Annual Late Winter Conference