Business Opportunity: Hospital-based Life Plan Community, Acquisition, Turnaround
Brandon Wilde opened in 2001, under the direction of the University Health Care System (UHCS) and was the recognized market leader in the greater Augusta marketplace for providing exceptional lifestyle services to seniors and their families. The 73-acre wooded campus is situated in the greater Augusta area and consists of 241 independent living units, including 72 cottages; 40 assisted living units; 25 memory care units; and 65 skilled nursing units.
Research showed that Brandon Wilde was the only Life Plan Community in a market saturated with AL/MC rental communities. Subsequently, Life Care Services had two goals: build occupancy in all levels of care, and review pricing strategy to better align pricing for apartments and cottages. An owner investment of $2.6 million was identified as a priority, with $393,000 earmarked for building and structure improvements, $1 million for cottage roof replacements, and $1.26 million for common area renovations. Then, Life Care Services engaged an experienced senior living advertising agency to help develop the marketing strategy. Research suggested that the Brandon Wilde name was well known and associated positively in the market.
Brandon Wilde was a hospital-based Life Plan Community, and financial constraints placed an undue burden on the hospital to subsidize at a point when occupancy had been steadily declining. Due to continued lack of investment, maintenance had been deferred, and renovations were needed. Additionally, turnover at the top of the organization necessitated engaging interim leadership, but whose expertise was not senior housing. UHCS leadership expressed interest in working with Life Care Services because of its existing presence in Georgia and its national operating platform for similar Life Plan Communities. The UHCS leadership toured two communities managed by Life Care Services; The Marshes of Skidaway Island, a not-for-profit community in Georgia and The Heritage at Brentwood, a for-profit community in Tennessee. UHCS found both communities delivered the same hospitality and resident experience regardless of their financial structure, which solidified their decision to choose Life Care Services.
The Value of Life Care Services
Investment in marketing and sales included:
- Website redesign and enhanced digital platform to increase leads
- Implementation of SalesFIRST™ culture
Improvement in resident and employee experience started with:
- Full implementation of an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) in all levels of care
- Implementation of a resident portal (CareMerge)
- Expansion of Wi-Fi in all residences and common areas
Life Care Services continues to leverage DCS/CPS cost savings strategies through the power of procurement:
- Annual apartment turnover cost savings
- Decreased 1BR total refurbishment cost from $45,000 per unit to under $30,000 per unit
- Saved over $450,000 in refurbishment expenses as a result of a shift in procurement
Annual Food & Beverage cost savings
- Estimated savings of over $50,000 in raw food/supplies cost
- Significant savings in plant operations and capital refurbishment expenditures