We have also noticed that the market has become even more competitive than every before. I have seen a lot of communities that are spending money on capital investments in order to compete with the brand new communities down the street. Especially as the new communities are offering some incredible pricing specials to entice people to move in and get their buildings full of lively seniors.
Many of them are adding or expanding on fitness and wellness centers and programing. You probably already know they make special gym equipment for the seniors, and more and more communities are adding them. Course many of them are going out and buying a Wii if they don't already have one. I have also seen an increase in spending in adding to existing therapy departments.
I have seen new carpeting, new furniture and new cafes go in. I have even seen a multi-million dollar new elevator installed in a 20 year old high rise. While it was painful during the transition you can imagine the improvements they have noticed.
Older buildings that are primarily full of studios are now willing to literally cut down walls between two studios to make one larger studio or "one bedroom" apartment. This is a result of the demand for more space.
We also work with a community that has applied for a supportive living license though the state which, when approved, will allow them to work with Medicaid for payment. What this means, is anyone who lives there now, can stay if they run out of money which is a welcome relief for both the community (who would other wise lose the resident) and the residents and their families who would otherwise have to find another place to live with less choice being the key factor.
On the flip side, even with everything the way it is, we still work with some communities that have waiting lists. This could be because of the service they offer is available at the right price. And of course, it is similar to real estate – it is all about location.