Our Head of Senior Living, Dominic Morris is joined by Phil Schmid, Julia Ashley, Nick Edwards, Tom Lord and Andrew Brown discussing what it takes to run a best of class retirement community. The panel looks at the resident experience, the growing use of technology in meeting residents' needs and how the sector is embracing the ESG challenge.
Mike Phillips: I would like to introduce our opening panel, day to day excellence getting operations right. So as I am sure you will know senior living can be one of the most operationally intensive of any real estate asset classes so we are here to find out what does it take to provide the best resident experience in a financially viable way and thanks again to our partner for this session Gowling WLG. We have got an absolutely amazing panel to discuss this topic for you, leading our discussion will be Dominic Morris, Head of Senior Living at Gowling WLG and he will be grilling Tom Lord, CEO of Inspired Villages, Andrew Brown, Head of Healthcare at Target Healthcare, Julia Ashley, CEO of C&C Homes and Nick Edwards, COO of Audley. And just very quickly before we get into the session we are going to be asking your opinions to keep things interactive and gauge your opinion of this sector so there is a poll that you can take during the course of the session, that is on the left hand side of your screen, you can click on that. You can go in there at any point during the session and give your opinion and we can come back to the results of that at the end. So that's quite enough from me, over to you Dominic, do take us away thanks so much.
Dominic Morris: Thank you Mike and good morning everyone thank you for joining us. As Mike says in this session we are going to be looking at the operation of retirement living communities but just to frame that I guess for the purposes of our discussion what we are talking about I think are independent living and assisted living schemes, these are schemes that often offer a range of on-site facilities and services as well as having a safety net of resident support. I think it's fair to say that operators of these schemes are in it for the long haul. Their interests are closely aligned with those of the residents to ensure standards are maintained and property values with them. So providing a best of class operation should help to drive sustained value growth within the schemes and provide a very attractive proposition not only for the operators and their residents but also for investors and funders increasingly looking at this space. So with the help of our panel we will be finding out what this looks like. To begin with we are going to look at the resident experience. So retirement communities are about much more than the bricks and mortar, why do people choose to live in these schemes and what do they offer? So Julia if I could turn to you in the first instance please. How would you characterise the experience of being a resident in one of your communities and has that changed much over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Julia Ashley: It's changed greatly actually through the course of the pandemic so our communities are in London and some of them are big you know 250 units of sheltered housing which is on the social housing scale. I suppose before the pandemic they were big communities that spent an awful lot of time together both informally and through organised activity and I think people were very appreciative of that. It's one of the reasons why you might move to sheltered housing, that there is support on site and sort of friendship groups around you. I think through the pandemic that has changed greatly with social distancing and people having to stay in their homes. We have been trying to get our residents engaged with technology for a long time now and that has been quite a slow burn. I think through the pandemic that has been rapid and I would say we have come on light years in terms of adoption of technology. We have been giving out IPads on sign up to payment by direct debit for instance for quite a long time now. We actually gave out over 100 tablets, IPads, right at the beginning of the pandemic to enable people to contact us and their families and stay in touch. I think there is much more call now and people are very very demanding of Wi-Fi in every part of the building and technology to be able to connect both in conversation and with virtual online activities which sort of are replacing physical in person activities.
Dominic: Super. Tom I think you have had a sort of a similar experience really of the great of technology for your villages over the last few months and if you would like to comment on that.
Tom Lord: Yes well we run villages that are really focused on holistic wellbeing, social, mental, physical wellbeing of our residents and obviously with a lockdown came a need to pivot on the services that we delivered especially things like exercise classes and how do you get people to do that and whilst balcony exercise classes are a good thing we also turned to technology. Started running exercise classes on Zoom through to wine tastings and gin and tonic hour to keep the communities connected with each other. We launched a thing we called the 'Virtual Village Centre' on Facebook back in March as a way of just trying to have a platform that could connect our communities with all of these virtual things. We soon realised that why would that be just for our communities and broadened it to their friends and family to our colleagues' families and ultimately just across the UK and we have collected 16,000 followers along the way of that Facebook page, 80% of them over the age of 75 and I think it just goes to show that this demographic isn't shy of technology and 80% of them have access to IPads or smart phones etc. so there really is that opportunity to harness technology for the good and I think there's a lot of interesting things coming along in the future that can be used. I think we need to focus on life tech that can keep people active, engaged rather than just care tech for this sector in the future.
Dominic: Great and Nick the Audley experience?
Nick Edwards: I suspect quite similar in the way to what Tom and what Julia has already said when the people move to our villages because of the lifestyle, because of the health and wellbeing aspect, the independence they get which are all great positives, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, health and wellbeing facilities and then wrap around care support so when lockdown hit that became very difficult but as Tom said moving into a way in which we could provide those services either in the gardens of our facilities or on the balcony or remotely through technology was a big plus. But we also did things like stop our restaurants serving food in restaurant, bringing in other staff so that we could deliver it in an appropriately Covid protective manner to people's doors so that they had hot food and then turned our sales staff into making calls into the local community to help support those people that we thought might need interaction and contact. And then what can you do when you have got a village and a platform like that, well you drive further contact into the local community, so making more calls to people making sure that they feel supported. So I think that the concept of a village just being for the owners and the customers in the village was expanded out into the community far more than ever before. So that those villages feel very much a part of the community and I think we did a great deal of good and I am sure that Julia and Tom would say the same you know pushing out into the community to help those communities at their time of need was a big positive both for our staff I think but also the on benefit that our owners felt with that being associated with it.
Dominic: And do you think you have learnt more about what your residents' priorities and concerns are as a result of that experience Nick?
Nick: I think the engagement with our owners has been incredible. There isn't a single owner who we haven't had more touch points with through lockdown. Far more significantly than we will have done in the past I think so yes we do know more about what they think and feel about things. I think driving change has been a huge positive, there was almost a free pass if you like through Corona, we could try things that we hadn't tried before because if we failed we were trying it out of a need, there was almost a desperation to get content to our owners and into the community and if it went a bit pear shaped that's ok you know needs must and we were sort of on a war time footing if you like. So that kind of engagement was really positive, really positive and it didn't matter if we got things wrong and we've learnt a lot from it, we did get a few things wrong, we got a tonne of things right, all for the benefit of our owners and for the community.
Dominic Morris: Great. Andrew as an investor, Target Healthcare are focusing on the care home sector, what insights can you give us as about how your operators I guess meet the needs of their residents both during this year and more generally and with a sort of I guess a spotlight on learnings for the retirement living community sector.
Andrew Brown: Well I suppose the sector I am mainly in now you know care homes is more a needs led sector so people come in at a frailer time in their lives perhaps more aged needing care or help more so than the retirement side. I think although we have heard sort of many horror stories in the media about care homes during the Covid time the residents have had some benefits in the sense that it's not been all lockdown sort of within the homes, there has been periods when residents were sort of trying to be kept in a room for isolation periods when there was times of concern, but on the whole the residents managed to form a bubble within the wider home and life has gone on to a certain extent within that so there has been some benefits of sort of living in a larger bubble. I was privileged to go round a couple of retirement facilities recently and was interested to hear they had formed a bubble in the wider sort of village as well which was interesting and something I never thought could have happened but had been very successfully done. What advice can I give to my colleagues on the retirement side? Very difficult to say, I wouldn't like to presume too much. I think probably like Nick was saying you need to just encourage, in marketing particularly, encourage the benefits of community you know there's no question that residents probably retirement and homes have benefitted from that community feel. You know residents in the community, the general community had been isolated completely and I think that we have to extol the benefits of being in a village or a community or a care home to take away from isolation to enjoy the benefits of company and friendship and supportive staff.
Nick: I mean we build these great facilities for our owners and our customers to use and at times like this actually we can then use that platform out into the wider community, it almost feels like the obvious thing to do. There is a cost associated with doing it but there is also a public good and a social benefit and if staff aren't able to do what they were supposed to be doing because the restaurant's closed or the swimming pool's closed or whatever then they can go out and do other things and if that's creating content for websites to be delivered remotely or it's helping cook food or it's making calls into people that we know might be struggling or supporting our carers by going out and doing care visits then great. That's what the platform and that's what the village gives the local community, you know it's not always necessary to do that but it's something that we should always be thinking about trying to do whenever we have got spare time if you like and spare capacity in our village operations.
Tom: Yes I think I would agree with Nick on that. I think the social impact value of retirement communities is right at the core of what we do and I think most of us across the sector are led by a deep purpose led approach to combat loneliness and to help people live healthier years of life and that doesn't stop at the end of the road to a village it's in all of our teams. So, I mean we have introduced a thing we call 'Inspire Friendships' which we put in place before we open a village in a local area and that reaches out to lonely older people and in the last few months I think that's proved invaluable. Ok we can't organise the events at the moment that we would previously do but it maintains connection and makes sure that people feel like they are part of something bigger and don't feel so isolated during isolation.
Dominic: It's interesting you both sort of reference social impact and that community engagement. I think the senior living sector generally and this sector specifically has so much to offer in terms of that ESG social impact sustainability agenda through the healthcare and support it provides to residents, that community engagement, the employment opportunities, the list goes on but Phil if I could draw you into the conversation. I am not sure you were formally introduced at the beginning but Phil Schmid from CBRE, welcome to the panel. What is your sort of view of the significance of ESG and the social impact sustainability agenda for the sector? Should it be a core part of its DNA going forward?
Phil Schmid: I think it probably already is if I'm honest. I think you know it forms part of the social care sector so it has social at its heart already. I think for a lot of investors now looking at the matter demographic driven etc. it is an obvious area that they want to look at, they want to invest, they want to deploy money, their investors, pensioners, individuals are saying to a customer base that are living within the operator schemes are driving that. People want more sustainable, impactful investment and so I think we will see and we are beginning to see far greater investment in this market from these investors as they start to look at ancillary areas. They have invested in student housing, build to rents, even with the number of the big institutions that we would all recognise in the UK pension funds are all beginning to dip their toe in the water. Royal London with their deal with Audley, we've got Legal & General with Inspired Villages so they are following that trend and I think that goes from both an investor end but also the end consumer in the villages. Certainly the feedback we get from a number of the operators is the end consumers are asking the questions. Who are your investors, what's their ethos, what's their background and it goes right down to the nuts and bolts of how they run the village, certainly where does your energy come from, what's your green agenda for running this village and I think it's embedded within the whole industry already. I don't think it's necessarily something that we need to look at doing going forwards I think it's already part and parcel.
Nick: It's actually interesting Nick because it's not something we'd spend a lot of time talking about. I haven't done in the past but when you compare the CSRE of student benefits, of retirement communities verses student housing or build to rent for example they are head and shoulders above. I mean there is just no comparison in terms of the benefits to the wider society from building a retirement village verses building a build to rent scheme or building a student accommodation block. There's a completely different dynamic in play. Yes sure we might need more student beds in certain locations and we absolutely need more affordable rental flats but we completely and utterly need a whole lot more retirement villages or age appropriate accommodation and with the health and wellbeing benefits that go alongside that for people that are able to move into these villages there is a whole different angle and if we can build them in the right way and build in sustainable technologies in the right way then so much the better. Yes I agree Phil it's already there it's already happening.
Dominic: And I think the sector is again in a great place because it's scaling up from a relatively small base and it can as you say build all of this in as it develops and becomes sort of an exemplar of all these behaviours. Julia, what's your view in terms of sustainability and how that washes through C&C's business?
Julia: We are in a slightly different position I guess. We are a 94 year old organisation and we've a legacy of stock that was built in the 60's, 70's and the sustainability of gender is massive for us. I think on the social side and the governance side of ESG where kind of this is our bread and butter where this is just what we do I think on the sustainability side we have got our new build programme which you can plan this in. We have got a whole retro fit programme and that's quite a big challenge for us because obviously we are a provider of affordable homes so our rental strings are limited, they are capped by government policy so actually to meet the agenda of sustainability we need to just remodel our business plan basically and think of new ways of approaching that and I think we are sort of grappling with the new technologies that are out there at the moment and I think there is a certain path through that for us which is around building resilience so that we can adapt the new technologies later on but actually let the spike of the kind of technology happen in the next few years which inevitably will move on greatly in the next few years and then be ready to adapt to what actually sticks.
Dominic: And Tom from the Inspired perspective what does sustainability look like on site in terms of onsite energy facilities, in terms of design of buildings?
Tom: Yes, I mean there is no doubt that ESG is a priority and becoming one of the kind of top priorities for most investors out there. I think it's really important that we look at that and as you do the social impact side of things, the wellbeing side of things and supporting an ageing population we have in spades across the sector. I think when you look at the environmental side of things we have probably got more than you imagine with lots of green spaces and trees etc. but when you think of the biggest priorities around net zero homes and zero waste to land fill over the next 10, 20, 30 years we have got to start looking at that now and I think we have got to grapple with the answer to how do you build new zero villages in the future. How do we understand embodied carbon and how to tackle that whole piece and if we don't start looking at it now there's no way that we'll meet those targets so we are looking at how to design in renewable technology, ground source heat pumps, where does PV go and you have to design it in right from the start right down to the choice of carpets ultimately and strangely the cement that you use which I didn't know until about a week ago. But I think there is a real opportunity for us not only with that social impact piece but in the environmental space. We are a small sector at the moment and I think we could have a great story to tell if everybody, if we didn't just have a slow march towards net zero and reducing carbon but if we put our backs into it as a sector we'll be able to tell a great story around the environmental impact of our villages and how sustainable they are. And I think the story that then ultimately you've got to hope that when we start talking to planning officers and the like and we tell the social impact story and the environmental story together then the possibilities and the opportunities will increase and I think it goes to the residents as well I think they are interested in buying sustainable properties. They are coming from a place where it would cost a lot to convert a 4-5 bedroom home to make it sustainable. But on that move into better accommodation then I mean surveys tell us that 85% of people would pay a bit more for a sustainable property and why would that be any different for the over 65's. I'd like to think there's a big opportunity there.
Phil: I think there's an interesting dynamic with ESG because I think there is a lot of focus obviously on the obvious things you know you focused on green, carbon neutral things like that but I think one of the areas that maybe Andrew sees some of this in the care space is one of the sort of I guess the push backs we get sometimes from parties is around affordability and affordable with a sort of a little 'a' rather than a capital 'A' around, they sort of look at, maybe they are looking at the care home sector looking at the senior housing sector and they see it as targeted for the sort of upper quartile and they can see lots focused at the lower quartile and their sort of question and sometimes a push to us is well what about those that sit in that middle and actually from an ESG point of view how do you provide for all and not just be seen to be providing for the you know the lowest or the highest and fill that bit in the middle. I think that's been quite an interesting push for us both across senior housing but also within the care space and I don't know if Andrew sees that when he's looking at the care space from his investor base as well.
Andrew Brown: Yes I think I've always been frustrated in a sense by some of the ESG formality probably because I didn't understand it fully when the term first came out. So I have educated myself and thought in some respects it's a by respect isn't it you know it's by respect for the environment and respect for the people you are looking after, the customers, your staff, it's respect for the governors and I don't like some of the tokenism around ESG you know I don't like this idea of you are creating a list. My Dad used to say there's no point in spray painting the car if the chassis' rusted and then sort of putting solar panels on and that's kind of happened a little bit in the care homes space where they have sort of bolted on things that we hoped would improve the environmental side of things as others have said the social side we have got in spades. But I think Julia had sort of mentioned it one of the problems we do have in the sector as a whole probably more so in the care homes space is that many of the care homes across the country are just in a sense dated and are not fit for modern purpose and I think this is happening very closely at, you know don't just look very closely at the ESG you know the nice shiny bits but you know you need to look at what's behind the design of the building, en-suites, I mean 75% of care homes do not have proper en-suites in the sector so there's a huge amount of work to be done sort of the environmental side in care homes and not just on sort of the more obvious things like heating systems and solar panels. But I think the retirement side, retirement living is probably building many more new facilities in the care side which is good.
Dominic: Thank you. So we have talked about technology and we talked about the fabric of these villages but obviously fundamentally this is a people business and staffing sits at its core so Nick I wonder if you would talk to us a little about some of the opportunities and challenges around staffing at these schemes.
Nick: It's hard work, so being a General Manager or Operations Manager in a retirement village is tough, it's not like running a hotel because the people you interact with are there every single day and if they've got issues those issues stick with them. So that's the downside bit of it, it's really hard work, it's not an easy job. The upside is that it can be tremendously rewarding because you are interacting with people at a point in their lives where they can really benefit from some support. So there's upsides and downsides. Recruiting people for the long term is really difficult as I said because it's a hard job. That's just on the operational management side of it so it's important to provide the support through training programmes, it's important to recruit the right people in in the first place and have deep pools of people you can go to. They are both kind of critical in maintaining a healthy and happy village. I think on the care side the biggest driver actually in care recently has been the uptick in the value that society puts on carers and that's largely as the result of Corona and I think society just appreciating what carers do do. Carers is a relatively poorly paid profession which we pay above the minimum wages, we pay travel time and so on and that helps us keep our care staff in place but again it's down to the culture of the organisation helping support those members of staff but again these are not easy roles. Frontline roles in operational management or in care are challenging and demanding so it's no surprise that there's churn. Our job is to try and provide as much support as we can to people in those roles and if we can keep that high profile in care where it rightly should be, right and forefront of a positive image for society that will definitely help. I am not sure whether it will stay there for the long term, I desperately hope that it will do because I think those people that have provided incredible service through all types of areas of care over the last 9 months deserve our utmost praise for what they've done and I hope desperately that that continues. I hope that they don't have to keep doing what they've been doing for the last 9 months but I hope the positive sentiment towards them continues for a long time to come because it's what they deserve.
Dominic: Absolutely. And Julia I guess from your perspective which is London focussed does that present more challenges, different opportunities in respect of staffing?
Julia: Yes. So we're central London and you know we've got big schemes, we've got just about every culture, language, religion you could imagine in our schemes. We have high levels of mental health difficulties. Our staff are incredible, they come to join us because they believe in what they are doing generally and they've just been incredible through the pandemic particularly and I think you know I would agree with Nick you know both in our housing schemes and in our care homes the teams have formed a much stronger bond than they ever had before. Our turnover has plummeted, people want to be part of the team that is the one that's making the difference and they are finding novel ways to work together through multiple challenges. We have got an incredible amount of support from the local communities who are for instance, you know a day in the life of a housing officer in central London in one of our sheltered schemes would be to be getting a delivery from a food bank or going to get the food from a food bank or surplus stores from a supermarket, bagging it up and knocking on 200 doors to deliver food parcels, doing the same tomorrow and the day after. And this is just a small example of the sort of ingenuity and the passion and they have just been fantastic, I can't speak highly enough of them and I agree with Nick you know they really deserve a much greater profile than they've had previously and I think there is national awareness now that people working in this sector particularly in the care homes have been heroes throughout the whole pandemic and I second that.
Dominic: Yes, I would third that. Tom from the Inspired Villages' perspective.
Tom: Yes and a little bit from a personal perspective as a hotelier of over 20 years I am not sure I entirely agree with Nick's position that it's that different. Yes people that come to hotels stay for 1½ nights and our residents stay for 8 years but that allows us more opportunity to understand who they are, what they want, what their needs are and personalise the service that we deliver to them. So we've had some real success recruiting some fantastic talent in our village managers from the hotel sector which at the moment is decimated through Covid and our team, these people have come to us and at the core of somebody that works in hospitality is really about delivering great service to people and running great teams and that is at the core of what we want to do. At Inspired Villages it's enabling people to live the best years of their life and really focussing on the proactive element of wellbeing and keeping people well for longer and hoteliers are used to the hard work and rolling the sleeves up and providing that level of service so I think there's a real cross over, we are on the peripheries of hospitality rather than the core kind of bit that hotels do. I completely agree that this year has brought our teams together. We see that through our engagement surveys, it's tied everybody to the purpose of the company and that life at Inspired should be some of the best years of your life and that we are all focussed on delivering that for the residents. We have increased communication, I think this year's been great for a focus on that and thinking differently about how we communicate with our teams and a weekly call from our CEO live with questions from the team got put in place and we probably wouldn't have done that had it not been for Covid and embracing digital. But there are some silver linings and lessons that we've learnt through this year that will carry on into the future to ensure we keep our teams engaged in our fantastic culture in place.
Dominic: Thank you. Phil I think it's clear from this discussion if it wasn't before there are some parallels between retirement living communities and operating them and BTR and hotels and other if you like specialist residential sectors. What do you think are any of the sort of learnings that this sector can take from those?
Phil: I think it's probably emphasising you've got a demographic and a needs based client group you know hotels are to a degree either business led, you know we don't know what's going to happen you know how quickly the world is going to get back to normal. You know you've got a client group that is there and planning to live in these things, wants to stay there, is looking for that lifestyle, the connection you know all the factors we have touched on. There are obviously some parallels there with things like ETR on that side of things. I think one of the interesting bits I think is going to be how the effect of the current situation alters both attitudes and approaches to things like tenure, you know people with this, slowdowns in housing markets, things like that, if you've got a needs driven product or a need that isn't going away and is getting worse actually being able to move and not necessarily need to have to sell your house, you know is an interesting route and certainly we have seen some of the operators benefiting from that, able to offer flexibility to their consumers and their customers to be able to move in quicker so I think that's going to be an interesting change. That certainly was a driver towards more rental over in the US, slowdown in the housing market, a bit of stagnation there and actually staying and thinking about capital growth wasn't necessarily on the table so it came about is the right place, so I think's going to be an interesting area to look at and I think that the impact on some of those other sectors, particularly for investors in terms of where else can you deploy your money, where else can you invest on behalf, the amount money coming in to some of the investors isn't reducing and they can't just keep necessarily stock piling money, so that is prompting certainly more parties to look elsewhere and actually look at those ancillary markets that sit alongside things that they know and understand and you now you've only got to look at Carlisle obviously acquiring Beechcroft which CBRE advised on. You've got Lonestar obviously looking at McCarthy & Stone, suddenly having had a flurry back in 2017, a lot of those investors have spent the last two years going well hang on a minute, Axa Legal & General have invested, what is it, what does it look like. It's taken people two years to go on that journey, look at things, think about what they want and then realise what they can get and we are just starting to see some of those transactions starting to come through and I think the range of investors talking to us now, the range of parties investing and look at it because they are going, I can see the hotel element, I can see the BTR, I can get comfortable with the risks and how this works, you know there's a few things that they are still having to get their head around and understand but there's certainly lots of parallels that they're able to draw on and recognise on what they do elsewhere which means it is not quite as scary and presenting to an investor base your IC it becomes an easier step to make that move into what is a newer sector for them.
Dominic: Super. Thank you. Mike materialises on screen which I think is my queue to hand over the reins.
Mike Philipps: Oh yes I have appeared from the ether. So thank you so much to the panel for that discussion. A couple of questions from the audience to pick up on. A question from Anthony Oldfield; I will send this to you Julia first and then gauge the opinion of the rest of the panel as well. If you had to pick one or maybe two key bits of advice on running a facility to a new operator, what would be, if you had to boil it down to those absolute essentials what would you sort of say?
Julia: There are so many, I suppose the first one is make sure you have got the right people delivering the service because actually they need to want to do this and they need to be bought into the social kind of value and social angle of that and want to really help people and give them good training programmes and just align with your objectives. I suppose the next one is to engage and involve your residents because if you do not you are going to come unstuck I think. They are the ones living in the buildings, they are the ones that know what is needed and they are the ones that are going to help me successful.
Mike: The rest of the panel any advances on that?
Nick: I would say make sure that your sales staff are really well trained because the biggest issue new operators will have is that their sales guys will oversell the operational capabilities of the business especially if it is a start-up and you create more headaches by overselling something to a customer base that you will never be able to reverse out of so make sure your sales team know exactly what it is that you operationally are seeking to deliver and make sure that, well obviously you did not deliver that clearly but do not oversell.
Tom: Be clear on what your proposition is. Do not try and be absolutely everything to absolutely everyone because you will fail and understand the most important moments to your residents what is it you have got to do brilliantly above everything else those big rocks and yes have a team that are passionate about doing what they do and delivering great service and caring for the residents of the village.
Mike: Sure. Andrew from your care home perspective go on.
Andrew: For me I think it is a big part is communication isn't it? It is especially when the Village is up and running the communication is absolutely essential. Your residents and staff become frustrated by a lack of communication by lack of direction, you know by hearing what is going on and what is proposed or communication is a biggie I suppose in any business but particularly so in a Village where people want to feel part of it and want to get things done.
Mike: And Phil, so from your helicopter view as an advisor what would you say?
Phil: I think for me it is having a good manager, you know whether it is a care home, whether it is a retirement scheme. We joke that nine times out of ten that first impression, that first interaction with that manager, you can tell whether that scheme is going to be well run efficient effective well thought of by the residents. I think that for me is probably number 1. It is that management of the scheme.
Mike: Sure thanks and just to touch on the results of the poll that we have been asking you so the question we asked was which of the following on-site factors will be most important for the successful operation of retirement communities in five years' time and to run through the results, top of the list with 39% of the votes so a good share, a compelling lifestyle and wellbeing offer for residents. Next up with just sort of 20% well designed homes, ESG and sustainability which we touched on there with 12%, flexible tenure options for residents with 17% and a fully integrated platform where the operator delivers all the asset management hospitality and care services with about sort of 14% so that compelling lifestyle sort of very, very clearly the top result. What do you make of that Dominic and how well is the sector doing in terms of delivering that compelling lifestyle and wellbeing offer do you think?
Dominic: I think it is doing very well. I think it is a question of getting the message out to the market, the target audiences you know people that come and visit these schemes and are invariable wowed by what is on offer and I think as the panel have been saying that experience and that offer has almost intensified and the wellbeing and health and lifestyle agenda gets more and more focused as we go forward. I think that is going to become more and more important.
Mike: Sure, that point of flexibility of tenure option for residents. Are we seeing more of that, anyone on the panel got any views on that? We are seeing flexibility of tenure on a more differentiated offer from operators:
Tom: Definitely. I think it is coming, it will come, we will certainly be doing it so yes without a doubt. It is about getting the right product so the hardware, what it looks like, the design marrying that with the right service offering, what do people really need and then trying to find the right way of pricing it for people essentially, what is that they can afford to pay to come and have that lifestyle and that is on us to create the product and then we have got to figure what the right pricing structure is, whether it is long term or short term tenure.
Mike: Well thank you so much to our panel for that incredibly in depth and erudite look at all of the elements you know as I said earlier that most sort of complex of real estate asset classes everyone in the audience will have taken away something from that I am sure so thank you so much to all of you. For our audience, as I mentioned earlier we have got speed networking available in the lobby area, you can go in there and sign up for that and also our expo room with booths from all of our various partners for the event where you can explore and network in there as well so that is ongoing now until 11.30am which is when we will have our next session looking at the funding game, how to finance housing for our aging population needs so now if your point to go have a wee or go and get a piece of toast a nourishing snack but do join us again at 11.30am for the next session and do also please use those networking and booth functions as well. I am sure you will get plenty out of that but thank you most of all to our panel for that excellent discussion. Thank you all so much.
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