Way to grow! NIC will focus on key issues

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Brian Jurutka
Brian Jurutka

Editor's note: This article appears in the McKnight's Dealmaker's Handbook for 2017. Pick up a copy where publications are displayed at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care's Fall Conference, or download one here.

Look for the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care to expand its data and educational offerings as well as ties to organizations outside of the real estate arena now that founder Robert G. Kramer has become a full-time strategic adviser to the organization and Brian Jurutka has succeeded him as CEO.

The leadership change was effective July 17 but had been planned since late fall 2016, according to the Annapolis, MD-based organization. Jurutka had succeeded Kramer in the position of president two years ago, joining NIC with the expectation that he would be CEO one day. He has worked with Kramer since that time to better understand NIC's vision and mission, the two said.

Kramer was at the helm of the organization for 27 years.

“I've really come to understand and see firsthand the strong brand that NIC has built and that Bob has helped lead and grow over the past 25-plus years,” Jurutka says. “We have an opportunity as an organization ... to have an impact on millions of elders, and I'm really excited about that.”

NIC will continue to hold its Fall Conference and Spring Investment Forum, with Kramer saying he'll be involved in content-planning for the events at least through mid-2018. Also continuing is the NIC MAP Data Service, which offers more than 10 years of historical data on key performance metrics — occupancy, rent growth, absorption, inventory growth and construction versus inventory — collected from seniors housing and care providers throughout the country.

Under Jurutka's leadership, however, NIC plans to diversify data analytics and research projects, expand the scope of conferences and deliver educational content in additional ways.

“While our core mission won't change, as the landscape shifts, we'll evolve to ensure we meet changing needs,” Jurutka says.

Changes brought about by baby boomers will be one influence on the organization's efforts going forward, he adds.

“As we take a look at the first boomers turning 80 in 2026, NIC has been a key player in helping to provide transparency and helping to have this platform to connect the capital seekers and the capital providers,” Jurutka says. “And over the course of the next nine years, the opportunity is as large or larger than it has been in the past for NIC to continue to provide that platform.”

In the future, Kramer (pictured) predicts, the industry will be challenged to provide even more transparency through data. “I think the boomer consumer is going to demand that — more transparency and, with that, more ability to document and demonstrate the quality that we provide,” he notes.

Jurutka, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former nuclear submarine officer, has more than two decades of experience in data analytics, operations and business development that will serve NIC well, Kramer says.

Other big issues that NIC will be keeping an eye on, Jurutka says, are the industry's use of technology to address the labor needs of caring for the growing aging population, changes in healthcare payment delivery models and “opportunities for value to be created by helping the residents in seniors housing and care facilities participate in the full continuum of care.”

As strategic adviser, Kramer will continue his work related to the organization's study assessing the demand for middle-market seniors housing. This past spring, NIC awarded a $125,000 grant to independent social research organization NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct the research. A larger amount has been committed to fund the dissemination of the results in the fall of 2018, he says.

Kramer also will be working on NIC's seniors housing benchmarking project. That initiative, announced in February 2016, is tracking and reporting aggregated data on seniors housing actual rents using a standard file format with standard field definitions. The effort is designed to provide information that operators and investors can use for their strategic planning efforts and day-to-day business operations. Healthcare real estate investment trusts, lenders and senior living operators are supplying data.

But Kramer says he's most excited about the “outward-facing” opportunities his new role will afford him, now that he no longer will need to concentrate on the day-to-day decision-making that comes with leading an organization.

“It's developing relationships with the people and discovering the ideas and the organizations and even the industries and sectors that are going to be influential, not to say disruptive, to our own industry as we seek to meet the housing and care and lifestyle objectives and desires of the boomer generation,” he says.

Those organizations, industries and sectors could relate to healthcare, wellness, lifestyle, predictive analytics and the broader aging services field, Kramer adds.

“We are increasingly positioning to not just attract real estate-based investors but also non-real estate-based private equity, venture capital and so forth, as well as debt,” he says. “That means interacting more with non-real estate-based providers of care and services — for instance, care management organizations, insurance plans, other risk-takers, technology-driven home care and enhanced primary care delivery at home,” he adds, with “home” including seniors housing and care settings.

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