• Lisa McCracken

Highlights of the 25th Annual Ziegler Senior Living Finance + Strategy Conference

Lisa McCracken, Director of Senior Living Research and Development, highlights some of the topics and sessions that garnered the greatest interest among conference registrants.

Ziegler hosted more than 600 attendees had access to the latest best practices, case studies and industry research across 24 conference sessions. The breakout sessions below were those that garnered the highest attendance across the three days of the conference. Specific observations and information on each of these is also included.


A Focus on New Campus Development & Significant Expansions: More than half of senior living CFOs report that they plan to grow through some type of campus expansion in the next two years and another 2 out of 10 are planning for some type of new campus.1 It is no surprise that this was one of the most well-attended sessions of the conference. Not-for[1]profit providers are looking to expand their brand in local and regional markets. Many of the campus expansions involve the addition of independent living units and satellite campuses continue to grow in popularity. New campuses being developed can often be developed in phases, not always, but often with the healthcare component in subsequent phases (if at all).


Single-Site Communities in the Spotlight: There are roughly 560 not-for-profit single-site Life Plan Communities in the U.S. Many of these communities continue to grow in scale and sophistication and are leaders in their respective market. All three panelists have actively reinvested in their communities and have not be afraid to make bold, multi-year, multi-phased plans to modernize their living options and align with changing customer expectations. Ongoing strategic planning, community reinvestment, ensuring a strong brand and culture and solid financial planning were common threads across each organization.


Dynamic Sales & Marketing Tactics: Driving Outcomes: This session spent time talking about how to be nimble and proactive with sales goals, not simply to motivate staff to do their job, but to align organization needs and goals with those of the sales and marketing team. Additionally, providers need to be open to dynamic pricing models and need to regularly assess contract types to ensure both they are meeting customer expectations and also internal financial goals.


Growth Through Revenue Diversification: This session did not merely focus on some of the traditional service line expansions (e.g. into HCBS), but on innovative ancillary businesses and partnerships. Proactive not-for-profit organizations are exploring ways to think different about revenue streams and how they can create business models that align with additional areas of expertise. The panelists each shared the evolution of various ancillary business lines and in a number of cases, how these were constructed in partnership with others. This view on organizational services lines will become increasingly relevant in our competitive landscape.


Advancing Strategic Technology Solutions: We would have been surprised if a technology session would not have been one of the more attractive topics at the conference. This panel of technology experts discussed a variety of topics from planning for technology investments to advancements made in the past two years because of the onset of the pandemic in 2020. It is clearly that having a technology roadmap for your organization will put you in a much better position moving forward.

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