Steps to successfully manage property redevelopment while maintaining quality resident experiences

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For any house, age can be the enemy. Over time, upkeep and maintenance is needed to ensure a strong steady roof is overhead and that it is a comfortable place to call home. This is no different when it comes to senior housing communities. Embrace Living Property Solutions takes a very deliberate and long-term view when it comes to the redevelopment projects at its properties.

“We create 10- to 20-year plans for each of our properties, understanding the types of upkeep and improvements that will probably be needed along that timeline,” states Ralph Gaines, CEO of Embrace Living Communities. “This forward-looking approach allows us to plan for budgeting and funding needed to undertake the improvement projects.”

Developed around a mission

For Embrace Living, it all starts with their mission. “It drives everything we do,” says Gaines. “The priorities of the redevelopment work we do always center on safety, needs and the overall residence experience.”

Those priorities begin with a needs assessment for each property’s interior and exterior, which typically focuses on:
● Ensuring compliance with accessibility requirements;
● Addressing immediate property needs, such as mechanicals or equipment that have or will soon reach their estimated useful life; and
● Looking at general community concerns, such as upgrades to apartments and common areas to further advance the living experience of the residents.

“We always want to understand the value and return of our investments, and how they help further our mission,” says Gaines. “We try to take the guesswork out of the equation.”

Financially, the team looks at what needs to get done versus what could be done if budgets allow. “We break everything down between the needs and the wants of each property,” explains Gaines. “Our financial team is charged with seeing how to best raise the funds necessary for the projects at hand.”

Constructing a plan

Once a need is determined, approved and financed, the construction team goes to work. “We partner with a number of outside companies, from architects to general contractors to consultants,” says Greg Watson, VP of Operations, who leads the operational teams in such efforts. “The projects are typically never simple. We need to fully understand the requirements involved and the benefits and risks from both an immediate- and long-term view.”

Communication is key when working with so many outside resources, especially with larger-scale projects. “Every detail is discussed, outlined and plotted out across the timeline,” says Watson. “Whether it’s the design configuration that improves wellness activities for residents or coordinating with attorneys about liabilities and risk management, we need to look at every detail.”

Embracing change for a better experience

Communications are also critical with the residents. Often, these types of projects can be disruptive to the community. “There are times we need to relocate residents for short periods of time,” says Gaines. “We did a recent project to replace older tubs with safer walk-in showers, so residents had to move out temporarily during the work. But in communicating why we are doing the work – to better their living experience – they are usually excited about coming back to something fresh and new.”

Even though each of Embrace Living’s residential communities are different, the common thread across all of them is the philosophy of providing a welcoming and comforting home to its residents. “No matter which property you walk into, you see and feel that culture,” says Gaines. “Any and all investments we make now and in the future ties back to giving them that ongoing sense of community and belonging.”

To learn more about Embrace Living Property Solutions and ways our property management team can help affordable property owners with redevelopment projects as part of full management services, please visit: