I Attended a Meeting Of One Of Our Chapters Last Week
…and walked away inspired – again. More than the excellent Colorado style Mexican food, the comforting smell of wood burning stoves, and margaritas, the group itself is . . . well . . . perfect.The Denver ALR Meetup meets on the last Wednesday of the month and has an engaged group of members in the assisted living business. The group is comprised of Residential Assisted Living (RAL) owners, financing representatives hoping to lend to RAL owners, service providers to the RAL businesses, and the curious. Vern Harris, the President of the Group, has created a community that meets primarily to learn about issues and opportunities in the assisted living marketplace. Vern is a real estate agent specializing in assisted living properties. Prior to the start of the meeting, Vern distributes a list of RALs for sale at the beginning of the meeting which provides everyone the chance to catch up with each other and evaluate the value of the market.The conversations around that list promote the formation of discussion groups exploring opportunities for business relationships related to those properties. Because the room is full of RAL business owners, aspiring ALR business owners, ALR finance experts, ALR legal experts, and numerous other important service providers, the pre-meeting networking discussions are fun and productive.The meetings themselves are focused on important subjects to the assisted living business such as regulatory matters affecting the business environment, and problem-solving in the business.On 31 March, Vern brought in Mitch and Jennifer Conrad, members of the Residential Assisted Living National Association, to speak to our group on the patio of Hacienda Colorado. The topic: “How to Build a Portfolio of Assisted Living Residences.”Unlike many other presentations about “How to Something-Something in Business”, Mitch and Jenn inspired us with a deeply personal discussion of the problems, and occasionally shocking surprises they faced at each step of the way and how they worked through those challenges to build their portfolio of assisted living homes. While I would love to tell you some of their stories, you should hear it from them. I am sure that you too will say “No! Did that really happen?”The presentation was inspirational because each obstacle they met was something that everyone in the room could feel. Each person in the audience was struck with the same question: “How did they get through that?”Although they offered numerous general approaches to getting through the challenges of building a business, there were two commonalities that I walked away with from their presentation:
- Each problem started with, “Well, we didn’t really have any money.”
- Each solution required persistence on their part.
Each assisted living owner in the room, and among our Residential Assisted Living National Association membership has their own list of obstacles they have conquered. And in that way, they are all inspirational.
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