Common goals and interests drew Cambridge Realty Capital to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC) very early in both their years. NIC was just getting started in 1992, and Cambridge was still a relatively new firm and very newly accredited as a HUD 232 lender. “The timing was perfect,” said Cambridge Realty Capital President Jeffrey Davis. “It made sense for us to get involved with the mission of NIC right from the get-go.”
That mission is to “support access and choice for America’s seniors by providing data, analytics, and connections that bring together investors and providers.” (https://www.nic.org/our-mission/) Since its inception, senior housing investors, developers and operators from across the USA have come to rely on data gathered by NIC using its MAP Data Service, as well as the unique insights provided by NIC’s Research and Analytics team.
In order to further its mission, the NIC seeks to develop more and more capital to support senior housing and keep the existing flow of capital moving forward and available. It also strives to advocate the attractiveness of senior housing to lenders and investors and help them educate themselves.
Education is also a key component of what NIC does, starting with bringing together senior living industry stakeholders from across the US, including facility operators, developers, owners and investors. It accomplishes this largely via two annual conferences, one in spring and one in the fall. The annual conferences draw thousands of participants, where guests can attend plenary sessions as well as choose from dozens of smaller break-out sessions on a variety of senior living and financial topics. Their goal is to provide an unbiased educational forum for all conference attendees and to continue to provide learning experiences and data so that everything being discussed is based on data, not hypothesis.
Cambridge Realty Capital was a participant in NIC’s inaugural meeting in 1992, which drew 400 guests. In fact, Cambridge’s President of the Cambridge HUD group, Cambridge Realty Capital Ltd. of Illinois was one of the initial speakers at the very first NIC. He made a significant impact in his presentation and was widely applauded by attendees.
The most recent NIC conference took place in Chicago in September. “The NIC conference has changed considerably since its first year,” noted Davis, adding that last September’s conference drew more than 3,000 attendees, a testament to the relevant and significant ongoing work that NIC is doing.
While the conferences have grown, NIC’s basic tenets and core values haven’t changed since that first conference in 1992. “NIC continues to advocate senior housing, educate both new capital providers and new operators, and provide a forum for bias-free dialogue and give-and-take between owners, operators and other stakeholders,” Davis stated.
Once again, Cambridge Realty Capital took on a leadership role during the conference, hosting its own forum for attendees. Davis reports that approximately 140 companies joined them in their meeting room. “From the moment the meeting room opened to the moment it closed, it was packed with attendees,” he recounted. “In fact, a full-time scheduler/hostess was required to keep the attendees in order and get them things to do as they were waiting for their meetings!”
Additionally, Cambridge’s private meeting room received numerous compliments from guests.
“An amazing amount of feedback was also obtained at the meeting about Cambridge’s staff, their broad knowledge level of senior housing, and their great follow-up skills. Our owner relationships and capital partners were very supportive of our efforts, the meetings they had and the overall commitment of Cambridge staff,” Davis said.
Cambridge received numerous superlatives and thanks from the capital partners and their associates for providing a fantastic opportunity to explore different opportunities with Cambridge operators. An equal number of positive comments came from Cambridge owner/operators for Cambridge’s strong ability to provide capital, understand the details of transactions, avoid a midstream transaction that fails, and make sure after significant equity has been invested that transactions move forward and, most importantly, close.
Naturally, the conversation doesn’t end when the conference wraps up. “Ongoing dialogue is something Cambridge is passionate about,” Davis emphasized. Cambridge continues its efforts to communicate with both capital partners and owner/operators through its media platforms, primarily its Capital Wisdom series. This includes its bedrock publication, Capital Wisdom, a monthly e-newsletter focusing on addressing relevant topics in senior housing and senior housing finance, keeping clients apprised of Cambridge’s activity and, most importantly, make sure that clients are up to speed.
To supplement its monthly publication of Capital Wisdom, Capital Wisdom Extra provides timely information by topic and addresses different thoughts and comments in senior housing finance, senior housing capital and all other elements. The combination of Capital Wisdom and Capital Wisdom Extra provides the foundation for communicating with a wide group of senior housing professionals, keeping them up to speed on the capital markets, and more importantly, being up to date regarding any changes or trends that happen in the sector.
Cambridge continues to hold on to its founding principles of making the client and their needs and desires first in moving forward with their goals. “Those who have worked with Cambridge know from experience the special attention and service Cambridge brings,” Davis iterated. “For those who have not had the pleasure of working with Cambridge yet, we extend an open invitation to you to call one of the Cambridge executives, talk about Cambridge, and get a better understanding of the firm. We can guarantee that you will not be disappointed in your decision to reach out to Cambridge. Our trademark ‘Let our experience work for you’ has provided a happy ending time and time again for anyone who has reached out to Cambridge.”