The technology has been around for a very long time, but businesses sometimes struggle to make the ordinary telephone conference call as timely and productive as they’d like it to be.

“Most of us need to work at it,” says Cambridge Realty Capital Companies Senior Vice President Brent Holman-Gomez.

At Cambridge, Mr. Holman-Gomez is responsible for operations and asset management. The company acquires and manages senior housing/healthcare assets through its Cambridge Investment and Finance Company subsidiary.

“The telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 and we continue to find new ways to organize the information revolution which this invention kick-started in a very different era,” he said.

For its asset management clients, Holman-Gomez says Cambridge attempts to always approach ownership risks in a thoughtful, prudent and creative manner.  The telephone conference call is viewed as an important information link between ownership and the asset manager.

“Conference calls should be scheduled in a timely manner and structured to cover relevant topics in a systematic way.  It’s important to ask the right questions and to not neglect some success-impacting element until it’s too late,” he said.

“Ownership must always be projecting themselves as a resource for the operator.  On a daily basis, operators find themselves dealing with situations that can affect the project’s success.  It’s important for everything be out in the open so operators realize they’re not acting alone.”

Holman-Gomez says the agenda for the standard conference call includes, in order of importance, clinical/healthcare updates; occupancy/marketing, financial considerations; staffing changes; market dynamics, and capital repairs/changes.  But the call also may address a specific topic that needs extra attention.

At the beginning of a relationship, standard conference calls covering all the topics described should be held on a weekly basis, with other calls occurring as needed.  As the relationship matures, conference calls on a monthly basis might suffice.

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