JOSEPH P. WEISENBURGER: Well, I think we clearly understand that it's a relatively new industry and there's a dearth of talent in the industry. So there's quite a great opportunity set for people coming out of college to grow their business careers.
So take working for someone like Welltower-- you can start out as an analyst, understand the financial side of the business. You can transition to the operating side with one of our operating partners, understand the operating side of the business. You can also work on the development side of developing these senior housing projects as they go up over time, or medical office buildings. S there's many different career paths at Welltower and in the senior housing industry.
I would think independent living, assisted living, even dementia care, are pretty synonymous and analogous, I guess I would say, to the hotel industry. You're providing a customer experience, you're providing meals. You're providing a great place to live and to cohabitate. So there's a lot of synergies. It's a little different because you're now in a hotel, you deal with an experience, you're not dealing with the day-to-day care.
So there's a little more of an employee and a personal level that you have to have on the senior housing side that maybe on the hotel side you don't have to have as much. So I think there's a lot of synergies and there's a lot of career paths. And that's why some of the people in the business started in the hotel business.
Well, every day we go into our properties, we're trying to see what our operators are doing well and how do we share that knowledge to other operators across to our portfolio platform, as well as figuring out what's going on in different sectors. What's working well in the hotel sector that may make sense in the senior housing space? Is it the way they design their lobbies? Is it their food system? Is it the way they design their rooms? Are there ways that we can take from other industries and make best practices?
At Welltower, we're very fortunate to work with 60 different operators. And we have executive forum, or collaboratives as we call them, where we get them together so that we can share ideas. And it's all about sharing the ideas to make the industry better.
The senior housing industry is trying to do a better job just educating people. There's the success stories where you see someone who starts as an aide working for minimum wage, moves up to be the shift director, then works up to be executive director at the facility. And the compensation as you go up the platform dramatically increases.
So I'm putting someone-- or our operating partners are putting someone-- in charge of a $30, $50, $100 million investment. That's a highly skilled person that gets pretty well compensated. The compensation can be $100,000 to $250,000 a year. So it is an attractive space when you work your way through.
And job security-- if you do a good job, you can then take those skill sets to be a regional. And then people go out on their own and start companies. So the entrepreneurial spirit is there if you have the passion.
The senior housing space is a very dynamic space. There's clearly the growth. The baby boomers are way out in the distance before they even impact our industry. People don't move into our communities, quite frankly, till they're 85 years old.
So that wave is still coming, it's 10 years out. That's the leading age of the baby boomers. So there's still a lot of opportunities. We need a lot of smart people to figure out these complex issues.
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Joseph P. Weisenburger, Vice President – Business Development, Seniors Housing, Welltower, Inc, was interviewed during the Cornell Hospitality, Health and Design Symposium, "In Search of a Healthy Future" on October 10, 2016.