Underwriting Senior Living Real Estate Investments
This article describes the standard metrics used in correctly underwriting the financial analysis of senior living real estate investments
Whether you’re creating a proforma model with varying lease-up and stabilization scenarios, or comparing the operating performance between different assets and operators, you’ve probably heard the term, “Per Resident Day” (PRD). The PRD metric is one of the most useful performance tools within the industry, and can be successfully leveraged to add value in a number of different situations. Within this article, I’ll analyze the actual PRD calculation, discuss why this industry tool is so useful, and demonstrate several ways it can be used to create value in everyday applications.
Let’s start with the actual calculation. Just as it sounds, the PRD calculation is the actual hard revenue and expense line-items divided by the number of resident days in the period (month, quarter, year, etc.). The revenues and departmental expenses are easily identified within the financials, but what if you don’t know the number of resident days? Well, this can actually be estimated by taking the number of occupied beds in the period, adding an estimate (or ratio) for second residents (double occupied units), and multiplying this figure by the number of days. So, if you had 90 occupied beds in June, and typically 10% are double occupied, the calculation would be ((90+9) x 30) = 2,970 resident days. You would then take the monthly expense (i.e., raw food costs of $18,500) and divide by the number of days (2,970) to calculate the PRD ($18,500 / 2,790) = $6.23 raw food costs PRD.
So, why is this metric so important? One of the greatest advantages in this tool is the ability to compare the operational performance between properties with varying sizes (number of units) and occupancy. Obviously the expenses are going to be higher at a 100% occupied 120-unit AL/MC property compared to a 90% occupied 40-unit MC property, but how do the same departmental expenses compare on a PRD basis? The 40-unit property may be doing a more efficient job in expense management, and actually have a lower PRD expense indication than the larger property. Or, the smaller property may be doing an excellent job in dietary, but the housekeeping and nursing expenses are much higher PRD. Having a solid understanding of the PRD performance between properties is not only valuable in comparing performance, but can also be used to identify key areas of inefficiency and help create plans for future improvement. Linking this performance to industry reports (State of Seniors Housing, etc.) can provide dynamic industry benchmarking analysis and dashboard reports.
PRD assumptions are also very crucial in creating sophisticated senior housing proforma models. Analyzing the revenues and expenses on a PRD basis can show regressions and trends within the performance that can be utilized to more accurately project the go-forward performance. Linking the proforma model to the appropriate PRD assumptions can also provide a more precise sensitively and scenario analysis. Last, including the PRD variables with a multi-year staffing model, unit revenue matrix, and a monthly absorption can provide more in-depth forecast on future lease-up performance and stabilization. This can be crucial in accurately projecting the financial performance for new development, conversion projects, management transitions, and other lease-up scenarios.
Scott McCorvie leverages 20 years of senior living real estate investment, development, and operations experience to improve the rapidly growing and changing senior living industry.
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