Development Case Study


A group of investors decided to build a senior housing community. They selected the construction developer and the community operator. The investors knew that they wanted to build their community in the suburbs of Chicago, but they hadn’t identified the best location for their investment. That’s when they reached out to Walker-Heley.

Walker-Heley started by producing a competition map that identified all of the communities within a 15-mile radius that could potentially compete with the investors’ proposed development. Once the competition was identified, Walker-Heley conducted extensive, on-site mystery shops at each competitor to identify amenities, services, pricing and quality. Then, each competitor was classified as to how they could compete with the proposed community. Upon completion of the mystery shopping process, a comprehensive competitor assessment report was issued to the investors and Walker-Heley provided a final recommendation regarding the best site on which to build the proposed community. In addition, Walker-Heley provided pricing strategies to assist the investors during the initial lease-up phase of the community and guidance on amenities and services.

Operation Case Study


An established operator was running a senior housing community that had achieved consistently higher than stabilized occupancy within their dementia units but was struggling to achieve stabilized occupancy within their assisted living units. The unit mix was approximately 25% dementia units and 75% assisted living units. Thus, the vacancies within the assisted living units were severely affecting the community’s profitability. The owner of the community approached Walker-Heley to help identify a solution to this community’s leasing challenges.

It quickly became evident to Walker-Heley that the market in which this community was located was underserved in the dementia care space. After evaluating the community’s direct competition, Walker-Heley recommended that the owner consider converting some of the community’s assisted living units to dementia care units. The owner approved the solution in concept and Walker-Heley prepared the road map to make this conversion plan a reality. Walker-Heley identified the assisted living units that were the best candidates for conversion and prepared a strategy for the community’s sales team to ensure that units for conversion would not be leased. A communication plan was established with the executive director of the community to explain the planned construction to the current residents and their families. Finally, Walker-Heley assisted with the selection of the construction company for this project and prepared a construction budget for the conversion.

Disposition Case Study


An investment group was preparing to sell their stabilized assisted living community, located in Arizona. The group had held this investment for over five years and wanted to have it externally appraised before bringing the community to market. Walker-Heley was approached to review the asset and to manage the external appraisal process. In this role, Walker-Heley collected and reviewed all required performance and occupancy data and provided this information to the external appraiser. Walker-Heley subsequently reviewed the draft appraisals for accuracy and ensured that the market and sales comps selected by the appraiser were relevant to this community’s valuation. The end result of this process produced a detailed appraisal report and a fair valuation of the community.