Sector Focus: Senior Housing with Cary Tremper

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Cary Tremper is Head of Greystone’s Senior Housing Capital Markets Team, which advises some of the largest senior housing owners, operators, and investors on capital solutions.

What’s the biggest takeaway - so far - from the pandemic for senior housing investors?

The resiliency and perseverance of the industry as a whole…the pandemic came without any warning, the ability (as an industry) to adapt and overcome in a relatively short period of time, while keeping the highest level of care, health and safety to our senior population as the utmost priority. The strong defense our clients have been playing will ultimately win the war against this pandemic – no doubt it has and will change our industry forever; however, the seniors housing industry will be stronger as a result. Specifically for investors, there has been heightened attention to aligning with owners / operators having a long-term approach that are financially sound, dynamic, thoughtful, resourceful, understand local market dynamics and a sound reputation for being able to consistently deliver a high level of care and safety to our senior population.   

Debt funds, life companies, and banks are more active than ever in the senior financing sector. How has this benefited borrowers working with Greystone?

The benefit has been our ability to provide the diversification of capital partners, especially during challenging times in our industry. Strengths and weaknesses exist with all lender partners – we at Greystone pride ourselves in our ability to succinctly articulate a client’s financing objectives, create a competitive landscape to drive best market terms, and ultimately provide confidence and certainty of execution whiling aligning client’s needs with appropriate Lender profile. Our team’s collective lending experience, combined with our strong and deep network of capital partners and relationships differentiates us and at the same time adds value to our clients.

How has vaccine adoption impacted the financing side of senior housing? Did you notice any setbacks from the Delta variant?

100% - the vaccine adoption has had a profound impact with lenders, but starts with confidence (from the vaccine) being built within existing residents, prospective residents, care givers, third-party vendors, family members and adult children involved in the decision making process.

What’s one of the most interesting transactions your team worked on in 2021?

We placed the acquisition financing for Harrison Street’s $1.2 billion senior housing portfolio purchase across California and Nevada. The total portfolio comprises 24 high-quality, well located assets, and we placed the life company financing, as well as some Freddie Mac loan assumptions for the first 16 properties earlier in the year, with three total tranches over the course of the year. It’s a massive transaction that takes concentrated levels of expertise, creativity, analysis, and communication, which our team certainly brings to the table. However, a transaction of this size and scope does not get off the ground (especially in a challenging environment) without Harrison Street’s industry credibility, experience, track record and financial wherewithal. We are thrilled to have played an integral role in helping Harrison Street achieve its goal in acquiring key senior housing assets that are performing well, situated in attractive MSAs, and are poised for success.

What is your outlook for senior housing in 2022?

Extremely optimistic – having the experience of having been through a few cycles within our industry this comes with perspective. Each cycle has its own set of challenges - this one probably having the most impact from an operating standpoint that will definitely change our industry forever.

I hate to overuse the term “resiliency,” but that is what this industry has…the ability to adapt and overcome. It requires being “long” in the space, meaning “in it for the long-term,” lenders, owners, operators alike. Owners / operators want capital partners that are there for them in good times and in more challenging times – lenders will be rewarded for taking the relationship approach and being there for their clients all the time. 

The pandemic may have exposed some and will make everyone better as a result – increased awareness of the importance of taking care of our senior population is paramount and will always be the focus of our industry. 

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