Kathryn Greiner’s warning for village operators: transparency should be top priority

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Speaking at the Property Council of Australia’s Retirement Outlook last week, the chair of the NSW Government inquiry into retirement villages said clarity in marketing and pricing was the key to attracting residents.

Alison Cheung of Commercial Real Estate, part of Domain, reported Ms Greiner saying: “It’s about providing accommodation at a price that people can afford, whether it’s the high end, the middle or the low. Call it for what it is, deal with it transparently,” she said.

As we reported last Friday, Ms Greiner said: “You run a reputational risk because retirement living is seen as a property play dressed up as care. It’s a property play, nothing wrong with that. But don’t pretend it’s a care factor issue.”

Ms Greiner, who also chairs the NSW Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, also warned the current village model was ripe for disruption, labelling over-55’s housing “a really old concept”.

“Are people really going to retirement villages in the future? People will be looking for carers in their home; maybe retirement villages as a great idea is over,” she said.

“You have to think about this to see how you adjust and modify your work practices and improve the brand so it is a true option in the community.”

Food for thought from the head of the NSW Government inquiry into the village sector. Her report was given to the Minister, Matt Kean, in December and we await his proposed actions.

The Minister will be speaking at our LEADERS SUMMIT next Friday.

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