Jennifer Francis, president and COO of Diversified Healthcare Trust (Nasdaq: DHC), participated in a video interview with Nareit.
Francis said she believes the aging of the U.S. population bodes well for health care real estate, including medical office, life science, and senior living real estate. She said Diversified Healthcare Trust positioned itself for the pandemic by ensuring it had a deep pool of liquidity, adding that the REIT also had a plan that included the sale of just under $170 million of dispositions in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“We’re well-diversified, both on property type and from a geographic perspective, and I think that that helps us,” she said.
Francis also said that Diversified Healthcare Trust’s resident leads grew significantly in 2020. “Our conversion rate is about the same as it was pre-pandemic...so our resulting move-ins in the third quarter increased 31% over the second quarter,” she added.
Turning to some of the health and safety steps Diversified Healthcare Trust has implemented amid the pandemic, Francis said on the senior living side of its portfolio, its major operator Five Star Senior Living is conducting regular testing of team members and residents and is securing reserves of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“On the medical office and life sciences side, our property management team has been working hard to apply enhanced cleaning protocols,” Francis added.
This video was recorded in November 2020.