Jane Arthur Roslovic has been in the real estate development and investment business since the mid-80’s and has been a managing member of Treplus Communities since 2012. She and her siblings started Treplus’ active adult product after having been in the market-rate multifamily business. Under her leadership, Treplus has focused on meeting the needs of active adults who desire flexibility, carefree living and upscale single-story living spaces.
Through the Changemakers series, Roslovic sheds light on the brand strategy her team created to target active adults and their children in an evolving real estate landscape. She also discusses her experience navigating change as a developer and leading innovator in the active adult sector.
As you think back on your career, what changes have you driven at Treplus or in the industry that you’re especially proud to share?
I am proud of the brand we created, which was ultimately our intent at the beginning. We wanted to build something that the 55-plus active adult really identified with, and we’ve accomplished that goal. It’s meeting a need for the baby boomer, but what’s even cooler is that Gen Z or Gen X is right behind them seeking lifestyle choices. The children of active adults support this lifestyle choice and the fact that we’ve created a brand they already identify with is exciting — not just for Treplus, but the whole active adult asset class.
How have you changed as a leader since founding Treplus?
I am beyond privileged to be in this situation because I love growing, thinking and working with people. First and foremost, I’m becoming a better listener. That is such a difficult skill to master, and has always been a challenge for me. I think it’s critical because I’ve learned to listen to my team, our investors, our consultants, and our residents.
Because we’re scaling our product nationally, I think listening is critical. It has also helped me become a better leader. When I listen to what the different stakeholders want, I can encourage them, and provide resources to support their needs.
Do you see yourself as a Changemaker? And are you always excited to drive change, even when it sometimes involves risk?
I’m an entrepreneur, and an innovator who drives change. Even though I’m a developer in active adult, I’m an entrepreneur first. I’m always excited, and I try to be thoughtful in my approach to change. When you’re trying to drive change, it’s important to evaluate the change relative to the outcome you are trying to make. You can’t make it haphazardly or because of an ego-driven decision. I like to be thoughtful, but I love to drive change and make a difference.
What are some ways in which you think the senior living industry needs to change in the next five years?
Active adult living is our specialization. Awareness is key in the active adult industry, and we have to promote it every day. It is clear amongst my peers, who are out developing active adult, that it is taking all of our efforts to make active adult living a strong, viable option for the younger side of middle age.
We are offering an active lifestyle solution that offers greater financial flexibility and the ability to be a part of community of people who are in the same place in life. In the next 5 years active adult housing will be a solid choice for those who are looking to downsize and live maintenance free.
With respect to senior living, I believe labor is the biggest challenge and needs the greatest change. The labor force has been hit so hard, and it is critical that we get workers re-engaged with delivery of service while making them proud of their profession.
The pandemic was a setback and now we have to play catch up. In senior living, there is still opportunity for delivery of a better resident experience. I’m not sure how quickly that’s going to happen, but I think active adult is keeping a good pace as the industry evolves.
Talk about a time when you tried to execute a change and things didn’t go according to plan. How did you pivot and what did you learn as a leader?
You have to remember, that’s what a developer does for a living. Literally, we execute change daily, so my list is long and I have to pivot all the time.
This is one of the big reasons why we created a brand and built a robust product. That process in and of itself can be full of headaches. You have to deal with municipalities, supply chain issues and plenty of other nuanced challenges. As a leader, I’ve learned to hone my listening and hiring skills.
Those factors are key in how I pivot because if I have the right people in place, I can give them the authority to make changes, too.
How do you think about timing so that a company like Treplus can innovate without getting too far ahead of the market that a new idea doesn’t work?
We’ve created a product that should stand the test of time because it was built on target market desires. We’re diligent about reading our resident satisfaction surveys and listening to what they have to say because that’s the greatest source of innovation. As we add properties, we tweak and fine-tune that product to meet each community’s needs.
We have the luxury of time. It doesn’t mean that when we want to be innovative, we don’t have to do it tomorrow, except for our programming.
We’re just now researching travel programming for our residents. We’ve taken some time to start that, but as far as our product itself, the physical project, we have time, and that’s where we’re lucky. We are always concerned about how it’s going to impact the bottom line.
Changemakers tend to be risk-takers, do you agree with that statement? How would you describe your own appetite for risk?
I have a definite appetite for risk. For me, however, taking risks is the key to personal and professional development. If you don’t take risks, things aren’t going to change, and you’re not going to grow. It takes risk to be innovative. I make sure that I consult with knowledgeable people before a decision is made. People associate risk as being impulsive, but to me risk is a philosophy and I’m a risk-taker.
What are some pieces of advice for managing resistance to change in an organization?
As a changemaker, approach change thoughtfully. Be cognizant of who you’re impacting and how people are going to react. Be aware that not everyone will immediately embrace change, and make sure your communications are clear.
What is the single greatest driver of change in today’s Senior Living operating environment? What about within your organization?
One driver is the growth of the aging population. It’s a tsunami. It’s coming. It’s been coming. We’ve all been warned about the baby boomers, and X, Y and Z are right behind. The industry most impacted by this is housing, and you must offer choices that meet the demand.
Within our organization, I feel that our marketing and property management efforts have been compliant with fair housing, and our communities are diverse depending on the market. We have a talented group working at Treplus, and we recruit the best and brightest people to drive results.
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