Life Bridge Capital (LBC) is excited to announce that we are launching Life Bridge Management (LBM), an in-house property management company that will focus solely on managing Life Bridge Capital’s portfolio!
A bit of background: Back in December of 2021, we hired Sutton Turner to join our team as the director of asset management. Sutton’s past experience with starting and leading multiple large (5,000+ units) management companies was a significant factor in the hiring decision, but we planned to continue working with our third-party partners (Dunmire and TableRock) while adding a full-time resource to drive further operational efficiencies.
The first half of 2022 has been highly volatile from an economic standpoint; interest rates and inflation are up, consumer confidence is down, and the marketplace as a whole is quite unsettled. We’ve seen this reflected in our own portfolio as we worked to execute our business plans—renovation costs crept up, turnover was higher than desired for our property-level staff, and we found that our vision for the future didn’t always align with Dunmire’s. Crystal Dunmire and Sam Rust worked together to try and chart a path forward, but it became clear by early May that the respective organizations (Dunmire Property Management and LBC) were headed in different directions, and together Crystal and the LBC leadership team decided to mutually part ways, effective July 11, 2022.
Immediately after deciding to part ways, Sam and Whitney evaluated either moving to another third-party management company or starting our own. Going to another third party would have been an easier short-term choice and required much less investment of time and resources, but ultimately, we believe that starting LBM is the best path forward for the following reasons:
• Better control over day-to-day operations on both the cost and revenue ends
• The ability to keep the existing leadership team in place
• The opportunity to define a culture of service that mirrors LBC’s values and will result in happy vibrant communities that drive returns for you, our investors
Sutton Turner is stepping into the role of CEO of LBM and is directly responsible for the performance of LBC’s portfolio. In his first six months, Sutton has brought tremendous value to the team, and we look forward to him leading the charge to build a first-class property management group that integrates with the vision at LBC to enhance the value of the communities under our stewardship. We believe his experience in starting and scaling property management companies will be a significant factor in our success.
As part of the launch of LBM, we are rolling out an entirely new technology package through Real Page that will give us much more granular information in real time, which will result in better, faster decisions, more transparency, and, overall, facilitate a much more proactive approach to management. The transition has been relatively smooth and professional to this point. With Crystal’s permission, we’ve been able to extend job offers to 26 folks who currently work on our sites and have more than a 90% acceptance rate! We are excited to hit the ground running with personnel who know our portfolio and believe this will largely mitigate any transition impacts.
The effective date for the transition is July 11, 2022. We’ve been hard at work building out our systems, hiring folks, developing the foundational pieces of our culture, and identifying key team members for crucial positions, including CFO, regional manager, and director of construction. Dunmire’s construction team is wrapping up all units currently under renovation across our portfolio. We plan to take a roughly six-week break to get our systems online and our own renovation team hired and then resume unit renovations sometime in August. July will be closed out on the management side on July 10, 2022, so our delinquency will be much higher than normal, and costs will be much lower in the July update. We will start August’s reporting period on July 11, 2022, and run through August 20, 2022, which will result in much higher than normal income as we capture delinquency from July, while costs will also be higher due to three pay periods and other associated costs. We plan to move from a true calendar month cycle to a 20th to 20th cycle to drive faster collections and streamline reporting, both within our management company and to you, our investors.
Sam and Whitney plan to host an LBC update event in the next couple of weeks to address our views on the recent market upheaval, provide an update on the transition to LBM, and share our broad strategy, moving forward into the rest of 2022 and beyond. Please contact our investor relations team at email@example.com if there are questions you’d like to address in this forum.
As always, thank you for your continued partnership and trust in LBC!