Avi Bittan’s life journey is far from typical – from his birth in Morocco to becoming a Lieutenant Colonel in the Israeli Air Force to re-creating himself as a successful senior housing entrepreneur in the U.S.
Avi, who grew up in a small town in Israel, joined the Air Force Academy, ultimately serving in the military for 27 years. After overseeing thousands of people in various managerial roles, he was transferred to an assignment in the U.S., where his business career had its roots.
With his significant management experience in the Air Force, he started by consulting with a friend in the housing business who was desperate for help.
“The business didn’t have proper management, and I helped my friend organize, first just as a volunteer,” Avi says. Eventually, he met someone who was running a large housing development company in South Florida and, somewhat reluctantly, resigned from the Air Force and signed up to develop one senior housing complex after another.
After the business was sold at a significant profit, Avi joined with partners to buy 15 properties in the U.S., applying a new management platform he developed for senior housing campuses, segmented and organized to meet the specific needs of each senior – from “active,” “independent” and “catered” to full assisted living.
“IDB is part of our family. I feel comfortable dealing with people I trust 100 percent, and we can always count on IDB to provide a fair rate and useful feedback. They’re an integral part of our organization.”
Today, Royal Senior Care (RSC) includes 13 properties, each following a detailed 64-point annual plan, which is reviewed and updated daily and weekly on everything from interior design and IT systems to facilities upkeep to client service, the most important one.
“Everything is done in-house, and everyone has a clear role to realize our core value – meeting the needs of people we’re entrusted to serve,” Avi says. “We stay with the prescribed plan, which makes it very simple for all of us to carry out our responsibilities.” Even when buying properties, they use a color-coded system for everything from cleanup to final renovation, before going on to personnel training.
Under Avi’s leadership, RSC has followed a successful path to growth and profit. And even with systems in place to fit their healthcare and hospitality model, he is still personally involved in all aspects of the senior communities, including operations, marketing and construction.
In addition to facilities in Florida, RSC’s continuum of care includes six communities in South Carolina. RSC has also developed a 25-acre campus in Lake Mary, Florida, which contains 335 units. And its two new hallmark projects – one a new luxury facility in Aventura, Florida, and the other in Davie, Florida – will total 339 units.
To support RSC, IDB comes onboard to provide medium-term financing. “They’re part of our family, and I don’t feel that way about other banks,” Avi says.
“We have grown, and we’ve been more successful than I could ever have imagined,” he says. “The key reason: We never lose sight of our primary mission to serve people’s needs and provide the most comfortable environment possible.”
For Avi Bittan, it’s been quite a journey.