Status message

We’re Hiring! Click here to see available positions.

The Value of Growth: A Q&A with Sean Sands

May 8, 2024
Sean Sands Erickson Senior Living Chief Development Officer

Erickson Senior Living continues to expand its footprint across the country, offering an engaging retirement lifestyle to more than 30,000 residents. We spoke to Sean Sands, Chief Development Officer, to learn why strategic growth is so important to the company and how it benefits residents and team members.

Q: Why does Erickson Senior Living prioritize growth?

A: There are many reasons! First and foremost, our goal is to bring the vibrant, engaged lifestyle that our communities offer to more people so that residents can make the most of their retirement years.

Growth is not only exciting, but also a reflection of our company’s strength. As our national network of communities continues to expand, we are able to provide more opportunities and benefits to all stakeholders of Erickson Senior Living.

Strategic growth allows us to fulfill the brand promises that we make to both residents and employees: a vibrant community and company culture, financial stability, and a commitment to personal health and well-being. 

Erickson Senior Living’s intentional growth plan also strengthens our position as the leader in the senior living industry. With more than 40 years of experience innovating to serve the changing needs of older adults, residents and their families choose our communities with confidence.

Q: What are the key ways in which you measure growth?

A: From a pure real estate perspective, measuring growth is pretty straightforward –- we can look at the increase of the total inventory of apartment homes over a certain period of time. 

However, what we at Erickson Senior Living measure--and what we strive for--is what we call “successful growth”. 

We want to ensure that the investment decisions we make are not only resulting in more opportunities for seniors to live their best lives, but also sustaining our industry-leading high levels of occupancy. 

We also want each individual community to develop strategically to achieve its objectives and thrive. Ultimately, our growth—whether that’s a new building or an entirely new community—is intended to enhance the long-term financial strength and stability of Erickson Senior Living and each community.

Q: How do residents living at Erickson Senior Living communities benefit from the company’s continued growth?

A: I think the biggest impact for residents is that they get as much value as possible out of the investment they making in living at one of our communities.  The size and scale of our network of communities enables us to offer more activities, programs, and amenities than almost any other senior living provider at attractive price points. This is one of the key factors we believe distinguishes Erickson Senior Living from competitors and an important reason why many seniors choose our communities. 

Growth also creates an opportunity to further improve our daily operating efficiency, whether it’s supplying our on-site restaurants or providing maintenance services. These economies of scale offer cost savings that can be passed to residents, allowing them to enjoy even more value for their money.

Finally, Erickson Senior Living is committed to evolving to meet the changing needs and wants of our customers. The large number of new buildings we are designing presents many real-time opportunities for us to apply feedback from residents and from our extensive customer research. As a result, we frequently pilot new programs at select communities, and those that are well-received by residents are often replicated across other communities and become new standards for the vibrant lifestyle we provide.

Q: What advantages do team members gain from being part of a growing company?

A: Growth results in more career and development opportunities for team members across all communities and the entire company. Each community expansion and each new community creates a variety of new positions at every level, including leadership roles. Every new job that is filled by an existing Erickson Senior Living team member also opens up another new position that needs to be filled. We are proud of our commitment to talent development and promotion from within. Success stories of team members who have been with us for decades or more are a testament to the culture that sets our communities apart.

With a national network, employees have the opportunity to relocate to other parts of the country to be closer to family or fulfill a career goal. Our growth has created a positive cascading effect that provides meaningful impacts to the entire team! 

Q: What’s next for Erickson Senior Living?

A: As the large Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement and beyond, there is a tremendous expected need for more senior housing. We already see the growing demand for the active and engaged lifestyle that Erickson Senior Living communities provide. 

To meet this demand, our construction and development pipeline has never been more robust and more exciting. Erickson Senior Living is in the midst of a 5-year plan to invest billions of dollars in new development across the country. This includes both the continued build-out of our existing developing communities as well as a number of new communities in various stages of planning and construction. 

In terms of new communities, we are very excited that Woodleigh Chase in Fairfax, Virginia welcomed its first residents in March of 2024. The demand has been terrific, and we look forward to watching the community grow in this northern Virginia market.

In Maryland, the sales center for The Grandview in Bethesda, our first-ever planned vertical-living community, has been open for nearly a year. With construction now well underway, the community will be built on the former Marriott Hotel headquarters property and combines an amazing suburban location with all of the amenities, services, and socialization opportunities that you would expect from an Erickson Senior Living property.

In Florida, we are thrilled to be moving forward with Emerson Lakes, a new location in Lakewood Ranch near Sarasota. The reception from the local community has been overwhelmingly positive, and we expect to begin construction this year.

Our future is bright, and there will be more exciting news to share! Erickson Senior Living is actively exploring and evaluating other markets across the country as we seek to fulfill our mission of bringing this lifestyle to more seniors.

To find an Erickson Senior Living community near you, visit