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Revolutionizing Senior Housing: Bennett Kim's Vision for ZNest

Bennett Kim Explains How ZNest Is Addressing The Challenges of Finding Senior Housing and Tackling Industry Labor Shortages

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Devin: What is your superpower?

Bennett: I hate this question. But I guess I'll say my superpower is probably grit.

Finding the right senior housing for loved ones is often a daunting and stressful experience. In today’s episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Bennett Kim, the CEO and founder of ZNest, who is on a mission to transform this process. Bennett shared his professional journey and the personal motivations that led him to create ZNest, a platform designed to democratize senior housing options and streamline the search process for families.

Bennett's career in senior housing began over two decades ago with a private equity firm, Apollo, which owned the largest private assisted living operator in the country at the time. His experiences with Apollo and the challenges he faced finding care for his aging parents deeply influenced his decision to start ZNest during the pandemic.

One of the most compelling aspects of Bennett's work is his recognition of the systemic issues within the senior housing industry. He identified that existing referral companies often prioritize profit over genuinely helping families, leading to a lack of transparency and limited options for those seeking care. ZNest aims to change this by providing a comprehensive, free directory similar to Zillow or, allowing families to see all their options without being steered by hidden incentives.

Bennett explained, "We need to have kind of this democratized data and allow families to know what all their options are. So we say our model is a little bit more akin to a Zillow or an for senior housing where there's a free consumer-facing side and we just monetize through tools on the back end."

In addition to revolutionizing the search process for senior housing, ZNest is also addressing another critical issue in the industry: labor shortages. Bennett highlighted that the pre-boarding process for new hires in senior housing facilities often takes several weeks, causing many potential employees to opt for quicker employment opportunities like fast food or gig economy jobs. To combat this, ZNest is developing tools to keep job seekers engaged through text-based communication and detailed community profiles, which also serve to inform families about their potential new homes.

Bennett’s innovative approach to solving these dual challenges in the senior housing industry not only aims to make life easier for families but also seeks to improve operational efficiency for housing providers. His vision for ZNest is a testament to his commitment to creating meaningful change in a space that affects so many lives.

For those interested, ZNest is currently raising funds on Wefunder. You can learn more about their mission and support their efforts at


1. Introduction and Guest Background: The show opens with host Devin welcoming guest Bennett Kim, an entrepreneur from ZNest, a company aiming to revolutionize how people find senior housing. Bennett is motivated by both personal and professional experiences, including senior housing development and his parents' aging.

2. Career Catalysts and Pandemic Insights: Bennett explains that his extensive experience in the senior housing industry and his parents' ages prompted him to start ZNest, especially during the pandemic. He wanted to create something meaningful in the latter part of his career and saw the existing senior housing search processes as problematic.

3. ZNest's Mission and Technology: Bennett outlines ZNest's mission to democratize data for senior housing. Unlike existing referral companies, ZNest aims to provide a comprehensive directory akin to Zillow or for senior housing, allowing families easier access to their options without biased referrals from companies prioritizing their profit margins.

4. Employment Issues in Senior Housing: Another focus of ZNest is addressing labor shortages and high attrition rates in senior housing. Bennett's team developed tech solutions, including a texting-based engagement service to keep job seekers engaged during the lengthy pre-boarding process. These profiles serve dual purposes: aiding in both employment and housing searches.

5. Crowdfunding and Future Directions: ZNest is raising funds on Wefunder to further develop its platform. They aim to reduce the reliance on costly referral fees and provide a more transparent and efficient process for both housing seekers and employers in the senior housing industry. Bennett encourages the audience to invest in ZNest via their Wefunder campaign.

How to Develop Grit As a Superpower

Bennett Kim defines his superpower as grit. He attributes his success to his ability to persist through challenges and maintain his commitment to his goals, even when faced with significant obstacles. Despite not always being the smartest or most charismatic person in the room, his unwavering determination has enabled him to overcome difficulties and achieve his objectives.

Bennett shared an anecdote illustrating his grit during the early stages of building ZNest. He recounted multiple instances where the company was on the brink of running out of cash, leaving them with only a couple of months' worth of funds. These moments were filled with uncertainty and doubt, but Bennett's relentless perseverance and constant effort to pivot and adapt kept the company afloat. His ability to "keep on pounding" and "claw back" during these tough times exemplifies his superpower of grit.

Tips for Developing Grit:

1. Daily Reflection: Spend time each day reflecting on why you are pursuing your goals. This can be the first thought in the morning or the last thought before bed.

2. Passion Alignment: Ensure you are genuinely passionate about your work. Passion helps sustain motivation during challenging times.

3. Discipline: Develop a disciplined approach to your tasks. Commit to taking consistent steps forward, no matter how small they may seem.

4. Introspection: Regularly evaluate your progress and adjust your strategies as needed. Being introspective can help you stay aligned with your goals and make necessary adjustments.

By following Bennett Kim’s example and advice, you can make grit a skill. With practice and effort, you could make it a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Remember, however, that research into success suggests that building on your own superpowers is more important than creating new ones or overcoming weaknesses. You do you!

Guest Profile

Bennett Kim (he/him):

CEO, ZNest

About ZNest: ZNest is “Zillow meets Glassdoor for senior housing.”  The monetization for the initial phase is a labor platform (job board, analytics, salary transparency) connected to a free consumer-facing senior housing directory.  Our ultimate goal is to simplify the way families find senior housing for their aging loved ones.


X/Twitter Handle: @ZNestSeniors

Facebook Page:


Instagram Handle: @znestseniors

Other URL:

Biographical Information: Prior to ZNest, Mr. Kim was Managing Partner of Big Rock Senior Housing and Chief Investment Officer of Big Rock Acquisition Corp. 

Previously, Mr. Kim held key roles at Carefree Communities, Apollo Real Estate Advisors, Oaktree Capital Management, Merrill Lynch Real Estate Investment Banking, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Disney Development Company.

Mr. Kim graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from UCLA. 

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Superpowers for Good: Empowering Changemakers for Social Impact via Regulated Investment Crowdfunding from the SuperCrowd.
We host changemakers who are using regulated investment crowdfunding for social impact--impact crowdfunding--as impact investors or social entrepreneurs, catalyzing change with leadership skills we call superpowers.