Fifteen years ago Newmark Associates CRE recognized a need to expand its team’s capabilities in the healthcare and medical office sectors, an ever-changing landscape. Utilizing the knowledge, experience and expertise of one of its newest members, Judith Feldman, Newmark launched a new initiative, the Healthcare Division.
Early in her career Ms. Feldman coordinated urban planning and development of neighborhood-based comprehensive healthcare facilities in New York City; worked at Stanford University Business School on a proposed National Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan; and consulted with senior management on special projects at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.
In a recent interview, Ms. Feldman noted that the shift in the healthcare industry from the physicians being “business owners” to now becoming employees as they join the larger “hospital systems” has impacted the tenancy and future of the traditional medical office building.
The impact of this development has extended beyond patients and providers to other professionals and vendors who service the healthcare industry – CRE realtors, lawyers, accountants, IT professionals, insurance billers, and linen suppliers among others – now compelled to greater competition for a smaller pool of clients. The individual practitioners who have become corporate employees, no longer need the services of such professionals and vendors.
“The ripple effect has been tremendous and the learning curve in such a landscape is constant. “Old school’ doctors, in the face of these changes in the industry, have often sought early retirement. The younger doctors, members of these large medical networks, have different expectations and desires: shorter work hours, regulated vacation – in general, a more predictable work environment,” Ms. Feldman remarked.
Furthermore, she stated that everyone has to adapt. This adaptation takes the form of initially working with landlords to educate them on the changes in the healthcare landscape; then working with landlords to keep existing tenants by providing them with lease comps, renegotiating terms that landlords and tenants can live with — offering more extensions on existing leases.
Working with tenant practitioners to better position them in existing leases as well as repositioning condo owners of vacant space to attract tenants or create more fluid lease terms inclusive of shared space – at least covering owner expenses where there is no mortgage — are some of the creative strategies Newmark employs to meet the challenges of the changing healthcare terrain.
Ms. Feldman keeps attuned to market trends and developments in the industry by networking with professionals in several related industries inclusive of other CRE brokers with whom she shares information. Cultivating working relationships with various major developers of healthcare properties, hospitals and medical practices has earned her a reputation in creative problem-solving, diplomacy in the field, negotiations and strategic analysis. She is recognized by the top five industry leaders such that she is repeatedly invited to partner with other CRE brokers on diverse class transactions.
Outside of the commercial real estate world, Ms. Feldman has dedicated herself to volunteer for Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey for over 25 years. Recently, at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the organization, she was honored as their “Champion for Children.”