If there is one undeniable rule in business, it’s you pounce when you see an opportunity. And that’s exactly what the SVN Commercial Advisory Group in Sarasota has done.
The commercial real estate firm recently reached an agreement with the National Spine & Pain Centers to manage its entire portfolio. The deal means the Sarasota office will handle the 120-property portfolio for the health care provider, including handling acquisitions, prospecting for new locations, sales and leasing nationwide.
“It’s definitely a big win. When you are a commercial real estate agent, and you’re trying to build a long-term sustainable business for yourself, this is really sort of the pinnacle type of an account to win,” says Matt Christian, managing director of SVN in Sarasota.
“Our team now has, and Gail (Bowden) has, a multi-year buying and selling and leasing relationship that’s just going to carry on and on and on into the future,” he adds.
Bowden is a senior investment advisor specializing in the medical sector at SVN and will manage the account along with her SVN colleague Mark Bower.
National Spine is based outside of Washington D.C., in Rockville, Maryland. The company employs about 750 doctors and other medical professionals. The120 locations are mostly along the east coast, with 25 in Florida, including one each in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. It has six centers in Texas.
According to its website it specializes “in the relief of chronic and acute pain through minimally invasive procedures.”
The deal came about as most deals do — a long period of relationship building, work on another deal and taking advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself. But, as anyone who’s worked to put together a large transaction or land a big account knows, even when the fundamentals are in place, the process is a time-consuming high wire act.
Bowden says the seeds of the deal were planted in early 2021. She had worked with National Spine’s president Doug Badertscher in the past. The Sarasota-based Badertscher had been president and COO of Pain Specialists of America before joining National Spine in March 2021.
The company, at the time, was actively looking for facility in Fort Myers for a surgery center. It asked Bowden to help. By the fall, she was able to find National Spine a 15,000-square-foot property on 1.4 acres at 4035 Evans Ave.
As this was going on, Bowden says National Spine’s contract with its real estate firm at the time was coming to an end. “They basically came to me and said, ‘Hey, are you interested in doing this?’”
She and Bower had an existing team within SVN Sarasota centered on the medical sector. She says they jumped at the opportunity because it allowed them to grow their business and gave them a chance to expand nationwide.
Despite the invitation, SVN had to compete against two other firms to land the contract. Bowden declined to disclose the firms.
To help with their pitch, Bowden and Bower brought in two SVN agents from Newport Beach, California to help. The pair had a program that helped with occupier services, something National Spine needed. The program was a way for the company to better organize its huge — and growing — real estate portfolio, which it was doing on a spreadsheet.
Bowden and one of the agents from California made the presentation. The firm was awarded the contract earlier this year.
National Spine did not respond to questions about why it chose SVN or how the commercial real estate firm differentiated itself from competitors.
The deal calls for SVN to oversee National Spine’s 120 locations, renegotiating leases and expanding space. For example, Bowden says, if the company is in a 3,000-square-foot space and new doctors are hired “we either find a new space for them, find a building, I find a buyer.”
“So, it’s really whatever they need to make it easy for them and for them to do what they need to do as far as for their doctors.”
One other service SVN in Sarasota brings to the deal, Bowden and Christian say, is when the need arises, they will be able to work with SVN agents in other states on deals involving National Spine.
As for what this deal means for SVN Sarasota, it’s an opportunity to grow a line of business, expand its reach in the medical sector and, possibly, duplicate it with other clients. Revenue obviously will increase as well. By how much the firm can’t say. “From a revenue standpoint, an operational broker standpoint,” Christian says, “it’s the best of the best, that type of an account to have.”