Get to Know...
Courtney Nelson

“[The MOB Conference] is, hands down, the best networking event in healthcare real estate. There is real collaboration and connection among the attendees…”

Courtney Nelson, formerly Hanfland, currently serves as the system director of Real Estate Transactions for Catholic Health Initiatives. Nelson is co-chair of the BOMA Medical Office Buildings + HealthcareReal Estate Conference, which takes place May 1-3 in Minneapolis. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for BOMA/Denver Metro.

How did you get started in the industry?

Believe it or not, my undergraduate degree was in fashion marketing and management. I went on to get my master’s degree in business administration and, after graduating, I cast a wide net in my job search. I wound up in a job as an administrative assistant in a healthcare property management company. I have a rather unusual ability to remember details, which made it easier to excel in this new role as a lease administrator. I can actually remember every doctor, every deal, every property’s square footage and the dates for every lease going back years. I eventually transitioned fully into asset management and that knack for details still comes in handy.

People come from different educational backgrounds in commercial real estate. Have you found ways to apply your undergraduate degree?

It might sound like a bit of a stretch, but, yes, actually. I learned how to work within a consumer-focused industry when I studied fashion marketing, which is exactly what healthcare is becoming. At the time, I thought I’d be figuring out what would make a customer pick one shirt off the rack over another, but now I’m using those skills to determine what will appeal to patients in positioning, branding, interior design and so on.

You’re a current co-chair of BOMA’s MOB Conference. Tell us a little about this event.

It is, hands down, the best networking event in healthcare real estate. There is real collaboration and connection among the attendees—and quite a few deals are made there, too. Beyond that, every year I’m blown away by the new educational content and the featured speakers. It is always a totally new experience and I come away feeling better prepared for the year ahead. Having been involved in the planning process, I know that a lot of hard work goes into making sure we’re offering something truly unique and cutting-edge, rather than just retreading old ground each year. It continues to be the biggest event for healthcare real estate, and it’s only growing. We seem to break another attendance record every year! I always look forward to it, and I know many of my colleagues do as well.

Is there anything on the agenda for the 2019 conference that you’re especially excited about?

There are so many speakers and sessions I’m looking forward to—and that I’m proud to have helped secure for this conference—but I’m especially eager for the keynote lunch featuring members of the sports medicine team for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. I love healthcare real estate... but I love football and I can’t wait to hear about both at once.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I read a ton of legal thrillers. I’m an avid reader in general, but legal thrillers are my favorite. I particularly love John Grisham and Robert Ludlum novels; I’m in the middle of John Grisham’s new book at the moment. Sometimes, I just read up on the law itself. I have way too much random legal knowledge for someone who never went to law school, but it comes in handy all the time.

This article was originally published in the March/April 2019 issue of BOMA Magazine.