Meet Christine Gorham, CCIM with Eastwood Real Estate Services. In 2010, she partnered with Lee Eastwood (last week’s Four on Friday) after 24 years of medical experience in both the operations and real estate sectors (including 10 years at Northside Hospital and Director of Asset Management and Leasing nationwide for SRS Investments). The dynamic partnership has continued to grow Eastwood Real Estate Services, a commercial real estate firm specializing in medical and dental transactions. Christine currently serves as a director on the board of CREW Atlanta. In 2009 to 2010 she served as co-chair for Leadership CREW and has been active in CREW Atlanta since 2005. Christine and Lee were recently nominated by CREW for the Entrepreneurial Spirit award in Washington, D.C. Check out Christine’s insight into what’s happening in medical office and why CREW is important to her!
CG: There are some common misconceptions that the healthcare industry is doing well. We are still doing deals, but the industry has been largely affected by the economy and job layoffs. People are rolling the dice and not carrying insurance, which has reduced the volume of patients in doctor offices. This, combined with healthcare reform and pending Medicare cuts, has the healthcare industry in caution mode. Doctors are being more thoughtful about leasing space for their practices. It used to be that five and ten-year medical office leases were standard. Now we are seeing more three and five-year deals.
CG: In terms of medical office, we are doing better than a lot of the other markets in the South. It basically comes down to density. People seem to be migrating toward larger cities and growth is still expected in Atlanta over the next decade. The city is currently experiencing mild growth while other markets are falling apart.
HS: Why has CREW been important to you?
CG: The quality and breadth of resources my partner Lee and I can utilize is immeasurable. In addition, I personally feel strong about supporting women in the industry. Last March I spoke at a conference in New York City, and out of a room of 300 commercial real estate professionals, there were only 13 women. Women are outnumbered in the commercial real estate industry and it is nice to have such an excellent network of women you can turn to and count on.
HS: What keeps you busy when you are not in the office?
CG: I am the wife of a busy husband and mom of three awesome boys; I really make an effort to attend all of their activities. I also help with the PTSA, usher at my church, participate in my sorority alumnae chapter, play volleyball & tennis and of course cheer on those Clemson Tigers…did I say ranked 8th out loud? Lee and I have been working very hard and are looking forward to celebrating our successes with some great Fall-weather golf! The last time we played together in a tournament I won the long drive contest so we are planning to use my winnings at Chateau Élan very soon!