October’s interview is the fifth profile for CA Search Advisors’ Women in Real Estate Series featuring amazing women in the commercial real estate field. This series explores each one’s professional journey, inspiration and advice to students and young professionals looking to build a career in the industry.
Krysta Bavlsik has had a busy October. After almost three years of preparation, Krysta and the rest of the MBRE Healthcare team officially separated from MB Real Estate Services, Inc. on October 1, 2020 and launched Remedy Medical Properties. The company is headquartered in Chicago and is the country’s largest private owner and service provider for healthcare real estate. Remedy owns and manages over 20 million square feet of healthcare facilities including: medical office buildings, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, urgent care centers, freestanding emergency departments and micro-hospitals. It operates 22 offices across 40 states. In her role as COO/CFO, Krysta oversees the execution of the company’s growth, asset management and capital strategies. Her story is a testament to hard work, knowing yourself, and aligning yourself with people who recognize your potential.
Krysta knew that she wanted to pursue a career in a quantitative field in high school as she enjoyed her economics, physics, and math classes. She worked in a physics lab the summer before college. While she loved the inventiveness of the national lab, the pace proved too slow. At that time, Krysta decided to change her focus and major in economics.
Graduating from the University of Chicago in December of her senior year, Krysta began her career in real estate the following January with the research group at LaSalle Investment Management. In fact, she accepted the position and went in to finalize her employment details on the day of her actual graduation.
In 2010, Krysta left LaSalle to join MB Real Estate’s research group. It was MBRE’s Peter Westmeyer, now CEO of Remedy Medical Properties, who initially saw an opportunity in healthcare real estate and purchased a few buildings. Peter also recognized Krysta’s potential and her desire to do and learn more. He realized that Krysta’s strength was implementation. So, when Peter decided to start the healthcare group, he tapped Krysta to implement that strategic plan. She took the risk, jumped into a new frontier within MBRE, and has been in the healthcare sector ever since. Per Krysta, “Peter is the idea guy, and I am the execution. That is why we work so well together.”
Forging Remedy’s new independence and identity is a monumental accomplishment in Krysta’s career. She is extremely proud of the 155-person team and real estate platform they have built, as well as the vision for Remedy. This new company provides them with the ability to control their own destiny and do business in a customer-centric, hands-on way.
Remedy strives to be a healthcare industry expert that creates the most flexible and adaptable real estate solutions in an industry defined by change and uncertainty. This is reflected in the company also bringing Percival Health Advisors in-house. Percival is a strategic innovation and advisory firm that works with health systems, physician groups, and the surrounding communities to provide creative solutions and partnerships that improve market positioning, care delivery, financial strength, and population health.
Krysta truly enjoys Remedy’s collaborative, hard-working team. “We work hard and play hard. Egos do not last long here.” The company’s leadership has focused not on pedigree, but on recognizing potential and determination when hiring. Remedy wants people who are willing to roll up their sleeves, pitch-in, and help. They also believe it is important to be patient and let people learn their jobs. Remedy is in a great position to continue growing that team. And while COVID-19 has everyone working from home at this point, Krysta knows the team will eventually be back together in the office and she is looking forward to it.
Despite the COVID-19 situation, healthcare real estate is a great sector to be in at this time. While there was some anxiety in March when COVID first started, Krysta will tell you that they worked closely with tenants to prepare for events such as potential rent deferrals as no one knew what to expect in the months to come. Patients that put off doctor’s visits for the first half of the year are back scheduling appointments for mammograms, annual physicals, lab work, and other medical services that cannot be replaced by Telemedicine. Eventually people need to seek in-person care. In addition, some insurance providers are starting to place restrictions again on coverage for Telemedicine. Remedy has invested in this outpatient sector, especially in helping health systems establish their presence in convenient, community-based locations away from congested hospital campuses. Fortunately, as of October, collections are also back on track and aging is back to low, pre-COVID levels.
When asked about advice for young professionals, Krysta provided three key recommendations:
- Find a mentor that sees your potential and will help you develop your strengths. In addition to Peter Westmeyer, Krysta credits Bea Reyna-Hickey as a teacher and advocate. Bea was the Director of the City of Chicago’s Department of Revenue when Krysta was an intern. When the department’s head of public relations left, Krysta jumped in and immediately covered the PR person’s job. Bea saw her willingness to do what it takes and allowed Krysta to manage the campaigns for some major department initiatives.
- Raising your hand presents the most opportunities. Everyone needs help so do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and pitch in on projects and initiatives outside of your everyday job. It can be risky, and you have to find a balance so that people do not take advantage of you, but it can also get you noticed as company leaders will see your willingness to work hard, your skills, and your desire to learn.
- You do not have to win every argument or even the total argument. Just get what is important to you. Too often people feel like they need to win every point, which does not lend itself well to negotiations. Figure out what you ultimately want to accomplish and need, argue your point from the most rational perspective, and recognize where you can give in order to get what you want.
It is obvious that these three strategies have served Krysta well in her career.
Congratulations to Krysta Bavlsik and the Remedy team for a successful launch. We wish them continued success in their first official business quarter and beyond!
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