John Thomas, CEO of Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE: DOC), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.
Physicians Realty Trust is pursuing an investment-grade rating. Thomas said achieving that status fits with the company’s mentality of building for the long term. Since its founding, company executives have met with the ratings agencies to learn more about the path to obtaining an investment-grade rating, according to Thomas.
“We’re going to start the process and hopefully get across their hurdles,” he said.
Physicians Realty Trust looks to acquire medical office buildings that fall within the range of $10 million to $15 million. That is a $300 billion to $400 billion market in the United States, according to Thomas, who also noted that spending on health care is projected to rise from $3 trillion to $5 trillion in short order.
“It’s a very fragmented market,” Thomas said. “We see somewhat of an unlimited supply and opportunity in a growing market.”
Health care REITs own a small fraction of the health care real estate assets in the U.S., which Thomas attributed to the “local” nature of the health care business. “Hospital systems and physicians have been the builders of buildings,” he said.
However, with the aging of the medical profession, more doctors who own their office real estate are interested in selling the buildings, according to Thomas. Thomas said Physicians Realty Trust emphasizes to sellers that the company is “somebody you can trust that is going to take care of your building.”