HOUSTON—With a strong presence in many of the nation’s leading healthcare markets, Transwestern is elevating its practice in this sector, promoting Eric Johnson to the newly created position of executive managing director of the firm’s national healthcare platform, GlobeSt.com has learned exclusively. Based in Houston, Johnson will devise strategies and best practices to enhance service for Transwestern’s expanding base of healthcare, life sciences and biotechnology clients.

“We currently have dedicated healthcare real estate professionals in 14 of our 35 markets,” Johnson tells GlobeSt.com. “Our strategy is to build a full-service platform to serve the healthcare industry, and that includes the major service lines in leasing, property management, capital markets, tenant advisory and development.”

Of those 14 markets, he says, “some are more diversified than others. My goal will be to fortify our existing markets,” with Houston’s platform the most built-out and well-staffed at present. A mainstay of that booming Texas city is the Texas Medical Center, where 106,000 employees working at dozens of member institutions handle 7.2 million patient visits per year.

“In some of these other markets, we’ve got to add service lines that aren’t currently being provided,” says Johnson. “So the goal is to fortify those markets, and then take the platform out and expand it, with our clients, into key markets where we can best serve them.”

Some of that expansion will be predicated on providing for existing clients. “We have existing clients that have been happy with the way we’ve served them in Houston and other cities, and want to see us in other major markets,” says Johnson. “But it’s also about bringing in people and sometimes companies. It’s about preservation of culture; it’s about the people and not just buying revenue. Transwestern’s been a very slow and methodical about growing; we’ve been very strategic.”

A good example of that strategic approach was Transwestern’s 2013 acquisition of what was then Richards Barry Joyce & Partners, a dominant brokerage in the life sciences-heavy Boston market. Led by Steve Purpura, what is now Transwestern | RBJ is rolling out the company’s life sciences platform across the country. “There’s a natural blend between healthcare and life sciences,” says Johnson. “We’re collaborating to shore up markets where there’s a lot of life science interest and we’re not serving those markets, or where we have a life science presence and we’re bringing in healthcare. Our clients want to see us in both of those spaces. In many cases, we have the same investors or landlords in both life sciences and healthcare.”

A 21-year veteran of healthcare real estate, Johnson has been with Transwestern for 17 years and currently serves on its board of directors. He leads a Houston team of 12 healthcare producers, one of the largest such specialty practices in the country, with a client list that includes institutional owners such as Health Care Properties Inc., Healthcare Trust of America Inc., Lillibridge, Memorial Hermann Health System and St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System/CHI. Johnson will continue to serve clients utilizing the strengths of his Houston team in addition to executing his new national responsibilities.