CPE’s Stars to Watch 2019: Senior Housing Strategist

Hunt Real Estate Capital is muscling its way into the senior housing market, and GE Capital veteran Brady Johnson is instrumental to that effort.

Brady Johnson, 38

Director, Hunt Real Estate Capital

Brady Johnson
Brady Johnson

Hunt Real Estate Capital is muscling its way into the senior housing market, and GE Capital veteran Brady Johnson is instrumental to that effort.

Johnson has played a key role in setting up a dedicated senior housing and health-care real estate finance unit at the Manhattan-based lender, which is part of Hunt Cos. In less than 12 months, the executive rolled out a strategic sales campaign that has helped build a current pipeline of more than $150 million in new lending opportunities.

His efforts have also contributed to Hunt Real Estate Capital’s approval as a Fannie Mae Seniors Housing Lender; the launch of the firm’s senior housing bridge lending platform and the closing of one of the team’s first senior housing bridge loans.

Johnson started his real estate career at Utah’s Cottonwood Title Insurance Agency. After earning an MBA, he joined the management development program at GE Capital. As he rose through the ranks to senior vice president, holding a series of positions in corporate and commercial real estate finance, Johnson recognized the need to zero in on a specialty.

That opportunity arrived when General Electric started selling off most of its financial business. In 2015, Johnson joined RED Capital Group to handle commercial real estate lending for senior housing properties. Last year, Johnson’s team jumped to Hunt Mortgage Group—since renamed Hunt Real Estate Capital—where he is helping to build a new platform led by Senior Managing Director Kathryn Burton Gray.

The sheer complexity of the senior housing and health-care segment was the major attraction for Irvine, Calif.-based Johnson, who has always liked the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity that commercial real estate entails. “Every deal is different within real estate finance,” he noted. “And then within health-care, magnify that by 10.”

Johnson’s role gives him a front-row view of the evolving senior living industry, where he sees tremendous opportunity as America grows older and the Baby Boom generation retires. He finds it gratifying to bring facilities to people who need them, especially the high-quality properties that are being developed today.

“Growing up, I’d go to the nursing home for Volunteer Saturday, and it was kind of a depressing place,” he recalled. “That has changed so much. And to now know that I can be a part of creating something good in the community is a really specific draw to this segment of real estate.”

What Others Say About Him: “One of Brady’s great qualities is that he takes a real interest in our business as an operator. On multiple occasions, he has gone out of his way to bring us a potential acquisition or development opportunity or facilitate an introduction to a new capital partner to us. We don’t just hear from Brady when he wants to finance something we’re looking at. He’s proactively trying to help us expand and grow our business.”—Kristopher Woolley, Founder & CEO, Avista Senior Living.

Meet the rest of CPE’s Stars to Watch for 2019—commercial real estate’s top young talent.