Without overstating the obvious, 2021 was an incredible year for the multifamily industry and even more so for Berkadia. A tidal wave of activity in the multifamily market resulted in a record-breaking production year for Berkadia, even (especially?) against a backdrop of pandemic and related economic uncertainty.
A few highlights:
- Our total 2021 combined production—investment sales, mortgage banking and equity—was in excess of $67 billion, eclipsing our previous high mark of $37 billion in 2019.
- We closed more than $27 billion of transactions in investment sales. To put this in perspective, total investment sales production in 2020 was $7.8 billion. Further, just in the month of December 2021 we transacted $7.3 billion. Unbelievable!
- On the mortgage banking side, we closed well over $40 billion in volume, more than our previous total production record. Underscoring the strength of our mortgage banking platform, we ranked number one in combined Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and FHA origination volume.
- On the commercial loan servicing side, we ended the year with $337 billion in servicing portfolio. Q4 2021 marked the 18th consecutive quarter of growth in our servicing book.
Reaching record highs across the board was driven by great client relationships, a very strong economic tailwind and excellent execution by our Berkadia team. I’m proud and incredibly grateful for our clients and our team. In an uncertain environment, we remained focused on driving successful outcomes on our strategic initiatives, including:
- The continued rollout of new apps, tools and processes. We are committed to being THE solution provider for our clients. When we combine our industry leading technology tools with the collaborative efforts of more than 2,400 Berkadians, the result is better decision-making and a competitive edge for our clients. When our clients win, so do we. And those who don’t work with us do so at their own peril!
- Established Berkadia Institutional Solutions. In January of 2021, we acquired the investment sales arm of Moran, an investment sales firm with an incredible reputation and track record in the institutional space. The establishment of Berkadia Institutional Solutions gained traction throughout the year as recognized industry professionals joined our team in significant numbers.
- Expansion into other product and service offerings, including the September launch of the BRC Multifamily Bridge Loan Fund LP, an open-ended fund managed by Berkadia Capital Advisors LLC to provide our clients with the best support and solutions possible for their bridge financing needs. Stay tuned for more to come on this front.
- Dominance of our Affordable platform. Our Affordable housing team completed nearly $4 billion in total transactions in 2021. It is both good business and good citizenship to focus on the Affordable and workforce housing space. I am completely convinced that the only way to make a measurable dent in the nation’s housing crisis is via the multifamily channel. Berkadia is the best in the business thanks to David Leopold and his team. But I caveat that with the reminder that we have just begun to see what we can do here!
- The launch of our DEIB roadmap. Following a thorough assessment with our partner, The Ivy Planning Group, we formally kickstarted efforts to increase a sense of belonging at Berkadia. We want the most honest, hardworking and smart (in that order!) people to join us on our journey to transform the industry. There’s a long way to go, but we are off to a good start!
- Increased bench strength. Across the company, we added more than 500 new Berkadians, made innumerable promotions and witnessed incredible team growth, including adding two new members to our Management Committee. We are leading the effort to identify, recruit and develop talent across the board and ensure that Berkadia dominates for decades to come.
I’ve had the honor to lead Berkadia for nearly 8 years and my job gets better every year as we infuse Berkadia with new talent, ideas and a willingness to re-think how we do things. We continue our evolution from a transaction company to an advisory one, an approach that served us well as we worked with our clients to find clarity amidst the fog of the pandemic.
Entering 2022, we still find ourselves surrounded with uncertainty and challenges. That said, commercial real estate activity—acquisition, refinancing and so forth—continues, as does our attending efforts to build ourselves into the best, most comprehensive platform for our clients. For many reasons, I am optimistic about our industry and especially our organization as we move forward. As I never tire of saying, we take the long view! By continuing to build on our strong foundation and adhering to our values, we’re poised to remain trusted advisors to our clients, attract more potential clients to our unique value proposition and continue to strengthen our position in the market for years to come.