At Berkadia, our success is built upon the talent and hard work of a broad, diversely skilled team. From graphic designers to loan closing specialists to product designers, each of our people brings a unique background, perspective and expertise. Their work allows Berkadia to remain a leader in the commercial real estate industry.
Today, we’re shining the spotlight on Heather Culver, Real Estate Analyst, who sits in our Dallas office, to learn more about her role, how she got into real estate and what helped her get a job out of college.
Describe your role at Berkadia.
I assist associate directors and mortgage bankers in underwriting and closing transactions across multiple property types, encompassing various loan structures including agency, bank and bridge. I work on deals in all stages of the loan process including the initial underwriting, package creation, marketing process and closing due diligence. I work with both lenders and borrowers to achieve the most attractive loan terms for each deal.
What part of your role are you most passionate about? What excites you the most about starting your early career with Berkadia?
Learning how to analyze and underwrite unique challenges and aspects of each new deal that comes in. Each deal is different so there’s always an opportunity to be challenged and learn. What excites me most – the opportunity to work with a group of experienced professionals that are truly invested in my success.
What was your major in school and how did you get introduced to CRE? Did you choose CRE or did CRE choose you?
I majored in Real Estate Finance and minored in mathematics. SMU Cox School of Business has a great real estate program that caught my interest, so I switched my major to real estate finance so that I could find internships that would jump start my career. I got my first real estate internship at 3E Management and quickly realized that I made the right decision. Real Estate instantly clicked for me like no other subject had.
What stood out about Berkadia when you were interviewing for full time roles out of school/early career opportunities?
The company culture – in every other interview I did, I asked about the company culture and always got the generic, insincere “we love our people” line. But when talking to people at Berkadia you could tell that everyone genuinely loved working here and a lot of them have been here for 10+ years. Since starting, everything that everyone told me about the culture is true. This is truly a company full of people that not only enjoy their careers, but support one another.
What advice would you have for somebody just graduating to land of role in CRE? How can other early career individuals prepare themselves to land a role at Berkadia?
Find a mentor. My first boss became a mentor of mine and helped me so much during my job search. Also, make connections and talk to as many people as you can. Message analysts on LinkedIn to hop on an introductory call and talk about their day-to-day and experiences in the industry. There are so many different lines of business in real estate that it’s important to educate yourself on the possible careers so that you can find what aspects of real estate interest you most and find a job doing that.