This September, Berkadia hosted its third annual Women in Commercial Real Estate Conference in Park, City, Utah. With the mountains as our backdrop, Berkadia led the conversation with more than 100 executive women in CRE to talk industry trends, market conditions and how we can collectively move the needle on increasing female representation in CRE. We checked in with Hilary Provinse, Berkadia’s EVP and Head of Mortgage Banking, to hear some of her biggest takeaways and insights from the conference, and why this annual forum is key to driving change in the industry.
What were some of the most inspiring conversations for you?
We shared insights, made new connections and strengthened relationships with clients and partners we’ve known for years. A recurring theme that came up in the panel discussions as well as from our guest speakers, Stephanie Linnartz, President, Marriott International, Inc and Shannon Bahrke Happe, Olympian and Entrepreneur, was to believe in yourself and be willing to take risks. Stephanie spoke about the impact COVID-19 had on the hospitality industry and how leading with empathy was a gamechanger for Marriott and its employees. Particularly in times of market disruption, such as today, we need to listen to our clients, our teams and lead with our authentic selves.
What were the key takeaways about the CRE market today?
Considering the volatility in the CRE market with inflation, rising interest rates and disruptions to the capital markets, it was an important time to share insights about market conditions. While the investors on our panels all reported property operations/NOI growth at record levels over the past 12 months, they expressed concern that these trends are slowing. A poll of the audience showed the strong majority would be net buyers over the next 12 months, but in the short-term they were cautious. Panelists agreed that there was still ample capital and institutional demand for multifamily investments and attendees with diversified portfolios shared that they were underweighted in multifamily.
Several lenders shared that the industry needs to keep an eye on technology, particularly as it relates to future electric vehicle legislation and our existing infrastructure. From a Capital Markets liquidity standpoint, there was some concern about bank lending, particularly in the new construction space. The GSE and Life Company Lenders in attendance shared that they were active in the marketplace and have capital to lend but are underwriting cautiously.
Was there a moment or an insight that was especially inspiring for you?
Aside from spending time with some of the most influential women in CRE, it’s not every day you get to meet an Olympian and hold an Olympic medal! To hear firsthand from Shannon Bahrke Happe that she felt paralyzed by imposter syndrome when she was standing at the gates of the 2002 Winter Olympics, resonated with me and several other colleagues around me. As women, we tend to question ourselves at different points of our careers and wonder if we’re the right person for the job. That moment when we decide to trust our capabilities and lean into the challenges, we are able to step into our true selves as leaders.
Is there a particular piece of advice you’d give to a woman considering a career in CRE?
I’d encourage women considering a career in CRE to nurture and grow their networks and get involved with local groups to build your knowledge of the industry. Focus on making genuine connections and seek them out for advice and help when you are facing change. Take the leap – a career in CRE is fulfilling and exciting!