CREUnited seeks to increase its minority stake in CRE with the overall goal of increasing minority assets.
Bethesda, Maryland., Jul 16, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The lack of diversity in the commercial real estate industry is striking, and industry leaders agree on the need for transformation. While minorities make up over 48 percent of tenants in the US, according to the US Census, only four percent of real estate companies are owned by women or minorities. According to research Harvard Universityminority companies control just over 1.2 percent of all assets under management (AUM). To fill this gap, Walker & Dunlop launched CRESingle – an alliance between industry heavyweights and minority-owned enterprises – dedicated to increasing minority representation and AUM.
With member companies such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Camber creek, Greystar, Kane Anderson Real Estate, KKR, Pacific life, Simetra, Manulife Investment Management, as well as Unibail-Rodamco-WestfieldThe partnership covers all aspects of the industry, including lenders and private equity firms, institutional investors, and owners and operators of all asset classes.
“We saw good intentions in the industry to increase minority ownership and operator participation, but real, sustainable change requires the industry to come together,” he said. T.J. Edwards, Managing Director of Walker & Dunlop’s Proprietary Capital Group. “CRECombined brings together organizations from across the CRE industry – all united by one common interest: removing barriers that prevent minority owners and operators from thriving in this industry. “
“The collective strength of this alliance will help us bring about real change for all players in the industry. This will create a domino effect that will lead to the growth of AUM for minority enterprises, ”he said. Bo Okoroji, CRECombined Member of the Advisory Board and Vice President of Investment and Sales at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. “There is also an important element of accountability here — the entire industry is responsible for making the changes needed to improve diversity, and corporate partners in this initiative are committed to contributing to increased ownership and increased representation.”
Earlier this year, the alliance held a hearing with executives from 11 of the leading minority-owned CRE companies to begin the initiative. Leaders from Banneker Ventures, Dantes partners, FLGA, Gateway Trade and Banking, Mohanna Development, New development of Faze, Osso Capital, Enterprise rule, Standard real estate investment, L.A. Bolden, as well as Menkiti Group shared their personal stories and perspectives to further illustrate the challenges and barriers ingrained in the industry.
Based on the discussion, CRECombined identified five challenges and developed promising solutions for each. Collectively, they provide a blueprint for measurable progress:
Increase transparency through industry reporting and tracking
Create new channels for minorities to access established professional networks.
Expand access to debt and remove barriers to equity
Facilitate the expansion of minority portfolios beyond affordable housing to market-priced multi-family homes and other asset classes such as retail, offices, industry and hospitality.
Implementing best practices to secure capital flows from institutional investors to minority-owned companies
CRE membersUnited The Advisory Board will oversee these five goals and foster new partnerships to achieve tangible progress in the implementation of these strategies and solutions. For more information on forming an alliance view our previous issue…
“Walker & Dunlop kicked off this initiative because our team realized that approaching diversity at the level of each company was not enough,” said Willie Walker, Chairman and CEO of Walker & Dunlop. “Through partnership, we are transforming the industry.”
About Walker & Dunlop
Walker and Dunlop (NYSE: WD) is the largest provider of capital for the multi-family industry in United States and the fourth largest lender in all commercial real estate, including industrial, office, retail and hospitality. Walker & Dunlop enables property owners and operators to bring their vision of the communities in which Americans live, work, shop and play to life. Our employee strength, leading brand and industry-leading technology make us more insightful and valuable to our customers, delivering an unrivaled experience every step of the way. With over 1000 employees in all major US markets, Walker & Dunlop has consistently ranked as one of Fortune’s Best Places to Work® and is strives to make the commercial real estate industry more inclusive and diverse until creating significant social, environmental and economic changes in our communities.
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SOURCE Walker & Dunlop, Inc.