NMHC 2021: Here’s What You Missed

June 14, 2021

NMHC 2021: Here’s What You Missed

June 14, 2021
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I’ve been to a few NMHCs in my day, and I can say with confidence that while last week’s may have been the smallest gathering in recent history, it was one of the most energizing I can remember. It felt incredible to be back together in person, albeit on a smaller scale, and although I’m still anxious to get back to the NMHCs of yore, I’m extremely grateful that we had the opportunity to meet this year.

More than ever, I came away from this year’s meeting invigorated and excited about what lies ahead for our industry and our organization. And I’m not alone. From the on-site programming to client meetings to dinners out, there was no shortage of insight and optimism. Here are a few of my highlights:

The excitement is palpable

We headed into NMHC with record setting investment sales activity for our organization and incredible momentum across the multifamily industry. The sense throughout the conference was that we don’t see this pace slowing down anytime soon. I heard from clients that the only thing holding them back is the availability of opportunities, but we’re doing what we can to ease that challenge. We’ve had especially strong listing activity through Berkadia Institutional Solutions, powered by Moran and we’re seeing tremendous engagement with these and all of our listings.

Niche asset classes are top of mind

No one can overlook the rising interest in the SFR market (it hit the homepage of the WSJ as we were headed into the conference) and we talked to a lot of clients about breaking into this sector. Similarly, affordable remains a hot topic. Interest is rebounding in some of the niche asset classes that were most impacted by the pandemic as the economy is starting to recover. Investors are looking hard at student housing, seniors housing and hotels and hospitality and want insight on how to assess the stability and trajectory of assets within these classes to make the best acquisition/disposition decisions.

All eyes on inflation and legislation

It’s no surprise that in many of our conversations, clients were curious about our take on inflation. While we can’t predict the future, multifamily has long proven an attractive inflation hedge, so it should remain a strong part of client portfolios. At the same time, with 1031 exchanges potentially in the Biden administration’s crosshairs and infrastructure negotiations ramping up, significant impacts to our industry could be on the horizon. Again, we can’t predict the future, but we’re paying close attention so that we can provide the best insight to clients as the economic and legislative landscapes continue to evolve.

Trusted advisors are key

This is as active a market as we’ve ever seen. Multifamily has proven its mettle in the pandemic and competition is steep for good assets—we’ve seen upwards of 200 CAs signed for some of the properties we have on offer. In a market with the potential to get frothy, sound advice, a long-term strategy is more important than ever before. We’re glad our clients are eager for opportunities, and we’re happy to provide them, but we’re reminded that a critical part of our role is giving the best advice for long-term success, not simply winning deals in the moment.

NMHC is an annual highlight for me. I love being together with clients and colleagues, catching up and talking shop. It’s one of the things I’ve missed the most in the past year and I enjoyed myself immensely at this year’s conference. I’m excited to hit the road again in the coming months to touch base with the clients and colleagues I missed at NMHC, and share the latest from Berkadia.

-Ernie Katai, EVP, Head of Production