Partnership and Camaraderie
The 2014 Freddie Mac Multifamily® Customer Conference is receding in the rearview mirror, but it’s still fresh in my mind. This year, it took place in New Orleans. Partly because the city’s fairly centrally located. But it’s also symbolic. Like the multifamily industry, New Orleans is resilient, vibrant, diverse, and focused on a bright future.
This annual conference is an important opportunity to
- connect with customers;
- share insights, ideas, accomplishments, and plans; and
- explore how – working together – we can best support borrowers, the industry, and the nation’s renters.
More than 750 attendees – including representatives from all of our major Seller/Servicers plus select investors, Borrowers, and business partners, and covering every stage of the loan life cycle – gathered for this year’s event. What a thrill it was to see such a crowd and feel so much great energy in the room! Attendance has jumped almost 30 percent in the last two years, and attendees tell us through their presence and post-conference surveys that it’s a very valuable forum. It now may well be the country’s largest conference focused solely on multifamily housing finance.
Besides the general sessions, attendees had the chance to join in several smaller discussions on topics including Freddie Mac Multifamily’s latest initiatives, the multifamily market outlook, and ways to address the growing need for affordable rental housing. Networking was another big activity. A mobile application was offered to help attendees navigate each day’s events, access conference materials, and exchange contact details.
"It’s the partnership and camaraderie of our customers that makes all of this possible. We have a great team and appreciate our relationships."
executive vice president of the Multifamily business
Our special guest speakers hit notes that really resonated. Mayor Mitch Landrieu led off the conference, talking about using the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita as “an opportunity to build the city that New Orleans should be, not the city it was.” The public sector, businesses, and community organizations are working together on new approaches to addressing persistent social issues and strengthening the economy. And they’re making huge strides. James Carville and Mary Matalin, renowned political consultants and commentators who now live in New Orleans, discussed the importance of preserving the city’s spirit and culture as the city evolves.
To me, they all could have been talking about Freddie Mac Multifamily as well. We’re working across our organization and with our customers and the industry to build a better business while creating the future of multifamily housing finance today. At the same time, we’re staying true to our mission and core principles. And our customers see it. On the post-conference survey, they gave us high marks for our people, innovation, thought leadership, and customer focus.
It’s the partnership and camaraderie of our customers that makes all of this possible. We have a great team and appreciate our relationships. At the conference, a few of them were recognized for their exceptional contributions and accomplishments.
In case you missed the conference or just want a refresher on what was covered there, following are links to recaps of several sessions and major announcements. In addition to my business update, “A Golden Age for Multifamily”:
- “Multifamily Highlights New Initiatives During 2014 Customer Conference” featuring John Cannon, senior vice president of Production, Sales & Marketing
- “Our New Small Balance Loan (SBL) Offering” by Nashwa Moussa, senior director of SBLs and Structured Transactions, Production & Sales
- “Closing the Workforce Housing Gap” by Kim Griffith, vice president of Affordable Housing Production & Investments
- “Behind the Scenes: Manufactured Housing Communities” by Kelly Brady, vice president of Underwriting & Credit
- “Jazzed Up in New Orleans” by Debby Jenkins, senior vice president of Underwriting & Credit
- “Our First CSO Meeting” by Mike Lipson, senior vice president of Asset Management & Operations
- “Giving Back to New Orleans” photo gallery of a community-service event where about 50 customers and Freddie Mac Multifamily employees teamed up to beautify the Einstein Charter School, which still suffers the effects of Katrina and Rita
We’re already looking forward to another outstanding Customer Conference next year!
Discussions on owning or renting a home, the housing market and housing finance.