What Happens When 900+ Multifamily Professionals Get Together?
October 20, 2015
Last week, what’s likely the largest gathering of multifamily finance professionals came together in Chicago for our 2015 Customer Conference — where the word “growth” became a constant refrain. Encompassing 34 different events, the three-day conference took place at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. With attendance topping 900, we used the opportunity to make several key announcements:
- The industry is on a strong growth trajectory, according to Executive Vice President, David Brickman and Freddie Mac’s YTD multifamily business volume of $34B, if annualized, is tracking at over $45 billion by year end.
- Our Manufactured Housing Community Loans offering reached the $1 billion mark, only a year since the first loan was purchased and just a month after our Small Balance Loans offering reached the same milestone.
- Moderate Rehab Loans were introduced, providing customers with a flexible liquidity source for properties undergoing significant renovations.
- Floating-rate loan breakage fees were reduced to just 1%.
- We renewed our commitment to holding spreads and the certainty it provides sponsors.
On Wednesday, the pre-conference events began. While some joined advisory meetings around the hotel, more than 40 attendees headed over to John T. McCutcheon Elementary School, where they spent the afternoon painting and beautifying the school at what’s becoming an annual community service event.
Back at the Sheraton, our inaugural “Women in Multifamily” panel and networking event was a huge hit. The standing-room-only crowd of over 180 listened to female executives from the industry share both professional and personal stories.
Early Thursday, nearly 100 attendees joined a 90-minute architecture river boat tour, where our guide, certified by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, interpreted more than 50 buildings along the Chicago River. It was a lovely, informative, and chilly way to begin the morning — and a great start to the first official day of the conference.
During the “Meet the Regions and Business Areas” networking reception, attendees got a chance to put a “face to the name” while they met with their Freddie Mac business contacts and enjoyed lunch.
At Thursday’s Opening Session, the ballroom was filled as David Brickman, Executive Vice President of Multifamily, provided an overview of the multifamily business. Following this update, Willy Walker, Chairman and CEO of Walker & Dunlop, interviewed Freddie Mac CEO, Don Layton about the industry and his thoughts on where it’s headed. Don also took the opportunity to unveil Freddie Mac’s fresh new logo, symbolizing that we’re a better company, helping to build a better housing finance system for the nation.
Afterwards, attendees dispersed to breakout sessions for a chance to dig deeper into various aspects of the business. In the afternoon general session, Steven Levitt, co-author of the Freakonomics series, challenged conventional wisdom and amused the audience with his insights. The evening ended with a reception at the Great Hall in Chicago Union Station for hors d'oeuvres and music in a memorable venue.
On Friday, at the “Management Update with a Twist,” senior Freddie Mac Multifamily executives provided a humorous outlook of their business areas in a presidential debate-style format. John Cannon, Senior Vice President, Production and Sales, ended the session with a talk about the successes of 2015 and plans for increasing speed and innovation in 2016.
For those of you who were able to join us this past week, we thank you and hope you got as much out of the conference as we did; your registrations fees made this event possible. For those who were not able to join us, we look forward to seeing you next year in Miami!