I just got back from San Diego where I attended the MBA CREF/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo along with about 2,600 other people. The mood was as optimistic as I have seen since the crash. Brokers have deals that need financing, and lenders have money to lend at historically low rates. With these perfect conditions, if you have a good deal, it is a great time to be a borrower.
We had a booth at the conference, and the exhibit hall was actually decent this year. They organizers seemed to do a better job of hosting sessions and giving away free drinks, which attracted a good flow of people.
The number of exhibitors is still way off from the height, so our front row booth stood out pretty well. We introduced our new pricing model for both CMBS.com and Backshop for CRE professionals, which were very well received. In addition, many of our enterprise clients were there, so it was a worthwhile few days.
The parties were fun and, while not quite back to market-peak excess, they were plentiful and well hosted. My only complaint was the conference started off on a bad note when the 49ers lost the Super Bowl. We almost had a World Series and Super Bowl in the same year. Next year.
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Jim Flaherty is CEO of CMBS.com and the creator of the Backshop loan origination system. He is a trained credit professional with experience installing enterprise underwriting systems for commercial real estate lenders, rating agencies and investors.