How Arbor Stays Ahead of an Evolving Multifamily Sector
In the last quarter of 2022, the multifamily sector continues to thrive despite ongoing economic uncertainty. As the investment community looks ahead to 2023, Arbor’s Managing Director, Senior Production Officer Jean-Laurent Pouliot discusses what’s in store for multifamily and how Arbor is positioned to help investors continue to exceed expectations next year.
What is the outlook for the multifamily sector right now?
The multifamily sector has seen unprecedented growth over the last several years, fueled by a persistent housing shortage, historically low-interest rates, and strong investor demand — all in the midst of a global pandemic, a challenging regulatory environment, and uncertainty in the capital markets.
While no one can predict the future, we do anticipate the headwinds that we are feeling now to continue strengthening. Just as Arbor was ready and committed to serving our customers when the pandemic hit, we are well-positioned to lead in this newest phase of the cycle.
What is Arbor’s key to success?
The key to Arbor’s success has been our wide-ranging loan platform and our dedication to innovation. When customers’ needs change, we anticipate and adapt. That is why, for instance, we rapidly expanded and enhanced our bridge product capabilities over the last 24 months to meet sector demand to build what is now one of the largest, best-in-class platforms in the multifamily lending space.
But Arbor is about much more than innovation. Relationships are the secret sauce behind our ability to provide optimal results across a wide range of products. However, all the solutions and all the relationships in the world are for naught without exceptional customer service. Arbor is built to serve the needs of our clients. From originations to asset management and servicing, everything we do is centered on providing an unparalleled customer service experience.
How has Arbor adapted to the changing economic environment?
That is probably best answered with an example. The explosion in popularity of single-family rentals (SFR) and the build-to-rent (BTR) space predates the pandemic. However, the trend of traditional apartment renters moving to the suburbs that started a few years ago has altered the American housing landscape in a significant way. As it became clear existing single-family housing could not meet growing demand, Arbor identified and filled a need in the marketplace for improved financing solutions to facilitate SFR and BTR transactions.
Arbor is now an industry leader in financing for SFR and BTR projects. We have also been working closely with our agency partners to provide even more financing avenues for completed projects, recently closing our first permanent financing deal of a completed soup-to-nuts project with Freddie Mac.
What are the benefits of Arbor’s focus on growing relationships?
The most important relationships we have are those we have with our agency partners. Our partnerships with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have never been more robust. Year after year, we are one of the top small-balance lenders and take pride in our commitment to helping owners of small multifamily assets find liquidity through the agencies.
Arbor’s origins are rooted in the small loan space, but at the same time, we are highly skilled at handling the financing of larger loans. In 2022, we provided agency financing on a number of large loan transactions for some of the nation’s top multifamily operators. Our ability to originate a wide range of loans is derived from our deep ties with the agencies who work closely with us to customize loan solutions to fit our customers’ needs.
And our relationships with the agencies are not one-way streets. We are there for our partners when their needs change as well, and we are always at the front of the line when it comes time to promote a new initiative they are offering, when the agencies are looking for candidates with which to try out new programs, and when they require our focus on their mission objectives.
What’s next for Arbor and the multifamily sector?
This year alone, we have closed a high volume of custom loans with investors who were struggling to find transactions. In the coming months, you will see us continue to adapt to the changing landscape with new solutions and new capabilities. This constant drive for innovation in client service, which is part of the Arbor fabric, will propel us forward in all market conditions. As we enter a new phase of the cycle, Arbor is more ready than ever to tackle any challenges and help our customers seize the opportunities that are sure to come with change.
About Jean-Laurent Pouliot
Jean-Laurent Pouliot is responsible for developing and managing all of Arbor’s lending platforms and works closely with the Sales team to optimize performance and solutions.
Interested in the multifamily real estate investment market? Contact Arbor today to learn about our array of multifamily and single-family rental financing options and view our other market research and multifamily posts in our research section.