Navigating the complex world of real estate capital

Monday, June 6, 2016

Real Estate Indicators from Christopher Carroll, managing director in HFF’s Chicago office


  1. The process or activity of accurately ascertaining one's position and planning and following a route.*

More than ever before, consumers of real estate capital are confronted with countless options when considering capital partners – both equity and debt. The introduction of foreign capital and an emerging shadow-banking market has created a veritable bazaar at which to shop. I liken this to a trip to the grocery store where you can gaze at 75-plus types of salsa. I don’t know about you, but I freeze when presented all of these options. Alas, our longing for the old days where banks made construction loans, life companies made permanent loans and you raised your equity at the country club. The world has changed dramatically and continues to confound. Who’s real? Who’s not? Will my deal terms hold until closing? Will my capital partner show up? 

Even the most reliable and traditional of capital sources are witnessing great change as they are dealing with an unprecedented onslaught of regulation, most of which goes into effect this year. HVCRE, Reg A/B, Risk Retention and more. All of this creates confusion and uncertainty in the marketplace.

When acquiring or recapitalizing your real estate, today’s real estate investor needs to have confidence to make the right choice in a partner.

In response to this, the mortgage banking business has changed dramatically as well. From the beginning where mortgage bankers represented specific sources of capital, primarily life companies, the business has evolved into a bilateral advisory business with the best firms sharing market information and executing in teams.

The real estate capital world is tough to navigate. Seek out a high quality advisor and learn how they can help you find the best path to success.

About Christopher Carroll

Christopher Carroll is a managing director in HFF’s Chicago office with more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate finance. He is responsible for the origination and placement of real estate capital nationwide. Mr. Carroll’s primary focus during his career has been structuring and placing debt, as well as arranging mezzanine and equity financing for capital owners and developers of commercial real estate. Additionally, he has assisted his clients in the purchase and sale of real estate assets, as well as advised clients on restructuring and purchase of notes, and has advised lenders on disposition of notes.

Mr. Carroll joined HFF in January 2013. Prior to joining HFF, he spent 15 years at Chicago-based Cohen Financial where he was a partner and ran a team of six professionals as head of Cohen's Chicago production office.

*Source: Oxford Dictionaries

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