Roundtable and Coalition Partners Launch Industry-Wide Initiative to Advance “Supplier Diversity” in Real Estate

CREDS Founding Organizations include The Real Estate Roundtable

The Real Estate Roundtable and six national real estate trade associations this week announced a first-of-its-kind alliance that aims to foster supplier diversity throughout the industry. (News release, Feb. 14)

The Commercial Real Estate Diverse Supplier (CREDS) Consortium

  • The Roundtable is joined by CREW Network, ICSC, Mortgage Bankers Association, NAIOP, Nareit, and the National Multifamily Housing Council in the CREDS Consortium.

  • The CREDS Consortium aims to improve and accelerate opportunities for “MWBEs”—shorthand for firms owned by minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ+ persons, and persons with disabilities – in the chain of vendors, service providers, and other suppliers that support the real estate industry. (CREDS Frequently Asked Questions)

  • The CREDS Consortium has initiated a pilot program with SupplierGATEWAY—a leading supplier management software platform and minority-owned firm that automates and simplifies supplier and vendor management. (Roundtable Weekly, Feb. 10)

  • SupplierGATEWAY provides software tools and a robust vendor database that allows real estate companies to track, report, and procure services and materials from MWBEs. Members of the CREDS associations can subscribe to SupplierGATEWAY’s platform at discounted rates through the end of 2024.

  • Upon this week’s CREDS Consortium launch, Real Estate Roundtable board member and chair of its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, Jeff T. Blau (CEO, Related Companies), said, “Diversifying the supply chain in real estate must be a collective effort – and I am proud to be a part of this deeply impactful program. This vital work will help us lift up MWBEs and provide the industry with real tools to connect with these businesses and track spending. With partners like my fellow Roundtable board member, Ken McIntyre (CEO, Real Estate Executive Council) and the RER staff, together, we are on the road to expanding opportunity across the industry.”

  • Real Estate Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer said, “Owners, developers, and financiers of commercial and multifamily real estate are committed to help minority, women, and other historically under-represented entrepreneurs prosper in our great industry.”

  • “The CREDS Consortium can help our members realize their intentions to advance economic opportunities across the vast and varied supply chain that serves real estate, makes our buildings productive, and strengthens the fabric of our communities,” DeBoer added.

DEI and ESG Goals

  • SupplierGATEWAY tools that measure and track MWBE procurement spending can support companies’ efforts to advance environmental social and governance (ESG) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals. Hiring companies can also post their purchase orders and other contracting opportunities through the CREDS portal to be matched with potentially qualified MWBE firms.

  • CREDS associations’ members can subscribe—at a discounted price—to SupplierGATEWAY’s vendor management software and a comprehensive database of more than 1 million MWBE suppliers through the Consortium’s portal page.

  • SupplierGATEWAY Founder and CEO Ade Solaru said, “Our partnership with the CREDS Consortium is an important component of our mission to generate meaningful economic impact at scale for our customers. Each member of the CREDS associations can now create meaningful social impact at the local level without sacrificing efficiency, cost or risk.”

Next Steps

  • The CREDS Consortium also hopes to gain insights from the pilot program about supplier diversity trends across the commercial real estate industry to strengthen the program in the future.

  • Learn more about the CREDS Consortium pilot program. Interested companies can contact Julian So ( julian@suppliergateway.com) to schedule a demo of the system.

More information on the initiative can also be provided by Roundtable Senior Vice President and Counsel, Duane Desiderio, and other points of contact listed at the end of the CREDS Consortium’s “ Frequently Asked Questions” document.

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The Real Estate Roundtable and Partner Real Estate Associations Join Together for the First Time to Expand Supplier Diversity Opportunities

CREDS Founding Organizations include The Real Estate Roundtable

The Commercial Real Estate Diverse Supplier (CREDS) Consortium is a first-of-its-kind coalition to provide more opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses in the industry’s supply chain.

Washington, D.C. — Today, an industry-wide group of seven real estate trade associations announced a first-of-its-kind alliance to foster supplier diversity in real estate. The Commercial Real Estate Diverse Supplier (CREDS) Consortium aims to expand economic opportunities for businesses owned by minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) in the chain of providers that supply the real estate industry.

In addition to The Real Estate Roundtable, CREDS Consortium associations include CREW Network, ICSC, Mortgage Bankers Association, NAIOP, Nareit and the National Multifamily Housing Council. CREDS Consortium associations will highlight tools that their members can use to identify, track, report, and procure products and services from MWBEs and companies owned by veterans, LGBTQ+ persons, and persons with a disability.

The Real Estate Roundtable’s President and CEO, Jeffrey DeBoer, said, “Owners, developers, and financiers of commercial and multifamily real estate are committed to help minority, women, and other historically under-represented entrepreneurs prosper in our great industry. The CREDS Consortium can help our members realize their intentions to advance economic opportunities across the vast and varied supply chain that serves real estate, makes our buildings productive, and strengthens the fabric of our communities.”

The CREDS Consortium has launched a two-year pilot program that will run through the end of 2024 with SupplierGATEWAY, a leading supplier management software platform and minority-owned firm that automates and simplifies supplier and vendor management. SupplierGATEWAY’s products include supplier sourcing, registration, risk management, compliance, and management—and provide support for corporate social responsibility, diversity, and inclusion goals.

Members of the CREDS associations can subscribe—at a discounted price—to SupplierGATEWAY’s software platform to search for, connect with, and potentially hire MWBEs as contractors, service providers, vendors, and joint venture partners. CREDS associations’ subscribing members can access the vendor management software and a comprehensive database of MWBE suppliers through the Consortium’s portal page, hosted by SupplierGATEWAY.

Hiring companies can also post their purchase orders and other contracting opportunities through the CREDS portal. Tools available on the platform that measure and track MWBE procurement spending will support companies that intend to advance environmental social, and governance (ESG) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals.

During the pilot program, the Consortium also hopes to gain broad insights into supplier diversity trends across the commercial real estate industry.

Visit Supplier Gateway to learn more about the CREDS Consortium pilot program. An FAQ document can be found here.   

What CREDS Consortium partners are saying:

  • Wendy Mann, CEO, CREW Network

“As a global organization focused on accelerating success for all women in commercial real estate, CREW Network supports this partnership and initiative as an important business strategy to elevate ESG and DEI and create a more equitable industry for all. Women- and minority-owned businesses are a driving force behind economic growth and bringing this diverse talent to the industry is a business imperative. Companies that increase their diverse spend also see an increase in innovation and market share. It’s a win-win.”

  • Tom McGee, ICSC President & CEO

“ICSC is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the Marketplaces Industry and giving our members ways to identify and source MWBEs is one way we can do this. The CREDS Consortium helps meet the growing demand for diversity in service providers and offers our members direct access to the tools and resources they need to support their own DEI goals.  We are proud to be a founding member of the Consortium and look forward to working closely with the partner organizations to further this important initiative.”

  • Bob Broeksmit, CMB, President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association

 â€śThe Commercial Real Estate Diverse Supplier Consortium is a great resource for expanding DEI and ESG opportunities in the real estate finance industry. Our members will benefit from the consortium’s work to identify minority- and women-owned suppliers that provide essential products and services. MBA and its members are dedicated to supporting and promoting supplier diversity.”

  • Marc Selvitelli, CAE, NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association

 â€śNAIOP is proud to be a founding member of this important initiative. By working together, we believe this powerful alliance of real estate associations can propel our member companies’ success in achieving their important ESG goals. Facilitating access to a minority- and women-owned supplier database is an important first step in creating future opportunities between diverse vendors and developers and owners of commercial real estate.”

  • Steven A. Wechsler, President and CEO, Nareit

“Increasing the use of diverse service providers is an industry-wide priority that requires an industry-wide approach, which is why we are proud to be a founding member of the CREDS Consortium. The CREDS-SupplierGATEWAY partnership will enable Nareit’s members to leverage existing software and tools to more quickly increase diversity and inclusivity in their respective supply chains.”

  • Sharon Wilson GĂ©no, President, National Multifamily Housing Council

“As a founding member of the Consortium, NMHC proudly continues our longstanding commitment to DEI as a business imperative that drives innovation and success. NMHC knows that connecting more buyers with more sellers, and measuring those connections, are essential steps toward a more robust market that benefits both multifamily firms and MBWE partners that help power the industry. As an alliance, the Commercial Real Estate Diverse Supplier (CREDS) Consortium can amplify our efforts to strengthen industry access for diverse suppliers, and support the ESG and DEI goals of our members.”

  • Ade Solaru, Founder and CEO, SupplierGATEWAY

 â€śOur partnership with the CREDS Consortium is an important component of our mission to generate meaningful economic impact at scale for our customers. Each member of the CREDS associations can now create meaningful social impact at the local level without sacrificing efficiency, cost or risk.”

About The Real Estate Roundtable

The Real Estate Roundtable brings together leaders of the nation’s top publicly held and privately-owned real estate ownership, development, lending, and management firms with the leaders of major national real estate trade associations to jointly address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy.

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“Supplier Diversity” Platform Available to Roundtable Members

Real Estate companies interested in providing more economic opportunities to businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and other under-represented groups can participate in a national “supplier diversity” program initiated by The Roundtable in coalition with allied trade associations. (Supplier Diversity’s FAQ)

SupplierGATEWAY Pilot Program 

  • A leading vendor management company, SupplierGATEWAY, has joined The Roundtable and six other national organizations in a pilot program that runs through the end of 2024.

  • The pilot effort provides the software, database, and tracking tools to real estate companies with an interest in hiring small businesses and other entrepreneurs that have historically lacked fair and equal access to opportunities in the industry’s supply chain.

  • “MWBEs”—shorthand for firms owned by minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ+ persons, and persons with disabilities—can register with SupplierGATEWAY’s comprehensive online database.

  • The database currently includes approximately one million MWBE “suppliers”— including consultants, contractors, building trades, service providers, joint venture partners, vendors and other enterprises.

  • MWBE developers, lenders, and capital providers can also register to be included in the database. (Supplier Diversity’s FAQ)

  • Hiring companies can track their discretionary procurement spending on MWBEs by subscribing to the database, vendor-matching software, and budget analysis tools at the discounted rate of $10,000 for 12 months. SupplierGATEWAY has offered this reduced rate to members of The Roundtable and our coalition partners through the pilot’s duration.

  • Participation in the program may assist real estate companies seeking to advance Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals.

Industry Coalition Launch Imminent 

  • The SupplierGATEWAY pilot program is a unique industry-wide initiative of the Commercial Real Estate Diverse Supplier (CREDS) Consortium, which includes The Roundtable and six inaugural association partners.

  • An announcement of the CREDS Consortium’s formal launch is imminent.

Points of Contact

Advancing supplier diversity goals across the CRE industry has been a priority of The Roundtable’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, chaired by Roundtable Board Member Jeff T. Blau, (CEO, Related Companies). Roundtable members and their key staff interested in joining the DEI Committee should contact Michelle Reid, Director of Membership Services (mreid@rer.org).   

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Roundtable’s ED&I Committee Releases Mission Statement Aiming to Advance Racial Equity in CRE

Roundtable Meeting

The Real Estate Roundtable’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Committee finalized its mission statement on Wednesday, with a key objective to create more economic opportunities for Black, Latino and other historically under-represented groups to prosper in the commercial real estate industry.

  • The ED&I Committee’s mission statement draws from the Biden-Harris Administration’s executive order “On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities” (Jan 20), as well as data recently reported by Citi GPS on the economic cost of racial inequality in the U.S.

  • The statement provides a four-part mission to:
    • Encourage RER’s members to create equal opportunities in real estate’s management, workforce, supply chain, and capital markets for Black, Latino, and other professionals historically under-represented in the CRE industry;
    • Develop an anti-discrimination, pro-inclusion federal policy agenda within The Roundtable’s traditional spheres of influence as an advocate on tax, capital markets, ESG, housing, infrastructure, and immigration matters;
    • Forge alliances by The Roundtable with civil rights and minority business organizations; and
    • Increase diversity among Roundtable membership, directors, contractors, and staff.

       

  • Roundtable Board Member and ED&I Committee Chairman Jeff Blau (CEO, Related Companies) stated, “The creation of a mission statement is a foundational step that will guide The Roundtable in its crucial work to create equity and affect real change in the real estate industry. Diversifying our industry is not a task that can be left to a few, rather it is a responsibility for all of our members and I look forward to continuing to work with RER to advocate for and drive meaningful progress.”

  • The ED&I Committee’s initial focus will be on initiatives to boost opportunities for minority-owned firms in CRE’s supply chain of service providers, and support appropriate federal policy proposals to improve diversity in corporate governance.

  • The Roundtable is also a “Founding Diversity Partner” in a national program recently launched by the Real Estate Executives Council (REEC) — the leading trade association formed to promote the interests of minority executives in the CRE industry.  The Roundtable’s ED&I mission statement reflects the goals of REEC’s framework, including objectives to increase corporate spend on minority-owned vendors, develop a pipeline of racially diverse CRE talent, and improve access to capital and credit for minority owned investment managers.  (Roundtable Weekly, Feb. 5)

  • NAIOP and the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) are also among the founding partners in REEC’s initiative.

“The events of the last year have laid bare the injustices faced by Black Americans and other minorities in our economic, public health, and social institutions,” said Jeffrey D. DeBoer, President and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable.  “The Roundtable must do our part to help create an equal playing field of opportunities for all Americans to prosper in our industry.” (ED&I Mission Statement, Feb. 10)

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The Real Estate Roundtable Partners With REEC to Address Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Disparities in Commercial Real Estate

REEC logoThe Real Estate Roundtable is a Founding Partner of a national program unveiled Feb. 3 by the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC) – the trade association for CRE professionals of color – that will seek to address equity, diversity, and inclusivity issues across the commercial real estate industry with a wide spectrum of partner companies and organizations. (REEC news release, Feb. 3)

  • “The lack of diversity in the CRE industry, and the disparities that exist in access to capital and credit for African Americans and other people of color, are systemic problems that need a multifaceted approach. None of us can do this alone. Coming together to tackle the challenge through industry partnerships such as REEC’s Diversity Partner Program will give us a fighting chance,” said REEC Board Chair Tammy K. Jones, CEO and founder of Basis Investment Group.

  • Ken McIntyre, CEO of the REEC and a Real Estate Roundtable Board Member, said, “We are excited to launch the Diversity Partners Program and to work with this committed group of initial partners to improve diversity and inclusion in the CRE industry. We invite other firms to join REEC as Diversity Partners to further our mission. As an industry we have a great deal of work to do to change the paradigm.”

  • REEC’s initial diversity partners have committed to meaningful goals for diversity and inclusion in support of REEC’s mission. The founding diversity partners include:
  • The Roundtable’s Board of Directors has established an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Committee, chaired by Roundtable Board Members Jeff T. Blau, CEO, Related Companies, which is organizing members and finalizing a mission statement. (Roundtable news release, Sept. 30, 2020) 

  • The framework of the partnership REEC has with The Roundtable and other founding partners includes the following goals:

    • Diversity Ecosystem – hiring and developing a pipeline of racially diverse talent.
    • Diversity Business Plan — focus on goals, measurements and transparency. 
    • Supplier or Vendor Diversity/Diversity Spend – increasing percentages of annual spend allocated to firms owned by people of color. 
    • Investment Allocations and Access to Capital & Credit – increase the amount of, and improve access to, capital and credit for minority-owned investment managers, developers, projects and communities. 

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