Roundtable and Coalition Partners Launch Industry-Wide Initiative to Advance “Supplier Diversity” in Real Estate
Congressional Budget Office Issues Warning on Debt Limit
While Uncertainty Remains, Commercial Real Estate Executives Are Optimistic About Future Market Conditions
Roundtable Weekly
February 17, 2023
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 ( 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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Congressional Budget Office Issues Warning on Debt Limit

This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the government would exhaust its ability to borrow using extraordinary measures between July and September if Congress fails to raise the $31.4 trillion debt limit. (CBO, Federal Debt and the Statutory Limit, Feb. 15). (Washington Post, Jan. 15)

Looming Standoff

  • When the U.S. reached the current debt limit in January, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen notified congressional leaders of the implementation of so-called “extraordinary measures” to avoid a default, such as suspending the reinvestment of federal employees’ retirement plans. (Roundtable Weekly, Jan.13) (Yellen letter, Jan. 13)
  • While the CBO noted these measures are expected to last until at least July, it also highlighted the difficulty in determining an exact date of default.  The projected exhaustion date is uncertain, CBO notes, because the timing and amount of revenue collections and outlays over the intervening months could differ from current projections. (The Hill, Feb. 15)
  • Thus far, discussions between the Republican-led House, Democratic Senate, and Administration have generated little, if any, progress towards a resolution. The new warning from the nonpartisan CBO reinforces the urgency for congressional leaders to reach an agreement to avoid a default. (Politico, Jan.15)

Roundtable Call-to-Action

U.S. Capitol

  • In January, Real Estate Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman and CEO, SUFFOLK) and President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer called on Roundtable members to proactively reach out to federal lawmakers to urge that they act expeditiously to raise the debt ceiling. “We now believe the risk of a default on the federal debt in 2023 is a real and meaningful concern that must not be taken lightly.” (Roundtable Weekly, Jan. 20)
  • “Some threats to the U.S. economy are unavoidable, others are ones of our own making and entirely unnecessary. The potential for a default on the federal debt is a needless and inexcusable risk with potentially dire consequences for U.S. real estate, workers and retirees, and the entire economy,” said DeBoer. “The full faith and credit of the United States government should not be open to negotiation.”

Roundtable leaders continue to strongly encourage members to contact policymakers in Congress and the White House and appeal to them to raise the debt ceiling soon.

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While Uncertainty Remains, Commercial Real Estate Executives Are Optimistic About Future Market Conditions

The Real Estate Roundtable’s Q1 Economic Sentiment Index reports that industry executives, while optimistic about the future, remain uncertain about current market conditions, citing inflation, rising interest rates, and supply chain disruptions as concerns. However, executives also express that perceptions and outlooks differ across asset classes, as some remain strong and others show concerns.

  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer said, “Fundamentally, our Q1 index illustrates that the trends accelerated by the pandemic have led to mixed performances across asset classes. Multifamily and industrial assets have maintained steady growth due to increased housing demand and supply chain needs, while hospitality and student housing are regaining momentum. But in the office sector, remote work policies, concerns over crime and transportation are driving record-high vacancy rates throughout the country, hurting city budgets and small businesses.”
  • “Looking forward, industry leaders are anticipating the landscape to improve throughout the year, despite recent declines in asset values and the decreased availability of debt and equity capital compared to a year ago. Policymakers should emphasize the need to return to the workplace while considering other innovative solutions such as legislation to convert underutilized offices to housing to entrench this optimism, create jobs, spur economic activity, and increase housing supply and tax revenue,” DeBoer added.
  • The Roundtable’s Economic Sentiment Index—a measure of senior executives’ confidence and expectations about the commercial real estate market environment—is scored on a scale of 1 to 100 by averaging the scores of Current and Future Economic Sentiment Indices.­­­­ Any score over 50 is viewed as positive. ­­­­

Top Line Findings

  • The Q1 2023 Real Estate Roundtable Sentiment Index registered an overall score of 44, an increase of five points from the previous quarter. The Current Index registered at 31, a two-point increase from Q4 2022, and the Future Index posted a score of 58 points, an increase of ten points from the previous quarter.

  • Several survey respondents acknowledged the dangers of generalizing trends across the commercial real estate industry as the disparities between asset classes grow; multifamily and industrial continue to attract interest, hospitality and student housing are beginning to bounce back, meanwhile Class B office is struggling.

  • Nearly all survey participants (93%) expressed that asset values have fallen year-over-year. That said, conversations with industry leaders suggest that the market is still in a period of price discovery. With low transaction volume and a limited supply of debt capital, there is lingering uncertainty as to where asset prices will ultimately land.
  • Survey participants overwhelmingly indicated that the availability of debt and equity capital is worse today compared to one year ago (93% and 82% respectfully). However, over half of participants expect the capital markets landscape to improve over the next 12 months.

Data for the Q1 survey was gathered in January by Chicago-based Ferguson Partners on The Roundtable’s behalf.  See the full Q1 report

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