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.

#   #  #

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)

#  #  # 

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. 

#  #  #