Greystar is the largest multifamily owner in the country, with 400,000 units under management.
Ian Curcio

In an interview with CoStar last Wednesday, Bob Faith, CEO of Charleston, S.C.–based multifamily owner–operator Greystar Real Estate Partners, shares some of the business strategies that have enabled him to grow Greystar into the largest property management firm in the U.S., with over 400,000 units under management and new prospects coming to the fore in Asia and other countries.

Even given the uncertain nature of the current market, Faith believes that, unlike office real estate, apartment properties remain in demand during a recession because they serve the basic need of a roof over one’s head. “Apartments are a very steady sector that lacks volatility, which is really attractive for long-term institutional owners,” he said.

Faith believes the time for early-cycle deals has passed, and that the best way to get the most out of the current market is to make up for the lack of construction deals by focusing on management and acquisition. “As we go through the cycle, different parts of our business will guide us. We call it an evergreen business model, the fact we have a strategy in each sector,” he noted.

As for the possibility of high-end renters moving into the single-family housing market as rents rise and interest rates fall, Faith said he hasn't seen a significant trend in this direction, despite emerging social factors that might indicate otherwise.

Faith also welcomes a tightening of standards on construction financing from banking institutions, remarking that such a measure would “restrict exuberant excesses.”

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