The 2019 NMHC Top 25 Developers list ranks the nation’s 25 most active multifamily developers by their total multifamily units started in 2018. Alliance Residential has moved into the No. 1 spot this year with 6,935 units started in 2018, up from 5,170 in 2017, while Greystar Real Estate Partners has moved from No. 1 down to No. 3, with 5,758 new units started in 2018, up from 5,651 in 2017.

Atlanta-based Wood Partners moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 on the NMHC’s list, with a total of 5,796 new units started in 2018—up from just over 5,100 in 2017. The company’s operations span 18 regional offices and properties developed, owned, and managed across the country. On top of 19 new projects started last year across 15 markets, the company sold 22 projects for more than $1.7 billion, and financed 18 deals set to start in 2019, valued at a total of $1.3 billion.

MFE spoke with Matt Trammell, CFO of Wood Partners, about how the company drove this growth last year and what he foresees for the rest of 2019.

MFE: To what do you attribute your position in the ranks of the NMHC list?

Trammell: We have a great team of development partners positioned on the ground in 18 offices across the country. Our partnership structure allows us to maintain a tremendous pipeline bolstered by local expertise. Credit also goes to our great capital partners that fuel our business.

MFE: What were two or three successes you had last year?

Trammell: Even with our significant growth, we remain disciplined with regard to risk management as evidenced through decreased leverage on our balance sheet commensurate with the yield compression our industry is experiencing. In addition to a great year starting new projects, we were prolific sellers in 2018 with 22 asset sales valued at more than $1.7 billion.

MFE: What are your challenges this year?

Trammell: While job growth continues to be robust and fundamentals remain healthy in most markets, construction costs continue to rise and fewer attractive entitled land acquisition opportunities are available.

MFE: How do you plan to address them?

Trammell: Hard work and ingenuity while fully leveraging our extensive “boots on the ground” footprint to continue to gain control of new opportunities and maximize cost efficiencies without expanding our risk tolerance.