BofI Federal Bank is one of our Thought Leader partners on Multifamily Leader. Morgan Ferris, senior vice president income property lending, talked to us about where he sees the multifamily market going for the coming year. He loves the West Coast, New York City, Boston, Washington DC, Denver, and Salt Lake City as the leading markets. He also sees BofI having a “breakout year.” Is multifamily cooling down or are we still having a boom?

Morgan Ferris: Multifamily is always going to be here. As you can see in the marketplace right now, many lenders have tried to get in the space. There are competitors that were out of the market for a while and new competitors. I see it continuing. There’s still growth in the space to continue. What is the lending competition like right now with apartments?

Ferris: Our sales force averages over 23 years in the field. We are here every day to continue to deliver loans. We issue a letter of interest, and we are going to execute on that, and our credit apparatus looks at every deal that goes out that. When it gets in here the deal is typically going to close. We try to have good value to our product and offer competitive pricing. But that only gets you so far. If you can’t execute, it doesn’t matter how good your rate is. At the end of the day, we’ve built our name with people who understand that when they bring us a deal and put an LOI out, the deal is going to close. That’s what puts us apart from a lot of our competitors. We will also listen to people who have some credit issues, and there are a lot of lenders who won’t even talk to you if you’ve had problems. Who are the different buyers nowadays? Has it changed?

Ferris: A majority of our business is private-equity folks; we’re going after people who have 300 units versus 10,000. For the space that we’re in, that’s pretty typical of what we do.