Article submitted by Carmen R. Austin, MBA, CCIM, Associate Broker and Retail Specialist for Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate

Written by Samuel S. Moon | July/August 2017

Despite a slight decrease in total U.S. commercial real estate lending volume from 2015 to 2016, banks and alternative funding sources continue to lend aggressively. The decrease reflects the fewer number of acquisitions to finance as investors become more cautious. A variety of lenders, however, remain bullish and point to the low loan delinquency rates, which are at the lowest levels in more than a decade. 

Coupled with a new administration promising to roll back regulations, the industry continues to be robust, according to several lending professionals who hold the CCIM designation. Commercial Investment Real Estate discussed the challenges of commercial real estate financing with four CCIM designees who are active in the lending industry:

  • Elizabeth Braman, CCIM, chief production officer,, Los Angeles; 
  • Darin Davis, CCIM, senior vice president of commercial real estate, Bank of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, N.M.;
  • Daniel Matz, CCIM, associate director, Ready Capital Structured Finance, New York City; and
  • Heather Olson, CCIM, assistant vice president, Walker & Dunlop, Atlanta.

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Carmen R. Austin, MBA, CCIM has been a practicing commercial real estate broker since 2001. She is a graduate of the Louisiana State University (LSU) E.J Ourso College of Business and the LSU Flores Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Program with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Finance. Her experience includes past employment as Regional Director of Leasing at Commercial Properties Realty Trust, the for-profit arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.  Carmen is a graduate of the Jay W. Levine Leadership Development Academy, Class of 2011, and served as the 2010 President of the Louisiana CCIM Chapter.  She currently serves on the National CCIM Institute Board of Directors and the CCIM Institute Education Foundation Board of Directors.

Carmen’s affiliations include Louisiana REALTORSGreater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors Commercial Investment Division, International Council of Shopping CentersCommercial Real Estate Women,Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute, National Association of REALTORS, and Urban Land Institute. She is also an active volunteer on the Board of Directors for the Baton Rouge GalleryLSU MBA Alumni AssociationJunior Achievement of Baton Rouge, and the Junior League of Baton Rouge.

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).