Nailah Flake-Brown

Nailah Flake-Brown

Managing Director at Brookfield Asset Management

Nailah Flake-Brown
By November 8, 2021 9:00 AM

What are the key lending opportunities you see as we round out 2021?

We continue to see the most opportunities in multifamily, and we are optimistic about the increasing demand to finance acquisitions for high-quality real estate in core markets.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known in March 2020 that you know now? 

I wish I had known that the CRE lending market would bounce back as quickly as it did in the third and fourth quarters of 2020 and that many lenders, including Brookfield (BN), would be having record years in 2021. I am not one who worries about things that are not within my control, but at the height of the pandemic, I did have some concerns as to how quickly the market would bounce back. It is fascinating to see how quickly both borrowers and lenders returned to the market. 

Pick your poison (and tell us why you’d drink it): retail or hospitality?

Hospitality. Although the hospitality sector was one of the hardest hit sectors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was and still is pent-up demand for travel. We’ve already seen signs of recovery of certain hospitality assets that are seeing positive momentum. We are selectively pursuing opportunities to lend on trophy assets in core markets and are also focused on drive-to leisure destinations and branded limited- and select-service hotels. We expect a lag in performance improvement for hotels that rely on business travelers and groups.

Where are you seeing the most competition for deals today? What’s the greatest weapon in your bidding arsenal? 

We are seeing the most competition for industrial and multifamily deals, but we are also seeing the most opportunities in these sectors, especially multifamily. Brookfield’s size and scale is an advantage for us. We have flexible capital that allows us to be competitive on a full array of deal profiles from stabilized to transitional and development deals. Importantly, we benefit from Brookfield’s broad experience owning and operating assets across all sectors, giving us access to in-house expertise. Lastly, we provide speed and certainty of execution. Those are very useful weapons.

New York City: “I want to be a part of it”?

We like New York. All markets are facing near-term challenges, and New York is certainly no exception. But we are very optimistic about New York’s long-term recovery and success.

Are you adding life sciences deals to your loan portfolio? Why or why not? 

We are actively looking at life sciences deals. Our aim is to lend to experienced life sciences owners and operators and in markets with strong demand drivers. We don’t follow the herd for the sake of it, but, if we see value, we are interested.

What keeps you up at night? 

We are disciplined enough to know not to spike the ball during an upturn or panic during a downturn. I sleep pretty well.

Lightning Round 

Fast-food guilty pleasure? 

Pizza, pizza, pizza!

“Ted Lasso” or “The Morning Show”? 

“The Morning Show.”

Peloton bike or outdoor cycling? 

Peloton bike.

Who would play you in the biopic of your life? 

Kerry Washington.

“If I hadn’t pursued a lending career I’d be …” 

A therapist. Wendy Rhoades from “Billions.” Some days I feel like I already have that job!

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