Marcia Kaufman knows what it takes to adapt to a cyclical real estate market. As President of Bayport Funding, a direct portfolio lender headquartered in New York, Kaufman regularly calls upon the experiences of a three-decade-plus career in the mortgage banking and real estate industry and has specialized expertise in identifying real estate opportunities and creating exit strategies for assets.
Before joining Bayport Funding, Kaufman served in senior leadership positions at American Home Mortgage Ventures, Preferred Empire Mortgage Company, and Arbor National Mortgage, and has also been instrumental in securing bridge financing for real estate investors for different opportunities. With this experience comes a keen eye for emerging markets, opening a real estate office and selling over 50 fix and flip properties, to name one example.
When thinking about the market’s downturns since beginning her career, Kaufman said it is critical to look at situations holistically.
“You have to understand the assets that you have, and you have to understand the borrowers,” she said. “When a crisis happens, you have to understand what to focus on and where to draw your attention. Many people think ‘I have to make loans, I have to make loans,’ but I always focus on making sure that assets are in a good place.”
In addition to thinking outside of the immediacy of any situation, Kaufman said that three decades in the real estate trenches have taught her to hone the strengths of those around her and maximize processes from origination to completion.
“The reason we choose to service is because when you service your own loans, you know immediately when there’s a problem,” Kaufman said. “You’re not waiting for a servicer to tell you something’s wrong, because by that point you’re already behind the eight ball. We can look for a solution in real time and find a remedy for the problem as quickly as possible. And that takes a team effort.”
Although Kaufman said she consistently strives for an upfront, honest approach to asset management and lending, she added that it is appalling to hear some professionals’ thoughts on women’s roles in the real estate sphere. Early in her career, Kaufman said she would approach hard money lenders who didn’t view women as the ‘types of professionals’ who would oversee fix and flip properties or other developments.
“There is definitely a difference in the way some [people] view men and women in real estate,” she said. “I built my reputation and showed my success, and I pay attention to where I’m going, and I look at the markets and believe that it’s not about being male or female, it’s having the drive and the ability to enter the market.”
When looking at the current landscape – rife with opportunities and obstacles – Kaufman said the industry needs to change the way it views ‘leveling the playing field’ for everyone involved.
“I think women need to mentor other women,” she said. “That doesn’t happen enough. And with that said, women entering real estate need to step up as well and take on opportunities. There needs to be a confidence in women to say, ‘why shouldn’t I be doing something that everyone else is doing?’”
Speaking to the projects currently underway at Bayport Funding, Kaufman said that under her direction, the group is expanding from one to four-family homes to multifamily properties, an asset class that segments of the profession have overlooked. Through Bayport’s brokerage division, she also said that the group focuses on securing permanent financing solutions.
“We’re aiming to offer a whole other level of service to our client base because our relationships with clients are of the utmost importance to us. We’re also creating additional revenue streams for our company because expansion into new markets is what drives us forward and pushes us to excel.”
Bayport Funding is a direct portfolio lender, which originates bridge financing for real estate investors purchasing 1-4 family homes, multifamily properties, ground-up construction, and more. The Bayport team, Kaufman said, is dedicated to the real estate investor community, a community that depends on the immediate availability of capital for projects. For more information on Bayport Funding’s offerings, visit bayportfunding.com/