Tell us about your company, your role, and top priority or initiative over the next six months.
RailField, founded in 2013 by former Fannie Mae multifamily executives, is a real estate investment and asset management firm focused on multifamily. As Director of Marketing and Operations, I focus my marketing efforts on creating awareness of our firm and leadership team and my operational efforts on overseeing the day-to-day operations including our banking, insurance, financial reporting, and compliance relationships.
Our priority over the next six months is to search for multifamily opportunities and investment partners that align with our core strategies and company growth objectives.
Given the current and/or projected state of the economy, what has been the greatest challenge(s) you’ve faced so far, or anticipate in 2023?
Multifamily investors are understandably doing fewer deals than they were a year ago due to a number of factors such as rising interest rates, escalating insurance costs, and difficulty in finding and keeping the right people to fill job vacancies. Our leadership team has worked in the industry for decades and know how to navigate and pivot when market conditions change. While some companies may not be able to weather economic turbulence, RailField is poised to succeed given its deep bench strength and ability to take calculated risks when the timing is right.
Are current market conditions or concerns about the economy later this year impacting your marketing plans, if so, how?
No, not really. What we’ve found though is that greater creativity and a higher tolerance for patience are what is needed to get things done in this current climate. Historically, multifamily has proven to be one of the most resilient asset classes within real estate. It’s only been in the past year or so that this paradigm has begun to shift.
Does PR play a role in your overall marketing strategy and if so where does it provide the most value?
PR plays a vital role in our overall marketing mix. In light of the growing popularity of multifamily, competition has stiffened, and more players are entering the field. Now more than ever, we need to communicate our key points of difference to break through the clutter and build awareness of our firm’s successes and highly experienced management team. To achieve these goals, we needed to outsource the PR role and find experts who would know how to connect us with targeted opportunities. We are fortunate that we have identified a local firm that has proven to be an invaluable partner in helping us secure key speaking engagements and thought leadership opportunities, and in advising us on how best to communicate those accomplishments across a variety of media vehicles.
Do you or your team currently leverage ChatGPT or another AI tool? If not, is this something you anticipate using downstream?
We use AI technology while conducting research, but we still rely on old-fashioned human interaction to negotiate and close deals. Downstream though, AI has become a critical tool for property managers who utilize its abilities in a variety of ways including the leasing office, security, and maintenance. We are at the tip of the iceberg in understanding just how profoundly AI will affect our industry.
What was the last book you read?
I highly recommend Louise Fein’s novel, Daughter of the Third Reich, which recalls an ugly time in history but reminds us of the power and endurance of love. When I take my family to the beach this summer, I may opt for a different kind of love story and read Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.
Learn more about and connect with Carol on LinkedIn.