Mergers & Acquisitions

M&A Talk Podcast

M&A Talk is the #1 podcast on mergers & acquisitions. At M&A Talk we bring you exclusive interviews with experts in business sales, valuations, mergers and acquisitions, and more. We talk to the most experienced professionals in the industry to uncover their secrets.

An Insider’s View of the Niche Real Estate M&A Market

An Insider’s View of the Niche Real Estate M&A Market

Deborah Smith

Real Estate M&A

What is the effect of combining the real estate industry with M&A? Deborah Smith has over 25 years of M&A experience and shares insights into the niche world of real estate M&A, explaining the industry in a nutshell. Deborah discusses the returns in real estate compared to the stock market, the appeal of the US market for international real estate M&A, the importance of the exit strategy at the start of a transaction, and predicts future changes in the real estate M&A industry. This is a chat you won’t want to miss

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Guest Profile

Deborah Smith is Co-Founder and CEO of The CenterCap Group, LLC, and heads the firm’s Strategic Capital and M&A and Execution efforts. Deborah is responsible for the firm’s business operations and activities and participates in the firm’s management and valuation committees. Prior to forming The CenterCap Group, LLC, she was co-head of M&A and a Senior Managing Director with CB Richard Ellis Investors’ $40 billion AUM (Assets Under Management) investment management business. She joined CBREI in July 2007 to co-head the build-out of the firm’s M&A efforts and led the firm’s negotiation and acquisition of a majority interest in Wood Partners, one of the largest multifamily developers in the United States, in 2008. 

From 1998-2007, Deborah worked on mergers and acquisitions with Lehman Brothers, Wachovia Securities, and Morgan Stanley. She has been involved in more than $100 billion of mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring transactions. Deborah has a Bachelor of Economics, with honors, and a Bachelor of Law, with honors, from the University of Sydney.


Topics Covered

  • What is real estate M&A? [1:13]
  • What services are offered by a real estate M&A firm vs. a traditional real estate brokerage firm? [2:10]
  • What is your 30-second elevator speech explaining what real estate M&A is? [8:20]
  • How does the perspective differ at the portfolio level vs. the individual asset level and how does that impact an investment strategy? [9:45] 
  • What are the cap rates for these investments, and where are they going to go in the future? [13:50]
  • Are most investors in real estate institutional, and what percentage of their portfolio does real estate comprise? [16:25]
  • What are the returns in real estate compared to the public stock market? [17:22]
  • What are the geographic differences between North America, Europe, and other continents for real estate M&A? [22:57]
  • How is the buy vs. lease decision determined for corporate real estate investors? [30:58]
  • What are the sub-sectors in real estate? [34:52]
  • What impact will technology start to have on the evolution of the real estate industry? [39:30]
  • What is the most difficult aspect of real estate M&A? [47:00]

Resources Mentioned


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