Despite a down mar ket, the the natio n”s lead ing develope rs,
owners, lenders and brokers were able to post some
impressive revenue numbers last year
FOR MOST FIRMS ACTIVE IN THE COMMERCIAL REAL
estate business, 2007 was a year of contrasts. Coming off of a
phenomenal 2006, the first half of last year saw a whirlwind of
activity across all property disciplines, primarily due to the
relaxed financing environment. Yet the subprime fiasco
changed all that, sparking a global credit crisis the likes of
which we have never seen. As a result, transaction velocity
began to decline precipitously.
As capital sources still in the game tightened their purse
strings, those investors unable to obtain debt or equity commitments as favorable or highly leveraged as before halted
their asset buying sprees. Inevitably, investment sales and
financing brokerage volumes were negatively impacted, as was
the appetite for debt instruments. Meanwhile, uncertainty
over the direction of the economy drove space users to put
most expansion or relocation plans on hold. And developers,
having learned the hard way during the last down cycle,
trimmed back their pipelines or shelved projects indefinitely.
the fact that opportunities can still be found in times of uncer-
tainty. For Real Estate Forum”s second annual ranking of
the industry”s top 100 companies, we decided to focus solely
on fiscal year 2007 revenues accrued from global real estate
operations. Several companies posted remarkable results.
Some even set new records for their organizations. It is a tell-
ing sign of the stamina of the commercial real estate industry
that the firms that made our top 20 all achieved at least $1 bil-
lion in revenues.
While all efforts were made to compile a veritable “Who’s
Who” of companies across the entire commercial real estate
spectrum, there are several high-profile names—including a
few that ranked at or near the top of last year’s roster—
notice-ably missing this year. While some organizations chose not to
participate due to non-disclosure policies, the absence of others, we suspect, is related to a decline in business, heavy debt
loads and/or general performance issues. Our hope is that as
the economy improves—and The Forum 100 continues to grow
in stature—these firms will be back next year.