CREW Dallas – Supporting Local Girls’ and Women’s Charities


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CREW Dallas

Focused on transaction real estate, Maxine Marie Hepfer is currently a Senior at Ernst & Young in Dallas and engages with audit teams in real estate fair value reviews and mergers and acquisitions due diligence services. Maxine Marie Hepfer maintains an active community presence and serves on the Programs Committee of CREW Dallas, a network for women in commercial real estate.

Established by a dozen real estate professionals in 1980, CREW now extends to chapters across the country and has more than 350 members. In addition to connecting multi-disciplinary professionals and providing them with leadership development support, the organization has a strong philanthropic commitment.

The nonprofit CREW in the Community has sponsored the CREW Dallas Classic Golf Tournament since 1986 and raised more than $2.8 million for organizations that assist girls and women in need. Over the years, grants have gone to charities such as the Genesis Women’s Shelter, the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas, and the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.

Potential Impact of Rising Interest Rates on Commercial Real Estate

Maxine Hepfer, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, joined Ernst & Young’s Transaction Real Estate services team in Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 2014. As a staff II analyst, she is responsible for performing due diligence prior to sales or acquisitions, advising clients on potential real estate transactions, and other consulting services. Maxine Hepfer’s team recently published an article titled Commercial Property Outlook in a Rising Rate Environment, which discusses the potential impact on commercial real estate prices of an increase in the federal funds rate.

The article notes that while it may seem intuitive that rising interest rates will depress commercial real estate (CRE) values and make development of new projects more costly, the actual impact of increasing interest rates may be much more benign. The article notes that far from being the sole determinant, the interest rate is only one of several variables affecting CRE costs and values. Some of those other variables include changes in the level of supply and demand, transaction activity, and trends in the national economy.

The article acknowledges that, in the immediate aftermath of a rate increase, publicly traded real estate investment trusts, or REITs, may experience a reactionary sell-off. It notes, however, that the spread between CRE and 10-year Treasury yields should permit further compression. In addition, the combination of a great deal of inbound capital, available private equity, a generally positive economic outlook, and strong CRE fundamentals suggest that CRE values are much more able to withstand the shock of rising interest rates. This is especially true if the increases are in the range of 25 to 50 basis points, as seems likely.

Commercial Real Estate Women – Dallas CREW

Maxine Hepfer joined Ernst & Young’s Transaction Real Estate services team in Dallas, Texas, in 2014. A 2013 graduate of Cornell University, her duties include reviewing the real property portions of audits conducted by E&Y and performing due diligence for proposed real estate transactions. Maxine Hepfer belongs to several organizations that promote the interests of women in business, including the E&Y Professional Women’s Network and the Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women, or CREW.

Dedicated to advancing the interests of women in the real estate industry as well as positively impacting the industry as a whole, Dallas CREW traces its origins to 1980. The organization today boasts a membership of about 300 dues-paying members representing all the various disciplines in the commercial real estate industry, including brokerage, law, accounting, finance, and property management. More than 80 percent of the members are full members, with five or more years’ experience.

Dallas CREW provides its members numerous opportunities to network with each other. It hosts monthly luncheons with speakers, whose presentations have covered such topics as the overall economic outlook, the importance of the fresh water supply in north Texas, updates on various local developments, leadership, and contemporary reports on the development of public policy. The organization also hosts a cooking competition, a fall wine tasting event, informal cocktail hours at various venues and an annual Dine Around event held right in members’ homes. Dallas CREW also collaborates on networking events with local chapters of similar organizations, such as the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, and CORENet, another association serving real estate professionals.

In addition to providing networking opportunities to members, Dallas CREW sponsors an annual golf tournament, the CREW Dallas Golf Classic, the proceeds of which support the initiatives of various groups and individuals in the area of women’s issues.