Each year, Midwest Real Estate News elects a new class to its Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Our 2018 class has just been announced, and copies of that issue are being sent. But before we start running those profiles online, we are highlighting the careers of the CRE pros who were selected for our 2017 Hall of Fame class. This week, we look at the successful career of Peter Benedetto, senior managing director with the Southfield, Michigan, office of Berkadia.
The $5 billion dollar man: Peter Benedetto, a senior managing director of the mortgage banking division of Berkadia and a top manager of its Detroit office, has consistently ranked as one of the firm’s top 10 mortgage originators each year since 2013. He has been responsible for the debt placement of more than 350 transactions for Berkadia and its predecessor companies in 30 states, totaling more than $5 billion, $1 billion in 2016 alone.
The loans have involved multiple product types and more than 40 lenders, including Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA, life insurance companies, CMBS, pension funds and banks.
Big man on campus: Benedetto has financed student housing at more than 30 institutions, with more than 12 different lenders, closing transactions on behalf of pension funds, REITs and private investors.
The porous wall between life and work: “This is a relationship-based business,” Benedetto said. “Over time I’ve developed so many tremendous friendships through ‘work’ that there is such a blurred line between my personal and my professional life. Clients and lenders and our families have spent time together and become great friends. When I got started I recall some people talking about the ‘real estate bug.’ For so many of us, it’s not a career in real estate, it is a lifestyle.”
The bio: Benedetto has been in the commercial real estate business for about 30 years, and with Berkadia and its predecessor companies since 1999. Berkadia was formed in 2009 as a joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway and Leucadia National Corporation.
He’s a graduate of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and a licensed Michigan real estate broker with a CPA license (inactive). He has presented on numerous panels as a member of the MBA Association, the National Multifamily Housing Council and the International Council of Shopping Centers. Benedetto is a 10-year advisory board member of YouthWorks-Detroit, an organization with a mission to equip “youth to love God and others through a life of Christian service and leadership.”
Job joy: “If you love what you do, you are more likely to be successful,” he said. “I love what I do. Learning from past experiences is key. Sticking to the basics. I’ve developed a list for myself that I call ‘Perspective’ that pops up every few days on my calendar to remind me of the basics. Things like: Do the right thing. Patient endurance. Focus on the solution, not the problem. Fear is useless … ”