NMHC has launched a supplier diversity initiative, in conjunction with an alliance of national trade associations, to help its members expand their spending with Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MBWEs). This includes contractors, consultants, joint venture partners, vendors and more.
The Commercial Real Estate Diverse Supplier (CREDS) Consortium is a first-of-its-kind partnership and continues NMHC’s longstanding commitment to DEI.
As part of a two-year CREDS pilot program (2023-2024), NMHC members get reduced cost access to SupplierGATEWAY, an online supplier management platform that includes a comprehensive database of MWBEs. Participating firms will also be able to post their purchase orders, contracting, and other hiring opportunities through the CREDS portal.
Finally, SupplierGATEWAY will also allow NMHC members to track, report and benchmark their diverse related spending, which will support their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.
Members can visit the CREDS website, explore the FAQs below or contact Betsy Feigin Befus, NMHC, SVP, General Counsel and Strategic Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to participate in the pilot.
Frequently Asked Questions
The annual cost for a subscription to SupplierGATEWAY’s vendor management software is $10,000, reduced from $18,500.
This price is only available to NMHC member companies that sign subscription agreements with SupplierGATEWAY through December 31, 2024 (the duration of the 2-year pilot).
SupplierGATEWAY is a minority-owned software company founded in 1997. It is the leading supplier management software platform that automates and simplifies supplier and vendor management. Its products include supplier sourcing, registration, risk management, compliance and management.
Contact SupplierGATEWAY (Julian So, Director of Sales, email@example.com) for a demo of its vendor management software and platform.
Any bonafide U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident-owned business that is 51% owned, managed and controlled by one or more of the following diversity categories: minority, woman, veteran, disability, or LGBTQ+.
The Consortium and SupplierGATEWAY are working to ensure the vendor database includes diverse lenders, investors and real estate developers. This will include Minority Development Institutions (MDIs) listed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, privately-owned MWBE providers of debt and equity and MWBE development companies.
- How much a subscribing company spends on any particular MWBE or other supplier;
- Any specific contracting opportunity a subscribing company posts on SupplierGATEWAY’s platform; and
- The identity of any MWBE firm that a subscribing company hires or considers hiring.
No. The following information is confidential to a subscribing company:
However, the Consortium will be notified when its members subscribe through the CREDS program and aggregated and anonymous data of all the participants will be shared with the Consortium. If a firm prefers not to share that information, it can subscribe to SupplierGATEWAY directly at the standard rate of $18,500/year.
MWBEs can be listed in the SupplierGATEWAY vendor database at no cost. Learn more at www.suppliergateway.com/suppliers/.
A listing in SupplierGATEWAY’s database can enhance opportunities and help build connections that may lead to more work in real estate’s supply chain. However, there is no guarantee that a business listed in SupplierGATEWAY’s database will be hired as a contractor by a company that is a member of or represented by one of the CREDS associations.
No, but SupplierGATEWAY also offers an optional Enhanced Digital Certification (EDC) that recognizes all types of diverse businesses such as those owned by minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ+ persons and persons with disabilities. The fee for SupplierGATEWAY’s EDC is $25 for one year or $70 for three years. Learn more at https://www.suppliergateway.com/suppliers/enhanced-digital-certification/.
- CREW Network
- Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA)
- NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association
- The Real Estate Roundtable (RER)
NMHC and the participating CREDS trade associations will receive reports based on aggregated, anonymized data on MWBEs hired using SupplierGATEWAY’s software to provide insights on supplier diversity trends across the real estate industry. As noted above, however, the CREDS Consortium will not receive individual, specific information on any potential or actual hiring transactions between a procuring company or an MWBE supplier.
- Improving and accelerating real estate business opportunities for MWBEs.
- Identifying and developing areas where MWBEs may benefit from technical assistance, resources, and mentoring.
- Promoting DEI across the supply chain of businesses that bring the myriad skills, services, assets and materials needed for the real estate sector to operate and thrive.
- Supporting benchmarking and reporting tools for real estate companies to track diverse supplier spending.
- Creating a network of diversity and procurement professionals in the real estate sector to share DEI best practices.
By banding together, CREDS believes it can have a broader industry-wide impact by:
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on many small businesses, but Black-owned businesses have been hit hardest of all. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that, in the early days of the pandemic, closure rates of Black businesses declined by 41% – more than any other racial, ethnic, or minority cohort. Lack of equal access to economic opportunities for minorities existed long before COVID-19, but the pandemic exacerbated systemic inequities.
Closing legacy economic inequality gaps can add trillions to U.S. GDP, according to a Citi GPS report. Further, a McKinsey & Co. study supports the nexus between better corporate financial performance and DEI initiatives. Similarly, a PwC survey of corporate directors reflects the growing body of research that diversity in management and leadership enhances profitability.
Social imperatives and the business case to expand MWBE opportunities in the real estate sector drove the CREDS associations to conduct further analysis. Their research revealed that some of the associations, and the members they represent, were pursuing DEI strategies to diversify their C-suites, boards, pipelines for employee talent, and internship and educational platforms. However, a number of real estate companies said they would benefit from guidance on how to diversify their supply chains.
The respective leadership teams of the CREDS associations saw an opportunity to embark on a unique, industry-wide initiative that would benefit both “buying” real estate companies and “supplying” MWBE businesses to progress toward mutual economic, ESG, and DEI goals. These associations united as the CREDS Consortium and have each signed agreements with SupplierGATEWAY to collaborate on the 2-year pilot program.