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Sharon Karaffa | Connect CRE

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Sharon Karaffa



Leads a team that generates almost $15 billion in multifamily debt per year

During her tenure, team has become a top 5 GSE lender

Currently co-chairs the MBA’s Commercial Real Estate Future Leaders Alumni Association

Based in Bethesda, MD, Sharon Karaffa is vice chairman and co-head of production for the Multifamily Debt, Equity & Structured Finance team at Newmark, where she is responsible for strategic planning, business development and leading a team of approximately 50 producers generating almost $15 billion in multifamily debt per year. She also manages the team’s prescreen group and marketing and communications teams. Sharon’s leadership of the integration of the multifamily investment sales and debt platforms at Newmark resulted in triple-digit growth of sales to debt conversion rates.  

By understanding and tackling internal and external challenges, partnering with heads of other business lines and working closely with production teams across the country, she helped to set the strategic direction for Newmark’s Multifamily Capital Markets group while creating and implementing platforms to share information and collaborate more effectively, driving cultural change within the platform.  

Under Karaffa’s leadership these past two years, Newmark’s Multifamily Capital Markets platform demonstrated a 74% conversion rate increase compared to the two years prior. Also, during this time under her leadership, the team increased agency market share by a compound annual growth rate of 20% (2018 – 2020) to achieve top 5 overall lender positions with both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The group recruited top talent in key markets including Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia and Washingto,n DC, as well as nationally with the hiring of top-producing student housing and seniors housing debt teams. Karaffa continues to demonstrate her ability to drive cultural change through transparency, information sharing and relationship building, resulting in platform-wide revenue and production growth. 

These are just a few of the reasons we chose Karaffa as one of the Washington, DC 2021 Women in Real Estate Award winners. Connect CRE’s Women in Real Estate Awards honor the achievements and inspirational stories of women who have reached respected positions of leadership and play key mentorship roles for others. 


Inside The Story

Newmark's Karaffa

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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