Matt Salem, CEO of KKR Real Estate Finance Trust Inc. (NYSE: KREF), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITworld: 2020 Annual Conference.
Salem said the mREIT has had some of its strongest earnings quarters lately and asset yields have remained stable. He noted that the company was “pretty defensively positioned going into COVID,” and had positioned its portfolio toward wider transitional loans and loans that were secured by predominantly multifamily and well-leased office properties.
“That’s really outperformed in this type of market,” Salem said. “Our borrowers have a lot of liquidity and a lot of wherewithal to continue to implement their business plan, despite the challenges we all face,” he added.
Salem said KKR remains “really positive” on the multifamily segment. “Long term, it’s still a very viable place to invest,” he said.
KKR is a bit more cautious on the office side and the sector needs to be underwritten more conservatively, Salem said. “Some markets are going through a pretty major transformation,” he said, especially urban centers.
Salem also commented on the benefits of operating under the wider KKR umbrella. “Everything we do is impacted by that relationship in such a positive way,” he said.