Many family businesses can’t attract the second generation. Matt Cawley is breaking the trend, making his mark at United Multi Family, the commercial real estate firm his father started about 20 years ago in Boston, where Cawley grew up.
After spending years learning the field by osmosis, Cawley came onboard in 2014 and worked his way up. The Middlebury College economics graduate opened the firm’s New York City office five years ago and has since relocated the firm to Rye Brook, where the focus now includes Westchester and Fairfield Counties.
Cawley’s early exposure to the industry clearly paid off. To date, he’s closed 50 transactions with an aggregate value of more than $170 million. In 2017, Cawley closed a $30.5 million deal in Bridgeport for a 14-building, 462-unit portfolio, selling it to Rhodium Capital Advisors and its partners. Recently, an offer was accepted for another deal he’s brokering, for Rye Park, Rye Village, and Rye Terrace, a 103-unit complex which had a ground lease last marketed at $19 million.
Sometimes, the high-adrenaline field can be nerve-racking, given that his work is 100 percent commission, he says. Then again, he adds, “One deal can set you up for the entire year.”
And Cawley always knows he’s got a devoted mentor on his side. “My dad has always been my supporter,” he says. “He’s always been there to help out when I needed advice.”