During the year ending December 31, 2011, Resource Capital Corp. shifted its approach to creating shareholder value from short-term or long-term thinking. When the year began, we were focused on first, the continuing overhang from the credit crisis that began in 2008.
Second maximizing current returns from buying back earlier debt at a discount, and distributing as much cash to our shareholders as could be deemed responsible. And third, positioning the company for the future by building our capital base, and growing and diversifying our assets. We believe that we were successful in doing all three and that allows us to really focus in the future. As we ended the year, shareholders should take note of declining credit costs, increasing revenue, and our guidance of $0.80 to $0.90 of FFO, which means we can look to growing our dividend from a very stable and sustainable base of $0.20 per quarter.
During 2011, as we began to accelerate our focus on the future, we set and met good dividend guidance, re-termed finance and the syndicated bank loans structured vehicle, we secured multiple commercial real estate lines, including a brand new, $150 million real estate loan facility, we made investments in real estate, and increase our loan origination, and we lowered to two under $67 million the amount of mezzanine loans from the pre-financial period, pre-financial crisis period.
We end the year with only 4.2 times in leverage, and 1.5 times in leverage against our real estate portfolio. Our focus on the future, includes several key elevenths, we use our capital to grow our business and portfolio is, the result of this is that the massive increase in revenue year-over-year of over 40%, we also made multiple long-term investments, that we think will be booked value enhancers, read, long-term gains that have low or zero current return.