Brokers form new Fort Collins office

FORT COLLINS – Commercial real estate in Northern Colorado is getting a bit of a shakeup.

A Fort Collins location for Denver-based Cassidy Turley Fuller Real Estate, to be staffed by nine local commercial brokers – seven recruited from the region’s largest firms – is set to open by the end of the month.

Jared Goodman, Cole Herk and Travis Ackerman, formerly of Sperry Van Ness; Jason Ells, Nate Heckel, Aki Palmer and Jim Palmer, formerly of Realtec (Jim most recently with NewMark Merrill Mountain States); Russell Baker, currently in the Loveland CTF office; and Chad Hirschfield, who most recently worked at OtterBox but spent five years with CTF at their Denver office, will be setting up shop in southeast Fort Collins.

The process that led to opening CTF’s second Northern Colorado office began some time ago, according to Baker. He said that CTF recruited “the best brokers in the market,” with similar customer focus. By choosing brokers already known to the area, CTF can maintain relationships vital to the commercial real estate business.

“We always knew we would grow at some point,” Baker said.

CTF first entered the Northern Colorado market in 2007, with the opening of the Loveland office at 1615 Fox Trail Drive, Suite 260, in Centerra. The national firm of Cassidy Turley is headquartered in St. Louis; Cassidy Turley Fuller was formed last year when the venerable Denver-based Fuller Real Estate joined the organization.

The group anticipates having a “significant number” of listings when the Fort Collins office opens, but the ultimate decision about whether to stay with their original firm or transfer over to CTF lies with the client.

The commercial real estate market has been a tough one in recent years, but the new CTF crew sees opportunity in the down market.

“This is the perfect time to open a new office,” Goodman said. “The market will recover, and we will be positioned to serve our customers better than ever.”

In addition to the nine brokers and two administrators who will move from Loveland, CTF will hire two or three more people to help staff the Fort Collins office, the exact location of which had not been finalized before the Business Report went to press.

The Fort Collins office will make use of resources in the CTF Denver office so that they may focus solely on providing service to their clients. Accounting, legal, research and a number of other departments run out of the Denver office are accessible by brokers in the northern offices.

“We can just focus on putting deals together,” Ackerman said.

New ideas, opportunities

Tom Livingston, owner of Livingston Real Estate and Development in Fort Collins, expects the CTF team to do well. He said the opening of a new office is “all positive,” adding that the group will create a synergy that will spur new ideas and opportunities.

Livingston also agreed that the timing was right for opening a new office and attempting a new venture, especially one that is backed by the strong presence CTF has in Denver.

“The timing is probably good relative to the market,” he said, adding that CTF has a sophisticated platform that can provide good tools to customers.
“They’re a well-established, competent group, and this is an exciting opportunity for them,” Livingston said.

The recovering market is the perfect place to begin building a new presence, according to Ells. He stressed the importance of having brokers who are in the flow of the present market and already have established relationships, both with clients and within the community. He pointed out the wide variety of nonprofit organizations members of the new group give their time to, from NoCo Active 20/30 to Realities for Children, United Way and others.

Despite each losing three brokers to the new office, Sperry Van Ness and Realtec aren’t planning on missing a beat. Both accentuated the good number of experienced brokers they have on staff. Steve Kawulok, managing director of Sperry Van Ness, pointed out that his firm has added three veteran brokers in the last year, for a total of 15 now, with plans to expand before the end of the year.

As for the formation of a new office by younger brokers, Kawulok said, “This happens about once every generation.”

The first Sperry Van Ness office was founded in California in 1987; Realtec was started 22 years ago in Fort Collins by Steve Stansfield, who echoed Kawulok’s sentiments.

“A primary factor for our longevity is the experience level and educational credentials of our brokers,” he said. “Real estate is a relationship business, and Realtec will continue to strive to provide the best in service to our many established clients and aggressively compete in the marketplace for new business.”

Realtec is home to eight Certified Commercial Investment Members and six Industrial and Offices Realtor designees, Stansfield added.

There aren’t hard feelings among the CTF crew in regards to their former employers, Ells said, adding that they still care for and respect the people at their old companies. They expect to work with Sperry Van Ness and Realtec the same way they worked with each other even while they were at the competing firms.

“In the end, we all share the same work ethic,” Heckel said.

As the local economy slowly recovers, CTF expects the investment in a second office to position the company for the future.

“The expansion of our sales team further strengthens our ability to meet the needs of our clients in this important marketplace,” said Greg Morris, president and CEO of CTF. “Northern Colorado has enjoyed a stable economy within a wonderful community. All of the new additions to Cassidy Turley Fuller Real Estate live in the Northern Colorado area and many are, in fact, graduates from Colorado State University.”

And real estate is all about local knowledge – and relationships.

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About Loren Bimler

Loren is a long-time Denver real estate investor. He has bought, remodeled and sold homes throughout the Denver metro area. Loren has also invested in commercial real estate. He is an entrepreneur who has owned multiple businesses and is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Colorado. Loren and his wife, Karen Bimler, make up Team Bimler at Your Castle Real Estate. If you would like more information about the Denver Real Estate market, give Loren a call at 720-837-0831.
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