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Commerical Real Estate

Daum to Add 100 Agents, Nearly Doubling in Size

April 28, 1998|BRAD BERTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Los Angeles-based Daum Commercial Real Estate Services said it plans to nearly double in size by the end of the year by adding 100 agents at its nine offices in Southern California and Arizona.

The company is offering recruits and current top agents equity in the 94-year-old firm in order to attract and retain productive brokers, President Mike Nubel said. Brokers who demonstrate a certain level of productivity over a three-year period will be considered candidates to join the 10 current owners, made up of top management, key brokers and an outside investor.

Nubel declined to specify the required productivity level expected of the stockholder candidates, but he said it will probably eliminate four out of five brokers. He said Daum aims to recruit from both smaller boutique brokerages, which are likely acquisition targets in a rapidly consolidating commercial property services arena, and the national players that tend to experience defections after merging with other big firms.

The Southland's improving economy is pulling local commercial real estate markets out of the disastrous early 1990s recession, and Daum had its best year of the decade in 1997 in terms of revenue and transaction volume, Nubel said. Last year, Daum closed sale and lease transactions that generated revenue about 40% higher than in 1996.

Although some local brokerage executives said they're skeptical about whether stock ownership will attract top brokers in the relatively low-margin commercial real estate services industry, Nubel can boast of at least one noteworthy recruit. Mike Foxworthy--until recently president of the Charles Dunn Co. brokerage in L.A.--is joining Daum as senior vice president in charge of overseeing office brokerage activities.

Industry sources agreed that Daum has been most successful in recent years in the industrial property sector and needs to focus on expanding its presence in today's highly active office property arena.

Daum is an affiliate of a 150-office international brokerage alliance known as the Commercial Network, one of many such networks that generate business primarily through referrals and joint marketing efforts.

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