ARCHIVED  July 1, 1996

Group expands commercial arm

Two brokers for Realtec Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. in Greeley have defected to long-time rival The Group Inc.

Michael Ehler and Jack Mackey had operated out of Realtec’s Greeley office until mid-June, when they switched allegiances to The Group.

The switch represents the centerpiece in a major push by The Group to bolster its commercial brokerage base in Greeley and Loveland, and to expand
into Boulder County. And it comes just weeks after The Group expanded its residential brokerage into Greeley, luring several agents from existing
firms there.

The Realtec defection tightens competition among commercial real estate firms now doing business in Northern Colorado and points to the
convergence of the region’s economies.

“We believe we’re definitely in a regionalized market,´ said Larry Kendall, chairman of The Group. “We do a lot of work with large corporations and
large investors who have asked us for information on all three markets.”

In April, The Group launched a residential division in Greeley, stealing several top names from residential real estate firms there to open its own
office. Twenty-four sales people and their support staff soon will move into remodeled offices.

Additionally, the expanded commercial division will be linked by a new computer system.

“We are moving very quickly,” Kendall said. He declined to comment on how much the expansions are costing The Group, other than to say, “it
takes money to do what we’re doing. One thing making us unique is how our residential and commercial business complement one another.”

Steve Stansfield, president of Realtec, said losing Ehler and Mackey was a surprise, but that his firm will continue to maintain a presence in Greeley.

“They’re both good guys, and we’ll miss them,” Stansfield said. “We’re working right now to fill the positions.

“We were the first to open satellite offices,” he added. “But it doesn’t matter how many offices you have if you don’t have the right people.”

Indeed, The Group had a lock on commercial real estate in Fort Collins until the late 1980s, when Stansfield and others started Realtec, which has
grown to become one of the region’s largest brokerages.

The market in Fort Collins now is divided between the two companies and other major firms, including Veldman Morgan Commercial,
Sitzman-Mitchell & Co., Miscio and Stroud Inc. and others.

“They’re good competition,” Stansfield said of The Group. He added that the two firms also do deals together.

Ehler had opened Realtec’s Greeley office in October 1994. Mackey joined in September 1995.

Ehler said he was lured to The Group by, among other things, the company’s reputation and marketing expertise. However, he said, Realtec also is a
great firm.

“The strength of Realtec is that they cooperate with everyone,” Ehler said. “They are one of the top two or three commercial brokers in Fort Collins.”

The Group’s Kendall said the newly invigorated commercial division now has six brokers throughout Northern Colorado. In addition to Ehler and
Mackey, they include Chuck Bowling, Ronn Frank, Rick “Archie” Archibald and Steve Kawulok.

Kawulok, who grew up in Fort Collins and lived in Boulder for many years, has several ties to Boulder County and will work to make The Group a
recognized name there.

Kawulok worked for K Venture Properties, a firm owned by his family, with real estate holdings in Boulder, Longmont and Fort Collins. And his
brother owns B & M Roofing, a Boulder-based commercial roofer that does contract work throughout the Front Range.

Part of the expanded division’s emphasis will be on relocating companies fleeing Boulder County’s high prices and political attitudes toward
commercial growth.

Archibald, who recently returned from a sabbatical in England, has expertise in the Loveland/Estes Park area. Bowling and Frank have worked the
Fort Collins area for several years.

“This is a fairly significant move for The Group,” Kawulok said. “My background in Boulder will be helpful. It’s additional expertise when we work
with regional clients.”

But a foray into Boulder County could serve to escalate the competition further.

Jim Fisher, managing partner for The Colorado Group Inc., the largest commercial brokerage in Boulder County, said that if The Group is successful
in Boulder, his own firm may expand to Fort Collins.

“If it works well for them, it shows that companies like this can expand their market along the Front Range,” Fisher said.

The Group’s Kendall said his company will not open a Boulder office yet.

“We have no plans really to put an office down there, at least at the present time,” he said.

Don Marostica, broker for Moore Commercial Real Estate Services Co. of Loveland, said he does not feel threatened by The Group’s commercial
push in that city.

“I’ve been here 20 years,” he said. “Not very much commercial ever happens in Loveland. Forty percent of it is done by outside brokers.”

Still, he noted that in the next 10 years, commercial development in the “golden triangle” area of Loveland, Greeley and Fort Collins will explode.

Realtec also has a commercial office in Loveland.

Two brokers for Realtec Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. in Greeley have defected to long-time rival The Group Inc.

Michael Ehler and Jack Mackey had operated out of Realtec’s Greeley office until mid-June, when they switched allegiances to The Group.

The switch represents the centerpiece in a major push by The Group to bolster its commercial brokerage base in Greeley and Loveland, and to expand
into Boulder County. And it comes just weeks after The Group expanded its residential brokerage into Greeley, luring several agents from existing
firms there.

The Realtec defection tightens competition among commercial real estate firms now…

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