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Monday, May 29, 2023

Charles Dunn Brokers Leave W. Valley Office

Charles Dunn Brokers Leave W. Valley Office By SHELLY GARCIA Senior Reporter Nearly all of the 12 brokers at Charles Dunn Co. Inc.’s Woodland Hills office have left amid plans by the brokerage to consolidate its San Fernando Valley operation at its Studio City office. The exodus, which was still playing out at press time, follows what Dunn officials described as six months of soul searching about the future direction and growth of the brokerage company. “We want to reallocate resources, and we would like to open on the east side of town, perhaps in the San Gabriel Valley,” said Jay Haskell, vice chairman at Charles Dunn Co. “We weren’t achieving the revenue we wanted, so we, over a six-month period, gave consideration to both offices.” Haskell said that Stacy Vierheilig, senior managing director and one of three brokers based at the company’s Studio City offices, completed 97 transactions in 2003, and that volume ultimately convinced the company to make its decision in favor of the east Valley office. “No one was doing that volume of business in Warner Center last year,” said Haskell. Some of the Woodland Hills office brokers reached by the Business Journal told a somewhat different story, saying that the company had not provided the management support and services they needed to operate effectively. “Ultimately, it’s a fantastic property management company, and that’s really where their focus is,” said one of the departing brokers who would not speak for the record. “For someone like myself, I could not service my clients from that platform.” Told that the departing brokers complained of a lack of leadership and support, Haskell, who said he had not received resignations from many of the staffers, pointed out that such issues were common in the brokerage community. “I’ve been in the brokerage business for 33 years, and I’ve never heard a salesperson compliment the company on providing adequate resources,” he said. “Office leasing has not been the strongest product sector at this time, and it is often that sales people will suggest it’s lack of support that causes their lack of production.” At least eight of the 12 brokers who had been based in Woodland Hills have taken jobs at either Lee & Associates (see related story on page 38) or at NAI Capital Commercial. Haskell said he believed three brokers remained at the Woodland Hills facility, but he conceded that those agents would likely exit when they had completed their current transactions. “I don’t think we expected to lose everyone we lost,” Haskell said. “Had it been our plan, some of them would have moved to Studio City.” One of the two support staffers in Woodland Hills resigned, and Haskell would not comment on the company’s plans for the remaining worker. The Studio City offices have three brokers with space for another five, but it is not likely those spaces will be filled. Haskell said the company has recently made substantial investments in other locations and plans to continue to recruit and build its offices, but would not respond directly when asked if that includes the Studio City locale. “Obviously this is a setback for us in the San Fernando Valley, but we have other priorities we choose to focus our resources on,” he said. Charles Dunn Co. was acquired about five years ago by Walter Kahn, whose background is in property management. Although the company has a very strong presence in the property management sector, it has continued to operate a brokerage division. The company manages about 170 million square feet of commercial space, including 2.6 million square feet in the San Fernando Valley. Tingus to Head Local Lee Operation By SHELLY GARCIA, Senior Reporter Mike Tingus has left Charles Dunn Co. Inc., to take over the helm of Lee & Associates North Los Angeles as the brokerage prepares to expand into Calabasas and to Ventura and Valencia later this year. Tingus replaces Ron Feder as president of the North Los Angeles division. Feder, who continues to be a partner in the company, will assume the duties of vice president for industrial. Lee, which has based its North Los Angeles operation out of Sherman Oaks, next week will open a Calabasas office with about 12 brokers stationed there. “I got my business up and running and I just needed a platform that provided me the ability to represent both landlords and tenant business throughout the Southwest,” Tingus said. Plans include hiring a total of 16 brokers in Calabasas, about six or eight in Ventura and five or six in Valencia. The Sherman Oaks office, which currently has about 28 brokers, will be downsized to about 20 brokers. Tingus said most of the brokers who will be based in Calabasas are already on board. They include former Dunn brokers Scott Silverstein, Casey Sides, Wayne Saldana, Chris Dorland and Jay Rubin, along with two new hires, Spenser Strull and Randy Kobata. Feder, who has been president of Lee for the past three years, said he is giving up the reins for professional and personal reasons. “I have from time to time felt like it was time for me to change and get back on the street and take better care of my customers and myself,” said Feder. Tingus had been a managing partner at Colliers Seeley in Encino for 13 years when he joined Capstone Turbine Corp., a Chatsworth based maker of microturbine engines, as president. He returned to real estate about one-and one-half years ago.

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