(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

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MIAMI-This week, locally based Related Group expanded its realestate services by forming Related Asset Advisors, a company thatwill focus on providing financial advice and resources for troubledreal estate assets. Many of Related's employees are alreadyinvolved in the financing, marketing and positioning of products,executive vice president Joyce Bronson tells GlobeSt.com, and thismulti-service group will branch out to help residential andcommercial lenders and owners that may be experiencing financialhardship.

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The company will offer services such as asset management, loanworkouts, construction management, property management, sales andleasing expertise. The group consists of three mainexecutives--Bronson and senior vice presidents Oscar Rodriguez andBarbara Salk--and access to numerous experts throughout the companyand its affiliates, says Bronson.

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"This tumultuous market and uncertain economy has caused asignificant number of real estate projects in varying states ofcompletion to fall back to lenders," said Matt Allen, chiefoperating officer of the Related Group, in a release. "RelatedAsset Advisors will offer not only our expertise, but in certaincases may make available additional financial resources to helplenders complete unfinished projects in a cost-efficient manner andincrease their sales potential."

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There is no specific dollar amount set aside for the company todole out, indicates Bronson, adding that resources will beavailable on a case-by-case basis. Related would also work withowners on strategy and management to explore the possibility ofobtaining new loans from lenders, she says. The company's goal isto help lenders, financial institutions and owners get a freshperspective and outlook on properties struggling because of theeconomy and capital markets freeze."The highly volatile conditionof the market and the complexities associated with condominiumownership has created conditions where you just can't afford tomake a mistake or the value of your assets could be drasticallycompromised," said Jorge Perez, Related chairman and CEO, in areleased statement.

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Early this year, GlobeSt.com reportedthat Related Group had formed a $1-billion fund in partnership withPhiladelphia-based equity firm Lubert-Adler to purchase mortgagesand residential properties from developers, lenders and owners.When asked about the fund's relation to the new company, Bronsonsays the fund has criteria that may not match what a property ownerwould want, and Asset Advisors would offer another method throughwhich Related could help. They are two separate arms of thecompany, she says.

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