ATLANTA-At a time when practically every commercial real estate firm is announcing the formation of teams handling distressed assets, Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services is already well ahead of the game. Its special assets services division, launched more than two years ago, is already looking to set a record for distressed property valuations this year and expects to top it in 2009.

The division has completed more than 1,000 valuations for a broad range of financial institutions, asset managers and large CRE owners thus far in 2008 and expects the number to exceed 1,500 by year end, the highest total since 1993, according to Bernard Haddigan, Marcus & Millichap’s managing director in Atlanta and national executive in charge of Special Assets Services. Marcus & Millichap has already sold more than 100 troubled assets nationwide this year, with more sales expected as lenders attempt to clear up balance sheets and private-equity funds work to free up capital.

“A lot of firms don’t get their hands into the dirt the way we do,” Haddigan tells “None of these other firms have cultivated the relationships that we have, and we’ve been here all along. We have the technology and infrastructure to be able to share information quickly.”

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