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VANCOUVER, WA-The Portland-based real estate services company Norris Beggs & Simpson has chosen partner H. Roger Qualman to assume management of the company’s longtime Southwest Washington outpost. The Vancouver office has never had a company partner running the show. Qualman’s charge is to gain back some market share lost when a couple of key brokers went out on their own in 1997.

As the only major real estate services firm to have an office there, NBS still has a nice market share in Southwest Washington. It has helped the company remain the largest commercial real estate firm in the greater Portland metropolitan market, according to recent industry rankings, with more than 50 licensed agents. The company manages 6.5 million sf of space in the region, handled sales transactions last year worth $415 million, and expects the same again this year.

After becoming a fixture in Downtown Portland, NBS jumped into the Clark County market in 1985, and rapidly gained the better part of the business. But in 1997, Eric Fuller, a key producer in their success in the market, left the company and launched Eric Fuller & Associates in Vancouver. Two other NBS agents, Deborah Ewing and Bill Connelly, became those associates, and with them went some regular customers.

Qualman, one of five partners now in the firm, had been overseeing the Vancouver operation, always from afar. In mid-1998, instead of going to Vancouver, Qualman went to head up the company’s Bellevue, WA office. He’s now heading to manage Vancouver in person because, “the company is ready to put more resources and more emphasis and more energy into the Vancouver-Southwest Washington part of our operation because we’re convinced it’s the growth area.”

Qualman says the increased activity in the area is rapidly creating a bigger pie, and NBS should be growing with it. To that end, Qualman plans to increase the number of brokers in the office from six to 10, expand its offices in Downtown Vancouver’s CenturyTel building to make room and generally increase the company’s exposure in the community. “We need to regain market share because of the increased activity,” Qualman tells GlobeSt. “We need to grow and we need to do a better job not only of selling services across the board, but also in our property management and real estate finance operations.”

About 10% of the 6.5 million sf of space NBS manages is located in Southwest Washington. Key listings for the company there are in Ridgefield, north of Vancouver, and at Birtcher Business Center, a 155-acre business park being developed near Fourth Plain Boulevard and Northeast 137th Avenue by the by Birtcher Realty Group. The company’s Vancouver office also represents the Vancouver-based telecommunications company Electric Lightwave with its national space needs–some 240 locations to date.

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