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SAN DIEGO-BRE Commercial/NAI, already one of the county¹s fastest-growing and most aggressive brokerage houses, has a new president and a host of talent cherry-picked from other brokerages.

As firms dicker to land rainmakers in what has become one of the most competitive broker recruiting drives ever in the county, BRE has announced that its longtime president, Ted Phoenix, a 31-year industry veteran, has stepped down. The retiring Phoenix has been succeeded by John D. Frager, a 16-year veteran formerly with CB Richard Ellis.

Frager¹s ascension to president and CEO of BRE Commercial is the latest example of locally focused firms luring talent away from national firms like CB Richard Ellis and Grubb & Ellis. The latter virtually folded the tent on its San Diego operation last month, with firms like BRE and Burnham Real Estate snaring its top-shelf brokers.

Frager extolled some of BRE¹s advantages.

“Ownership is offered to all agents and employees of the firm, including me. Because everyone is pulling in the same direction, that pride of ownership really shows,” he says. “This group of brokers works harder than any group I’ve seen and depicts an unparalleled level of cooperation. With no remote management to satisfy, this firm completely controls its own destiny. It has no debt, which enables it to turn a solid profit in the current market, at a time when many other firms are losing money.”

Under Phoenix¹s leadership, BRE shot from revenues of $4 million in 1994 to more than $21 million last year. The veteran executive gave Frager has first real estate job in 1986.

“John’s experiences in operations and information technology were also very important since our firm has grown rapidly in recent months with the addition of several brokers,” says Rick Reeder, a member of BRE¹s Board of Directors.

The firm recently hired several top-performing brokers from local competitors and now has more than 70 brokers. New recruits include Paul Brown, Matthew Campbell, Shawn Craig, Peter Curry, Duncan Dodd, Andrew Ewald, Andy Head, Scott Henderson, Karen Johnson, Jack Kruger, Phillip Linton, and Ryan Shea.

To accommodate its recent growth, BRE has expanded its headquarters office in the UTC area of San Diego and is relocating and expanding its North County office in Carlsbad.

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