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DALLAS-It’s the one tour in Dallas that no broker misses: the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors Expo. The 19th annual confab brought out 1,700 professionals for four hours of shop talk about the positive and little mention of the negative of the past year.

“Even though the market is suffering, we still sold out,” Brian Jetty, NTCAR’s executive director, tells GlobeSt.com. This year, unlike recent years, there were far fewer tech booths plugging products to the professionals milling around the ballroom of the Hotel Inter-Continental in North Dallas.

Last year, NTCAR unveiled plans for a property database; this year, it showed off the product. The four-month-old NTCDX now contains 154 member companies with 10,661 lease listings and 1,543 sales offerings. The 21,367 properties in the database equate to practically 1.1 billion sf.

“Dallas has been the most successful market that we’ve done in terms of speed and collaboration,” says Doug Curry of Kansas City-based Xceligent. The site went live May 1 to North Texas brokers. The database contains 90% to 95% of the market’s office, industrial and retail product, with more than 65% of the exchange fueled by NTCDX member companies. A building-by-building audit is underway “to fill in the gaps” and will be done in 30 days, Curry says.

The event not only gives brokers, seasoned and rookie alike, opportunity to rub shoulders, but it traditionally has been a time to “check out the competition” in terms of new projects. This year, development talk was on the shy side. Argent Property Co. was one of the few showing off construction plans. Site work is underway on four buildings of roughly 315,000 sf of spec product for the next phase of the 165-acre Frankford Trade Center in Carrollton. Argent’s build, fill and sell strategy has four buildings in the complex under contract and poised to close.

What hasn’t changed from years past is the camaraderie, a show of the mettle that has brought the brokers through their toughest times in more than a decade. And yes, deals definitely were being shopped, just with some “right-sizing” to suit the times.

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