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PANAMA CITY-Corporate Facility Advisors-Corfac International, an Arlington, VA-based organization comprised of privately held commercial real estate firms in the US and Canada, has expanded its international reach by forming an alliance with locally based Latin American Corporate Property Services Inc., which has offices in Panama, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.

The affiliation with LACPS takes Corfac’s coverage to more than 150 markets in Europe, the Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Corfac itself has 61 member firms in the US and Canada. Corfac’s overseas coverage comes through its relationship with London-based King Sturge, which has 61 affiliates in Europe and the Asia Pacific. The relationships allow brokers with any of the three organizations to tap into local experts internationally on behalf of their local clients.

“It’s no good just saying that one is international or global,” says LACPS CEO Harvey Ranson. “You really have to think about it, understand it and be able to deal with the people of a particular region or country in their own language, their own different business methods and their own very different cultures.”

As a result of multinational corporations and governments calling on himself and his firm to do just that over the past 30 years, Ranson tells GlobeSt.com his brokers are experts in carrying out other peoples’ work in the region. That experience, in turn, has led to relationships with organizations like Corfac International that want to service their clients needs in South America without the risk of having to go through the Latin America offices of US-based competitors like Jones Lang LaSalle, Colliers International and CB Richard Ellis.

“Our expertise is in Central and South America; we are not interested in doing business in the US, so there is no risk of us stealing clients,” Ranson says. “We are interested in making organizations like Corfac look good to its clients such that the clients continue to use Corfac for their local business and Corfac continues to use us for their clients’ business in Latin America.”

Corfac membership chair Dan Gostylo, a principal of Providence Commercial Real Estate Services/Corfac International in San Antonio, says that Ranson’s previous work with individual Corfac and King Sturge brokers and his affiliation with the Society of Industrial & Office Realtors were influential in forming the alliance.

“Like anything else, we’re looking for someone who knows the territory, who has contacts and knows what to do,” Gostylo tells GlobeSt.com. “Our clients are much better served by us finding some established in the market than having us start from scratch.”

As for how the money gets spread around, Gostylo and Ranson say that is figured out on a deal-by-deal basis. Generally speaking, the broker(s) doing the bulk of the work–usually the local broker–will get the bulk of the commission.

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