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DALLAS-Top-ranked broker Will Balthrope, lowering the curtain on a seven-year partnership, has hit the streets this morning as the newest senior director for Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co.’s National Multi-Housing Group. The 22-year professional’s game plan is to build an institutional investment sales shop in Texas for the Encino, CA-based brokerage house.

Without any down time, Balthrope exited a senior director’s role at Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. and opened doors on the Balthrope Group. The veteran broker plans to build a team of five to seven, starting out the run with a former graphics designer who left the C&W camp about a year ago.

Balthrope’s long-time C&W partner Don Ostroff couldn’t be reached for comment. A C&W corporate comment also wasn’t available by publication time.

Marcus & Millichap’s multi-housing managing director, Linwood C. Thompson, and the head man in Dallas/Fort Worth, Tim A. Speck, have been talking with Balthrope long before his move 3.5 years ago to C&W from Grubb & Ellis Co. Thompson says the ongoing dialogue and Balthrope’s standing in US institutional circles were the dealmakers from his side of the table. “One day I sensed he might respond,” he adds.

Balthrope says he has $300 million of sales in escrow and an equal amount of listings and contracts in the pipeline. The in-escrow stack will be finished up relatively soon, he adds. As for the rest, he says “I leave those in the trusty hands of my long-time partner.”

Marcus brokers have tapped into the institutional multifamily sales markets in many other regions, but not in Texas. Balthrope is Marcus’ highest profile hire in several years. “My book of business is primarily class A and class B,” Balthrope says, citing his five-year average deal is $25 million to $50 million to rack up more than $2 billion in sales. “In Texas, this is a void they’re [Marcus & Millichap] trying to fill and I’m trying to fill it for them.”

And, equally important is Balthrope’s inroad into the Marcus & Millichap camp isn’t perceived as head-to-head competition for its long-time senior sales professional, Norman Eastwood, also in the Dallas office. “Norm focuses on major private investors and Will’s is major institutional investors,” Thompson says. “I think it will be pretty complimentary.”

The Marcus multi-housing team nationwide has tripled its volume since 2003 to more than $6 billion in sales. That spike, expansion plans for the Southwest and the chance to “own my own company”–the Balthrope Group Ltd.–were the dealmakers for the top-ranked broker. “Given my track record, I had many opportunities come my way over the past several years,” Balthrope says. “This is the only opportunity that made real sense for me and what I do. When it came along, I decided to listen. A natural chemistry is what I bring to the table and, with what they have in shop, it is going to have a real impact on Dallas/Fort Worth sales.”

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