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SEATTLE-Apartment Realty Advisors, the multihousing brokerage specialist, has entered the Seattle market and will be entering the Portland market. The operation is being led by Jim Claeys, a top multifamily producer for CB Richard Ellis for the past three years.

Claeys, a partner in the local office with national partner Jeff Patterson, says making the move was an easy decision: “Their business model…ensures that my team and I are working collaboratively with ARA professionals across the country, not in competition with them… .” By that Claeys means ARA brokers have exclusive territories and refer clients with needs outside their territory to the broker in that territory rather than competing with the other broker or demanding a piece of the ultimate commission.

Another part of the business model Claeys likes is the progressive split that occurs at ARA, though he declined to provide the maximum split. Other names that have been expanding quickly, like GVA, are “90-10 houses,” which means that after a certain amount of production, the broker gets 90% of the commission and the house gets 10%. The big, publicly traded brokerages generally have lower splits.

The transition has been in the works since January, Claeys says, with the time between then and now having been spent completing deals started at CBRE, negotiating a partnership agreement, finding office space, etc. Claeys brought his team with him from CBRE, which includes brokers J.P. Harlow and Monson Tseng, and office manager/marketing coordinator Jeanne Strand.

Claeys hopes to attract three to five additional brokers to his 3,800-sf office atop the Plaza 600 Building at Sixth and Stewart in Downtown Seattle. The Portland market will be covered out of the Seattle office, though Claeys says he likely will open a satellite office in Portland such that broker will have a place to work and give presentations while they are in town on a project.

Apartment Realty Advisors is based in Atlanta. The company has 18 offices nationwide. One-third of the offices are in Florida and Texas.

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