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WESTMONT, IL-Howard Wender has joined Strada Real Estate Services Inc. as its director of business development. The hire represents new growth for the commercial property maintenance and consulting services firm, an unusual move as many companies are looking to downsize in the contracting economy. However, Wender says market conditions offer a unique opportunity for the firm to increase its presence in the area, as Strada’s services become a commodity in greater demand.

“It’s a very timely opportunity,” Wender tells GlobeSt.com. “As large owners of real estate cut back and become leaner, this is an outsource service we offer. We can do things more economically and very professionally, and I saw this as a really well-positioned company and a great opportunity for me.”

Wender, 57, has more than two decades of experience in real estate, most of which was focused in the industrial sector. A native of Chicago, Wender spent nine years as VP of locally-based Mesirow Stein Real Estate and, more recently, worked for four years as VP of Transwestern. He currently serves as president of the Highland Park Illinois Community Land Trust, a position he has held since 2004.

“I’m going to capitalize on my relationship to get an audience with these people to explain what we’re doing, the unique service we offer and the value we can bring to the real estate community,” he says. “The concept of outsourcing, although it’s a concept that’s been around for many years, it’s going to be even more desirable and popular now. Companies are going to need to squeeze dollars anyway they can, and most companies that can do it professionally and cost-effectively will succeed at a high level.”

Wender says the firm is a relatively new company, only seven years old. “All of the sales that have taken place to date have been done by the owner, and I’m really the first full-time sales person they’ve had.”

Wender continues, “It’s going to be my job to take it to the next level. The most difficult challenge I’m going to have is really making people understand what we do and how we can benefit any owner of real estate.”

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