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LAS VEGAS-NAI Las Vegas has launched a quick sale program in partnership with Higgenbotham Auctioneers International, a Florida-based company that specializes in commercial properties. Called “PowerSale,” the accelerated marketing program is designed to assist property owners and financial institutions in disposing of troubled commercial real estate.

The first PowerSale event is May 1, where more than $200 million of reserve-price properties will be auctioned off. Online access to property information for the May event will be available on March 15 though the NAI Global website. Based on demand, a second event is now scheduled for June 15.

Heading up the new program is Art Carll, who joined NAI earlier this year as senior vice president and leader of its newly formed investment services group. Carll came over from Prudential Commercial Real Estate Services, where he oversaw the acquisition and integration of IPG Commercial, a locally based industrial brokerage house.

Carll says the program is designed to work for all principals or lenders needing to dispose of a property, a note, or a portfolio in a very short time frame with a sale occurring on a “date certain.” Property owners will have the option of offering their property for sale via a series of live online auctions, sealed bids or a unique combination of the two formats. Sellers are assured a shortened sales process and a date certain sale schedule.

“Whether it’s a lender who needs to get something off the books or a principal that needs to be done because he can’t service the debt, we think it will be attractive to somebody who really has a trigger,” Carll says. “We are doing a lot of bridging between principal and lenders right now, helping to negotiate short sale opportunities by brining reality to the lender; this is where the market is going.”

Carl describes the program as a “true solution” that he hopes will “differentiate” it from the other distressed asset real estate service providers, and says the early returns are encouraging. Over a five day period spanning the end of February up to last Thursday more than 500 people signed up for the event through the NAI Global website, he says, though not all of them have been qualified as buyers with Higgenbotham.

“That was all word of mouth,” he says. “We didn’t do our first bit of advertising until last Thursday.”

Other CRE firms such as Sperry Van Ness already offer accelerated marketing programs. NAI Global president/CEO Jeffrey M. Finn says that with delinquencies are on the rise, and with an estimated $400 billion dollars of commercial real estate loans coming due in 2009, there is an urgent need for nontraditional marketing approaches.

“The days of buyers standing in line for each new offering ended abruptly with the credit crisis in 2008,” he says. “With limited access to new capital, more and more property owners are faced with a difficult situation–what to do with their troubled asset as loans come due in a depressed economy and with a distressed debt market.”

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