Local Brokerage Hits 10-Year Mark

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(Photo above: Brian Fratzke, CCIM Founder and Principal Broker of Fratzke Commercial Real Estate Advisors Inc. | Photo Courtesy of Fratzke Commercial Real Estate Advisors Inc.)

Fratzke Commercial Real Estate Advisors Celebrates First Decade

A primary focus on meeting customer needs and nurturing client relationships has proven a successful formula for Fratzke Commercial Real Estate Advisors as the company celebrates ten years in business.

Founder and Principal Broker Brian Fratzke, CCIM expressed pride in achieving the milestone, with the help of a dedicated group of fellow professionals now numbering 12 — building the brand and winning the loyalty of a growing clientele while taking the firm from relatively modest beginnings to the point of concluding several hundred million dollars-worth of sold and leased transactions over the last decade and amassing a management portfolio which currently covers some 1.5 million square feet of property.

Fratzke began his commercial real estate career in 2004 after a 13-year stint focusing on information technology and business consulting solutions as a senior manager for the Ernst and Young Global Account Team to Hewlett Packard based in Cupertino, California.

After working for several smaller software companies, the Oregon State University graduate had always aspired to strike out on his own and form his own company, and took the plunge in opening the doors to Fratzke Commercial Real Estate Advisors amid the choppy economic waters of late September 2007.

He recalled, “My old friend Aaron Lafky, whom I knew from fifth grade, had developed a three-story condo project with an elevator in the Old Mill area, and Fratzke Commercial started off working in the basement of a condo with a two-line analog phone and an HP printer.

“We got a couple of listings at first; we were a small player, but a major longer-term goal was to create a brokerage focused solely on commercial business and property management, providing a high-touch flair.

“There were certainly some tough times in the early years and I distinctly remember September 15, 2008, when Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and the bottom fell out of the economy.

“It seemed as if all the world stopped, but we hung in there working wherever business was to be realized, and something of a real turning point for the company came with the signing of a significant twenty-year lease transaction involving the Veterans Administration in 2011.”

He observed that after spending the first three years basically “surviving the Great Recession” and developing diverse industry skills as well as coaching clients to navigate strategic goals, Fratzke Commercial became positioned as a relatively small but nimble commercial real estate brokerage taking a consultative approach to delivering optimal service to its clients in the realm of sales, leasing and development, concentrated in the Central Oregon area. It added a property management division in 2010.

Fratzke added, “We try to differentiate ourselves from other firms by having the resources and reach of a larger company, yet maintaining a personable, service-oriented boutique firm, committed to maximizing profitability while maintaining quality of property, and we are judged by the results we deliver.”

To date, the company has represented and/or completed consulting projects for a diverse mix of clients including Oregon State University Cascades Campus, Central Oregon Community College, Bend La-Pine School District (for which it is currently broker of record), Bend River Sash and Door, US Bank, Deschutes Properties, Big R, G5, Ace Hardware, Hooker Creek and over 150 additional clients.

Notable transactions in recent history have included the sale of The Westside Medical Building for $4,100,000, the disposition of two industrial parcels of land to Bend Research for $2,750,000, representation of Oregon State University’s purchase of its Bend-based Graduate and Research Center — a particular source of satisfaction for the company leader, being an OSU Liberal Arts alumni — a flurry of sales of industrial properties to owner users and investors all over Bend.

On the management side the picking up of the five-story 88,000 square foot 360 Bond office building in the Old Mill District which Moda Health sold to an investor for $25.5 million earlier this year.

Fratzke noted, “We focus on our clients’ specific goals and needs, and we do not disappear after the deal is done, but rather continue to support clients over the entire life of the engagement.

“Actually, many of our clients were made in the lean years, and at our recent customer appreciation anniversary celebration we were gratified to hear from people who spoke to how valuable our collaboration has been.”

One example of such a parallel journey, has been with Dave Hill, owner of the Century Center on Bend’s west side. Formerly known as the Brightwood Mill, Fratzke Commercial assisted on the redevelopment of the property from 2009 concept to present reality and has successfully marketed and leased over 60,000 square feet to a diverse mix of complimentary tenants.

Prominent local investor Dr. Charles Bonnett also paid tribute to the company’s efforts in taking over half of his portfolio some five years ago when the portfolio was at fifty percent vacancy, and successfully attracting a diverse complement of tenants leading to full occupancy as of late last year, as well as taking on management of the properties.

Looking back on the evolution of the company, Fratzke, who is an avid proponent of marketing, said, “There is a fine line regarding self-promotion when you are building awareness of a brand. We want to give client’s kudos; for example, we took out a half-page ad in CBN congratulating the opening of a fitness studio in 2009 and we included our logo but opted to congratulate our customer when a deal is done and be identified by association with their achievements.

“We also focus on facts of the market and tell it like it is — we will look you in the eye and tell you what we see, and then work in tandem to best achieve the client’s commercial real estate goals in that context.

“Education and research is paramount and we have spent a lot of time immersed in gathering information pertaining to the Central Oregon market, including on Bend’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) annexation implications.

“We really focus on Central Oregon and will refer leads outside the area to other brokers.

“We are proud to have the business we have developed over the last ten years and thankful to our clients, and for our team who are trusted professionals extremely committed to our clients.

“As our region grows, we are going to encounter ever more varied challenges. Our area is becoming more sophisticated and similar in complexities to the top twenty metro markets.

“As industry professionals we have to be continually creative and we are always trying to keep ahead of the curve in terms of knowledge and applicable skills, in everything from strategic analysis to anticipating market trends and land use implications.

“And you have to love this business. It can be a seven day a week undertaking, but I can truly say we enjoy what we do.”

For more information, see website www.fratzkecommercial.com or 541-306-4948.

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Simon Mather CBN Feature Writer

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