By Jane Aldinger
Two brokers with Crye-Leike Commercial have launched a new Web site aimed at real estate investors, www.emetroinvestors.com.
Dan Whipple, president and managing broker of Crye-Leike Commercial, and Eric Fuhrman, a broker with Crye-Leike Commercial, created the site in response to the growing needs of investment clients and the ballooning real estate investment market.
The site lists commercial property Whipple and Fuhrman have for sale, but Fuhrman says it goes beyond simply listing the property by adding Flash presentations to each property.
Whipple and Fuhrman are rooted in Memphis and expect the local community to be the best place for initially attracting clients, but they hope to broaden the scope to include national investors with their tailored team approach.
"When (out of town investors) come into an area, not only will we be able to meet a need, but bring together an instant team with people we've developed relationships with over the years," Fuhrman says.
Whipple, who has been in the commercial business for 25 years, says he has been involved in investment sales for about 12 years but recently turned his focus to the area.
"I could see what was driving the bigger money markets out there," Whipple says. "Now and during the next 10 years, a lot of those people are going to have money they never had and they have to put it somewhere.
"They're going to turn to real estate investments because of relative safety historically and because not only do they generally get their investment paid for, they also get the tax shelter advantages of depreciation of expenses."
Charles R. Coe Jr., general partner of Oklahoma City-based Merco Energy LLC, is a Memphis-based real estate investor who uses Whipple as an investment representative.
He started out by purchasing a small office building worth "several hundred thousand dollars," Coe says, but when interest rates began dropping, he decided to begin looking at retail parcels.
He has since purchased two Advance Auto Parts locations, worth "just under a million dollars" each, Coe says.
"What investors want is a good source of information, and I am still a relatively small investor," Coe says. "Dan has shown me that he can get me the information and he does it in a timely fashion and doesn't seem to be discouraged when I don't like what he brings me."
Coe has not used the Web site to purchase property, but says Whipple's service will make the information on the Web site useful.
Other online listing services like Loopnet have become more successful in the last two years because of the current investment environment in commercial real estate, says John Lamberson, senior vice president, investment properties, with CB Richard Ellis Memphis.
Lamberson says selling property comes down to marketing a property directly, and a Web site like Whipple and Fuhrman's can be a good enhancement tool for those marketing efforts.
Another unique aspect of emetroinvestments.com is Fuhrman's online blog, which provides a forum for commercial real estate discussion as well as information on commercial lending rates, real estate investment and available properties.
"The blog is one thing we're thinking well keep us in contact with our target client," he says.
Fuhrman established his own blog but is relocating that to the new site, under the news heading.
Whipple, CCIM, hopes to use his industry connections to establish listings in other markets.
"If an investor asks us to sell a piece of property in Cincinnati, Ohio, we would bring on to our team the right CCIM to list it locally for us," he says.
Crye-Leike Brokers Form Web Site for Real Estate Investors
April 29, 2005