You can’t accuse Portland, Ore.-based Guardian Management, a fee-management powerhouse for three generations, of missing the forest for the trees. Looking for greater visibility in Southern California and Arizona markets, Guardian didn’t just dial up brokerage offices, they went ahead and bought a few.
“We took a very large step when we went into brokerage, and we meant it,” says Guardian president Tom Brenneke of last July’s purchase of eight Sperry Van Ness offices and expansion rights to the multifamily brokerage firm across Southern California, Arizona, and Oregon. “It diversified us geographically and provides ongoing fee revenue and tremendous deal sourcing opportunities and market visibility.”
Adding new business centers to the firm’s core isn’t new. Brenneke describes the last decade as a long and challenging but ultimately successful quest to turn the fee manager into a vertically integrated firm. Guardian’s management portfolio now consists of nearly 12,000 units in seven states, about half of which are company owned. The firm also develops and looks to participate more in acquisition and disposition.
“We have deal sourcing opportunities, a track record for raising equity, along with property and asset management capabilities,” Brenneke says. “This firm has built the foundation for itself to go only one way, and that is up.”