Walker & Dunlop Has Big Plans for Growing Engler

Acquiring Engler Financial Group LLC this month, a real-estate firm that specializes in the sale of apartment buildings in the Southeast, Walker & Dunlop wants to expand the acquisition to cover even more ground. Walker & Dunlop makes most of it’s money making loans to apartment-building owners, but with the acquisition of Engler, hopes to add sales-brokerage services in many of it’s 22 offices throughout the US. Engler is amuch smaller company however, currently only having 3 offices nationwide. 

Chief Executive of Walker & Dunlop, Willy Walker believes Engler, which will be re-named to Walker & Dunlop Investment Sales, “should scale quite easily”. Walker & Dunlop’s purchase of Engler came at a time when the apartment market is pretty hot. The rationale behind the acquisition came when a rival company to Walker & Dunlop stole away some business that provided lots of insight and intelligence into the investment-sales industry. Executives at Walker & Dunlop liked how Engler presented opportunities to build their own platform in the investment-sales industry and played a factor in their acquisition. Walker & Dunlop sees this acquisition as a win-win scenario. They believe the current cycle still has multiple years left before a downturn. 

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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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