A longtime fixture in San Diego’s commercial real estate industry has broken off from Colliers International to form his own brokerage.
Bill Shrader, a former vice president of Colliers International in San Diego, at the end of September formed Urban Property Group with offices in coworking spaces in downtown San Diego and Leucadia.
“We just think we are better suited by being smaller and being able to move more quickly,” Shrader said. “You need to be adaptable and flexible and move on a dime because change is accelerating.”
Joining Shrader at the new firm are several of his former colleagues at Colliers.
They include Amy McNamara, David Maxwell and Joe Brady, former vice presidents at Colliers International San Diego, Serena Patterson, a former senior associate at Colliers, Luke Holler, a former associate at Colliers, and Christin Garner, a former client services specialist at CBRE in Colorado.
Garner worked with Shrader at Colliers before joining CBRE.
“Nothing against Colliers. We wouldn’t have left to go to another firm,” Shrader said. “It really was something that we wanted to have our own company, control our own destiny.”
Making the Move
Leaving the security of an established firm like Colliers International to go out on your own may seem risky in the middle of the COVID-19 epidemic.
“Unchartered territory,” was how Shrader described it.
Shrader said forming Urban Property Group was a group decision by his team at Colliers.
Ironically, it was the pandemic that gave Shrader and the others the motivation to make the move.
“It’s something that we kind of thought about for a while and we just thought it was the best way to serve our clients. The genesis of it really was when we were all hunkered down with the quarantine business,” Shrader said. “It kind of made us evaluate or self-evaluate where we wanted to be in five or six years.”
As if starting a new firm in the pandemic wasn’t enough of a challenge, Shrader’s specialty and that of those he brought with him from Colliers has been retail and office property to a lesser extent – the two segments of the commercial real estate market that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
Shrader said his team also handled some multi-family and hotel property, but retail has always been the foundation of his work.
“It’s a sector that’s going to bounce back,” Shrader said. “Right now you’re seeing some pain, you’re seeing retailer pain because of the pandemic.”
Even so, some segments of the market are holding up well, and others are looking for deals as property owners look to backfill space.