By Steve Sinovic / Albuquerque Journal, Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 11:41pm
ALBUQUERQUE – Brad Allen and Lance Sigmon hit the ground running when they left Roger Cox & Associates five years ago to form their own real estate brokerage, property management and investment company.
With 10 kids between them, the partners had a lot of mouths to feed and were very motivated – not only to provide for their families, but also to help themselves and others advance personally and professionally.
Five years later, the partners now have 64 employees on the payroll and manage or own 1 million square feet of retail, office, multi-family, hotel and industrial space in New Mexico with a value of $100 million.
Allen and Sigmon got started during the most challenging of times when the commercial real estate market was just starting to show a pulse after the worst effects of the recession. They launched their business when three basic measures of commercial real estate health – property values, vacancy and leases rates – had decreased by double digits.
“When you are able to get through those, you learn from them and it makes you more adept at handling other bad cycles,” said Allen, adding the company picked up distressed properties, bidding on foreclosed real estate or defaulted loans, improving them and leasing them.
Sigmon credits Allen for his fiscal savvy. “He’s a saver,” he said of his partner, who makes sure projects are underwritten and financed with the most advantageous terms and rates.
As the company added to its portfolio, the partners bought a corporate headquarters and staffed up.
“We are rarely sellers; we are typically buy-and-hold guys,” said Allen, who detailed a busy year, which included the sale of a 150,000-square-foot industrial property in Rio Rancho that had been listed for $8.2 million. At some point (as an investor), you take those funds and redeploy them elsewhere where the growth potential is higher,” he said.
“We are actively looking at other opportunities, preferably the purchase of another office-warehouse type of product,” he said of the rest of the company’s partners, which includes Robert Powell and Jeff Martinez.
The firm is taking a broad approach as investors and developers.
Total Management Systems and Allen Sigmon signed an agreement in April with Aggie Development Inc. to build and run a four-story, 122-room hotel on 2.7 acres of university land next to the Las Cruces Convention Center. Total Management also worked with partners from Allen Sigmon in 2015 to finish and open the Home2 Suites by the Hilton hotel near the Big-I.
“It takes more than two people to be successful in this business, to have a vision and carry it out,” said Sigmon. “It’s all about having the right people in the right seats,” he said, adding the duo handpicked every single employee – from the maintenance workers at the hotels to project managers, sales and leasing reps, and accounting staffers.
While the team wouldn’t look askance at opportunities in adjacent states, New Mexico investments and developments clearly will remain the priority. “Most of our partners are local,” said Allen. “We want to help grow New Mexico as much as possible.”