Making Moves: Fidelis launches residential division, new hires at eXp and more

by Kerrie Kennedy

Fidelis Realty Partners moves into the residential sector

Houston-based Fidelis Realty Partners, one of Texas’ largest commercial real estate companies with a long focus on retail, recently announced the launch of Fidelis Residential, a multifamily division within the company. The new division will concentrate on new multifamily development and acquisitions in strategic locations in Houston and other major Texas markets.

Fidelis brought in Kenady Davis to serve as vice president of acquisitions, dispositions and predevelopment, and Ford Allen to serve as vice president of analysis, finance and predevelopment. Prior to their work at Fidelis, Davis and Allen worked at BHW Capital, a boutique development and consulting firm that specialized in multifamily development. Trey Waggener, who for the past year had been working in retail development for Fidelis, will serve as division manager and vice president of design, development and construction.

“Kenady, Ford, and Trey bring considerable residential experience and energy to Fidelis and were a perfect fit to start our residential division,” said Alan Hassenflu, Fidelis president and CEO. “They each have a well-established background in developing multifamily properties. We are thrilled to announce our new division and have these three at the helm.”

Fidelis owns, manages and leases a commercial retail property portfolio of more than 60 properties across the country, with more than half of them in the greater Houston metropolitan area where Fidelis is headquartered.

“People want to live near shopping and restaurants,” added Davis. “The new residential division will look for opportunities to develop apartments within Fidelis’ retail projects which will allow us to capitalize on the value and foot traffic that the retail has created. I think it makes sense to develop both asset types within the same office.”

New leadership at eXp

Last week, cloud brokerage eXp announced two moves: a new CEO and a new face in charge of expansion. Jason Gesing, who was most recently the executive vice president of business development for eXp World Holdings, will be the firm’s new CEO. Gesing replaces eXp World Holdings CEO, Chairman and Founder Glenn Sanford, which Sanford characterized as a move that will allow him to focus on the overall parent company.

“Jason has been an invaluable part of eXp since almost the beginning 10 years ago,” Sanford said. “As I step up to work on the long-term sustainability of the overall parent company, I couldn’t be more excited and pleased to entrust our amazing agents and staff to Jason and the eXp Realty leadership team. We now have the right team in place to steward and grow the company in the right direction.”

The brokerage also announced that it hired Joe Han to lead expansion into new U.S. markets and lead the transition process for brokerages joining eXp. Han came to eXp from the California-based NRT firm, Climb Real Estate, and has also served prominent roles at Keller Williams, the Asian Real Estate Association of America and the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors.

Patten Law Firm converts to Patten Title Company

 Patten Law Firm recently expanded their services to become a full-service title insurance company. Patten Title Company will provide escrow and closing services to owners and investors in residential and commercial real estate under one new agency.

The newly formed entity is led by president Eric Fontanot and CEO Allen Berryman with founder Ashley Patten as in-house attorney.

“Patten Title Company is the perfect group of forward-thinking closing partners to expand our collective offerings and provide clients an integrated title approach we know is needed,” said Fontanot.

The company will operate in six locations in Texas, including three in the Houston area, two in Austin and one in Dallas. “We hope to have lasting connections with our employees by creating an exciting work environment that allows team members to feel heard and form a comradery with each other,” said Fontanot. “Providing our employees fun and unique opportunities to engage outside the workplace allows for quicker problem solving and better communication on a daily basis.”

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