- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2002

Owen Rouse Jr. likes to make things better. The director of investment services for Manekin LLC, a Columbia, Md., commercial real estate firm, said he'll get a chance to improve the company's main two divisions, brokerage sales and investment services, by taking on the additional role as director of brokerage service.
"By heading up the two divisions, the company can meld the different teams together and have better operations control," Mr. Rouse, 43, said. "If we can strengthen that symbiotic relationship, then we can look at drawing in folks who might not otherwise invest in real estate."
In his new responsibility, Mr. Rouse will oversee 19 brokers in three Maryland offices who represent landlords and tenants on a local and national scale.
"The role of the broker has changed in the last 15 years to something more complex where they are facing more issues from a wider range of people," he said.
Mr. Rouse has covered construction, appraisal, portfolio management, acquisition, disposition and various consulting assignments since joining the firm 23 years ago.
"I've been on both the industrial and institutional sides of commercial real estate, and I want to help brokers get a better understanding of who their customers are and what sales plans are needed," he said.
With many investors switching from stock markets to real estate this year, Mr. Rouse said he plans to help brokers with the growing customer base of rookie investors.
"We don't want to have people investing in houses or office space at prices that will put them in debt, even though the monthly rates right now don't look too bad," he said.
Lou LaPena, Manekin chief operating officer, said Mr. Rouse made a natural progression to head up the brokerage department. "In the past, Owen has always been the more vocal leader for the brokers, who are all really behind him on this move," Mr. LaPena said. "He knows how to work with brokers and get these independent individuals to work together on projects and make their sales that much stronger."
The challenge has been working with individual brokers more as a guide than a manager, Mr. Rouse said. "Every one of these brokers are different and have their own style, and I have to have some flexibility when I try to help them get to their sales goal."
Mr. Rouse lives in Baltimore with his wife, Anne.

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