Eastdil Secured added a seasoned hotel broker in Dallas this month, marking the first lodging specialist to join the firm’s growing ranks in the Sun Belt.
John Bourret, who came aboard as a managing director, focuses on the Southwest and Southeast while supporting the firm’s global hospitality team. The 16-year broker most recently served as a managing director at Hodges Ward Elliott.
The hire comes as Texas hotel sales have taken off. Last year, a record-breaking $2.51 billion of hotels valued at or above $25 million traded, according to Green Street’s Sales Comps Database. That shattered the $1.8 billion record set in 2007. Since 2001, annual hotel activity in the state has topped $1 billion just five times.
The surge is part of the broader story across the Sun Belt, as investors chasing population growth and company relocations have set their sights on real estate in the region’s growing cities. “It has really shifted investors’ attention to real estate in these markets,” Bourret said. “There are new investors looking in Texas that have never looked [here] before.”
That’s also made a compelling case for Eastdil, which has been building out its team in Texas and other Sun Belt markets the last several years.
“There is so much momentum in this market and this region of the country that it really requires a dedicated hotel presence… leveraging off our footprint that’s already established in the Dallas office serving all asset classes,” said Louis Stervinou, a managing director and member of Eastdil’s management committee.
In Texas, the firm has increased its headcount, including managing directors and support staff, to 36 from just eight in 2019. That includes brokers who specialize in the office, industrial and multifamily sectors.
Across the Sun Belt, Eastdil has more than 125 staffers — up from 32 prior to the pandemic — including nearly a quarter of the firm’s managing directors. In January, the firm opened a Miami office, hiring Matt DeAtley as a director there.
Eastdil completed some $45 billion of activity in the Sun Belt last year across all lines of business, including investment sales and debt assignments, according to the firm. Hotel activity made up $830 million of the total.
Bourret, a longtime broker in Texas, spent 13 years at HFF. He was part of a band of hotel pros who decamped for Hodges in 2019, when JLL acquired HFF. Last year, Hodges led brokered hotel trades in Texas with a 50.3% market share, according to the Sales Comps Database.