Downtown L.A. real estate brokerage Charles Dunn Co. is aiming to expand its reach beyond California for the first time in the firm’s 95-year history.

To lead the charge, Charles Dunn last week hired David Pinsel as its new president of brokerage services.

Pinsel, 38, joined the firm from Seattle commercial real estate giant Colliers International, where he spent the last four years growing its North Texas presence.

“We started with 16 brokers and got down to 12 and were losing money,” Pinsel said. “But when I left, we had 80 brokers and were very profitable.”

That’s the type of growth Charles Dunn is hoping Pinsel can achieve again.

“After several months of evaluating our strategy and goals, we determined it is time to elevate our presence in our current markets as well as look toward expanding our geographic scope,” Walter F. Conn, who was previously in Pinsel’s new role, said in a statement. “David has a proven track record of successfully building larger teams and we consider this move a significant milestone for our firm.”

Conn, now serving as managing principal of brokerage services, plans to remain active in the firm, he said.

One of the first new markets Pinsel has in mind is North Texas, primarily because he saw the strength of the region during his time there.

“Oil prices withstanding, Dallas is a great place to do business,” he said. “I can see us expanding into that market by the end of the year or early next year.”

But first, Pinsel said he wants to strengthen the Charles Dunn brand in Los Angeles, which now has about 50 brokers.

“Job No. 1 is to ensure we have the resources that allow us to compete with the CBRE’s and JLL’s of the world,” he said.

Heating Up

Echo Park’s increasing popularity has not gone unnoticed by Brian Good, chief executive at West L.A. lender iBorrow.

What’s more, Good said he anticipates the neighborhood is extremely likely to stay hot in the foreseeable future.

“Echo Park and Silver Lake really remind me of where Venice was at 10 years ago,” he said. “When Santa Monica got too expensive, people started moving to Venice. Now, Venice is probably one of the hottest parts of L.A.”

Much like the trendy beach community, Echo Park is benefitting from a flood of people seeking less expensive housing. Specifically, Good has noticed a swarm of people gravitating from Hollywood.

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