Kent Wengler and Alexander Bruni, formerly of PMA Brethour, have taken their combined 40 years of experience in real estate consulting, sales and data to launch Brick + Mortar Realty Inc. The GTA-based boutique brokerage and consulting firm represents new home and condo developers throughout Ontario and offers industry-leading innovation in real estate research, consulting and sales.
After graduating from McMaster University in Urban Geography, Wengler joined PMA in 1983 as a Research Analyst and was named President in 2016. During his tenure, he was the driving force behind the creation of Housing Data Reports (HDR), the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD)’s source for housing market statistics and information. In 2001, HDR merged to form Realnet Canada, now Altus Group.
As Research Director, Bruni also gained extensive experience at PMA, where he was responsible for a comprehensive market analysis program including research and feasibility studies, competitive analyses, monthly updates, focus groups, and demographic studies utilizing GIS mapping. Bruni, alongside Wengler, also headed sales management teams for a variety of builders and developers, on both high-rise and low-rise projects.
We caught up with the partners to learn more about Brick + Mortar Realty Inc. and what they hope to accomplish with the new company.
BuzzBuzzNews: You both have extensive experience in housing data and research. What motivated you to branch out into sales and start your own brokerage firm?
Kent Wengler: We determined that there was a need within the industry for a brokerage with a solid data-driven approach, especially as our market has started to move towards a more grounded level of activity.
Alexander Bruni: Brick + Mortar bases our work (both on the consulting and brokerage sides) on data and research, so that we can bring integrity to our offerings and client recommendations, while also achieving our clients’ absorption and revenue goals on the sales floor.
We both also had personal goals of starting on own business, so Brick + Mortar has given us a chance to fulfil that goal.
BBN: What kind of properties will you focus on?
KW: Much of our recent professional experience has aligned with the overall sales trend within the city: medium density townhome sites, high density condo apartments, stacked townhomes, and boutique, infill low-density sites. These segments of the market are very competitive and Brick + Mortar affords our clients an extra edge over that competition.
BBN: Which areas of the GTA will you cover?
AB: Our knowledge base and expertise lies within the Greater Toronto Area itself as we have both personally worked on projects from Burlington to Bowmanville, and everywhere in between. We’ll be focusing on the GTA, as well as the overall Greater Golden Horseshoe, so that we don’t dilute ourselves by reaching too far afield.
BBN: What do you think sets you apart from other brokerages in the GTA?
KW: We prefer to get involved in a development on the ground floor. We’ve been deeply involved in projects for two to three years before they were ever brought to market, often meeting during that time with our client’s team of consultants on a weekly basis to refine floorplans, renderings and marketing plans.
Investing our time and research at the outset allows us to not only help create a development that sells successfully, but allows us to take ownership and accountability of the eventual results.
BBN: What types of services do you offer new home and condo developers?
AB: Brick + Mortar offers two core services: market studies and consulting reports, and brokerage sales. We’re also in the midst of solidifying relationships with other industry consultants so we can bring our clients added value outside of what Brick + Mortar itself offers.