BrokerageIndustry News

Katrina recovery: the good, the bad and the alligators

Brokerage moves toward business as usual

An alligator in the pool, good news about property records, a bustling industrial market and a stalled residential market are the realities a major Louisiana brokerage is encountering on the way to recovery after Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of residents who fled New Orleans to escape Katrina began returning this weekend. Agents and brokers at Louisiana's Latter & Blum have found some unexpected developments as they struggle to get back to business as usual – not all of them unfortunate. "We had initially heard that critical court records such as property records and title conveyances were underwater in the basement of New Orleans' City Hall," said Rich Stone, director of commercial sales and leasing for NAI/Latter & Blum. "Last week we got terrific news – all of the records can be saved," Stone said. It is a "miracle" that the real estate documents, estimated at 12 million pages, can be saved, New Orleans Custodian of Historical Records Stephen Bruno told the Time...