1. What is your geographic market and product specialty?
I’ve worked my entire 22-year real estate career here on the Sun Coast of Florida, just south of Tampa. Our market includes three counties and many cities and towns including Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice, Englewood, North Port, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda. My specialty has always been land. I started in the business selling large acreage tracts, farms and orange groves and moved into development sites as our area grew. I say if you can sell land, you can sell anything. To sell land you have to know what apartments rent for, office buildings sell for, and what industrial space leases for. You have to understand all parts of the commercial real estate market to sell land.
2. What’s your latest best practice tip that you can share?
You need to listen more and talk less. You have to understand your client’s needs before you can help them, and to do that you have to listen. I have several stories through the years of agents I negotiated against who would not stop talking long enough for me to tell them that my client would agree with what their client wanted. So consequently, their client lost out.
3. What’s been the biggest change over on how you run your business in the past decade?
Email and smartphones, without a doubt, as they have led to staying in quick, continual contact with my clients. Years ago I would send out letters once a month with an update on their listings and the activity that we’ve had. Now I email or text them every time I have a showing. I want them to be tired of hearing from me so they understand how often I’m working on their property. So when it is time to renew a listing, there is no question in their mind that I’m working hard for them.
4. What business book do you like to recommend to your colleagues?
I’ve had all of my advisors read Brokers Who Dominate by Rod Santomassimo. I highly recommend it to anyone in real estate, even residential agents.
5. What’s a fun fact that not everyone knows about you?
I’m a first generation American and native Floridian. My parents emigrated here from Holland in 1958. They were in Holland as teenagers during the occupation by Nazi Germany, and later moved from there to Tallahassee, Florida where I was born.
*All Sperry Van Ness® offices are independently owned and operated.