1. What is your geographic market and product specialty?
Through SVN Auction Services, we are capable of conducting auctions coast to coast, but our office focuses on the five-state region of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Our specialty is auctions but we execute them in many ways. In fact, we are about to roll out the brand new SVN Auction Services proprietary online bidding platform for timed and simulcast auctions. We also offer live onsite auctions, ballroom multi-property auctions and sealed bid auctions for all property types.
2. What’s your latest best practice tip that you can share?
“Use the media to your full advantage. Don’t worry, they realize they are being used.” I can say that with confidence having been a broadcast journalist in 4 states over a 20 year period with my final stop in San Diego where I was the morning anchor of the top rated morning news cast for 7 years. The walls of our SVN office are covered with framed newspaper articles and we have plenty of newscast footage saved that shows our success at inspiring the media to cover our auctions. They will cover your listings too “IF” you can find the story that their viewers and readers want to hear or see. You can load every listing platform ad buy every ad you can afford, but that free media is what is really going to help you get the word our about your property and why they should buy it. Every property has a story to tell, you just have to find it.
3. What’s been the biggest change over on how you run your business in the past decade?
In a word, it is Technology. It is not a bad word. In fact, we embrace the technological changes the industry is seeing. I heard someone the other day say that nothing has changed in the way we sell real estate or conduct real estate auctions since the economic downturn. I don’t think that could be further from the truth. So much has changed! How we get the listing, how we promote the listings and the sale, how we close them and especially how we turn that success into the next success has absolutely changed. I do believe that face-to-face time is invaluable, but with the clock moving faster than ever before, clients don’t feel they have the time, so you have to be able to connect and inspire even when you are not face to face, and often, that is through the proper use of technology.
4. What business book do you like to recommend to your colleagues?
I don’t have a business book recommendation, but rather just one word: Auctions! SVN Advisors don’t realize the powerful tool that could be in their toolbox, that if used, would deliver more checks and create extremely satisfied customers. We know why they are not using it. It is that darn word AUCTION. People have a pre-conceived notion of what it means and most of the time, they have the wrong pre-conceived notion. We are selling a c-store / gas station now with a 60 day listing that transitions into an absolute auction after the listing period. That is what this seller needed and we created a solution set that fit their needs. They can test the traditional waters, and if we cannot produce the buyer, the absolute auction will absolutely produce the buyer. Auction clients are easy to spot if you listen to them. Every seller wants top dollar, but auction clients have a need to sell in a time defined manner, or they need the kind of exposure that auction marketing produces or they have a product that will glimmer in the spotlight of national exposure with an event surrounding their sale. I promise that you have talked to a client who would have considered an auction. Maybe you just didn’t hear them asking for it, but hopefully you will now. I promise it will help you sell more properties and close more deals.
5. What’s a fun fact that not everyone knows about you?
I have run 5 marathons and my wife has run 6. If someone ever claims I cheated, it would mean that I ran a marathon without her knowing so I could catch up with her. On a serious note, I am very proud of my accomplishments in my former career where I awarded 15 Emmy’s and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. I tell people often that I was training to be an Auctioneer the whole time I was a newscaster, I just didn’t know it. The broadcasting business helped me hone skills that I use every day to succeed in commercial real estate.
*All Sperry Van Ness offices are independently owned and operated.