This week, we turn the spotlight on Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate with offices in Salisbury, Annapolis and Bethesda, Maryland, and Lewes, Wilmington, and Seaford, Delaware.
What has been your strategy for growing your firm and also your market share?
Our focus has always been to provide the best service possible to our clients, and we have worked to do this by growing our firm into a full-service commercial real estate company and by bringing on Advisors with unique specialties. Not only do we offer sales and leasing, but also property management and receivership/asset recovery.
In the past year we have taken our office to the next level by bringing on a Marketing Director to ensure consistent branding and to improve both our online and physical presence and also a Director of Business Development for Property Management.
We’ve expanded our market area to cover not only the Eastern Shore of Maryland but also Virginia, Delaware, Annapolis and Bethesda by recruiting Advisors to open satellite SVN-Miller offices. We have advisors in Annapolis and Bethesda that also do “boots on the ground” property management for us while we handle all of the back-office accounting and property management in our Salisbury office. We also offer the back-office property management service to other SVN offices that don’t have an established property management team but would like to provide full-service property management to their clients.
What are some of the unique activities you do to motivate your team?
We do a number of team building activities each year, both for enjoyment and to give back to our community. These have included a Wicomico River cleanup, multiple Mud Runs, a Habitat for Humanity build, a Ropes Course challenge, off-shore fishing trips and more.
Each month I schedule one-on-one meetings with each of our Advisors to talk to them about their personal and business development. We also just held our Annual State of the Company Meeting this week, and we welcomed Solomon Poretsky, Vice President of Organizational Development for Sperry Van Ness International Corp., who gave a great all day training session to our Advisors and staff.
We encourage our Advisors and staff to engage in continuing education and professional development & affiliations (IREM, CPM, CCIM, SIOR), and we make a concerted effort to recognize their individual achievements.
What’s been the biggest challenge in running your business in the last few years?
The great recession was a huge challenge for us and it significantly impacted the livelihood of our Advisors. We also literally weathered the storm when we were hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and consequently had to move out of our office for a month to remediate the flood damage. While this was a big challenge for us, the silver lining was that it cemented our SVN-Miller culture of working together as a united front.
How many Advisors/Staff did you have when you joined SVN? How many (in total) do you have now?
We actually started as a commercial property management company which led to our move into commercial real estate. When we started SVN-Miller we had two Managing Directors, ten Advisors, one Property Manager and a Receptionist. Now, we have two Managing Directors, twenty-three Advisors throughout our main office and five satellite offices, eight Property Managers, one Virtual Assistant and six staff members, including our Marketing Director and support staff for brokerage.
Brent Miller, CCIM, CPM
Managing Director and Senior Advisor
Sperry Van Ness – Miller Commercial Real Estate
*All Sperry Van Ness® offices are independently owned and operated.