This week, we feature Chichi E. Ahia, of SVN | Ahia Commercial Real Estate, based in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. His firm focuses on the medical office and office markets, and specializes in investment and sale-leaseback structuring and serves the Greater Philadelphia and central and southern New Jersey areas.
1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?
Two things: First, make a two-year commitment and don’t give yourself the option of entertaining any other career opportunity within that window. This practice should facilitate the commitment and focus required to build a great practice. Second, find three great mentors – one within the industry and two from other industries. The principles that drive success in business are interdisciplinary. Often, tremendous insight can be gained from professionals who have built successful businesses in other industries.
2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?
The opportunity to define and be defined by a larger organization within any market or asset class.
3. What learning tools (book, blog, website, etc.) would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?
In my opinion, two must-read books are Good to Great by Jim Collins and 8 Traits of Brokers who Dominate by Rod Santomassimo.
4. What inspired you to open an SVN franchise? (Or why did you join SVN?)
For me, SVN offers a national platform while representing an ideal balance between corporate structure and entrepreneurship.
5. What was your most memorable deal and why?
We listed a fairly substantial medical office building that had been previously listed with a residential/commercial hybrid firm that had been unsuccessful in attracting any offers. The previous company had marketed the property as an owner/user opportunity. After consulting with ownership, we identified an opportunity to structure the sale as a sale/leaseback investment opportunity. We received an acceptable offer within the first week. Aside from a quick sale, the real value that we were able to bring to ownership was a favorable difference of nearly one million dollars over the term of lease between the increased sale price, reduced monthly obligation, and eliminating the need to lease and fit-out new medical space to relocate the practice, had they sold to an owner/user.
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