5 for Friday – Diana Peterson of SVN AuctionWorks

This week’s Five for Friday shines a spotlight on Diana Peterson, of SVN AuctionWorks in the Chicago area. SVN AuctionWorks specializes in auction services, and does a large portion of its business in the Midwest. Increasingly, Diana has been working on transactions in other areas of the country because of the many referrals from the SVN network of brokers.

Photo of Diana Peterson
Diana Peterson of SVN AuctionWorks


1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Find a mentor whom you admire and who is highly respected in the industry and observe which traits and habits contribute most to his or her success. Try to emulate those traits and habits.  Beyond that, work very hard; maximize the use of your time (including prioritizing which networking associations you join and events you attend); and always make your primary goal on each transaction achieving what is in the best interest of your client.

Once you start achieving noteworthy sales or leasing successes, be sure to shout out about them, using social media and PR to help build your name recognition and personal brand in your local market.

 2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you? 

Collaboration and sharing fees with other brokers is always in the best interest of the client.

3. What learning tools (book, blog, website, etc.) would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

 Check out the Wall Street Journal daily to stay on top of what is happening across all industries, and to learn what may be impacting and driving your clients and prospective clients businesses.  Also, it’s key to subscribe to and read daily news feeds/eblasts that relate to commercial real estate and business in your area.

Every three to six months, take a very close look online at what all of your main competitors are doing and saying about their value-add proposition and then, if necessary, tweak your message and update your marketing materials in order to remain competitive.

4. What inspired you to open an SVN franchise? Or, why did you join SVN? 

 In addition to the collaborative culture of SVN, I was attracted to SVN’s national platform and the well established and respected SVN brand.  Having previously started two real estate brokerage and auction related businesses that lacked a national platform and nationally recognized brand, I recognized the limitations associated with a smaller, lesser known brand.  I did not want to be limited in how much or how fast I could grow this business.

5. List a fun fact to share about yourself – something that people may not know and that they may be surprised to find out.

After college, I worked in TV/financial news reporting with Ron Insana and Joe Kernen.  When they both left Financial News Network in Los Angeles (where we all worked) to go to CNBC in New York, I was asked to join them but chose instead to go to law school.  Silly me!

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