John Johnson, CCIM, ALC, managing director of Sperry Van Ness/Interstate Auction Management is in this week’s 5 for Friday spotlight.
1. What is your geographic market and product specialty?
I guess you could say that I have two specialties. I work nationally on real estate auctions. I’ve worked with SVN advisors all across the country—from Washington, Oregon and Nevada to the northwest, Maryland, Virginia, and both Carolinas to the east, and many other states in between (so far, real estate auctions in 38 states). As far as traditional brokerage is concerned, while I am based in Atlanta, GA, I am and have been licensed in five other states (VA, NC, SC, TN, and AL) for many years. Most of my traditional activity has been investment sales—several product types.
2. What’s your latest best practice tip that you can share?
Since it is the beginning of a new year, I’ve been the beneficiary of planning advice and strategy from several respected sources, including Verl Workman, Rod Santomassimo, Alan Lipsey, Brian Tracy, and others how is that for a list of guru’s!?!) The best tip is “Plan your work, and WORK your plan”.
3. What’s been the biggest change over on how you run your business in the past decade?
It’s hard to pinpoint just one, but since you said decade, I have to say that the biggest change was my affiliation with Sperry Van Ness almost exactly 10 years ago. Certainly the recession/depression beginning is 2006 caused drastic changes in the type and motivation of auction sellers. Until the last few years, it had been over a decade since we did “short-sale” real estate auctions (also called voluntary foreclosure auctions), but we have been involved in many recently. In our brokerage operation, we grew to over 15 associates in the boom times, but really scaled back over the past six years, and are just now gearing back up to grow the office again.
4. What business book do you like to recommend to your colleagues?
I am re-reading Robert Potter’s “Selling Real Estate Services—Third Level Secrets of Top Producers.” The author addressed us at a National Conference a few years ago. It is a great sales guide, stressing the need for building strong personal relationships with prospects to turn them into clients. He writes about accumulating and using the kind of information that is needed in a good CRM system (such as ClientLook, which I am now trying to use). When I am in the car, I like to listen to the audio collection that I purchased from Terri Sjodin, another of our former National Conference speakers, titled “Wired to Win”. 10 DVD’s of some of the very best business and motivational writers and speakers. Outstanding collection of wisdom, and highly recommended!
5. What’s a fun fact that not everyone knows about you?
When I was in the U.S. Air Force as a Missile Launch Officer, secure in my deep underground bunker in North Dakota, I had a pistol on my hip and the key and codes to launch up to 50 ICBM’s, each with 3 to 5 separately targeted warheads.
You can follow John on Twitter.
*All Sperry Van Ness offices are independently owned and operated.