5 for Friday with Steve Martin of Sperry Van Ness/Martin Commercial Group

This week, our 5 for Friday features Steve Martin, CCIM, CPM, Managing Director with SVN/Martin Commercial Group.

Steve Martin, CCIM, CPM, Managing Director, SVN/Martin Commercial Group
Steve Martin, CCIM, CPM, Managing Director, SVN/Martin Commercial Group

 1.   What is your geographic market and product specialty?
We have two offices with one in Evansville, IN and the other in Indianapolis, IN. Our geographic market is primarily from Indianapolis to Evansville, IN through Western KY down to Nashville, TN. My product specialty is apartments although my team does a fair amount of NNN in our as well.

2.  What’s your latest best practice tip that you can share?
Keep your technology simple and yet effective. I love technology and yet it is easy for technology lovers, like myself, to look at the capabilities and forget about the difficulty of implementing it when multiple people are involved. The biggest challenge is learning how to effectively use technology to improve our business instead of using it because it is the latest and greatest gadget. We are working hard this year to make our technology effective but simple for our team’s success.

3.  What’s been the biggest change over on how you run your business in the past decade?
There are two major changes for me. First, I have become a firm believer in Richard Flint’s mantra, “Behavior Never Lies”. Whether it’s clients, employees, advisors, friends, family or just “people”, I have changed my approach to business by watching their behavior more and listening to their spin less.

Secondly, we are changing to a much more collaborative accountable & mobile organization and believe we will be paperless by the end of 2014. This requires totally different management styles and business approaches than paper and filing cabinets has in the past.

4.   What business book do you like to recommend to your colleagues?
I have a “Mastermind Group” of people of a similar age with many of the same business issues but in unrelated, non-competitive industries. We meet every month and always have a book that is part of our self-examination of the members of the group. We started with “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and it is a staple of our discussions and actions. It has paid great dividends for everyone in the group. Our current book is “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” by Sean Covey. It is likewise making a great impact and I recommend it highly.

5.    What’s a fun fact that not everyone knows about you?
I have only had one job other than owning The Martin Group of Companies and it lasted 6 months after college & then my Father and I embarked on building an apartment development company.  That was 36 years ago and I am blessed to work with my father everyday for the past 36 years.  In addition, I asked my wife to fill in for us in accounting for a few weeks 14 years ago but I’ve never stopped her temporary job!  Lastly, our third generation (Alex & Andy) is now joining us in our Indianapolis office and we are most excited about the future.


*All Sperry Van Ness offices are independently owned and operated.