Five for Friday with Catherine House of SV Advisors

Five for Friday features Catherine House, CCIM, director at Sperry Van Ness/ SV Advisors in  San Francisco, CA.


Catherine House, Director, SV Advisors
Catherine House, Director, SV Advisors

1.  What is your geographic market and product specialty?

I sell medical office as well as neighborhood commercial buildings. My geographic area is the city of San Francisco and also the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. I regularly team up with other Sperry Van Ness advisors when listing outside of San Francisco. Fun fact: I have also sold more office condominiums (both vacant and investment) than any other broker in San Francisco.


 2.  What’s your latest best practice tip that you can share?

Putting into practice the ideas generated from the R.A.M.P. Challenge educational course. I found the course useful a few years ago. As a result of this year’s course, I’ve already made plans for organizing a March CCIM Broker Forum in San Francisco as well as my first investor forum for local building owners and bank asset managers.


3.  What’s been the biggest change over on how you run your business in the past decade?

Moving from institutional investment portfolio work in the United Kingdom to the US in 2001 was the biggest culture shock. In the UK, the senior partners bring in the business and the rest of the company executes. Of course everyone is on a salary plus bonus so it is a very different environment. The US model seems to involve both more risk (and stress) but more reward for the broker. The biggest change for me over the last decade has been moving from being a generalist to my current focus on the disposition of commercial buildings (mainly office and industrial). I’m still surprised at how many people call me asking for help looking to lease their building or find space to lease.


4.  What business book do you like to recommend to your colleagues?

This may be really old school but I really do recommend The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey to colleagues and even random strangers.


5.  What’s a fun fact that not everyone knows about you?

I’m a drummer in a local rock band playing 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s cover songs, as well as the occasional original. I’m also a Chartered Surveyor and the Northern California Chair of the RICS (the largest global international commercial real estate organization; www.ricsamericas.org) which comes in handy when dealing with clients from Asia or Europe.


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