Xavier Mufraggi joins us as CEO from YPO and Club Med. In this get-to-know-you article, he talks about why he is excited about commercial real estate, especially at SVN; the essential role of our Managing Directors and Owners; and his unique approach to conducting meaningful virtual meetings.
Xavier Mufraggi arrives in the commercial real estate industry, and at the top job at SVN, with an optimistic, opportunity-focused mindset. “Commercial real estate is a great business that is long established, but inevitably is also a market that will be disrupted,” he says. Mufraggi is curious about the impact of bringing hospitality thinking to an industry that is very competitive and highly mature.
What Mufraggi means is that the way companies work with their customers and employees to create a great experience is the key to navigating a changing market. “If you don’t think long-term with your partners and employees, and create a great experience through excellent customer service and the right digital tools, you risk being disrupted very quickly,” Mufraggi says.
He is enthusiastic about the opportunity this presents for SVN. “SVN is in a strong financial and commercial position,” he says. “We are already known for our customer service and digital tools we provide our network, and we are going to double down on this. We are committed to remaining flexible to ensure that the SVN Difference aligns with the evolving needs of our Managing Directors and Owners in the present, rather than waiting for the future.”
Mufraggi’s unwavering commitment to customer service is evident. He draws on his time at Club Med, where he delivered $1.3 billion in annual revenue in the EMEA region and transformed Club Med North America and the Caribbean into a sustainable and profitable business unit. His most recent role as CEO of YPO, a global leadership community boasting 34,000 members across 150 countries, adds depth to his insights on SVN’s network of Owners, Managing Directors and Advisors.
Collective of Owners
SVN’s collective of Owners and Managing Directors is a competitive differentiator for SVN, and another reason to look to the future with an opportunity-based mindset. “There’s the opportunity for people to really be their own boss in their markets and then help each other to be successful,” Mufraggi says.
“[They] all know exactly what to do and how to do it, but they also realize that to be successful in Chicago, say, it’s good to have somebody who’s going to give you business from Alabama.”
Mufraggi says his first job as CEO will be to listen. “My team won’t do anything without being sure that it is something our Managing Directors and Advisors need right now.” He continues: “Working with Tim [Spillane, SVN’s new president] who has almost 30 years of CRE industry experience, we are in a great place to seize the next few years as a huge opportunity.”
Growing the Network
Another priority for Mufraggi will be growing the SVN network in 40 emerging markets in the US. He is looking for people with an entrepreneurial mindset – either from within the CRE industry today, or from other sectors, and with diverse backgrounds – who want to be their own boss, but also want the advantage of working with the wider network of 2,000+ Advisors to benefit from leads and collaborate on deals.
“I want to create a positive and inclusive environment at SVN where people can be fearless and authentic so they can achieve their purpose and potential,” says Mufraggi.
In a sense, joining SVN as CEO is almost coming full circle for Mufraggi. His grandfather started MUFRAGGI Matériaux, a construction tools and materials business in France, and, he says, taught him the value of building things. “If you see me with Lego bricks, I’m always building, not just playing,” he says. He cites the building of Playa Esmeralda, a greenfields Club Med property in the Dominican Republic as another example of this and the accomplishment at Club Med he is most proud of. From negotiating and building the road from the airport, to installing utilities and bringing broadband internet to the region, to developing training programs for the local community, the building work opened the area for new opportunities.
If you have a meeting scheduled with Mufraggi soon, don’t be surprised if he takes you on a virtual walk or is on his speed bike. “We all have Zoom fatigue, and if you want to go deeper with someone, nothing beats a side-by-side discussion.”
Mufraggi and his French-British-American family live in Dallas where he trains for Iron Man competitions, which he says has taught him to pace himself and build resilience. “I prefer to go far rather than fast,” he says.
Top tip: to get the inside scoop on Mufraggi, watch season 10, episode 7 of Undercover Boss, on Amazon.