This week, we turn the spotlight on Sperry Van Ness Commercial Advisory Group with offices in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida.
1. What has been your strategy for growing your firm and also your market share?
We are very fortunate in our tertiary market to not have any other national commercial brokerage brands with a presence here. The big firms dabble in our market from Tampa, but our biggest competition is three strong independents and a Coldwell Banker firm. Commercial agents in our market were seeking a pure commercial real estate firm with national strength and power, but that was still very entrepreneurial and could adapt to the local market. So Sperry Van Ness was a great fit for them.
My advisors are my best recruiters. When they are out in the market they keep their ears open to hear of any agents with good talent, who might be looking to make a move. They all believe in synergy and “activity begets activity”. So they do not hesitate to bring someone of good quality, and reputation, to my attention. Reputation and dealing fairly are very important attributes at our office.
Our market area consists of three counties with ten different cities to work in. So while we have our main office in Sarasota and a branch office in Bradenton to show good market presence in those two counties, we will expand to add a branch office in our third county so no property is further than 30 minutes from any office.
2. What are some of the unique activities you do to motivate your team?
Well you have to be self-motivated to be in this business for sure. But I do believe in accountability. I’m constantly questioning my team on their deals, market area, and specialty to have them constantly thinking about how to improve their business. I also introduce “out of the box” ideas to get them thinking about alternative ways to seek new business. I make prospecting suggestions and show them potential holes in the market that they can take advantage of. But ultimately it is up to them.
3. What’s been the biggest challenge in running your business in the last few years?
Since we are only in our 3rd year as a group working together, one of the biggest challenges has been budgeting. Determining what services we can afford to provide to our agents based on the split arrangement we agreed upon. We are now able to look back at the past two years and arrive at something everyone is comfortable with. Also since we only take on experienced agents, and we’ve had tremendous growth there in the past two years, a challenge has been trying to figure out how much coaching each agent will accept, what they need, and what they don’t need. Some folks you just need to stay out of their way, but be there when they need to bounce ideas off of you.
4. How many Advisors/Staff did you have when you joined SVN? How many (in total) do you have now?
When I joined the group there were nine advisors and two staff in one office. Now we have 15 advisors, with 3 staff, in two offices. Interestingly 4 of the original 9 left us due to poor performance. So we’ve recruited 10 new advisors in two years.
Tony Veldkamp, CCIM
Sperry Van Ness Commercial Advisory Group
Sarasota & Bradenton, Florida
The Sperry Van Ness Florida Team consists of experienced Commercial Real Estate Advisors in 22 offices throughout the State. For more information on Tony Veldkamp, CCIM and his team, visit http://suncoastsvn.com.
*All Sperry Van Ness® offices are independently owned and operated.