5 for Friday – Steve Kawulok, Managing Director, SVN | Denver Commercial, LLC

This week, our 5 for Friday features Steve Kawulok, Managing Director of SVN | Denver Commercial, LLC in Colorado. Steve specializes in industrial, land, and multifamily/apartment property sectors.


1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Schedule education into your weekly routine – never stop learning and building your skill set.


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

The SVN collaborative environment is a culture that supports our clients and our firm.


3. What inspired you to open or join an SVN franchise?

I experienced the culture of sharing and professionalism at an SVN national conference I was invited to prior to joining the SVN team.


4. What was your most memorable deal and why?

I helped a county health district integrate three different services into a much more efficient facility, which benefited the community and the health care providers.


5. What learning tools would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

I like Rod Santomassimo’s book “Brokers Who Dominate” because it talks about creating a presence in the marketplace. I also remind our brokers that SVN itself offers over 500 hours of great educational opportunities throughout the year!


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.

5 for Friday – Jay Hintze, Executive Director of SVN | Hintze Commercial Real Estate

This week, our 5 for Friday features Jay Hintze, Executive Director of SVN | Hintze Commercial Real Estate in West Allis, Wisconsin. Jay specializes in acquisition and disposition of commercial and investment properties, development of senior housing, acquisition and disposition of REO properties, and the municipal interaction between the real estate community and local elected officials throughout southeastern Wisconsin.


1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Study and learn about the advantages you have with the SVN trainings and SVN platforms.


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

Collaboration across the full spectrum of the SVN Network, which allows us the ability to provide the highest level of sound advice to our clients.


3. What inspired you to open an SVN franchise?

I was looking for a National Platform which allowed me to find real estate across state lines and had the educational system that allowed me to grow as a commercial Advisor.


4. What was your most memorable deal and why?

I had a local client that had a large medical office building to sell. My client did not think I had the skill set to sell, nor the ability to reach national buyers. I reached out to the medical office council chair in Florida and our joint presentation got us the listing. The Monday Sales call reached a Buyer’s Broker in Boston and he called a client in Reno, Nevada and we sold the building for over $32,000,000. Without the SVN national network I would not have gotten either the listing or the sale.


5. What is a fun fact to share about yourself?

My commercial real estate career started while I was the Mayor of Glendale, WI. We converted a 1954 era suburban shopping mall into a $345,000,000 outdoor mall called Bay Shore Mall.


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.


CINCINNATI, OHIO (November 16, 2017) SVN Affordable | Levental Realty (SVN Affordable), one of the nation’s leading commercial real estate firms specializing in affordable housing, brokered over $350 million in Project Based Section 8 and Section 42 transactions throughout the United States in seven months.

“We commend SVN Affordable | Levental Realty for their continued commitment to providing industry-leading service and expertise in the market to establish SVN as a leader in this sector,” said Kevin Maggiacomo, President & CEO of SVN. “SVN’s Shared Value Network, centered on the philosophy that proactive collaboration with the global commercial real estate ensures maximum value for a property, provides our franchises with the essential tools to deliver exceptional client service and drive successful business results as evidence by these noteworthy transactions.”

The transactions brokered by SVN Affordable include affordable multifamily properties of varying sizes and diverse locations across the country.

“SVN Affordable is a nationally recognized leader in the niche market of Affordable Housing brokerage focusing solely on valuing, marketing and selling Project-Based Section 8 and Section 42 housing through our national platform and proprietary database. Our financial, regulatory and statutory expertise, paired with our strategic alliance of industry professionals, allows us to successfully identify a customized disposition strategy and transaction structure that ensures maximum value and minimal risk for our clients,” said Gene Levental, Managing Director of SVN Affordable. “Given the current economic environment, we are able to appropriately advise sellers to ensure they have the opportunity to capitalize on the current momentum in the market and maximize on an aggressive pricing strategy.”


SVN Affordable advised the seller on each of these transactions:

  • New Jersey Portfolio: Consisting of eight individual multifamily properties located throughout Central and Northern, NJ, totaling 1,202 units. Seven of the eight properties closed at $181.5 million.  The eighth property is set to close in the first quarter of 2018, which will bring the total portfolio value to $213 million.  All of these assets benefit from long-term project based HAP Contracts.
  • Rand Grove Village: A Project -Based Section 8 multifamily property consisting of 212 units in Cook County IL. This property sold for $35 million.
  • Circle Terrace Apartments: Consisting of 303 units, located in Landsdowne, MD. This Project-Based Section 8 development sold for $30.5 million.
  • Pequot Highlands: Located in Salem, MA, this 250-unit RAD conversion is covered by a long-term Project-Based Voucher Contract and sold for $26.65 million.
  • Park Vista: Built in 2001, this 212-unit Low Income Housing Tax Credit property located in Watauga, Texas sold for $17.75 million.
  • Roxbury Hills Apartments: Located at 140 Humboldt Avenue in Boston, MA, this 111-unit multifamily development sold for $15.1 million. The property is encumbered by Mass Housing Affordability restrictions in perpetuity.
  • Mark Apartments: A 52-unit, Project-Based Section 8 property located at 959 St. Marks in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY, sold for $12.85 million.
  • Baltimore Gardens & Cleveland Gardens: Consisting of two projects covered by separate HAP Contracts, totaling 201 units, this Las Vegas, NV development sold for $12.35 million and will be preserved using Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
  • Berkeley Terrace: A Project-Based Section 8 development located at 10 Berkeley Terrace in Irvington, NJ consisting of 153 units. The property sold for $12.25 million.


About SVN Affordable | Levental Realty 

SVN Affordable |Levental Realty is an independently owned and operated SVN® office working exclusively on affordable housing transactions across the country with offices headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The SVN organization, a globally recognized commercial real estate franchisor, is comprised of over 1,600 advisors and staff in more than 200 offices across the globe, and provides services to over 500 markets across the United States.  SVN’s Core Values of transparency, cooperation and organized competition center on what is truly important for achieving organizational success and lasting value. SVN’s unique Shared Value Network® is just one of the many ways that SVN Advisors create amazing value with our clients, colleagues and communities.  For more information, visit www.svn.com.

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SVN Honors Our Vets – Jerry Dawson, CCIM of SVN | JCDawson Global Real Estate

In honor of Veterans Day, we sat down to interview a few of our SVN military veterans to learn more about their background and why they believe the commercial real estate industry was a good match for them. 


Jerry Dawson is the Managing Director at SVN | JCDawson Global Real Estate in Bowie, Md.


Jerry’s Military Background:

“I was a Navy officer and my designation was service warfare, which meant that I was aboard ships as an engineer, as a navigator, and a ship driver, leading divisions on an aircraft carrier.”


What attracted you to work in the military?

“I went to school at the Naval Academy for my undergraduate degree, so that was part of my commitment after graduation, to serve in the military. I didn’t have any military background in my family, but it seemed like a great opportunity at a great institution to do a lot of things I had never really thought about doing.”


What brought you from the Navy to a commercial real estate career?

“I started working in commercial real estate managing commercial properties in New York City. A few graduates from the Naval Academy who were a couple of years ahead of me worked for that company and put the opportunity on my radar. They talked to me about their positions, and it seemed very interesting – again, something else I had never done before. It was a good opportunity to explore my professional horizons and do something different. Running a property is like running a business – you’ve got income and expenses, responsibilities, and a team of people – and that’s what I wanted to do.”


What military-training skills do you think might be transferable to a successful CRE career?

“For me, it was the leadership training. That, and understanding the importance of following through on a mission, leveraging resources, and many other skills that a business person would need to be successful.”


How does the culture of SVN resonate with the culture/values in the military?

“I think the one thing that there is some parallel to is teamwork. In the military you are always working as a team. You never really accomplish anything on your own. SVN also emphasizes teamwork.  Acknowledging that team, and understanding how that team works together, in my opinion, is critical to commercial real estate. Transactions don’t happen without coordinating with a team, whether it’s within your SVN office or third-party professionals like attorneys, engineers, etc. In addition to the team concept of SVN’s culture, it’s probably the collaboration piece of the culture.

“The fact that we all try to grow is something at SVN that parallels the military environment. Being able to reach out to people and get support on projects or answers to questions is what you do in the military. You need to figure out how to get things done. You don’t always have the answers. It means finding other people to do that sometimes. SVN provides that culture and environment.”


How might commercial real estate be a good career choice for a military veteran?

“I think it all depends on the individual. I can’t say that it works for everybody. This particular aspect of commercial real estate is very entrepreneurial, and you have to be comfortable in that environment. There are other aspects of commercial real estate, just like in every industry, that may attract different people for different reasons. Commercial real estate is a little different in that regard. There’s a space for everyone, it’s just finding the right space for each individual to be passionate and focused.”


If you are currently in the military or a veteran and considering a career in commercial real estate, please visit our career pages at svn.com/careers-with-svn. Our managing directors would like to hear from you.


Boston, MA — (November 7, 2017) — SVN International Corp. (SVN), a full-service commercial real estate franchisor of the SVN® brand, announced the addition of its newest franchise office, SVN | Holloway in Southern Mississippi. Led by Managing Director Kenny Holloway, the firm specializes in providing commercial sales, leasing, property management and consulting services throughout the Mississippi market. SVN | Holloway is the second SVN office in the state of Mississippi, expanding the company’s full-service, collaborative approach to commercial real estate in the region.


“As the SVN brand continues to grow both nationally and internationally, we strive to build our franchise network with market leaders who share our vision of a collaborative, open approach to commercial real estate, which we have defined as SVN’s Shared Value Network,” said Kevin Maggiacomo, President & CEO of SVN. “SVN | Holloway is a highly beneficial addition to SVN, with strong roots in Southern Mississippi, providing us the opportunity to further expand our brand and provide best in class service in this market.”

Holloway brings 10 years of experience in commercial real estate to SVN | Holloway, where he will lead a team of Advisors focused on commercial real estate advisory within the local market including Harrison, Jackson, Hancock, George, and Pearl River counties. The firm plans to leverage SVN’s international platform to support the firm’s growth and reach, as well as the cutting-edge commercial real estate technology available to all SVN franchises to help advance its offerings to the local market.

“We recognized the need for a full-service commercial real estate brokerage in the region that is supported by a market-leading platform with an international reach and extensive market expertise,” said SVN | Holloway Managing Director, Kenny Holloway. “SVN’s ability to offer the tools for success and growth, as well as training and networking, provided the perfect partnership to drive our goals in providing exceptional client service throughout Southern Mississippi.”

The SVN brand was founded in 1987 out of a desire to improve the commercial real estate industry for all stakeholders through cooperation and a shared vision of creating value with clients, colleagues and communities. SVN currently has more than 200 offices serving 500 national and international markets. By tapping into this broad network, SVN | Holloway is able to offer its clients expanded reach for finding, acquiring and arranging commercial investments.

SVN is the only major commercial real estate brand that markets all of its qualified properties to the entire brokerage and investment community. Participating in more than $10 billion in sales and leasing transactions in 2016, SVN Advisors shared commission fees with co-operating brokers in order to close more deals in less time and at the right value for clients. Advisors also reap the benefits of SVN | Live™ Open Sales Meetings, cloud-based leading-edge technology, and national product councils. This open, transparent and collaborative approach to real estate is the SVN Difference.

All SVN offices are independently owned and operated. To learn more about becoming an SVN commercial real estate business owner, visit http://www.svn.com/franchising-opportunities/


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About SVN:

The SVN organization is a globally recognized commercial real estate entity united by a shared vision of creating value with clients, colleagues and our communities. The SVN brand is comprised of over 1,600 advisors and staff in more than 200 offices across the globe in six countries. Our brand pillars represent the transparency, innovation and inclusivity that enables all our advisors to collaborate with the entire real estate industry on behalf of our clients. SVN’s unique Shared Value Network® is just one of the many ways that SVN advisors create amazing value with our clients, colleagues and communities.  For more information, visit www.svn.com.

5 for Friday – Gregory G. Ogin, CCIM, CPM, Managing Director – SVN | Clark Commercial Group

This week, our 5 for Friday features Gregory G. Ogin, CCIM, CPM, Managing Director of SVN | Clark Commercial Group based out of Kailua Kona, HI. Greg’s industry specialties include corporate real estate, golf and resorts, hospitality, restaurant, land and development, multifamily, office and industrial, among many others.

1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Work hard, work early and get involved in government. Make sure you enjoy life.


2. What learning tools would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

Books recommended by the SVN | Elite training program are invaluable.


3. What inspired you to open or join an SVN franchise?

I wanted to provide better services to our clients, while also staying competitive. SVN provided me with the resources to do this.


4. What was your most memorable deal and why?

The Coconut Grove Marketplace sale of $21 million. I was fired twice from this property due to change of ownership, but I stayed involved. The new owners realized we knew the property and market better than any other national firm.


5. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

It’s a wonderful support system, my mentors have been fantastic.


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.

CPE Features Latest Article by SVN's Solomon Poretsky, The High Cost of Inaction

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Solomon Poretsky, EVP of Organization Development for SVN International Corp., takes a look at the possible ramifications of buying or not buying a real estate investment property in his latest article, The High Cost of Inaction, which is featured in the Viewpoint section on Commercial Property Executives website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

We know what it costs to buy a piece of investment real estate. But do we think about what it costs to not buy? – Solomon Poretsky

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5 for Friday – Chris Blankenship, Managing Director – SVN | Norris Commercial Group

This week, our 5 for Friday features Chris Blankenship, Managing Director of SVN | Norris Commercial Group. The Texas-based brokerage conducts business in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Seguin and San Marcos. Chris’s product specialties include corporate real estate, land and development, hospitality, industrial and self-storage, among many others.


1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Avoid the problem many advisors start out with—no business plan and no mentor to help accelerate the transition into commercial real estate. This business takes time to generate deal flow. Be effective and thoughtful with your purpose while building your business.


2.What learning tools would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

Check out Audible. Many of us commute to work, and we can use the time to our advantage by listening to books. Build a list of books that will enrich your professional and personal journey. For the books you love, buy the hardcopy and record important concepts.


3. What inspired you to open or join an SVN franchise?

I attended an SVN Conference as a guest with two colleagues in 2011. We were looking for a brand that represented our business. We signed up one week later.


4. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

One word, family. SVN is a group of professionals who collaborate across borders. I’ve always found my colleagues willing to engage and help.


5. What was your most memorable deal and why?

A family partition suite on a large land tract, a deal that required perseverance. I worked with a full price offer from a capable seller—which is usually a joy—but endured eight months of “no” in various forms. Getting to the closing table and ending the emotional process for the seller was a reward in itself.


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.



Boston, MA (October 18, 2017) SVN franchises in the Southwest region, including SVN | Net Lease Texas, SVN | DataVest Inc. and SVN | Investment Sales Group, have delivered strong results during the first three quarters of 2017, brokering a total of three high-value deals for a combined value of $44.9 million.    

SVN | Net Lease Texas advised on the sale of a portfolio of three Walgreen’s stores located throughout Texas in Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin, for $18.3 million. Glen Berhow, of SVN | Net Lease Texas advised the seller on the transaction.

“SVN | Net Lease Texas holds years of specialized experience in the sales and acquisition of net lease retail investment properties throughout Texas and the U.S.,” said Glen E. Berhow, Managing Director at SVN | Net Lease Texas. “As a result of our experience in this market sector, we were able to achieve a 5 percent capitalization rate for the seller, maximizing the value of the properties.”

SVN |DataVest Inc. completed the sale of Arbors Brookhollow, a 114,421-square-foot office building located on nearly eight acres at 2201 East Lamar Blvd. in Arlington, Texas. Arbors Hui, LLC purchased Arbors Brookhollow for $14.25 million. Bruce Marshall from SVN | DataVest Inc. represented the buyer, Arbors Hui, LLC, while Mike Hardage of Transwestern represented the seller in the transaction.

“With ample parking and easy access to I-30 and State Highway 360, Arbors at Brookhollow presented a compelling opportunity to the buyer,” said Marshall, Managing Director at SVN | DataVest, Inc. “Through our expertise in the market, we were able to advise our client in securing this asset with an opportunity for added value.”

Finally, SVN | Investment Sales Group brokered the sale of Sierra Pointe, a 348-unit multifamily apartment building for $12.35 million.

“Sierra Pointe presented a strong value-add opportunity for the buyer to grow their presence in the Tulsa marketplace,” said Paul Yazbeck, Executive Director at SVN | Investment Sales Group.  “With this recent purchase, the buyer plans to bring occupancy to market levels, while also incorporating an energy conservation program.”

Located at 1433 South 107th East Avenue in Tulsa, Okla., Sierra Pointe was sold to AMG Bridgeport, LLC Todd Franks and Paul Yazbeck of SVN | Investment Sales Group brokered the transaction.

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About SVN:

The SVN organization, a globally recognized commercial real estate franchisor, is comprised of over 1,600 advisors and staff in more than 200 offices across the globe, and provides services to over 500 markets across the United States.  SVN’s Core Values of transparency, cooperation and organized competition center on what is truly important for achieving organizational success and lasting value. SVN’s unique Shared Value Network® is just one of the many ways that SVN Advisors create amazing value with our clients, colleagues and communities.  For more information, visit www.svn.com.

5 for Friday – Tomi Jo Lynch of SVN | Gold Dust Commercial Associates

This week, our 5 for Friday features Tomi Jo Lynch, Managing Director at SVN | Gold Dust Commercial Associates, based out of Nevada. Tomi Jo specializes in industrial properties with a focus on landlord representation throughout Northern Nevada.


1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Have three to six months of savings and be prepared to work 10-12 hours each day. Get to know your colleagues inside and outside of SVN, and make sure they know you.


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

Working for a company where “everyone knows your name.” It is increased value for our clients, collaboration with our peers, and a deep commitment to our core covenants.


3. What learning tools would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

Join an accountability group, either in your office through a Vital Factor Team, with an outside organization like Entrepreneurs’ Organization or Vistage, or with a one-on-one business coach. Having a team of peers to hold you accountable is imperative. Don’t forget to read your local paper and trade publications; you can’t be an expert in your market if you don’t know what’s happening in your community.


4. What was your most memorable deal and why?

They’re all memorable, but the first medical marijuana grow facility and dispensary in Nevada provided a whole new set of challenges. That’s the great thing about commercial real estate – no two days or deals are ever the same.


5. What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I am training to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in four months.


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.


5 for Friday – Cameron Irons, Managing Director of SVN | Vanguard

This week, our 5 for Friday features Cameron Irons, Managing Director of SVN | Vanguard based out of Orange County, Calif. Cameron’s CRE product specialties include industrial, land and development, medical office, multifamily, office, property management, restaurant, retail and single tenant investment.


1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Create a minimum 60-hour workweek schedule that includes more than 250 cold calls. Focus on creating relationships when you make calls, don’t just sell. Always keep a minimum of 15 prospects in your pipeline and specialize in the usage of CRM software.


2. What learning tools would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

Read “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” by Michael E. Gerber, and “Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time” by Rory Vaden. Participate in the SVN Elite training program for Managing Directors.


3. What inspired you to open or join an SVN franchise?

After 15 years of running my own boutique firm, I decided I needed a national brand to get better listings. SVN offered the best platform and helped me relaunch my brokerage business with a profitable full-service model to create enterprise value. The SVN culture is great and inspires me to recruit every day.


4. What was your most memorable deal and why?

I sold my exchange client a large multi-family portfolio in San Diego 15 years ago. The property was listed by a brokerage known for not cooperating. I found out about it from the listing agent before he released it to their office. The deal was difficult and died a thousand deaths before closing successfully. I became friends with the listing agent and he was an integral part of the opening team for our new SVN office in San Diego this year.


5. What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I am the Chairman of the Orange County Planning Commission. I also love sport fishing and once I reach my goals, my reward is a boat.


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.

SVN | Rich Investment Real Estate Partners Brokers Sale of Santa Monica, CA Multifamily Property for $23.8 Million

Santa Monica, CA (October 11, 2017) SVN | Rich Investment Real Estate Partners, one of the nation’s premier commercial real estate firms, brokered the sale of 153 San Vicente Boulevard, a 30-unit, 44,199-square-foot multifamily development located on over 21,000 square feet of land in Santa Monica, CA for $23.8 million. Shiva Monify of SVN | Rich Investment Real Estate Partners, one of the firm’s top producers, advised on the transaction.

“Properties like 153 San Vicente Boulevard, which offers an ideal location and favorable design features, rarely come on the market in Santa Monica,” said Shiva Monify, Managing Partner of Special Asset Team SVN | Rich Investment Real Estate Partners. “SVN | Rich Investment Real Estate Partners recognized the value at hand and worked to present the client with the perfect opportunity to invest in this asset. Following the property’s closing the new owner plans to renovate the asset and build a new rooftop observation deck.”

Santa Monica is a beachfront city located in western Los Angeles County and is one of the most desirable locations in the area. Situated on Santa Monica Pier, the neighborhood is known for its downtown core and strong tourism. 153 San Vicente Boulevard is well situated in the center of town, walking distance to Ocean Avenue and an ample amount of entertainment options and conveniences.

About SVN | Rich Investment Real Estate Partners

SVN | Rich Investment Real Estate Partners is an independently owned and operated SVN® office with locations throughout Los Angeles county. The SVN organization, a globally recognized commercial real estate franchisor, is comprised of over 1,600 advisors and staff in more than 200 offices across the globe, and provides services to over 500 markets across the United States.  SVN’s Core Values of transparency, cooperation and organized competition center on what is truly important for achieving organizational success and lasting value. SVN’s unique Shared Value Network® is just one of the many ways that SVN Advisors create amazing value with our clients, colleagues and communities.  For more information, visit www.svn.com.

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5 for Friday – Deborah Skeans, CCIM, MAI of SVN | Imperial Realty

This week, our 5 for Friday features Deborah Skeans, CCIM, MAI, Managing Director and Senior Advisor for SVN Imperial Realty in Allentown, PA. Debby’s industry specialties include distressed assets, industrial, land, development, medical offices, multifamily residences and property management.

1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Be prepared to work hard. Concentrate on creating meaningful relationships and become an expert in a specialty or small geographic area. Get CCIM certified and work the SVN plan.


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

A better and stronger culture. SVN is a national (and growing international) brand with the tools needed to serve our clients.


3. What learning tools would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

CCIM education and active involvement within the industry.


4. What inspired you to open or join an SVN franchise?

The desire to stay independent but have the benefit of a national brand.


5. What was your most memorable deal and why?

A $37 million land deal with a local hospital network, which followed an $11.8 million deal. The deal gave the network almost 509 acres of land to create one of the finest medical complexes in the Northeast and improve access to medical care in our communities.


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.


5 for Friday – Michael Thanasouras of SVN | Chicago Commercial

This week, our 5 for Friday features Michael Thanasouras, Managing Director at SVN | Chicago Commercial working throughout the Chicago market area.


1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Learn a market and a product type, try to walk through an area, and get on the phone!


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

Doing the right thing for our clients by maximizing their property’s exposure within the market and getting them the best deal.


3. What learning tools would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

S4G is the best place to start. I also recommend Google Alerts, and register for local real estate news that gets pushed out to you daily!


4. What inspired you to open or join an SVN franchise?

I joined SVN in 2008 to help conduct more investment transactions. It took a couple years due to market conditions, but we knew the route would help us expand. Learning from our peers allows us to accelerate rapidly.


5. What was your most memorable deal and why?

A small commercial condo. The buyer was unrepresented at first, then ended up with a broker.  We paid the co-op broker without question. I got the leasing and he offered me the property management, too.


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.


The US Economy Accelerates While Waiting for Washington to Finalize Deals

While the overall economy remains very healthy on a relative basis, and may in fact be finally showing signs of more robust growth, deal making in Washington will stand as a key influence in determining when – and if – such robust growth will come to fruition. The stock markets have set recent highs in part because Trump appears more willing to make “deals” with Democrats in order to get policies implemented. These deals historically lead to significant tax reform, something the market is already factoring into future expectations. While market analysts place expectations on the potential for a major boost in business investment, and even hiring, this will take time to come to fruition, if ever.


Economic Health

Overall estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the third quarter of 2017 increased to 3%, a key level that is considered the minimal threshold for robust economic growth in the US. Whether this growth is sustainable, however, is yet to be determined.


The beginning of the third quarter saw slightly lower job growth in August, with 156,000 added jobs per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a minor uptick in unemployment to 4.4%. While these shifts are slight, these numbers are representative of an overall tight labor market.


In 2016, median household income hit an all-time high at $59,039, according to the Census Bureau. These higher incomes are no doubt contributing to the still high and rising levels of consumer confidence, up to 122.9 in August of 2017, according to the Conference Board.


Third Quarter Impacts

Meanwhile, the third quarter will likely see distorted results in economic indicators due to the temporary effects of the hurricanes impacting the Southeastern US; a recent report by the Census Bureau showed monthly retails sales in August have gone down -0.2%, likely due to Hurricane Harvey. With Irma impacting Florida, there will be broader effects in the short run. In the long run, the rebuilding effort has the potential to have a positive impact on economic growth.


Commercial Real Estate on the Rise

Interestingly enough, what remains steady and more certain in these economic times is commercial real estate. CoStar reports continued growth in commercial real estate prices, up 1.2% in July. Also of note, REITs posted their largest gain in Funds From Operations (a measure of cash flow) in the second quarter of this year at 7.9%. By contrast, the many stock market indices appear highly valued on a relative basis.


If the economy does not grow at a more robust rate, a likely result if Washington remains in a stalemate, then stock prices could be negatively impacted. Commercial real estate, however, is generally showing signs of demand outpacing supply according to many data providers including REIS. In addition, new construction is flattening rather than accelerating; overall it was down 0.6% in July according to the Census Bureau and has remained mostly flat for all of 2017.


As a result, it is evident that the real estate sector is on far more solid footing than the broad stock markets. Investors should consider rebalancing from stocks and bonds and into real estate, especially while mortgage rates remain so low. In fact, research from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows availability of commercial real estate debt continues to increase in 2017 from 2016, thus it is actually getting easier to invest in real estate today.

5 for Friday – Walt Arnold, CCIM, SIOR of SVN | Walt Arnold Commercial Brokerage, Inc.

This week, our 5 for Friday features Walt Arnold, CCIM, SIOR, Managing Director at SVN | Walt Arnold Commercial Brokerage, Inc. in Albuquerque, New Mexico, specializing in the industrial and office property sector.


1. What advice would you provide to an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Immerse yourself in commercial real estate and use the tools at SVN to jumpstart your business. Complete the System for Growth (S4G), go to Jumpstart, and study My.SVN.com. Get involved in Product Councils, join your local CRE board, learn from the brokers in your office, meet regularly with a mentor, build a database- this list could go on and on. This business is about relationships. A new-to-business broker must build relationships fast, ask the right questions, and use SVN as a resource to gain reputation and exposure.


2. What inspired you to open or join an SVN franchise?

I joined SVN to be a part of a national (now international) company with a platform. SVN has the ability, tools and resources to compete for and win assignments. I am thankful to be a part of an organization that continues to improve and pursue excellence.


3. What learning tools would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation is definitely worth pursuing. The websites of NAIOP, CCIM, SIOR, ULI, and IREM are helpful. Read blogs and books within your product specialty. Google alerts are excellent. Audiobooks on CRE and selling also offer a convenient approach to learning in our busy worlds.


4. What was your most memorable deal and why?

Whether it’s a client buying an investment property or purchasing an asset for their business, our success as CRE Brokers is helping people with CRE transactions and providing “Best in Class” service and advice. That’s always memorable.


5. What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I had a career in the NFL for eight years and I was a two-sport athlete in college. I played football and baseball all four years at the University of New Mexico. Oh, and “Breaking Bad” used my home several times while filming in Albuquerque!


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.

5 for Friday – John Rickert, CCIM of SVN | RICORE Investment Management, Inc.

This week, our 5 for Friday feature highlights John Rickert, CCIM, Executive Managing Director at SVN | RICORE Investment Management, Inc., based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. John specializes in a number of property sectors including distressed assets, hospitality, institutional capital markets and corporate real estate, among others, throughout the Ohio and Kentucky markets.


1. What advice would you provide an aspiring advisor who is new to the industry?

Select a brokerage that provides formal training, offers a mentor program, uses state-of-the-art market data sources and has access to a contact information management system. Also, be prepared to live lean for 12 to 24 months while you learn and build your practice.


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

In a phrase, “Compensated Cooperation.” The best brokers create a competitive environment for our clients’ assets. SVN immediately promotes our listings to the entire brokerage community in addition to our pool of clients. We involve the entire market to generate more offers. Our clients select the offer that most closely meets their goals. This includes not only the best price, but also the most favorable terms.


3. What learning tools would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

SVN’s System for Growth is a great place to learn how to operate as a sales agent and independent contractor. If I could redo the early part of my career, I would earn the CCIM designation much earlier.


4. What inspired you to open or join an SVN franchise?

This answer sounds trite, but I joined because of the culture. When I was doing my due diligence, I attended an SVN national conference and discussed the brand with existing franchisees and SVN executives. People were candid and honest with me, which was particularly important because we were still in the throes of the Great Recession and good news was hard to find. SVN | RICORE is enjoying its seventh year as a franchisee and our business has grown in many ways. I still look forward to the conferences because the people that attend are now my friends, in addition to being my national business network.


5. What’s a fun fact about yourself?

My first job after college was as a United States Army Officer and a helicopter pilot.


Are you ready to experience the SVN Difference? Check out our Careers page here.

Diane Danielson Talks with Michael Beckerman About Making CRE Cool Again and Diversity In the Workplace

Diane Danielson

Diane Danielson, Chief Operating Officer of SVN International Corp., recently sat down with Michael Beckerman, CEO of The News Funnel and commercial real estate expert, for what Beckerman calls “one of the most important interviews i have done in the real estate sector.”

During their Q&A, they discussed topics about making commercial real estate cool again, the role technology will play in the sector, and SVN’s diversity recruitment efforts. To read excerpts from their conversation featured on Beckerman’s blog, click here.

Solomon Poretsky's Latest Article Featured in CPE's Capital Markets Newsletter

Commercial Property Executive featured Solomon Poretsky’s latest article on the affect of self-driving cars will have on the asset classes within commercial real estate in the August 16th online edition of their Capital Markets Newsletter.


Poretsky’s article addresses the concept of autonomous vehicles and how they could significantly impact the way people travel and work. Subsequently they could have a critical effect on the commercial real estate sector. READ FULL ARTICLE


Solomon Poretsky is the Executive Vice President of Organizational Development for SVN International Corp. READ FULL BIO


SVN Wins 2017 Realcomm 'Digie' Award for SVN Live

SVN International Corp. is excited to announce that we have won the 2017 Realcomm “Digie” Award in the category of Best Use of Automation: Commercial Services.  We were recognized this year for our innovative use of technology and social media in our SVN|Live® Weekly Property Broadcasts. Airing every Monday at 8:30 am PT | 11:30 am ET, the live broadcast highlights new and featured commercial real estate listings presented by the listing SVN Advisor. Solomon Poretsky, SVN International Corp. SVP of Organizational Development, was in attendance and accepted the award on behalf of SVN. This is our 3rd “Digi” award.

Solomon Poretsky, EVP of Organizational Development for SVN, accepts the "Digie" Award
Solomon Poretsky, EVP of Organizational Development for SVN, accepts the “Digie” Award

“It’s no secret that our industry can be a disconnected environment, and it has always been SVN’s goal to change that,” says SVN International Corp. President and CEO Kevin Maggiacomo. “Through our state-of-the-art SVN | Live platform we focus on using new technology, rooted in on our foundational pillar of collaboration, to transform how we do business. This ultimately brings value to our clients, colleagues and CRE community.”

Realcomm began presenting the “Digie” Award (short for Commercial Real Estate Digital Innovation Awards) in 1999. The award’s purpose is to recognize companies, real estate projects, technologies and people that have gone above and beyond to positively impact the industry through the use of technology, automation and innovation. “Digie” Award winners are considered the most innovative individuals and organizations in commercial real estate who are leading the charge for a more efficient, effective and profitable industry.


CLICK HERE to learn more about SVN | Live®


SVN® Brand Ranked Nationally as 8th Top Brokerage Firm

Boston, Mass. — June 26, 2017 — SVN International Corp. (SVNIC), a full-service commercial real estate franchisor of the SVN® brand, announced today it has been ranked as the 8th Top Brokerage Firm in the UnitedCPR_Top_Brokerage_2017-01 States by Commercial Property Executive. SVN earned the number 8 ranking, climbing up four spots from 2016’s survey, based on investment sales and lease volume for the previous year.

Each year Commercial Property Executive, a leading resource for the commercial real estate industry, ranks the top brokerage firms by utilizing a weighted formula based on a variety of factors, including form performance in 2016 and over time, using factors like investment sales and leasing activity. Firms represented in the CPE Index are considered leaders in the commercial real estate industry.

kevin“This is an important indicator of the continued growth of SVN – in cold hard results,” says SVNIC President and CEO Kevin Maggiacomo. “This top 10 ranking solidifies the strength of the SVN brand, the reliability of our many online CRE tools and the talent of our hardworking Advisors.”




SVN is the only major commercial real estate brand that proactively markets all of its qualified properties to the entire brokerage and investment community. Participating in approximately $10.6 billion in sales and leasing transactions in 2016, SVN Advisors shared commission fees with co-operating brokers in order to close more deals in less time and at the right value for clients. Advisors also reap the benefits of our SVN Live® Weekly Property Broadcast, cloud-based leading-edge technology, and national product councils. This open, transparent and collaborative approach to real estate is the SVN Difference.

To learn more about SVN’s Core Services and Specialty Practice areas, visit svn.com/svn-specialty-practices.



Located outside of the US? Click here to find out how you can bring the SVN® brand to your country.

Click here to read the official press release.

Labor Shortage Not Likely to Effect Commercial Real Estate Values

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate has fallen to 4.3% as of May 2017. Most Quarryeconomists would describe this state of unemployment as near “full employment” as historical data analyses show that the country rarely dips below 4% and never for that long. Yet, this near historically low unemployment has occurred less from overly robust hiring, but instead from a lack of qualified workers able to fill open positions. In fact, the BLS reported in May a modest +138,000 jobs added to the economy, a good but not great number. Perhaps more importantly, the jobs report showed no single sector reporting significant losses, which indicates that all are hiring or holding steady. In addition, the only sector to have shown persistent losses over the last year, Mining (which includes energy production and exploration), has even reversed itself and is posting significant gains over the last few months. Therefore, the jobs report truly only supports the conclusion of an ever growing, albeit slowly, economy.



The challenge lies in the measured economic growth rate which was reported as 1.2% first quarter revised annualized GDP growth by the BEA. Normally, such low unemployment would be accompanied by much higher GDP growth, as in the +3% range, but the U.S. economy has struggled to get above 2% over the past several years. The answer to this problem may be that the low unemployment rate is a result of a low supply of qualified workers and not an excessive amount of job creation. The labor force participation rate, which is the percentage of those theoretically able to work and/or desiring to work, remains low at 62.7%. This measure peaked above 67% in the early 2000’s, and has fallen in-part due to the retiring baby boomers. But following the Great Recession it fell rapidly down, approximately 66%, to this 62-63% range where it still hovers today. Why people are not desiring to or actually working as they did ten years ago is the subject of study and speculation beyond today’s scope. What is becoming clearer with each monthly jobs report, is that it is holding back broader economic growth.



The impact this will have on commercial real estate investments in 2017 and beyond is difficult to predict, but some insights are clear. First, some economists are forecasting a mild recession 12 to 24 months from now, based largely on historic Colorful Shops and Restaurants in Downtown Austin Texas USAmacroeconomic cyclical activity. In the past, such low levels of unemployment were often followed by a mild recession within the same timeframe. However, recessions are typically triggered by excessive speculation, risk-taking, and usually hyper aggressive lending that pushes the economy too far. The data does not show any such excesses, especially in the use of leverage or aggressiveness of lenders. So, such predictions may not come true. Second, the labor shortage is being felt very strongly in the construction services and materials sectors. This means the cost to build new properties is rising faster than market rents and prices can justify. The net result is commercial real estate will probably hold its value just fine, and in fact, appreciate in areas where there is short supply. In conclusion, according to the data, we are probably closer to the middle of the cycle than the end.



Commercial Real Estate and the Economy Are Holding Steady in 2017


Now that all the 1Q17 real estate and economic data has been posted and analyzed, it appears as though 2017 year to date is holding steady. All four major sectors experienced positive rent growth in the first quarter according to Reis, Inc. as apartments were up 6.01.17_BLOG SRVCS CUBE-010.2%, office was up 0.4%, industrial was up 0.6%, and retail was up 0.4%. These growth rates are slower than similar first quarters in recent years, but they still represent growing market demand levels. According to data from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries Pricing, growth and appreciation slowed and the index was up 1.5% in 1Q17. CoStar, who’s equally-weighted national price index grew 4.8%. In regards to overall pricing performance smaller properties are dominating larger ones. The CoStar value-weighted index, which is dominated by larger properties, fell -2.8% over the same time period. This trend has been growing since the start of the year.


Many of those who are reviewing the slowing pricing data and overall rate of effective rent growth are asking “is this a top?”. The best is answer is to wait to draw any conclusions. New supply of nearly all property types remains well below rates and some are even close to having an oversupply. As a result, sustained declines in real estate pricing or net operating incomes are highly unlikely at this point. The employment market, which historically drives demand for commercial real estate, is as healthy as it has ever looked. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an official unemployment rate of 4.4% which matches pre-2008 recession lows. Further, the “underemployment rate” (known as U-6, which includes marginally attached workers and part-time workers seeking full-time employment) has fallen to 8.6%, which is also close to pre-recession lows. Optimism by business leaders has resulted in increased hiring which, according to the Conference Board, grew to the highest level since 2004 as measured by its CEO Confidence score which reached 68 in the first quarter. This score is up from 65 which was the score at the end of the year. (Any reading above 50 indicates optimism.) The survey results of CEOs reveal there is a continued desire to hire in 2017, but finding qualified workers may be a challenge.


"Businesspeople making deal, focus on hands"The first quarter, which objectively was slower than 2016 readings, may not be indicative of the rest of 2017 and beyond. Arguably, the election result and corresponding rise in stock prices and interest rates was not forecast in 2016. As a result, it is possible that investment activity and price growth of commercial real estate slowed in 1Q17 for no better reason than buyers paused to assess what would happen to the capital markets given the changing landscape. While the new administration has yet to offer clear policy guidance, the overall assessment of the economy is that it is still poised and positioned for growth as of May 2017. In fact, many economists who predicted first quarter GDP would be slow, (the first reading was 0.7% growth according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis), have also predicted a late surge that could bring annual GDP growth to 2.5% or higher. This is why stock prices, and especially REIT prices, have remained relatively steady for most of 2017. The overall market is still optimistic and there is no reason change that view for commercial real estate.

Why The Return of Uncertainty Could Be Good for Commercial Real Estate

As the new administration crosses its 100-day mark, there is great uncertainty about what types of policies, ranging from health care, immigration, tax, and regulatory reform, exist. In fact, the celebrated “Trump Trade” has more or less stalled as of today, but the gains remain locked in place for the most part. The business and investment world has collectively reached a “now what” posture. Overall, recent measures of consumer and CEO confidence continue to rise as consumer confidence rose to 125.6 in March, up from the prior reading of 116.1, and CEO confidence rose from its prior reading of 65 to 68. The bulk of the country remains steady with the rise of optimism detected post November 2016, despite the uproar presented by the nightly evening news

Unemployment Rate Near Historic Low

Recent economic data has added additional uncertainty into the discussion. The most recent monthly report shows that only 98,000 jobs were added, a decrease from the previously reported numbers which were well above 200 thousand each month. However, the headline unemployment rate also fell to a near historic low of 4.5%, indicating an overall tight labor market. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, also had its first negative reading of -0.3% in March after many successive reports of greater than 2% annualized inflation. The net result is less certainty that the Federal Reserve will raise rates in the near term or that aggressively over the next year. With long-term bond rates already down 20 to 30 basis points from recent highs, the potential for an “overheating” economy where inflation runs wild seems less likely as of today than it did three months ago.

3 Reasons Why Uncertainty Could Be Good News for CREmodern new apartment building on blue sky background

There are three main reasons why this level of political and economic uncertainty can be very good news for the commercial real estate sector.

  1. The market believes the uncertainty has a positive tilt. It’s more likely that we will unexpectedly receive good news rather than bad news (such as a surprise passage of a tax reform package that’s good for business).
  2. There appears to be a lower probability of rapid interest rate increases, and consequently cap rate increases. This should boost the confidence for real estate investors looking to make acquisitions today.
  3. The underlying fundamental demand for commercial real estate space, including apartments, continue to grow. Yardi reported the first increase in five months in average national multifamily rents with a gain of $6 per month to a rate of $1,312. As always, the likelihood of having a perfect world for commercial real estate is low given that interest rates are staying steady while rents and occupancies continue to rise. Right now this appears to be the condition for at least the near term.

Even though the future can be uncertain, real estate is set to outperform stocks and bonds in 2017. In the last month, REITs provided a total return of 6.03% while the S&P 500 index only returned 0.12%. In addition, REITs set a multi-year record for amount of capital raised in the first quarter of ’17. Historically, REIT performance serves as leading indicator of future returns to private real estate.



Confidence and Optimism in Today's Commercial Real Estate Industry

According to the most recent published reports by the Conference Board, CEO Confidence spiked a highly significant 15 points as of January and the Consumer Confidence Index sits at 114.8 as of February, making each measure sit at 6 year and 15 year highs respectively. Confidence at these levels, especially when true for both consumer and business segments, leads to increased levels of investment and spending, both critical for demand of real estate. To appreciate why confidence is so high, it is important to look at the underlying fundamentals of the macroeconomy in early 2017.


Job growth remains robust with multiple months of 200,000+ net new jobs, specifically 235,000 in February per the BLS, and a steady, low unemployment rate, presently 4.7%. This has led to continued wage growth and personal income growth, 0.4% in January alone. In addition, record high stock prices and growing home prices all add up to a (financially) happy household. Spending is up too with retail sales at a record high in the latest monthly reading and a 5.56% year over year growth rate as of January according to the Census Bureau. This has increased growth in manufactured goods order in the US, up 1.2% in January and up six out of the last seven months. In summary, the growing wave of positive news that began in the third quarter of 2016, appears to only have accelerated into the first quarter of 2017. Whether it’s due to raw macroeconomic fundamentals, or optimism following the election, the fact is, consumers are doing very well today.

The business sector still appears to be under investing, with only 0.04% growth in fixed investment in the 4Q2016 and there is a lot ground left to cover to get to full growth in the economy. If businesses invest more vigorously, as CEO confidence and stock market levels suggest could happen, GDP growth should easily exceed 2% and may even approach 3%. Despite all the recovery and improvement, the US economy only managed 1.6% growth in 2016. Regulatory rollback and reform is the one area of the new administration’s agenda most likely to advance in 2017, although not without controversy. These are the aspects President Trump can influence without needing Congressional approval, in many instances, and is more likely the most tangible, real, and immediate area that is causing the rise in business sector optimism. Even if there are small changes, the threat of sudden negative changes or complex new regulations is substantially reduced, such as the sudden change to the Department of Labor’s overtime compensation rules in 2016.


A wide range of commercial real estate organizations have also begun intense lobbying on regulatory reforms due to the relaxed lending restrictions stemming from Dodd-Frank to energy use reporting provisions enacted by HUD in FHA multifamily lending. If these efforts are even somewhat successful, commercial property investors will have good reason to be optimistic. So far, commercial real estate has not yet felt the full impact of the Trump administration, rising stock prices and, even to some degree, long term interest rates. All evidence suggests that the commercial real estate industry is equally, if not more, optimistic than the general business community. CoStar, who issues monthly pricing indices for commercial real estate, reported that its value weighted index fell 0.9% in January, up 5.5% year over year, while its equally weighted index rose 1.4% that same month, up 7.5% year over year. The difference is due to the equally weighted index being more representative of secondary/tertiary markets and deals of smaller size. This trend of smaller deals and secondary markets outperforming core assets and primary markets looks highly likely to continue for 2017, especially if the confidence and optimism holds.


Commercial Real Estate Markets Expanding in 2017

Commercial real estate markets have been generally growing in terms of pricing, rental rates, and occupancies since approximately 2011 and many market participants are beginning to openly wonder where the market is in the “cycle”.

Since the topic of market cycles can be somewhat misunderstood, we want to offer some clarification before presenting our assessment. Some investors believe that markets experience cycles based on some uniform period of time; such as every “X” years. In reality, markets, such as those for commercial real estate, move from peaks to valleys based on changes in supply and demand and any observation of timing is purely coincidental. An asset will see a “peak” and then decline when supply exceeds demand and this is when investors should look at changes in fundamentals to determine the relative risks and rewards of their investment due to cyclical forces.

CRE Markets Remain Healthy in Early 2017

With data available through the end of 2016, it is easy to see that most commercial real estate asset types are in the middle of the expansion phase of the real estate cycle. These are periods of long term growth in rents and declines in vacancy. According to REIS, all four major real estate classes experienced rent growth in 2016; 3.6% for apartment, 2.0% for retail, 2.4% for office and 2.2% for industrial. Office and industrial markets are experiencing the most absorption and improvements in occupancies and thus appear “earliest” in the expansion phase with year-end vacancy rates of 15.8% and 10% respectively. Retail vacancy rates remained flat at 9.9%, which given the number of “big box” closures, is actually impressive and masks the reality that many retail properties are actually experiencing rental rate growth and near full occupancies. The apartment sector, which began 2016 as the most watched sector given its 1.8% increase in supply, ended at 4.2% vacancy which is unchanged from 2015. Early 2017 data from Yardi Matrix shows modest rent growth has resumed which when considered with the rate of job creation, actually suggests that the apartment sector is not anywhere near as oversupplied as some have feared. However, relatively speaking, it is certainly the “latest” in the expansion phase. Overall, in early 2017 the fundamentals of commercial real estate markets still appear to be relatively healthy. In addition, given the current growth and optimism in the economy, they have room left to run in most situations.

2016 Transaction Volume is 3rd for Highest Recorded CRE Sales Activity

Prices of commercial real estate are a result of interactions between space markets (supply and demand) and the capital markets (competition for investment dollars). According to Moody’s and Real Capital Analytics, commercial real estate prices grew 9% in 2016 for another record breaking year. However, transaction volume was down 11% in 2016, but the year still ranks third after 2015 and 2007 for highest recorded commercial real estate sales activity. Overall, increases in interest rates and the 2016 decline in sales volume suggest the capital markets may put less pressure on price growth in 2017 than in recent years. The question of what cap rates will do given recent rate rises remains open but early evidence suggests that spreads are compressing and cap rates have shown minimal increases, however, this is still “too early” to call.

As of mid-February 2017, the commercial real estate markets appear to remain in expansion mode and 2016 was by all measures, a great year. If growth sustains, as the stock market is suggesting with its setting of new record highs every so often, fundamentals of commercial real estate should keep on moving upward as well. Census Bureau data showed that 2016 was a year for growth in construction spending; up 7.8% for nonresidential (commercial) and up 4.5% for residential (includes apartments). Therefore, there is more new supply coming but all the data suggests there is more than sufficient demand to keep the market in balance and growing.


CRE is at a Crossroads by Diane K. Danielson, COO, SVN International Corp.

The commercial real estate industry enters 2017 at a crossroads. Baby boomer retirement will continue and may even accelerate due to economic headwinds, potential slowdowns in infrastructure projects, and the continued influx of new technologies and CRE challenges. As a result, our industry is facing a brain drain at the same time competing industries are embroiled in a war for talent. Yet, with every challenge comes opportunity.

In 2017, the CRE industry can rise to the challenge by becoming more proactive and inclusive of untraditional CRE professionals. Whether they are millennials, women or minorities, these professionals can bring with them a variety of background experiences, new and different job skills, expanded networks of influence, and a diverse array of leadership styles. Why is this important in 2017?

1. Major infrastructure improvements take long-term planning and patience.

As a nation, we need to focus on our infrastructure; but large-scale infrastructure projects take years to plan and complete. That process can last longer than any single economic cycle or government administration, and we need CRE professionals prepared to plan for them and see them through to completion.

Aerial view of fifth avenue2. Urbanization is happening across the country.

Our cities are experiencing unprecedented population growth. To handle this increase we are seeing a rise in place making, mixed-use, and urban infill developments that promote walkability and a live-work-play dynamic. The challenge is to resolve longstanding affordable housing and transportation issues. While we are also seeing a spillover urbanization effect in key suburbs, it’s this new group of urban professionals who are influencing the demographics and ultimately the design of our cities.

3. Smart buildings are evolving into smart cities.

This is the opportunity evolving out of the first two trends. Smart cities use digital technology to improve and sustain community life. Generally, smart city projects are very large, long-term investments that can help drive social change in an urban environment. This happens through the combination and the communication of data across the Internet of Things to improve efficiencies across power grids, transportation, and health and safety. The development and adaptation of buildings to support smart cities is going to be a key component of the CRE industry for years to come.

4. Climate change is already affecting CRE.

There is not a coastal municipality or Fortune 500 company that does not have a division focused on sustainability and the effects of climate change. This is especially a concern in cities like Boston where global headquarters are relocating into urban areas already marked as flood zones. Smart cities will need to incorporate innovative infrastructure design and the means to mitigate the effects of climate change. Existing buildings will have to be adapted not only to smart technology but to sustainability.

The combination of these four trends indicates the evolution of commercial real estate as an industry. CRE professionals today and in the future will draw upon a mix of STEM and social skills in order to best serve our clients and our communities. Our industry has a unique ability to impact the growth and development of our environments. As CRE professionals, we are the de facto stewards of our communities. As they change, we must change along with them.

Diane Danielson’s latest article, CRE is at a Crossroads, is featured in the special “2017 Outlook” section of the January 2017 digital edition of National Real Estate Investor®(NREI).

Commercial Real Estate Investors: How to Adjust to Rising Rates

Mortgage Rates Rise as Lenders React to Market Pressures

In response to a growing economy and inflation pressures, the bond markets, and now the Federal Reserve, appear positioned to support higher short term and long term interest rates. In a move that had been long anticipated, the Fed moved the target for the Fed Rates up 25 basis points from 0.5% to 0.75 % in December. It is expected that the Fed Rates could move two to three times more in 2017 depending on the rate of growth experienced this year. Prior to the Fed decision, long term bond rates moved in reaction to the election, with the 10-Year Treasury going form a three-month low of 1.74% to a three-month high of 2.60% in less than a month. Bond rates have since settled back below 2.40% as of January 17, 2017. This move represented a lot of pent up desire to sell bonds and buy stocks. Early indications are that mortgage rates, both residential and commercial, have moved in similar fashion as lenders quickly react to market pressures. This dynamic is likely to continue for much of 2017. If you invest in commercial real estate, here is how to adjust.

Future Growth in Economy, Jobs Could Increase Demand for Commercial Real Estate

First, realize that these moves in interest rates are related to the anticipation of good news, specifically, about the macro economy and to some extent stock prices. GDP has been reported to have grown at 3.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2016 before any potential “Trump” Man using a modern interfaceeffect could be measured. Job growth has mostly sustained at robust, consistent levels as unemployment sits at near full employment at 4.7%. Of course, the biggest impact has been stock equity prices. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average have risen approximately 10% since the election as a result of anticipated future growth. This future growth in the economy and jobs, if it materializes, will also mean increased demand for all types of commercial real estate, resulting in a possible rise of rental rates and occupancies.

Second, interest rates, assuming they continue to rise, are still far below long term averages. For historical reference, the yield on the 10-Year Treasury averaged 3.58% from 2001 through 2015, and they were much higher in the fifteen years prior. Through this same period of time leveraged private real estate averaged an annual total return of 13.71%, according to the Lakemont Group (analyzing NCREIF return data), beating the average annual return on REITs, 13.19%. Therefore, real estate has and can continue to perform well in higher rate environments.

Finally, rising rate environments require different management strategies than flat or falling rate environments. As inflation is the natural companion of rising interest rates, the ability to push rents upward over time should, in theory, be easier. Flat long term leases are not as advantageous, and will not create as much value on a relative basis. In general, the more realistic upside potential a property’s rent roll presents, the more it could be worth. On the other hand, expenses are likely to rise at a faster rate. Therefore, lease structures that pass expenses, or at least their annual growth, on to the tenant will result in better cash flow and higher valuations. There is also the issue of borrowing in a rising rate environment. For long term holds the answer seems simple – fix long term rates. In reality, it’s much more complex, as accepting a variable rate will result in the greatest present day savings, but with more long term risk. The spread between variable and fixed rates historically gets much wider when lenders expect rates to rise in the near and long term future. As counterintuitive as it sounds, it may actually be more prudent to borrow at variable rates today than before. As long as the property can grow rents and the tenants can absorb increases in expenses, cash flows may be higher, even for the long term.

Top 3 Reasons to Invest in the CRE Retail Sector in 2017

The retail real estate market, having long been the most segmented and divided sector of commercial real estate, was the most uniquely impacted in the last downturn and recovery. Grocery anchored neighborhood centers and free standing national credit retail properties have performed exceedingly well while regional malls, power centers, and non-anchored neighborhood strip centers have lagged in terms of price and rents. The slow economic recovery and ever growing share of e-commerce has made investment in retail real estate less desirable to sectors like multifamily and office. However, with this trend most likely changing in the next few years, retail may be one of the best investment opportunities for 2017. Here are three reasons this could be the case.


A beautiful new upscale shopping center with no tenants. Hang your own sign!

First, the economy may have now turned the corner and reentered a faster growth phase. GDP was last estimated to be growing at an annualized rate of 3.2% and unemployment has fallen to 4.6%. Retail sales continues to set new all-time records almost every month with annualized growth rates routinely near 3% according to the Census Bureau. As more people work due to the growing economy, they will have more money to spend. In fact, measures of consumer confidence, median household income, and total personal income have all shown strong growth and improvement in the last several months causing some to forecast yet another record breaking year for holiday sales. Regardless of online shopping, people are spending more at all types of retail establishments. Given that there has been a relatively low rate of new retail construction, it is almost unavoidable for retail rents and occupancies to rise resulting in the rising profitability of retail real estate investors. This rate of rent and occupancy growth may be the fastest of all property sectors in 2017 (at least for some markets).


Second, the retail landscape appears better equipped to compete in the new “digital” sales marketplace. Traditional retail tenants are now embracing an “omnichannel” approach, meaning dual focus on in-store and online sales, and recent research by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) indicates it is starting to show success. According to ICSC, 80% of Black Friday/Thanksgiving weekend shoppers made purchases at physical stores and 28% of those who purchased goods online opted to pick up the orders at a physical store (i.e. “site-to-store”) where 64% of those shopper made additional in-store purchases. Thus, the view that a store can be “online only” appears to be diminishing. In fact, even online giant Amazon is now actively seeking to open physical stores to facilitate order pick-up and enhance impulse purchases. In short, the storefront is not “dead”, just redesigned. Additionally, some categories such as home improvement, furniture, and restaurants cannot be easily moved online. All of these sectors are showing growth in sales and even store openings.


Office building with flowers and trees.

Third, many retail properties are located on great pieces of real estate in premier locations. There remain potential shortages for all types of commercial real estate including office, self-storage, heath care, and even apartments in many markets and sub-markets across the country. Retail sites are potentially the best redevelopment and repurposing sites in many in-fill markets. Retail can be converted to office/health care uses with very little costs; even self-storage is feasible for large vacant anchor spaces. Meanwhile, getting new sites approved for development is taking longer and costing more in many, if not most markets and, as municipalities seek to “beautify” older properties the redevelopment of existing buildings is getting relatively easier. Therefore, many retail sites, which are typically relatively low intensity uses, are actually easier to build on than raw, un-entitled land.


With an in-depth understanding of the local market, an investor can purchase a substantial income stream today with a potentially great exit strategy in the future. The key is creative vision and a good understanding of the micro forces in the sub-market (think location, location, location).

Growth Expectations Return for 2017

BEA reports 3Q2016 GDP growth is highest in 2 years.

From the shadows cast by the Presidential Election earlier this month, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released a big “surprise” during the end of October. However, coverage of this news was relegated to the back page due to the election. That news was reporting that the first estimate of third quarter GDP growth came in at an annualized rate of 2.9%, the highest reading in two years (full report). Following the election, stock markets rallied to set new all-time highs and interest rates spiked considerably, with the 10-year treasury moving from 1.82% to 2.32%, a 27% increase. While much of the election’s impact on markets has since been discussed, the underlying status of potential growth (irrespective of the outcome of the election) is probably the bigger story.

While first estimates by the BEA are notoriously prone to error and likely to be revised, quarterly financial results of many publicly traded companies seem to be equally aligned as are recent readings of consumer health and sentiment. So for the time being, the market expects the US economy to grow at a more robust pace than the “slow” sub 2% expectations held just a month ago. For commercial real estate investors this is not new news. Rents and occupancies have been growing for years, but the reality of operating in a rising interest rate environment is a new phenomenon. Assuming the present situation holds, it is rational to expect treasury rates and bank lending rates to drift upwards, occasionally in big steps for much of 2017. This should not cause any great calamity, but upward movements in cap rates should be expected in some markets and asset classes. Losses from cap rate reversion will be offset, at least partially, by continued growth in net operating incomes. However, this is more of a long term effect.

Recent third quarter results from multiple real estate data providers, including REIS, CoStar, and NCREIF, were all positive with some slowing in the rate of appreciation and rental rate growth. If these growth expectations hold, it is quite possible for 2017, and even possibly in 4th fourth quarter 2016, to show that we will experience much faster growth. There is some evidence that the election and its uncertainty was holding back economic growth in 2016 more than previously thought. With this uncertainty gone, and with initial first impressions that a Trump presidency will be pro-growth, it is possible that pent up demand may be released. Still, the transition will not be complete until January, and even then it will take time to see what policy changes and enactments will actually transpire. Thus, cautious optimism is all that can be warranted today. Currently, the stock markets are firmly in this mindset, with growth expectations overpowering fear.

The specific impact by the Trump administration on commercial real estate remains to be seen. Infrastructure spending, tax cuts, and regulatory roll backs all portend signify positive results. Of course, an unpredicted increase in inflation and higher interest rates could mollify these impacts if too unbalanced. Although rents have paced ahead of overall inflation for the past several years, by nature, this trend should reverse itself over time. So celebrate the New Year as most expectations looks positive for the near future following the election, but be wary of too much of a good thing.


SVN International Corp. Announces Recent Hires

The new sales and marketing positions will support the commercial real estate franchisor’s domestic and global expansion goals.


Boston, MA—SVN International Corp. recently announced the addition of three key positions to its corporate team. Donna VanSchagen, Director of Marketing; Chris Winslow, Managing Director and Sarah Vincent, Events Marketing Manager will support SVN’s ongoing domestic and international expansion goals.

Donna VanSchagen, Director of Marketing


With over 20 years of experience in marketing, communication and real estate Donna VanSchagen’s track record includes positions with Success! Real Estate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and Century 21 Access Properties. In this role Donna is responsible for the development, direction and distribution of all SVN marketing and communications efforts. This includes the management of SVN’s innovative CRE marketing technology programs, social media, corporate brand identity, advertising, corporate website and public relations. Her combination of traditional marketing and digital media expertise has placed her at the forefront of an ever changing branding and marketing landscape. Donna is a graduate of the College of Communications from Boston University.


Chris Winslow, Managing Director



Chris Winslow will hold the position of managing director, expanding the brand into major international markets through targeted sales and business development outreach efforts. He has a vast experience in the industry, and prior to joining SVN, Winslow has worked on all sides of the franchising equation; franchisor, franchisee, Master Licensee and vendor and has served as a Regional Manager, Director, Vice President, Managing Director and President working with varied franchise concepts.  He has been responsible for directing and managing the sales and business development efforts for companies such as UPS, FedEx, JC Penney, EBay, Xerox, American Express and Microsoft on 5 continents in over 60 countries.

Sarah Vincent, Event Marketing Manager


Sarah Vincent will be responsible for the management and coordination of SVN’s brand events, including annual conferences, webinars and sponsorships. Prior to joining the company, she held various marketing support roles for financial and real estate companies and non-profit organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business, management, marketing and related support services from Skidmore College.



These recent hires reinforce SVN’s continued message of growth and expansion. With 29 years in operation, SVN celebrated record growth in 2015 by adding 25 offices nationally and internationally. SVN now has over 1,500 Advisors and staff in over 200 offices around the world. SVN is also the only major commercial real estate brand that markets all of its qualified properties to the entire brokerage and investment community. Participating in approximately $10.1 billion in sales and leasing transactions in 2015, SVN Advisors shared commission fees with co-operating brokers in order to close more deals in less time and at the right value for clients. Advisors also reap the benefits of our SVN LiveSM Weekly Property Broadcast, cloud-based leading-edge technology, and national product councils. This open, transparent and collaborative approach to real estate is the SVN Difference.

The SVN Gen Y CRE Report on Attracting Millennial Talent

The Survey Results Are In – Millennial CRE Is Our Future

In the Fall of 2015, Sperry Van Ness International Corp. (SVNIC) surveyed over 325 Millennials (born between 1980 and 1995) in the United States, Canada and South America about careers, specifically asking about commission-based jobs and what they are looking for in future employers. With the oldest members of Generation Y moving into the upper echelons of their respective fields, a discussion about Millennial real estate careers is as timely as ever.

Why You Should Care About Millennials in CRE

The commercial real estate (CRE) industry has been around since small-time businesses first opened their doors; and it will continue to be around as long as there is commerce. Yet, the industry, which was hit hard during the last recession, has an aging employee base. For a full five-year period (2008-2013), commercial real estate was not a lucrative career option for many licensed brokers, and especially not attractive to younger professionals. This means that the CRE industry needs to work harder to attract and cultivate the top talent of tomorrow, or risk an industry brain drain.

The Millennial Commercial Real Estate Career Study conducted by SVNIC (“The SVN® Study”) attempts to answer how an industry led by a majority of white males, many of whom began their careers before the Internet was open to commerce, can attract diverse young men and women. In commercial real estate offices run by Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation, the Millennials (also known as Generation Y) are often operating under a completely different paradigm. It’s not just about the technology, but how their access to the world through that technology has changed expectations of what is desirable in a work environment. Millennials are still as ambitious as any generation that came before, but to capture the attention of the best and the brightest, commercial real estate companies need to make a few changes.

Interested? There’s More…

SVNIC COO Diane Danielson summarized the survey findings in this brand new report. Download the entire Millennial CRE Report E-book here.

[bctt tweet=”The CRE industry needs to work harder to attract top talent or risk an industry brain drain.”]

How to Dress for Success in 2016 with Solomon Poretsky

The Unspoken Dress Code in Commercial Real Estate

There’s something I need to get out of the way up front. This article was not sponsored by the Dry Cleaners Association of America. But they’re going to love it.

As I’ve toured offices, here are some of the things I’ve seen:

  • Athletic shoes
  • Men without socks
  • Wrinkled polo shirts
  • Ripped denims

I haven’t seen these things in smaller markets where standards of dress might be relaxed. I saw them in markets where people dress for business.

And every time I’ve seen it, I’ve asked myself a silent question: How would that Advisor do if a conservative 60-year old client wanted him or her to come over right now? And I know the answer… Most of the time, they wouldn’t get the business.

Clothes Make the Advisor

Millennials Dress for Success
Not all Millennials shun traditional business attire. Pictured: Julia Taibl and Michael Malinconico of SVNIC.

You might say that Generation Y is changing the rules and making informality the norm. I’ll see you, and I’ll raise you Frank and Oak’s banner ads with a fully-bearded – and fully suited – Gen Y model. Add in all of the new Internet custom clothiers – who are clearly targeting Millennial customers – and you can see that business wear is ageless.

With perfectly adequate business wear available at Target and Costco and multiple discounts available at Macy’s and other retailers, it’s hard to argue that dressing for success isn’t affordable, either.

While this might all still seem a bit stodgy and old-fashioned, let’s think about what dressing for business every day means. It means that you are always ready for whatever comes. If a jacket is too much, you can take it off before a meeting. Same with a tie, scarf or other accessory. Long sleeves can even be rolled up on a hot day. It’s always easy to dress down. But it’s a lot harder to dress up on the fly.

It’s Smart to Dress for Success

And, here’s the really interesting thing…. Dressing smartly makes you smarter. Research now shows that formal business attire improves critical thinking skills (as does wearing a “doctor’s” coat).

Personally, I know that I feel crisper and sharper when I have a tie on. I’m able to work longer days. And focus harder.

To that end, if you’ve embraced a week-long “casual Friday,” I encourage you to think about starting off 2016 with a new, more professional look. You’ll look better, feel better and, most importantly, broker better. And your clients will thank you for it.

Happy new year, and I can’t wait to see you in San Diego for the SVN Annual Conference! Be sure to register now if you haven’t already. You know what I’ll be wearing…

5 Tips to Perfect the Fast Pitch by Diane Danielson

Tips for Pitching the #SVNDifference

Last month I had an opportunity to speak at #DisruptCRE, which featured a number of commercial real estate technology companies seeking to “disrupt” the industry. One of the sessions included a fast-pitch session so that companies like Sperry Van Ness International Corporation as well as venture capitalists seeking to invest could learn about a company in 45 seconds or less.

Now, 45 seconds sounds like a very short time, but it’s still enough to convey a wealth of information. Out of the 20 presentations we saw, a couple of them stood out, not necessarily because their apps and technology were relevant to SVN, in fact most of them were not, but they had perfected their fast-pitch presentations.*

As Commercial Real Estate Advisors, we aren’t pitching new business tools to clients, but we are pitching our services and systems and often within short timeframes. In any presentation, we have only the first few seconds to make a good impression and explain the #SVNDifference. In fact, we want to see how our own Advisors do their version of a fast pitch in our #SVNDifference video contest (Click here for details; entries due by November 24, 2015).

[bctt tweet=”45 seconds sounds like a very short time, but it’s still enough to convey a wealth of information through your pitch #CRE”]

Here are a few helpful hints for delivering your pitch to clients in 45 seconds or less:

  1. Analogies work. If you are trying to introduce something new and different, then you need to give people a baseline. This is why Hollywood pitches always start out as it’s “Jaws meets Twister” or “Harry meets Sally online.”

SVN Advisor Tip: Be able to describe how you can organize greater demand for a property in words and/or analogies that your clients will understand.

  1. Tell stories. If you want people to remember you, your service, or your product, tell a story about it. Here are six rules for great storytelling. And, yes, a good presenter can tell an entire story within 45 seconds.

SVN Advisor Tip: Is there a story that demonstrates how your firm has used our Open Sales Call to create greater demand and/or to sell a property faster?

  1. Differentiate from the competition. Use your stories to illustrate how your service differs from the competition.

SVN Advisor Tip: This is why you need to perfect your #SVNDifference pitch!

  1. Be able to pitch without PowerPoint or props. In 45 seconds, your verbal description needs to stand on its own, no matter the product or service.

SVN Advisor Tip: Listen to the pitches on the Open Sales Call. Make notes on which ones are the most effective.

  1. Align with their values. What does your client value? Are they tied to the local community? What is their company culture or priorities?

SVN Advisor Tip: At SVN we value collaboration, local expertise, and transparent fees to drive demand. Identify clients who do the same, and the easier it will be to make your pitch.

One final reason to really nail the fast pitch is that even if the person making the decision is excited for your service, implementation is another story. For your client to make a change, they often have to convince a lot of other people to go along with them, some of who may be reluctant. You need to help them duplicate your fast pitch internally and that’s where the tips above can help.

Looking forward to seeing some versions of our Advisors’ 45-second pitches in our #SVNDifference Video Contest!

*Just in case you were wondering, there was not a bad pitch in the whole set at DisruptCRE, but the top 45-second pitches of the day were by Raisal, Building Conversation, and CrowdComfort. Great job to those companies and all the others who presented last week.

Getting Your Real Estate License Is Easier than You Think

Step 1: Get Your Real Estate License

So you think you have what it takes to be a CRE Brokerage Superstar. You’re tenacious, you’re a self-starter, you’re self-motivated, and you know how to make connections with the right people. That’s great! But first things first — you need to get your real estate salesperson license before you can start selling properties.

The first thing you need to do it look up your state’s real estate salesperson licensing requirements. Regulations vary state by state. Texas requires 180 hours of classroom training, but we have it pretty easy here in Massachusetts. The state requires only 40 hours of pre-licensing instruction through a state-approved real estate school before you are allowed to sit for the exam. This means that you can become a Massachusetts-certified real estate agent in as little as 4 days, depending on the program.

Every real estate school is different, so you need to do your research to find the right program for you. Many real estate schools offer 4-day “crash courses” as well as night and weekend classes for added flexibility. Certain programs can set you back as little as $250 — an affordable career investment for most.

Although a college degree is not necessary for pursuing a real estate license, the classes are considered college-level. The textbook-style coursework typically includes reading passages, workbook questions and problems, practice tests, quizzes, and the final exam. Course topics cover concepts such as property valuation, contracts, property conditions and disclosures, risk management, real estate laws, and financing.

Following the class final exam, you must take the official state licensing exam. In Massachusetts, test takers must pass the 4-hour exam with a scaled score of at least 70 out of 100. The general portion of the exam is made up of 80 multiple choice questions, about 10% of which involve mathematical computations. The exam’s two sections cover national and state-specific real estate concepts.

The process for getting your broker’s license is fairly similar to getting your salesperson’s license. You have to be affiliated with a broker for 3 years before completing the 40 hours of broker pre-license training in Massachusetts.

It doesn’t take much to get your real estate license. As long as you’re at least 18, you could become a licensed real estate salesperson in a matter of days.

If you’re ready to launch your commercial real estate career, visit our Careers page here.

[bctt tweet=”It doesn’t take much to get your real estate license. As long as you’re at least 18, you could become a licensed real estate salesperson in a matter of days.”]

Game-Changing Trends in Design and Collaboration

Each year, at our Sperry Van Ness® (SVN) National Conference, I talk to our commercial real estate advisors and business owners about game-changing trends. Game-changers occur when people are doing things (working, playing, living) differently than they used to just a few years ago. This year, we have four categories: Communication, Design, Collaboration and Distribution.

Trends in Design and Collaboration

The following video features the second portion of my 2015 talk on trends. Watch the video and read the takeaways below.

Main Takeaways in Design Trends:

1. Mobile first, mobile only. Tech engineers are no longer adapting desktop software for tablets and smartphones. Instead they are designing straight to mobile.

2. Different devices require different design elements. Desktop software can accommodate a longer attention span than something designed for a tablet, phone or watch.

3. Cybersecurity will be a key element and consideration of every new design.

4. The mass adoption of mobile technology has opened the door for innovators to bypass existing infrastructure. Uber, Airbnb, Bitcoin and Apple Pay are examples of innovative businesses that circumvented traditional infrastructure.

Mobile technology has massively altered design. Engineers are designing for shorter and shorter attention spans and developing systems that don’t rely on existing infrastructure. In underdeveloped countries, the combination of mobile adoption and lack of existing infrastructure, i.e. phone lines and banking systems, has sped up mass adoption of new business models. In developed countries, however, we are seeing slower adoption of alternative currencies (Bitcoin, Apple Pay) and lawsuits levied against new business models (Uber, Airbnb). The key for new technology to achieve mass adoption and acceptance is: access, affordability and accountability. As discussed in the video, the aforementioned Bitcoin, Apple Pay, Uber, and Airbnb are caught in the accountability stage for now.

The expansion of technology also comes with new risks. As we move towards the Internet of Things where our watches communicate with our thermostats (see Nest) as well as our banks, security will continue to become a bigger and bigger issue. New technologies will therefore be required to incorporate security protocols into all design elements.

Main Takeaways in Collaboration Trends:

1. One form of collaboration is crowdsourcing. In the commercial real estate industry we are seeing the crowdsourcing of investment funds (Fundrise, Realty Mogul) and in the case of Comstak, the crowdsourcing of lease data.

2. At SVN, we have been leaders in collaboration and here are two examples:

a. Crowdsourcing of knowledge. Our service and product councils bring together experts around specific asset classes and services, who partner on transactions and share knowledge both online, on calls and in person at our national conferences.

b. Crowdsourcing of demand. The SVN National Sales Call, where our advisors feature new properties they are marketing, is revolutionary in allowing participation by outside brokers, clients and potential clients. This is due to our founding principle that no one advisor, local firm or national company knows all the potential buyers for a property. Only when you drive up demand by exposure to the entire marketplace does a client achieve the best value for their property.

At Sperry Van Ness International Corporation, we are watching these trends to see how they affect the commercial real estate industry. Our goal is to capitalize on these trends so that our advisors are using the most powerful tools to the benefit of their clients.

To view the full speech please visit our YouTube page.

#CRE Trends and Market Update 2015 | Multifamily

Multifamily Market Outlook

Apartments’ Exceptional Resilience

2015 Multifamily Market Update: Markets to WatchFlouting expectations that new supply would slow the pace of rent gains, the apartment sector over the last year has shown exceptional staying power. Strong rental demand, particularly amongst Millennials, has allowed most markets to absorb new supply without significant disruption to growth in property income. As of the first quarter of 2015, national rent growth and occupancy rates were near their cyclical highs. The former has actually accelerated, with year-over-year increases in asking rents hitting 3.8% in 2014 and 4% on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis in the first quarter.

The view that the apartment sector is benefiting from a fundamental change in how young Americans think about homeownership has factored into investors’ readiness to bid aggressively on core and non-core properties. Prices have surpassed their historic highs, lifted by apartments’ favorable risk profile and an abundance of low-cost debt and equity. Across all markets, the national average cap rate declined to 5.5% in 2014. Debt yields have also fallen to approximately 8% as borrowers assume more debt. Life companies, banks, conduit lenders, and specialty lenders are all competing on price and structure with the venerable agencies—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—that account for the largest share of all multifamily financing.

Investors are rightfully enthusiastic about the long-term return profile of the apartment sector but they should also be cautious in evaluating the current investment climate. Over the next year, some of the underlying conditions that have defined post-recession apartment investing are set to change. At least on the margins, older Millennials will revisit opportunities for homeownership as housing markets stabilize further. In particular for those that start families, the appeal of the suburbs will grow: in the hierarchy of amenities, new parents may find that a good elementary school will suddenly matter as much as anything on offer in the urban core.

2015 Multifamily Market Update: Multifamily Unit ConstructionApart from the demographic of cyclical factors that may influence household preferences for renting or owning, there are other risks to the apartment sector that must be considered carefully. Most obvious is the challenge of new supply. While the national numbers (and recent history) point to a level of new inventory that may be absorbed in stride, some markets will inevitably overbuild. In some markets, rent slow-downs have been concentrated in downtowns, reflecting the concentration of new development in a tight geographic area. Where the outlook for income growth is more measured, properties may also exhibit greater sensitivity to eventual changes in the interest rate environment.

Multifamily Market Statistics in 2015

Construction activity in the apartment sector continued to climb throughout 2014. Measured in terms of dollar spending, multifamily development activity reached $43.5 billion last year, up from $32.2 billion in 2013, and a low of just $14.7 billion in 2010. Though the year-over-year pace of increases in spending have slowed, there is still exceptional momentum in new development. Recent completions offer an incomplete gauge of the market’s capacity to absorb new space. As of the first quarter of 2015, units currently under construction are approaching their highest levels in thirty years, since the mid-1980s. The largest development pipelines are in the Texas market, including Austin, Dallas, and Houston, and in New York and Washington, DC. Relative to market size, however, Denver and Seattle will have to absorb their fare share as well.

2015 Multifamily Market Update: Natl Apt Construction Spending2015 Multifamily Market Update: Apt Construction Spending Change

After slowing to a still-impressive pace of 3.5% in 2013, asking rent growth jumped to 3.8% in 2014 and has kept to a  strong seasonally adjusted pace in the first quarter of 2015. Market observers had expected that new supply would push both occupancy rates and rent growth slightly lower, but those projections have not proved out. With most markets running at occupancy rates above their long-term averages, concessions have virtually disappeared, with the result that effective and asking rents are not significantly different. The leading markets for rent growth in the first quarter included in Denver, New York, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. Notably absent from the top of the league tables, rent growth is now lagging in Boston and Washington, DC, one of the few gateway or primary markets to see fundamentals falter on the wave of new supply.

2015 Multifamily Market Update: Apt Asking Rents2015 Multifamily Market Update: Apt Asking Rents Change

Measured across the breadth of small suburban garden apartments at one extreme and the largest urban high-rise properties at the other, multifamily cap rates declined to a national average of 5.5% in 2014. Cap rates fell another 10 basis points to 5.4% in the first quarter of 2015, within range of their all-time lows. Cap rates in the most contested markets, including New York and San Francisco, are now typically in the range of 4% to 5%.

Investors have expressed concerns about a possible bubble in the apartment market, but that has not dissuaded buyers from pushing transaction volume to new highs. In spite of wider-than-average spreads, investors are girding for an increase in interest rates that will exert drags on value. The stronger the prospects for income growth, the more resilient properties should be in the face of higher costs of capital.

2015 Multifamily Market Update: Apt Cap Rates2015 Multifamily Market Update: Apt Cap Rate Spread

Market Cap Rates

Value-weighted national average apartment cap rates fell to 5.5% in 2014, marginally lower than a year before. Market average cap rates ranged from below 5% in selected gateways and primary markets to above 6% in secondary markets and markets where transaction activity was dominated by suburban garden apartment properties. The lowest cap rates were recorded in New York City, principally in Manhattan and the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts, where investment demand from domestic and cross-border buyers has pushed asset prices to record-highs. Detroit was the only major market to register an average cap rate above 7% in 2014.

It’s a different world out there.

It requires a different kind of commercial real estate firm working on your behalf in order to be successful. The Lipsey Company has ranked the Sperry Van Ness® organization as one of the most recognized commercial real estate brands in the US for a reason — we know how to deliver a certainty of execution for our clients. Sperry Van Ness International Corporation is one of the largest commercial real estate franchisors, with more than 190 locations in 500+ markets.

To download the full 2015 Multifamily Market Outlook report, click here.




#CRE Trends and Market Update 2015 | Industrial

Industrial Market Outlook

Industrial Sector’s Time to Shine

The prominence of industrial properties as targets for investment is on the rise. A laggard in the early stages of the commercial real estate recovery, investors now rank the industrial sector ahead of all other property types for its investment and development prospects.¹ Lenders are seeing eye-to-eye with their borrowers, anticipating that industrial property mortgage volume will grow more consistently than other property types over the next year.²

2015 Industrial Markets to WatchThe drivers of the industrial sector’s headline performance numbers are varied. Breaking a pattern of decline that began in the 1980s, increasing manufacturing activity and employment since the end of the recession have supported the absorption of a wide range of heavy and light manufacturing spaces. That trend coincides with continued growth in shipping volumes, both on a large scale at the nation’s deep-water ports and along the “last mile” where fulfillment centers are allowing online retailers to shorten delivery times in major metropolitan areas.

Across all industrial subtypes, the national vacancy rate fell below 8% in the first quarter of 2015, its lowest level since before the recession, according to Chandan Economics’ tracking of mortgage-financed properties. The pace of asking rent growth has improved in kind, rising to 2.8% in 2014 from 2.0% a year before. Rent growth is projected to surpass 3.0% in 2015 with significantly stronger results in the tightest segments of the market, including fulfillment centers and the most active ports. The situation is different for functionally obsolete warehouses and assets further afield from distribution channels. In those cases, industrial properties will see further declines in performance as leases roll, diluting cash flow.

Even in the strongest segments of the industrial sector, investors should watch supply trends in their markets closely. With the support of banks and other lenders, development activity is picking up across the full range of single-tenant build-to-suit properties, partially pre-leased multi-tenant properties, and even speculative development. Construction is concentrated in Southern California, the Mid-Atlantic, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, and Atlanta. In spite of strong demand-side drivers for space, investors in these markets may find that an observable surge in speculative development risks undercutting the performance of less competitive assets.

¹PwC and Urban Land Institute, Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015

²RELA-Chandan Survey of Commercial Real Estate Lender Sentiment Fall 2014

2015 Industrial Market Update: Manufacturing Employment

Industrial Market Statistics in 2015

Industrial development activity increased sharply in 2014 and showed no sign of losing momentum in the first quarter of 2015. Measured in terms of dollar spending, construction activity jumped 50% between 2013 and 2014 and, on its current trajectory, will soon surpass the previous cyclical high set in 2007. Development is highly concentrated in a small number of metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles and the Inland Empire in California, Philadelphia and New Jersey in the Mid-Atlantic, and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and Atlanta in the South and Southeast. Investors in other markets should still keep a careful eye on construction activity. With the shortest development timeframes of the major property types, the balance of supply and demand can shift quickly in the industrial space market.

2015 Industrial Market Update: Industrial Construction Spending2015 Industrial Market Update: Change in Industrial Spending

Asking rents for industrial space nationally increased by 2.6% in 2014, surpassing the previous cycle’s high of 2.5%, recorded in 2007. Across virtually all of the major investment markets, lease rollovers in the first quarter of 2015 were accretive to property cash flow. The strongest rent gains are in close-in fulfillment centers, which have experienced a surge in tenant demand as online retailers have pushed towards the “last mile” with consumers. Lifted by the rapid expansion of cloud storage needs, data centers also registered healthy rent gains.

Differences in rent trends were pronounced across markets. In San Francisco and San Jose, demand from tech firms and others pushed asking rent increases into the double-digits. Denver and Chicago followed Northern California. In the case of the former, the legalization of marijuana production has been a primary driver of new demand for space, pushing vacancy rates to their lowest levels on record.

2015 Industrial Market Update: Industrial Asking Rents2015 Industrial Market Update 2015: Change in Industrial Rents

In spite of improving fundamentals, the national average cap rate for industrial property sales and refinancing declined only slightly in 2014, to 6.2%. Significantly below its long-term average, the cap rate still affords a relatively wide spread over benchmark treasuries. Along with the most important industrial hubs, including the Southern California markets and Chicago, cap rates edged closer to 5% in San Francisco and San José, Seattle, and Miami. Aside from Chicago’s healthy valuations, the highest cap rate markets in 2014 were concentrated in the Midwest, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, and Indianapolis. With relatively slow rent growth, weaker assets in these markets are also amongst the most exposed to downward pressure on values once interest rates begin a sustained rise.

2015 Industrial Market Update 2015: Industrial Cap Rates2015 Industrial Market Update:  Cap Rate Spread

Market Cap Rates

Value-weighted national average industrial cap rates fell to 6.2% in 2014, marginally lower than a year before. Market average cap rates ranged from just over 5% in the Southern California agglomeration of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Orange County to above 7% in some Midwestern and Southern markets. Detroit was the only major market to register an average cap rate above 8% in 2014.

It’s a different world out there.

It requires a different kind of commercial real estate firm working on your behalf in order to be successful. The Lipsey Company has ranked the Sperry Van Ness® organization as one of the most recognized commercial real estate brands in the US for a reason — we know how to deliver a certainty of execution for our clients. Sperry Van Ness International Corporation is one of the largest commercial real estate franchisors, with more than 190 locations in 500+ markets.

To download the full 2015 Industrial Market Outlook report, click here.



Broker Boot Camp | 4 Traits of a CRE Brokerage Superstar

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Brokerage Superstar?

Having attended the Sperry Van Ness® Broker Boot Camp in Chicago three weeks ago, I now know a little bit about what it takes to “make it” in the commercial real estate brokerage business. Full disclosure: I’m a marketing intern, so my experience as a broker is non-existent. However, since I had the opportunity to sit in on the first day of the Boot Camp, led by industry veteran John McDermott, I now have a pretty good idea of some of the qualities that differentiate a brokerage “superstar” from the rest.

To be clear, even being just a “good” broker isn’t as easy as you may think. (See my first Boot Camp blog post for some elaboration). To be a “superstar” in any field you need to set measurable goals, as my second Boot Camp blog post discussed. But for commercial real estate brokerage in particular, you must possess 4 specific traits to become a top performer.

The Intern’s Take on the 4 Traits of a Brokerage Superstar

1. You must be tenacious. As a broker, there are few times when it’s acceptable to simply take “no” for an answer. Brokerage superstars are relentless — when appropriate, they prod further with clients who seem to be shutting them down. Instead of calling it a day, a brokerage superstar asks questions when she is slammed with a “no.” For example, rather than ending the conversation when a potential client says he has no interest in giving you an exclusive listing, ask what his reservations are and listen to his response.

2. You must be a self-starter. As I already mentioned, brokerage isn’t easy. Perhaps the hardest part of commercial real estate brokerage is starting out as a brand-new broker. A budding brokerage superstar will jump on the opportunity as soon as she is hired by a brokerage firm by immediately starting to build her database, accumulate contacts, and practice key skills. This brokerage superstar doesn’t wait to receive help or direction. Instead, she takes initiative by doing everything in her power to succeed from the Day 1.

3. You must be self-motivated. From what I understand, brokerage can be a lonely business at times, because it is ultimately up to you as a broker to close your deals and earn paychecks. While it seems scary (in my opinion) to be relying only on commission for your income, a brokerage superstar sees this as an advantage. A brokerage superstar is fearless and confident in her own abilities to bring home the bacon, and doesn’t need outside motivation to stay fired up.

4. You must be able to make connections with the right people. This doesn’t mean you can just say “oh, I’m a social butterfly!” and spend your week chatting with your friends. A brokerage superstar doesn’t just work the room — she works the room with a purpose. She goes out of her way to introduce herself to industry leaders and research the local movers and shakers. Following any meeting or casual encounter, a brokerage superstar takes notes and catalogues this experience for future reference. As a broker, your business is built on knowing the right people, so you must be professional, likeable, and strategic in order to make worthwhile connections.

If you think you have what it takes to be a brokerage superstar, visit our Careers page by clicking here

To learn more about the SVN Broker Boot Camp, click here



The Benefits of Being an Early Riser in Commercial Real Estate

Early To Rise….

One of the great things about being an entrepreneur is that you get to choose when you come to work, what you do and when you leave. Especially in Silicon Valley, tales abound of people working wacky hours, pulling all-nighters and doing just about anything other than a nine-to-five day.

When I visit offices, I’m frequently the first one there. It’s not uncommon for me to hand the newspaper to the staff member as he or she walks in to unlock the door. Here’s the funny thing: I’m not a morning person. Really. When I was a college student, I had a knack for still being asleep for my 4 pm classes.

So, what happened? What happened was that I became a broker and I learned that, while I was free to choose my own hours, my clients and prospects were going to dictate the choices that I made.

One of the great things about commercial real estate is that our jobs generally track the business day. Clients are either business people or individual investors that have earned the luxury of not having to think about their buildings outside of typical business hours. Furthermore, many of them are more likely to answer their phones and have time to talk in the morning.

You’d think that this means that if your clients are ready to rock and roll at 8:30 am, you should be too.

But that’s too late.

Think about it. When you get into the office, you need to take off your overcoat (assuming you live where they have winter), boot up your computer, get coffee, touch base with co-workers, check your email and do all of those other things that are a natural part of starting your day. Usually, it’s at least a half-hour until you’re able to do anything productive.

And, in that half-hour, your competitors – many of whom ARE up and running early – have already gotten ahead of you.

The solution? Ben Franklin nailed it… “Early to bed and early to rise makes a [person] healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Manhattan: Early to Rise

To learn how you can get involved in the commercial real estate industry, visit our Careers page here.

Broker Boot Camp | Setting Goals for Success

Intern Insights: Setting Goals in Your Personal and Professional Life

If you’ve read my previous blog post, then you know that I learned a lot about the commercial real estate industry by attending the Sperry Van Ness® Broker Boot Camp in Chicago. However, the Broker Boot Camp was not strictly about the brokerage business. In fact, one of the most interesting parts of the training for me was when speaker John McDermott talked to us about setting goals. We’ve all heard it before — setting goals is a good thing. But not many of us actually do it. As author Brian Tracy states in his book Goals!, going through the process of writing out your goals on paper can make all the difference. By writing down your specific aspirations with measurable standards, you have already committed to something tangible.

Don’t know where to start? Not to worry! I’m going to share with you 3 out of my 10 goals that I wrote down during the Broker Boot Camp to give you some ideas.

The Intern’s Top 3 Goals for Success in Life

1. Work out at least 4 times a week. In my opinion (and John McDermott’s), health should always be your number one priority. Whether you’re a high-profile Advisor working on multi-million-dollar deals or a college student like me, finding time to take care of yourself can be difficult. But maintaining good health is crucial, because without your health you can’t perform at your best in all aspects of life. Let’s be real — I probably won’t work out 4 times a week every week. Other things always seem to get in the way, such as my best friend Netflix. But having written this goal down, I now feel accountable for meeting my own expectations. (Now I have to go on a run after publishing this.)

2. Call my dad at least twice a week. Family is also incredibly important — it’s a built-in support system that no one should neglect. But like exercise, family time is often forgotten, as we tend to prioritize working hard and making money over our personal lives. Let me be clear — working hard is awesome. That’s how you get places in life. But at the end of the day, your family is all you have. Using my example, my dad is literally the smartest person I know. I would be missing out on receiving advice, motivation, and support by continuing to work through the evening instead of calling my dad.

3. Graduate magna cum laude in 2017. Since I’m going to be a junior in college, my academics are a huge priority. In the brokerage business, a similar goal could be something like “earn my CCIM designation by 2017” or “make the National Top 10 Advisors list by 2017.” Since school is my “work” at this point in my life, I’m committed to performing at my maximum potential. Hey, I might not graduate magna cum laude. Although it’s not impossible, I know it’s super hard. But now that I have this goal written down in front of me, I have something tangible that I can strive for over the next two years.

I know — my top 3 goals don’t really relate to the commercial real estate business. But that’s sort of the point. No matter where you are professionally, it’s important to keep your personal goals in mind along with your professional ones. If you’re at work, then work. But if you’re off the clock, take time to focus on your health, your family, and whatever else is important to you personally. So grab a pen and paper and write down your top 10 life goals. You never know — all 10 of them might come true.

To find out more about the SVN Broker Boot Camp, click here.


Broker Boot Camp | Top 3 Rookie Mistakes about CRE Brokerage

Intern Insights: Rookie Mistakes about CRE Brokerage

As a marketing intern at Sperry Van Ness International Corporation I had the opportunity to attend last week’s Broker Boot Camp in Chicago. Now, let me be honest — I knew next to nothing about commercial real estate brokerage going into this training. Since I’m just about as “rookie” as it gets, speaker John McDermott’s “Top 10 Rookie Misconceptions” about the brokerage business provided me with a much-needed wakeup call about the industry.

I’ll admit it — I was guilty of falling for each of the CRE brokerage myths John mentioned, so I’m going to share my 3 favorites with you. It’s time to dispel some rumors…

The Intern’s Take on the Top 3 Rookie Mistakes

1. “It looks easy.” Well, it’s not. If CRE brokerage were easy, everyone would be doing it. Good brokers can often work up to 80 hours a week building their businesses. Since brokers rely on the commission-only “results economy,” the pressure is always on and the work is never done. You can always be making more cold calls, setting up more meetings, adding more information to your database… the list goes on.

2. “I can do it online.” Perhaps you can, but you won’t be making any money. It’s impossible to “do” brokerage well if you’re sitting at your computer, because the majority of the job involves going out and meeting prospects and surveying properties in person. To all my fellow millennials out there: nothing replaces face-to-face interactions, especially in the brokerage business. Sorry, but no one is going to tweet you your paycheck.

3. “I don’t need to cold call.” Oh, yes you do. Although cold calling is intimidating, especially for avid texters like me and my generation, it’s proven to be the single most effective way of reaching a prospective buyer or seller. Look at it this way: you only need to cold call each contact once. After that first time, the person already knows you, so that awkwardness of cold calling subsides. By the way, as a broker you should aim to make 250-300 cold calls a week. So hop on that phone and get calling.

Clearly, you don’t have to know much about commercial real estate brokerage to get something out of the Sperry Van Ness® Broker Boot Camp. Anyone can learn something useful, especially complete rookies like me.

To see how you can break into the brokerage business, visit our Careers page here

To find out more about the SVN Broker Boot Camp, click here


#CRE Trends and Market Update 2015 | Office

Office Market Outlook

Employment Gains Drive Office Outlook

Solid gains in office-using employment are driving renewed demand for space, pushing occupancy rates and effective rents higher across a wide range of US markets. Prospective tenants have shown a clear preference for centrally located properties, but demand for suburban office space is showing signs of improvement as its cost advantages over the urban core become more pronounced. Investors in the sector may balk at record-low cap rates for large trophy properties; however, in the small- and mid-cap segments of the market, buyers will find less aggressive pricing and improving access to mortgages through regional and community banks and conduit lenders. In exploring those opportunities, entrepreneurial investors will encounter a growing class of tenants preferring flexible lease structures and co-working arrangements in addition to more traditional long-term lease rolls.

Long-Awaited Job Gains

Office Markets to Watch 2015Never in the recent history of the American economy has it taken so long to recover the jobs lost over the course of a downturn. That milestone was reached in 2014, more than 6 years after the Great Recession first took hold. Employers added more than 3 million jobs over the year, finally recouping losses from the crisis-era cull in the strongest showing for job creation since the dot-com boom.

Until recently, the lagging recovery in jobs — specifically in office-using employment — has been one of the primary drags on office sector fundamentals. Momentum in leasing activity had been concentrated in urban cores, often at the expense of suburban office properties, and in a subset of markets with high exposure to the energy and technology sectors. Leasing has also picked up as job gains have broadened and firms have grown more confident in their expectations of business activity. As a share of the office inventory, net absorption in 2014 was nearly double its long-term average. The national vacancy rate fell below 15% for the first time in 7 years, owing primarily to an uptick in leasing in central business districts (CBDs). Topping the list of the strongest CBDs, the vacancy rate in Manhattan trended below 10% in early 2015, contesting San Francisco for the title of tightest gateway office market. In Midtown South, one of New York’s tech and new media hubs, the vacancy rate has fallen below 5%, driving the largest rent gains of any submarket in the country.

While national leasing activity moderated in the early part of 2015, the medium-term outlook for space demand is healthy. Returning to the underlying drivers of space demand in the labor market, job openings climbed above 5 million positions in the early part of the year – the highest level since 2001. A large percentage of those new jobs fall into office-using occupations, including key subsets of professional and business services, supporting the overall outlook for the sector. Investors are naturally concerned that place-of-work trends and more modern space layouts will undermine the traditional relationship between employment and space demand. While those are credible concerns, limited construction in most markets means the balance of supply and demand is projected to weigh in favor of occupancy and rent gains for the immediate future.

Office Market Statistics in 2015

Office development activity is on the rise, albeit still at a restrained pace when compared to the apartment sector. Measured in terms of spending, investment in new office properties jumped nearly 25% in 2014 to $36.9 billion. While that is substantially lower than the pre-crisis peak in spending, some gateway markets are seeing a boom in activity unprecedented in recent history. At the leading edge of investment in New York City, Hudson Yards will introduce more than 17 million square feet of new commercial and residential space to the West Side of Manhattan. As the largest private development in US history, its 5 new office towers will redefine the Manhattan skyline.

In addition to New York, other leading markets for office construction include Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle. In each case, properties under construction represent more than 5% of the in-place inventory. The drop in oil prices over the last year offers a stark reminder that the relative success of new office projects depends critically on factors outside the immediate control of investors. In Houston – which accounts for nearly 20% of all current office construction in the United States, and an even larger share of spec development – demand conditions have softened appreciably in late 2014 and early 2015.

Office Construction SpendingOffice Spending Change

Asking rents in the office sector increased nationally by 5.2% in 2014, nearly twice the pace of the prior year. Gains were generally stronger in central business districts and weaker for suburban properties, where lease rollovers remain dilutive to cash flow in many locales.

The top markets for rent growth included Austin, New York, San Francisco, and San Jose. In the strongest submarkets, including those catering most directly to technology and new media companies, rent growth rates climbed to double-digits last year, and show few signs of losing momentum midway through 2015.

Office Asking RentsOffice Rent Change

Anticipating continued improvement in fundamentals, the office sector reached a milestone in 2014 as values in gateway and primary markets surpassed pre-crisis levels. Nationally, value-weighted cap rates based on underwriting of property sales and mortgage refinancings declined to an average of 5.8%, and were often substantially lower for trophy central business district properties. New York and San Francisco both reported CBD cap rates just below 5%, followed closely by Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, DC, and Orange County. Suburban cap rates were generally between 30 and 100 basis points higher. Detroit was among the notable exceptions, with CBD office cap rates 40 basis points higher than cap rates outside the urban core.

Office Cap RatesOffice Cap Rates Spread

Market Cap Rates

Value-weighted national average office cap rates fell to 5.8% in 2014, pushed lower by record pricing in New York City and other gateway markets. Cap rates varied significantly across a wider range of primary and secondary markets, urban, and suburban locales. Not weighted by transaction size, the national average for central business district properties was 70 basis points higher, at 6.5%. Suburban cap rates were generally higher, averaging 6.9%. The highest suburban office cap rates were in the Midwest, capping out in Detroit at 8.7%.

It’s a different world out there.

It requires a different kind of commercial real estate firm working on your behalf in order to be successful. The Lipsey Company has ranked the Sperry Van Ness® organization as one of the most recognized commercial real estate brands in the US for a reason — we know how to deliver a certainty of execution for our clients. Sperry Van Ness International Corporation is one of the largest commercial real estate franchisors, with more than 190 locations in 500+ markets.

To download the full 2015 Office Market Outlook report, click here.

2015 Office Market Outlook

#CRE Trends and Market Update 2015 | Retail

Retail Market Outlook

Stronger Economy and Job Trends Drive Retail Outlook

Retail property investors have waited patiently for signs of 2015 Top Retail Markets to Watchmomentum in the sector’s otherwise prodding recovery. Over the next year, many of those investors will see their patience rewarded. A stronger consumer and a healthy uptick in lease signings, a dearth of new supply, and a growing appreciation for shoppers’ changing tastes are poised to lift occupancy rates and rents for well-located, well-tenanted, and well-managed properties. Risks remain, most clearly from shoppers’ substitution into online commerce for an ever-widening range of quickly delivered products. In managing those risks, the shift to destination “shop and play” retail models — and the emergence of new models including urban outlet centers — are taking on new urgency as competition for consumer dollars intensifies.

Improving Fundamentals and Investment Opportunities

Vacancy rates at neighborhood and community shopping centers extended their slow decline, falling 20 basis points in 2014 to 10.5 % for mortgage-financed properties tracked by Chandan Economics. Data from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) show even stronger trends, with shopping center vacancy rates falling to 7.3% at the end of last year, the lowest level in more than six years, since the early days of the recession. Mall performance proved that traditional retail models are far from obsolete; vacancy rates fell to a 27-year low of 5.8%, while asking rents registered double-digit increases.

As compared to apartments and central business district office buildings, where values have surpassed their pre-crisis peaks, retail cap rate spreads remain elevated across a wide spectrum of neighborhood and community shopping centers. Investors in the small- and mid-cap segments of these retail markets are not yet faced with a shortfall of secondary market properties trading at discounts to fundamental value. Even as prices rise for stabilized assets, the investment opportunity set may grow over the next two years as billions of dollars of mortgages bundled into pre-crisis commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) come due. Smaller retail properties are overrepresented in those maturities and will stretch the market’s refinancing capacity, favoring cash-rich investors with the capacity to recapitalize distressed borrowers.

Grocery-anchored centers and retail net lease properties with credit tenants and long remaining lease terms are proving more challenging spaces for investors in search of discounts. The bond-like characteristics of the latter allowed them to emerge as investor favorites in the aftermath of the recession. Buyers now cite a dearth of product in the market as a source of frustration and upward pressure on prices. Even as investors have migrated to riskier products, bank branches, the stronger national pharmacy chains, and quick-service fast-food establishments have seen cap rate spreads fall substantially lower than historic norms for net lease assets. Investors should be cautious in gauging the possibility of disruptions in safe haven tenant classes. In the grocery space, online retailers that have failed thus far to penetrate the market are watching Amazon Fresh for insights into shoppers’ willingness to try new things. Needless to say, traditional grocery owners and their landlords are watching closely as well.


Household Debt Retail 2015 Markets to Watch

Retail Market Statistics in 2015

Back to Work and Back to the Mall

At the heart of the improving retail picture, the labor market has improved substantially over the last year. Employers added more than 3 million jobs in 2014, the strongest performance since 1999. The unemployment rate, admittedly an imperfect measure of labor market health, fell to 5.6% at the end of the year, the lowest level since mid-2008. Even though early 2015 job numbers have been softer and labor participation remains depressed, the overall trends reflect an important dynamic in the job market. The rate at which businesses are hiring is trending toward normal levels; more important, the rate at which workers are voluntarily quitting their jobs, an indicatorPersonal Consumption Retail Market Trends 2015 of their prospects in the job market, is also on the upswing.

Even as the headline job numbers improve, growth in wages remains sluggish. Among the countervailing forces putting money back in consumers’ pocketbooks, spending on debt service fell below 10% of disposable personal income during the fourth quarter of 2014. More recently, Americans have been spending less on their gas and oil heating bills, a net positive for the economy even though energy markets like Houston and Oklahoma City have suffered. In terms of headwinds, a larger share of renter households’ income is going to housing costs as apartment rent growth continues to outpace wages. Households are spending more on consumer goods in any case, driving year-over-year increases in personal consumption expenditures on the order of 4% in late 2014 and Ecommerce Retail Market Updates 2015early 2015.

Brick-and-mortar retailers will have to work harder to capture their share of new spending, whether through enhancements to the tangible in-store experience or the development of truly effective omnichannel strategies. Online retail spending growth has increasingly outpaced traditional retail channels, growing year-over-year by nearly 15% in the fourth quarter of 2014. In contrast, retail spending excluding e-commerce increased by only 1.2%.


Construction Remains in Check

Investment in new retail space remains subdued as compared to pre-crisis peaks. Retail property development spending increased to $18.6 billion in 2014, up to 15% from a year earlier, but barely more than half its 2007 level. Factoring also for the rising cost of construction, the tally of projects underway across neighborhood and community shipping centers, big box retailers, and shopping malls is still early in its recovery.

Construction Spending Retail Market Updates 2015Construction Spending Retail Market Update 2015

New project announcements will be increasingly frequent in 2015, with an emphasis on growing and under-amenitized residential neighborhoods and malls that can effectively meet the “shop and play” paradigm. Difficulties in obtaining financing for smaller projects will persist as constraints over this cycle, particularly as heightened regulatory capital requirements at banks come into effect.


Rent Growth Improves Slowly

Measured across all property subtypes, retail rents are rising slowly but consistently. Average asking rents increased by 2.8% in 2014 according to Chandan Economics’ tracking of mortgage-financed properties, improving on the prior year’s 2 % increase. The aggregate numbers mask wide differences across geography and subtype. Dominant superregional malls and urban street-front retail have seen relatively larger increases; setting the bar, Fifth Avenue below Central Park in Manhattan is now, at roughly $3,400 per square foot, the most expensive retail corridor in the world.

Retail Rent Change Market Update 2015Retail Asking Rents Market Update 2015

Measures from ICSC and NCREIF show stronger trends than themortgage data. Shopping center rents increased by 6.5% in 2014, the best result since 2008. For malls, base rents increased by 17.2%, the fastest pace in the 14 years of available history. Mall net operating income (NOI) registered an exceptional year-over-year increase of 21.3%.


Long Term Cap Rate Retail Market Update 2015

Cap Rates Have Room to Decline 

Well below its long-term average of 7.7%, the national average cap rate across all retail property types declined by less than 10 basis points during 2014, to just under 6.4%. Values increased even though cap rates were relatively flat, as improving rents and occupancy rates more than offset higher expenses. As compared to its long-term average of 320 basis points, cap rate spreads over ten-year Treasury yields held onto an additional cushion of 60 basis points. The largest regional malls commanded cap rates below 5 %, as did high street retail in gateway cities. Neighborhood and community shopping center cap rates trended between 7.0% 7.5% during 2014.

National Cap Rate Spreads Retail Market Update 2015While the impact of e-commerce on retailers has varied dramatically across product types, there is no segment of the market that is fully immune to the fundamental changes in the way Americans shop. Properties that are perceived as more resilient to substitution out of brick-and-mortar, including the most urban locations and grocery- and pharmacy-anchored properties, commanded a larger price premium and lower cap rates in 2014. That divergence in retail property values may narrow in 2015 as a better job market and rising discretionary spending lift some weaker segments of the market.


Markets to Watch

Not the largest or the most actively contested markets, the 2015 Retail Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that is driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.

Download the full report here. retail_thumbnail_WEB

Market Cap Rates

Across all retail subtypes, the national average cap rate on mortgage-financed property sales was 6.4% in 2014, well below the 20-year average of 7.7%. Cap rates reflect historically low Treasury yields and spreads that remain elevated as compared to long-term norms. Across markets, cap rates for anchored shopping centers ranged from 8.1% in Detroit to 6% in the Bay Area. In gateway markets, cap rates for high street retail reflect aggressive bidding by domestic and foreign buyers. Driven by property trades along their major tourist corridors, San Francisco and Manhattan boasted high street retail cap rates of 4% and 3.9%, respectively, on par with the best-positioned apartment and office buildings.

It’s a different world out there. 

It requires a different kind of commercial real estate firm working on your behalf in order to be successful. The Lipsey Company has ranked the Sperry Van Ness® organization as one of the most recognized commercial real estate brands in the US for a reason — we know how to deliver a certainty of execution for our clients. Sperry Van Ness International Corporation is one of the largest commercial real estate franchisors, with more than 190 locations in 500+ markets.

The Millennial Effect on Business Communications

Each year, at our Sperry Van Ness® (SVN) National Conference, I talk to our commercial real estate advisors and business owners about game-changing trends. Game-changers occur when people are doing things (working, playing, living) differently than they used just a few years ago. This year, we have four categories. Communication, Design, Collaboration and Distribution.

Trends in Communication

The following video features the first portion of my 2015 talk on trends. Watch the video and read the takeaways below.

Main takeaways in communication trends:

  1. It’s here: the generational tipping point. The oldest Millennials are now 35, which means by 2020, they will be 40 and it will be their workplace in which we are working. This is already changing how we communicate in business.
  2. We have entered a time where generational expectations of response times in business are mismatched. Millennials expect immediacy while Boomers are more comfortable with an hour or even a day.
  3. Texting has become a standard and accepted form of communication in many businesses.
  4. Every new platform now emphasizes pictures. Facebook keeps making pictures bigger than words, Twitter had to adjust to this reality to remain relevant. Instagram and Snapchat put pictures front and center rather than any text. Even texts contain emoticons and emojis. If you don’t know the difference between the last two … watch the video!
  5. Millennials and Gen Z also use different platforms for different types of communications. It’s not about blending the platforms together into a superplatform; it’s about accepting that there are multiple systems and platforms for communication.

In summation, the way we communicate in business is going to change drastically within the next 5 years as the Millennials grow into leadership roles and Generation Z enters the workforce. We will see more and more communications platforms being used within single organizations, each with a different purpose. These will include document sharing platforms and visual conferencing apps that will not just replace in-person meetings, but one-on-one telephone conversations as well. Email itself needs reinvention to remain relevant. Programs like Google Inbox are already attempting to do so, because as soon as we can easily share documents via texts and visual conferencing apps, email will lose some of its luster.

At Sperry Van Ness International Corporation, we are watching these trends to see how they affect the commercial real estate industry. Our goal is to capitalize on these trends so that our advisors are using the most powerful tools to the benefit of their clients.

To view the rest of the speech please visit our YouTube page.

DTZ/CW merger highlights the need for the SVN Difference

The Cushman & Wakefield/DTZ merger has dominated international commercial real estate headlines since its announcement on May 11th.  During that time, debates around the water cooler have centered on its impact and relevance to competitive firms and individual practitioners.  My staff and I have understandably been asked questions like, “What does this mean?” and “Does this matter to us?”

While the dust is far from settling on this massive merger, and while there exists a multitude of differing opinions on the topic, in the post that follows, I’ll clarify my position on the deal and share what I think it means for the SVN brand and its Advisors.

First, this consolidation is following the “Rule of 3” – over the past several years, the world economy (particularly in the developed, free market economies of Europe and North America), has been characterized by a unique economic phenomena of mergers & acquisitions at unprecedented levels.  As a result, the landscape of just about every major industry has changed in a significant way, moving inexorably toward a block of three companies that enjoy a large market presence, while still leaving a great deal of opportunity for smaller, more nimble and more client focused organizations to continue profiting in the market.  This is now in play in the business of servicing commercial real estate and comes as no surprise to many.

Second, it matters.  It matters because while the CRE brokerage industry remains remarkably fragmented, there are now fewer, bigger players.  This can prove to be tremendously advantageous to those outside of this circle, but will also send a wake-up call to many:

  • The Big 3 are increasing their revenue & profitability through market share growth and by providing a generalized “one stop shop” offering.  The growth models of the Big 3 are rooted in geographic-based market share growth and are backed by private equity or public equity giants. This can make for a disadvantage when compared to smaller firms in their ability to innovate. Much like trying to turn an aircraft carrier, these mega firms are not as nimble and swift as their smaller competitors.
  • The multi-layered firms who comprise the Big 3 will stand in sharp contrast to the more entrepreneurial firms outside of the ring.  As an SVN Managing Director said to me “Remember the commercial brokerage business when YOU determined how much you could earn; not a corporation, public entity or the stockholders?”  “That’s SVN!”  I agree – and while SVN is certainly not the only beneficiary of this dynamic, our point of differentiation just got more distinct.
  • As many have already opined, there will be considerable fallout.  Given the above, meshing the two firm’s corporate cultures is a formidable challenge for the executives involved and a strong recruiting opportunity for competitors.  You will see people moving around and significant attrition within the industry.  This is proving to be the case at SVN with our Managing Directors reporting a flurry of meeting requests from the players involved.
  • The day of the generalist is over. These larger firms are better positioned to provide more highly specialized services in every market they serve.  Regional firm and independent generalists best take heed of their better-resourced, specialized competitors.  Now is the time to focus.
  • The industry just became even more opaque. Collaborating and cooperating on investment sales and leasing transactions has not exactly been a hallmark of the big nationals.  Look for their percentage of “double-ended” deals to increase in the year ahead.

This merger matters to companies and brokerages and at both the local and national levels. Here at home, it makes the SVN Difference more stark — and even more important.  And while the opportunities stemming from the above are significant to us, what’s even more significant is that our clients need the SVN Difference more than ever.

I’ll close by sharing excerpts from an email I sent to the SVN corporate team late last week:

Our industry just went from X firms that don’t collaborate with each other to do the best for their clients to X minus one.  If you’re a seller looking to get the best price — or a tenant looking to be shown everyone’s inventory to find the right site — you won’t get better service than at SVN.

There is still only one firm that practices compensated cooperation – 50% of the fee, 100% of the time.  Only one firm that opens up all of their listings on their website and on an internationally known Monday National Sales Call — SVN. They might have gotten bigger. But, when it comes to representing our clients’ interests, we’re still better.

You can experience an alternate SVN Difference. With the mergers and the movements towards more corporate firms answering to stock markets and large equity investors, entrepreneurs are finding it harder and harder to control their own destinies in Commercial Real Estate. Here at SVN, remember that as an Advisor, you can rise as far as your talent and determination can take you with no one to stop you.

I congratulate DTZ and Cushman on their merger. But I’m even happier for our clients and for all of us.

Invest Like the Big Dogs by Carlton Dean

Strategies for Small to Medium Size CRE Investments and Portfolio Growth

One of the niches that Sperry Van Ness®  advisors typically focus on is being very active in the investment property sale market for assets within the $1,000,000 – $10,000,000 range. Of course, we have talented advisors who regularly complete larger, institutional, >$100MM size deals in the larger cities and core markets, but the “bread and butter” of many of our advisors is working in the trenches, in primary (non-core), secondary, and tertiary markets across the United States.

If you are a real estate investor, or you are considering getting started in real estate investing, I would like to offer you the following concepts, tips, and suggestions for creating a successful plan that mirrors what many of the larger public and private real estate investment groups do. It’s not rocket science, you can do it too!

Define your Investment Parameters

mark-516277_1280One of the mistakes I often see both new and seasoned investors make is to not properly define their investment parameters before getting started. This is important because it sets the course for the strategy and allows you to execute the plan more efficiently; and ultimately be more successful, because you have a baseline to which you can compare your investment portfolio.

You could write pages on many of these concepts, but for this post, I will provide a brief outline.

  • Niche: Do you like apartments, office space, self-storage, retail space, etc.? The reason this is critical, is because you can get lost quickly, without a plan. Consider this: If you like retail, do you like single tenant, multi-tenant, big box anchored centers, smaller shadow centers (i.e. think small strip center in front of Wal-Marts, etc.), If you like single tenant investments, because of the typically limited landlord responsibilities, then in which industry sectors would you want to focus? Food/beverage retailers? Tire retailers? Drug stores, or all of the above? As you can see, each individual niche has many potential decisions that need to be considered and evaluated.

Tip: My recommendation is that you consider investing in product types that have a basic appeal to you. For instance, if you just despise the idea of warehouse or industrial properties, for whatever reason, that might not be the best personal choice for you as an investment property (however industrial property investments can be very lucrative in certain markets).

  • Financial Criteria: An important part of this first step is to define realistic expectations and goals for the investment criteria of your defined niche. This step helps you expedite deal reviews by being able to quickly determine if a potential deal fits within your criteria or not. It makes the decision less emotional, and allows you to cover more of a larger geographic area by focusing on deals that fit within your criteria. Keep in mind, your individual criteria will differ from that of someone else, based on your goals, your cash on hand, your financing sources, location, product type and timing.

Educate Yourself

glasses-272399_1280Once you have defined investment parameters, the next step is to educate yourself. You need to study your respective market, in the particular product type niche or niches you have chosen. Research sale comparables and what properties are on the market for sale. This is where teaming with a trusted real estate advisor, like those at a Sperry Van Ness office, can greatly enhance the success of implementing your strategy. Picking a great commercial real estate advisor who specializes in the niche product type is critical to being able to quickly get up to speed and accomplish your goals (see our other post “3 Tips to Finding a Good Commercial Real Estate Broker).

Develop an Action Plan and Execute it

Part of being successful after you have defined your niche and educated yourself, is to formulate a plan of action to acquire properties. Perhaps part of your plan is to rehabilitate C-class multifamily properties and attempt to raise the rents after renovations. Whatever it is, you need to write it down and review it often and tweak as needed. It’s easy to get distracted, especially as the real estate market continues to heat up and the velocity of deal flow continues to improve. Having a solid action plan and a commercial real estate advisor to assist you with the plan will minimize your wasted time and increase your chances for success.

Exit Strategy

sign-575715_1280Every commercial real estate deal needs to have an exit strategy. It’s important to think about this exit strategy early on; in fact, before the purchase is even made. Granted there will be times when the exit strategy will change, due to rising or falling market conditions, or supply and demand, and you will have to adjust your exit strategy. The main point here is that an exit strategy needs to contemplated in the beginning, not the end of a commercial real estate transaction. If you buy an office building at an 8% cap rate that is 70% occupied and your plan is to spruce it up, apply aggressive leasing tactics with a CRE advisor, and increase the revenues, only to find out later that the market for those types of investments are trading at 8.75% cap rates, due to the smaller tertiary market the property is in and the smaller, shorter term leases, then your exit strategy is flawed because the market will not pay you for the work you have done. Of course, this is a simplified example. The point is, have a defined strategy to exit the investment at the proper time, and always be willing and able to review your exit strategy and make adjustments. In the words of a favorite Kenny Rogers song, sometimes “you got to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run!” Hope is NOT an exit strategy.


This is a very brief overview of some of the basic tactics and format that individual and small to medium size group commercial real estate investors can apply to model their CRE investment strategy after the larger, institutional players in the industry. Employing the use of a qualified CRE advisor as a resource in your toolkit will serve you well. The Sperry Van Ness organization has over 1,000 advisors in scores of markets across the United States, specializing in all niches of commercial real estate. Contact one of our advisors today to answer any questions or to get started investing today.


About Carlton Dean – Carlton has nearly 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, with a special focus in the retail and multifamily sectors. Carlton is based in Tallahassee, Florida, but serves clients throughout the entire Southeastern US. Click here to view his full profile and listings, or if you would like to contact him, you can call him at 850-877-6000 ext. 101, or email him at cdean@svn.com


Three Questions You Should Be Asking Your Property Manager

Over the last few months, Charles Schwab has come out with a series of commercials that I think are absolutely great! The overall premise is:

“In life, you question everything. The same should be true when it comes to managing your wealth. Are you asking enough questions about the way your wealth is being managed?”

The same is true for your property. Try reading that passage again, but replace “wealth” with “property” or “asset”. Keep in mind, oftentimes your “wealth” is “property” or “asset.” As we closed out 2014, most of us looked back to reflect on the year now behind us. As we enter 2015, we now look to how we will reach our goals for the year ahead. How will we make 2015 better than 2014? When it comes to your property, there are 3 questions you should start the year off asking your property manager. These questions, include:

1. Is my property at risk?

A recent case study came out which showed amongst all property management companies polled, there was an average of only 15% of tenants that were compliant with the insurance requirements in their lease and even worse, only 4% of vendors were compliant with the property owners’ insurance requirements.

If you called your property manager today and asked for a list of every vendor on your property and their Certificates of Insurance (COI), would they be able to furnish them? Within the hour?

2. How are you proactively managing my property?

We have had wind and rain over the last few weeks that has wreaked havoc on the Southern California area. For some properties, this was not an issue because properties were properly inspected and actions taken knowing that we were moving into winter months. Would a roof inspection have shown issues that could have easily and potentially inexpensively been repaired? Did your manager go out and walk the property after the first rain and heavy winds?

If I asked you when the last time your manager was out at the property could you tell me? What about how many times within the past month?

3. How will you increase my Net Operating Income (NOI) in 2015?

This is what managing the asset is about. And when you ask this question, the leasing aspect shouldn’t be the only consideration. As we start of 2015, just like everyone who made a resolution or a goal to get to the gym, diet, lose more weight, did you or better yet, did your property manager, make a goal to cut the fat, shed expenses, and increase your NOI in 2015?

When was the last time your property manager checked in with you and asked what your goals for the property were? Or are they just hoping you don’t sell so they can keep the monthly income?

Start a conversation, ask the questions, and demand a timely response. At the end of the day, you may look at it as you are only paying them $2,500/month to manage it. When you should be looking at it as you are paying them $30,000 a year to care for the property, be responsive to your tenants, and continuously search for ways to increase your NOI. Or better yet, what else should your property manager being doing for earning that $30,000 per year?

Are you interested in receiving a free management plan for your property or properties? If so, contact our Property Management Product Council Chair, Nicholas Ilagan at nicholas.ilagan@svn.com

Portland, OR | 2014 Top CRE Markets to Watch : Apartment

Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s (SVNIC) 2014 Top Markets to Watch Reports assess the current state of the national commercial real estate market, and identify micro-trends within specific geographic regions and industries for 2014. Today we are delving into the 2014 Top Apartment Markets to Watch. Not the largest, or the most actively contested markets, the 2014 Apartment Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that is driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.


portland-415957_1280Multifamily construction has ramped up gradually in Portland, enabling landlords to grow rents even as new supply comes closer to matching the demand for apartments. After two years of adding some 2,000 multifamily units annually to the local inventory, and with a vacancy rate falling to near 3 percent, developers have stepped up the pace and will likely deliver 3,000 apartments in 2014. That accelerated construction activity will be enough to stabilize the vacancy rate and slow rent growth at existing properties. Portland’s enviable quality of life, including outdoor attractions and an expanding cluster of amenities catering to an urban lifestyle, continues to support outpaced job growth. Technology employers, and the service industry jobs that grow around the technology workforce, will help Portland to add about 30,000 jobs in 2014, similar to 2013’s employment growth. With only modest rent growth likely as apartment construction gains momentum, Portland offers opportunities for income investors, and some value-add plays remain for investors willing to invest in significant property upgrades.

To read more on Portland, and other top multifamily markets, download the full version of the Top Apartment Markets to Watch report below.

It’s a different world out there.

It requires a different kind of commercial real estate firm working on your behalf in order to be successful. The Lipsey Company has ranked the Sperry Van Ness® organization as one of the most recognized commercial real estate brands in the US for a reason—we know how to deliver a certainty of execution for our clients. Sperry Van Ness International Corporation is one of the largest commercial real estate franchisers with more than 180 locations in 200 markets.

Download the Top Trends and Markets to Watch Reports

Chandan-Apartment-CoverApartment Trends and Markets to Watch
Office Trends and Markets to Watch
Industrial Trends and Markets to Watch
Retail Trends and Markets to Watch
Commercial Real Estate Trends and Markets to Watch

Las Vegas, NV | 2014 Top CRE Markets to Watch : Apartment

Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s (SVNIC) 2014 Top Markets to Watch Reports assess the current state of the national commercial real estate market, and identify micro-trends within specific geographic regions and industries for 2014. Today we are delving into the 2014 Top Apartment Markets to Watch. Not the largest, or the most actively contested markets, the 2014 Apartment Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that is driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.


las-vegas-411190_1280Apartment developers are playing a game of chance in Las Vegas. Encouraged by the first increase in average rents since the Great Recession and a recent improvement in the vacancy rate, projects in the pipeline could deliver as many as 3,000 multifamily units in 2014, a tenfold increase from the previous year. Granted, the local population will increase by 2.7 percent this year alone, making it one of the fastest growing U.S. cities. Yet this market must dig itself out of a deeper housing hole than most, and still has a ways to go. The apartment vacancy rate of 9 percent is more than 10 basis points above the historical average. Average rents have only recovered to 80 percent of the pre-recession peak, and thousands of single-family homes remain on the rental market. The nascent recovery merits some development but is unlikely to float all boats in 2014.

To read more on Las Vegas, and other top multifamily markets, download the full version of the Top Apartment Markets to Watch report below.

It’s a different world out there.

It requires a different kind of commercial real estate firm working on your behalf in order to be successful. The Lipsey Company has ranked the Sperry Van Ness® organization as one of the most recognized commercial real estate brands in the US for a reason—we know how to deliver a certainty of execution for our clients. Sperry Van Ness International Corporation is one of the largest commercial real estate franchisers with more than 180 locations in 200 markets.

Download the Top Trends and Markets to Watch Reports

Chandan-Apartment-CoverApartment Trends and Markets to Watch
Office Trends and Markets to Watch
Industrial Trends and Markets to Watch
Retail Trends and Markets to Watch
Commercial Real Estate Trends and Markets to Watch