Boston, MA — SVN International Corp. (SVN), a full-service commercial real estate franchisor of the SVN® brand, announced the addition of its newest franchise office, SVN | Wood Properties, based in Knoxville, Tennessee. Led by Managing Director George Brown, the firm specializes in providing commercial sales, leasing, property management, development and consulting services throughout the East Tennessee market. SVN | Wood Properties is the fifth SVN office in the state of Tennessee, further expanding the company’s full-service, collaborative approach to commercial real estate in the region.


“Built on SVN’s Shared Value Network®, we strive to identify and work with market leaders who share our vision of a collaborative and open approach to commercial real estate,” said Kevin Maggiacomo, President & CEO of SVN International Corp. “This philosophy is already instilled in the team at SVN | Wood Properties, making it a valuable addition to SVN, along with their strong understanding of the East Tennessee market, SVN | Wood Properties is sure to prosper.”


Brown brings 10 years of experience in commercial real estate to SVN | Wood Properties, where he will lead a team of 10 Advisors focused on commercial real estate advisory within the local East Tennessee market. The 41-year-old 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 recognize a similar business ethic and foundation in SVN and share many of the same values,” said Brown. “SVN provides us with the ability to keep our local relationships, while establishing a national affiliation and utilize essential tools of the business for success and growth. By partnering with SVN, our team has the opportunity to remain a leading firm while adding best-in-class services.”


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 over 500 national and international markets. By tapping into this broad network, SVN | Wood Properties is able to offer its clients expanded services in the leasing, acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate.


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. 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 – Justin Langlois, CCIM, Managing Director of SVN | Graham, Langlois and Legendre

This week, our 5 for Friday features Justin Langlois, CCIM, Managing Director of SVN | Graham, Langlois and Legendre, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Langlois specializes in the acquisition and disposition of Class A office, garden-style office and multifamily properties, including student housing, affordable housing and market rate housing sectors. He is also active in retail, self-storage, land and industrial brokerage.


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

Create an awesome database. This will take time and it is a work in progress. Continue working your database by making calls and scheduling meetings. Very few commercial real estate advisors do this on a consistent basis and those who work their databases become market experts.


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

When you look at the data of commercial real estate sales over $2MM, 65% of the deals are transacted by buyers and sellers across state lines. My clients like knowing their properties are listed by SVN and available for all brokers to sell. This creates competition in the market, it increases sales prices and all parties win.


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

I enjoyed reading The 12 Week Year. Several years ago, I read the book and it helped me break down my work week into segments. The segments help me avoid the day-to-day chaos of taking on too much at one time, get a task done and move on to the next task. I read portions of the book throughout the year as a refresher.


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

I like picking up the phone and calling another SVN advisor in a different market. The call feels like I’m reaching out to someone in my own office. SVN advisors respect each other, we watch out for each other and we share our own best practices with one another.


5. What was your most memorable deal and why?

I spent about two years putting together a build to suit for CVS. It was one of my first BIG deals and throughout the process it felt like all I had learned up to that point about commercial real estate was put into this one deal. The process was long and drawn out, it involved acquiring a local pharmacy, site selection, construction and contract negotiation and fending off preferred developers who were trying to get their hands on the project. It taught me patience, it showed me I was knowledgeable but needed improvement.


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


The Sperry Van Ness Difference Animated Video

At this year’s Annual National Conference, Sperry Van Ness International Corporation President & CEO, Kevin Maggiacomo, launched the new Sperry Van Ness Difference video. The SVN Difference Video boils down our core philosophy to it’s simplest form – it’s about going back to the basic fundamentals of supply and demand; and explains how putting the clients interests first is a benefit to everyone involved in a commercial real estate transaction.

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


Five for Friday with Ryan Imbrie, Sperry Van Ness Imbrie Realty LLC

Every Friday here on the Sperry Van Ness® blog, we’ll be spotlighting one of our commercial real estate advisors who is game to answer our Five for Friday questions. 

We start off with Ryan Imbrie, from Sperry Van Ness/Imbrie Realty, LLC  in Portland Oregon.

Ryan Imbrie, Sperry Van Ness Imbrie Realty LLC
Ryan Imbrie, Sperry Van Ness Imbrie Realty LLC

1. What is your geographic market and product specialty?

I am based in Portland, Oregon and focus on retail investment sales in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

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

Although it is common sense, the best practice that has been fruitful for me in the past year is re-engaging with past clients.  I have been reaching out to clients I have represented in buying or selling property in the past and asking what I should be working on for them.  This practice has led to several new listings as well as uncovering quite a few buyer needs.

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

I don’t quite have a decade in the business (only 8 ½ years) but the biggest change has been building a strong team in the office.  When I started my career in 2004, I took the one-man-team approach.  Now, sellers want to hire a team of agents rather than one individual.

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

A book I just read has helped me re-focus on my goals in business and life: Train Your Brain for Success by Roger Seip

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

In my free time (not that I have much with three daughters – ages 7, 5 and 1) I am an avid woodworker.  Some of the projects I have completed are a sleigh bed, bedside table, dresser, buffet table, hope chest, bookcase, picture frames as well as several jewelry boxes.

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

Technology – Value Add or Brain Suck? by Kevin Maggiacomo

My new iPhone 4s arrived finally arrived this past weekend. My oldest son and I opened the package with much anticipation and we immediately dropped what we were doing to configure the device. Among the many new features made part of the 4s is Siri – the speech recognition device which, as Apple advertises, “Understands what you say, knows what you mean, and takes dictation.” So, gone are the days when I have to manually type a query into Google to search for a nearby Sushi restaurant, find directions, or, get this – type to text or email. From now on, all I have to do is talk. So, over the weekend I dictated and had Siri read aloud roughly 100 text messages sent and received. I quickly grew so accustomed to iPhone dictation that I became annoyed when I had to manually type an email on my Mac later that evening. On one hand, I felt more efficient, on the other hand I questioned if I was simply becoming lazy…


Separately, as a CEO, I am constantly striving to predict the future and react to it in advance. Not only with respect to positional real estate strategies, but also in terms of adopting (and creating) new intellectual technologies – which extend mental capabilities and enable us to gain more information faster. So as a fan of applications in this category, I’ve researched and adopted as many CRE and non-CRE of these intellectual technologies as anyone. I use Dragan Dictation to dictate most of my laptop writing, regularly use Loopnet to create space surveys, view comps, and get a read on the market. SVN Advisors are LoopNet power users and many are subscribers to CoStar, including their CoStar Go iPad app, which allows you to take real estate data into the field, where you can even view detailed tenant information, including lease expiration dates without having to charm past building security or receptionists. And all of this has me thinking – are the convenience applications mentioned above changing the way I learn, eroding at certain skill sets, and making me less knowledgeable?


While I can say with reasonable certainty that my IQ remains the same since becoming an early adopter, my ability to easily become immersed in the analysis of raw research data has eroded. In addition, my typing skills aren’t what they used to be and my spelling skills, thanks to auto-correct, have gone from good to average. For those of us in CRE (or any other field for that matter), what role have research products played in the reduction in the amount of market research that we retain? Posed another way, are the CRE practitioners of yesteryear, who had to physically walk building floors, drive every property in their area of focus, conduct live courthouse research, etc., more knowledgeable than we brokers of today?


Are we becoming dependent upon these resources because we’re lazy, or because we need to in order to remain competitive? I’m not making a value judgment here, I’m just asking you to do a gut check – Do you use technology to advance your learning, or to fill a knowledge gap? The distinction between the two is subtle, yet important.


The human brain is malleable. It is capable of being reshaped and while I don’t know the answer to the above questions, I do know that my mind now approaches learning a bit differently. My mind now expects to receive information the way that Loopnet feeds it to me – instantly, and with little effort. I have made it a personal challenge to add to my cognitive skills rather than replace them. This has required me to slow down in the short run at times, but in the long run I feel as if I’m expanding my knowledge base, not shrinking it.


So, I ask – has our “encyclopedic knowledge” of CRE markets and beyond become artificial intelligence? Are Loopnet/Costar and the like making us stupid, or are we better off? I think the answer largely depends on approach and motivation. Thoughts?

Kevin Maggiacomo, CEO & President, Sperry Van Ness International Corporation


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