A Statement On Ukraine from Kevin Maggiacomo, SVN President and CEO

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SVN Specialty Awards: Firm of the Year – SVN | Northco

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

Firm of the Year 2015 NorthcoIf you read my recent blog post about the SVN Annual Conference highlights, you know that the SVN Specialty Awards recognize members of the SVN community who have distinguished themselves in 2015 by making significant impacts on the commercial real estate industry and beyond. The awards – which included Team Player of the Year, Ambassador of the Year, Collaborator of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Prospector of the Year, Innovator of the Year, and Firm of the Year – looked beyond production results and instead focused on culture. The winners of this year’s SVN Specialty Awards each embody traits that the SVN culture values immensely: practicing collaboration, cooperation and conscious capitalism while excelling in commercial real estate.

SVN Firm of the Year 2015 – SVN | Northco

Firm of the Year is not the same as Top Producing Firm, although it can be. But when we look at nominees for Firm of the Year, we look for firms that are using the SVN tools, systems, resources and other offices to grow their presence. From the day SVN | Northco joined the SVN organization they went to our Jumpstart training events, used the SVN Live℠ Open Sales Calls to market properties, and embodied SVN’s collaborative culture. If you’ve ever called them for help on a golf or resort proposal, you’ve experienced it. They’re big, they’re productive, they cover many different parts of their market, and they’re a great bunch of men and women. And, this year, they are our Firm of the Year.

Led by Executive Directors Frank Jermusek and Walt Van Heest along with Managing Director Cameron Peterson, Northco became a member of the SVN organization in 2014. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, SVN Northco Real Estate Services is a full service commercial real estate firm that has been a leader in the Twin Cities market since 1975.


The SVN blog will be featuring one SVN Specialty Award winner every week for the next few weeks. Subscribe to the SVN blog on the right-hand column of the blog homepage to stay up to date with SVN and CRE industry news.

Top Reasons to Visit the SVN Booth at ICSC in Las Vegas

RECon is just over a week away, and SVN is ready

Yes, of course SVN will be at ICSC RECon. Booth C162F to be exact! And we’re looking forward to all the networking and deal-making opportunities that are ahead.

Here’s why you should stop by the SVN booth in Las Vegas:

  1. We Share Fees – We’re the only commercial real estate company founded on the idea of compensated corporation. What’s this mean for you? How’s a 50% commission split sound on deals you do with an SVN Advisor? It sounds good to us, and guess what else? Higher splits increase demand, which ultimately leads to deals making it to market faster, and closing at a greater value. (See SVNIC EVP of Franchise Development Solomon Poretsky’s Commercial Real Estate Cooperation Report here).
  2. Over 100 SVN Advisors will be in Attendance – SVN is a network of over 1,500 Advisors spanning 500 markets in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Russia, so there’s a good chance we’ll have someone from your market to talk to. If not, we guarantee you’ll be hearing about us in your market soon. Our comprehensive commercial real estate services include sales, leasing, tenant representation, asset management, property management, corporate, consultation, accelerated marketing, and auction services.
  3. We are also a Commercial Real Estate Franchisor – Interested in joining SVN? We can make that a reality. We are always looking for more qualified real estate professionals to expand our already successful network. Become a part of our growth by joining the 6th Most Recognized Brand in Commercial Real Estate*, and branding yourself as a national firm driven by our culture of accountability, responsibility, and transparency.

Still not convinced? Come by anyway and we promise we’ll give you a reason to get excited and share what you learned about SVN with your colleagues, clients, and friends. Click here for directions to the SVN booth C162F.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

*Based on The Lipsey Co.’s 2016 Commercial Real Estate Brand Survey

ICSC RECon 2016 - SVN Booth

[bctt tweet=”Yes, of course SVN will be at RECon. Booth C162F to be exact! #CRE” username=”svnic”]

The SVN Commercial Real Estate Cooperation Report

The Commercial Real Estate Cooperation Report Changes Everything

SVN CRE Cooperation ReportIf you read National Real Estate Investor, or follow the SVN Twitter feed (@SVNIC ), you may have noticed a recent piece that I wrote entitled, “When Brokers Cooperate, Sellers Net More.” The NREI article made a bold claim:

Deals sold through broker cooperation achieve a 9.6 percent higher price per square foot, on average, than deals that are double-ended.

In other words, everything we say about the SVN Difference, about Compensated Cooperation and about our Shared Value Network… It’s true. 100% true. Furthermore, SVN has been right about it for almost 30 years.

The NREI article gives you a taste of the argument. If you want to see the whole report that lays out the full analysis, including the stories, end notes, charts and graphs, click the image to the right.

The Best Way of Doing Brokerage

I think the most important part of this report is that the industry has proof to support that cooperation is the best way of doing brokerage... which just so happens is the way that about every other efficient market outside of the commercial real estate world works.

Believe it or not, it’s the first time that anyone has ever done this. We worked with an economics professor to check our numbers, and he did a review of the academic literature. No one has analyzed thousands of commercial deals to see if cooperation works. They’ve done it on the residential side, but never on our side, the commercial side of the business. So, at least for now, this is it.

The CRE (Not So) Secret Weapon

The Cooperation Report is a powerful tool for brokers to use when competing for listings. It provides an arrow in your quiver to support the argument that you, a cooperation driven real estate professional, the way you do brokerage, is proven to earn a higher sale price per square foot. Bottomline. There is no arguing with that. Happy hunting.

[bctt tweet=”Win that listing with this (not so) secret #CRE weapon. ” username=”svnic”]

SVN Specialty Awards: Collaborator of the Year – Tony Yousif

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

Tony Yousif - Collaborator of the Year 2015If you read my recent blog post about the SVN Annual Conference highlights, you know that the SVN Specialty Awards recognize members of the SVN community who have distinguished themselves in 2015 by making significant impacts on the commercial real estate industry and beyond. The awards – which included Team Player of the Year, Ambassador of the Year, Collaborator of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Prospector of the Year, Innovator of the Year, and Firm of the Year – looked beyond production results and instead focused on culture. The winners of this year’s SVN Specialty Awards each embody traits that the SVN culture values immensely: practicing collaboration, cooperation and conscious capitalism while excelling in commercial real estate.

SVN Collaborator of the Year 2015 – Tony Yousif

Tony Yousif - Collaborator of the YearJust being with SVN means you are a collaborator. And one could say that when you specialize in national accounts, you would naturally be a good collaborator. However, when you run your national accounts in a manner where nearly half the company writes in to nominate you, it means that you are the company’s best collaborator. As we are a company founded on collaboration both internally and externally, it’s with great pride that we present this award to Tony Yousif.

Tony Yousif serves as Senior Director of National Accounts for SVN | Asset Advisory Group specializing in the management and sale of investment properties.


The SVN blog will be featuring one SVN Specialty Award winner every week for the next few weeks. Subscribe to the SVN blog on the right-hand column of the blog homepage to stay up to date with SVN and CRE industry news.

SVN Annual Conference 2016: Highlights From San Diego

My Top 4 Moments from the SVN Annual Conference

The 2016 SVN Annual Conference was easily the best reason to miss class. As a college student and the youngest member of the SVNIC team, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to San Diego, California for a three-day commercial real estate extravaganza: #SVN2016. The SVN Annual Conference, held in the Westin San Diego, proved to be the highlight of my entire year working at Sperry Van Ness International Corporation (so far). As you can probably tell, it was difficult for me to narrow down what I thought were the best parts of the event. While I’m sure everyone had a different set of high points, here are mine:

1. Kevin Maggiacomo’s Opening Address

Kevin Maggiacomo
Kevin Maggiacomo, SVNIC CEO & President.

SVNIC CEO & President Kevin Maggiacomo kicked off the conference talking about transparency, shared values and supporting women. As it always has, the commercial real estate industry currently lacks diversity, particularly in terms of including and promoting the interests of women – SVN aims to change this. As quoted in the Globe St. article about him, Maggiacomo says: “Having more successful women on our teams will make all of us more successful and generate exponential value and more profits.” Personally, as a college student interested in business, I was particularly interested in how hiring gender-inclusive talent as well as transparency across the organization (i.e., openly sharing fees with the entire brokerage community) can result in higher profits. As I better understood from Kevin’s opening speech, implementing a shared value strategy enables Advisors to have even more “meaningful conversations.” Kevin wants Advisors to strive to have five “real” conversations per day… every day. This is something that even us interns can try.

2. Advisor Headshot Session

SVN Annual Conference 2016 Poolside Roof Deck
The background: San Diego buildings and sunshine.

The 400+ SVN Advisors and staff from across the U.S., Canada, and Russia probably didn’t expect to have a professional photographer waiting for them at the hotel poolside – on the first full day of the conference. With the help of two extremely resourceful SVNIC assistants (yes, I was one of them), the photographer shot hundreds of new professional headshots for over 150 SVN Advisors and staff within that one day. Not only did dozens of SVN Advisors receive complimentary up-to-date professional headshots to help market themselves and their businesses – it was also an unexpected networking event. I met so many members of the SVN organization while helping them get ready for their photoshoots, and I’m happy to say I have 150 new friends.

3. Diane Danielson’s Business Trends Talk

Diane Talk – Annual Conference 2016
Diane updates the full house of SVN Advisors.

Yes, Diane Danielson is my boss, so at the risk of sounding biased, I’ll say it anyway: she nailed it. Her talk, which focused largely on Millennials (me!) was spot-on. We want flexibility in work hours and location, a clear path for advancement, a conscious capitalist mission, but we still want to work hard. It seems like Millennials are often accused of being lazy, self-absorbed, and all around not the sort of people cut out for the corporate environment that their Silent Generation, Baby Boomer, and older Generation X parents worked hard to cultivate. In her talk, Diane shattered this stereotype about my generation by emphasizing our desire for efficiency. While the business trends discussed spanned more than just Millennial issues, this part of Diane’s speech resonated most with me because as a Millennial, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Click here to see a video of the full talk.

4. Specialty Awards

Everyone likes winning awards. If you don’t, I kind of think you’re lying. What makes the SVN Specialty Awards so wonderful is that they recognize more than just good Commercial Real Estate Advisors – they recognize good people. The awards – which included Team Player of the Year, Ambassador of the Year, Collaborator of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Prospector of the Year, Innovator of the Year, and Firm of the Year – looked beyond production results and instead focused on culture. The winners of this year’s SVN Specialty Awards each embody traits that the SVN culture values immensely: practicing collaboration, cooperation and conscious capitalism while excelling in commercial real estate. Yes, numbers don’t lie. But neither do the people – all members of the SVN organization were invited to nominate individuals for the SVN Specialty Awards. This year’s winners are a group of SVN Advisors and Managing Directors who motivate and inspire me and countless others to strive for excellence in every sense of the word. In case you were curious, here are the winners:

There you have it – my top highlights from the 2016 SVN Annual Conference. I’m sorry, professors – the experience I gained from my three days outside of class was worth its weight in California gold.

For other SVN Annual Conference news, check out the SVN Blog for additional content.

[bctt tweet=”I’m sorry, professors – the experience I gained from my three days outside of class was worth it. #SVN2016 #CRE”]

 

The story behind the Sperry Van Ness Monday Morning Call

One of the hallmarks of the Sperry Van Ness® (SVN) brand is our Monday Morning Sales Call. While almost all commercial real estate teams have a weekly sales meeting of some sort, the SVN call is not only national in scope, but it’s open to the entire brokerage community.  Why do we do this? Because we believe in basic economic fundamentals:

The greater the exposure, the bigger demand; the bigger the demand, the higher the sale price of an asset.  It’s economics 101.

To find out more, view our SVN Difference video.

At SVN we believe that achieving the highest and best price is always in our clients’ best interests. We practice compensated cooperation where we pay equitable co-brokerage fees on all properties to not only our own Advisors, but to any and all outside brokers.  This is where the Monday Morning Sales Call comes in.

Sperry Van Ness National Call
SVN Parke Group watches the Sperry Van Ness national call as an office in their conference room.

With co-brokerage fees motivating the marketplace, compensated cooperation guarantees that more buyers view our clients’ properties, pumping up demand, and ultimately the purchase price.

When an SVN advisor receives a new listing, it’s immediately entered into our innovative cloud-based system, creating instantaneous marketing materials and websites as well as syndication links to multiple listing services.

Qualified properties are then featured on our weekly Monday National Sales call, which is attended by our SVN advisors and other guests who are potential partners for a deal. Following the call, SVN publicizes those properties across the Internet to thousands of more potential purchasers.  The result? Here’s what our advisors have to say:

“I’ve done 4 or 5 deals … with other SVN Advisors and most of them came from the Monday morning call.”

“Sold two [NNN Investment] properties in 2012 [due to Monday morning call].”

“I’ve closed many transactions as Buyer’s broker or Seller’s broker due to the Monday Morning Call.”

“Just this week, I sent a property to my buyer, and that buyer is looking hard at it.”

By exposing listings to not only SVN advisors across the country, but also members of the outside brokerage community our advisors have more opportunities to find the right partner to close more deals.   You may think that Advisors are giving up some by splitting the commission 50/50, but they gain a lot more when they close more deals, more quickly and at a higher price.

This dedication to transparency and collaboration is something we work into every facet of SVN services from investment sales to tenant representation, from property and asset management to corporate, leasing and auction services.

To register for our Monday Morning Sales Call click here.

To find out more about franchise opportunities click here.

Why We Collaborate

Kevin Maggiacomo, President & CEO of Sperry Van Ness Internationa
Kevin Maggiacomo, President & CEO of Sperry Van Ness International Corp.

I’m often asked why we give away some of the (otherwise proprietary) Sperry Van Ness®  systems, tools and resources. I’m further asked why SVN is investing in the development of new tools if only to hand some of them out to the brokerage community at large. “Aren’t we aiding our competitors?” “Are we losing pieces of our differentiated value proposition in doing so?” These are a few of the questions often posed to me. 

While losing market share and eroding gross margin are obviously not the extirpative goals of the aforementioned strategy, in this post I’ll attempt to clarify why we have taken our culture of collaboration up a notch, and how doing so is facilitating growth across all key performance indicators while helping to improve the fractured state of the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. 

By way of background, SVN was founded on the premise that proactively cooperating and collaborating with our brokerage brethren – sharing our fees 50/50 in the process – is the right thing to do for the client and is the only way to ensure maximum value for a property.  Debating the merits of that ethos is a topic for another day, and last month we released the SVN Difference Video, which scrutinized the CRE industry and its asset disposition practices, and was met with strong emotional reaction. 

In terms of opening-up and creating new SVN products for the benefit of the brokerage community, we’ve rolled out the following in the past 12 months, which can be categorized and described as follows:

  • Compensated Cooperation:  The SVN Monday Morning Sales call is now open to the public.  There, we showcase new listings procured by our SVN Advisors over the previous 7 days.  Every listing includes a buy-side commission which is always ½ of what the SVN Advisor stands to earn as a matter of policy.

  • Education:  We collaborated with more than 10 commercial real estate firms and industry organizations to launch www.CREvine.com, an open resource platform for CRE professionals to acquire new skills, gain knowledge, and “level-up” their practices.

  • Marketing:  Lastly, and as a BETA test, we’ve opened up a good portion of our (now retired) OnlinePublisherTM system.  Called CRElaunch, owners and brokers alike can use the tool to create brochures and market their properties (a word of caution here – the product is in BETA and has a long way to go).

But back to the topic at hand.

We collaborate not to merely suggest that “we’re the good guys,” but because we truly believe that making the otherwise dysfunctional commercial real estate market more efficient will benefit all stakeholders, including Sperry Van Ness.

Simply put, collaborating – harnessing the power of broad horizontal networks of participants to achieve a better outcome – will drive market efficiency and liquidity, while simultaneously increasing revenue and profitability to those who collaborate.  At SVN, we’ve aggressively grown our business by subscribing to this ethos and receive direct benefit in the following manner:

  • Recruiting:  As a CRE advisory, one of our biggest economic generators is recruiting talented, ethical and productive advisors.  Our opening-up certain components of SVN has allowed us to create relationships with thousands of brokers and we’ve recruited or awarded a brokerage position or SVN franchise to a small percentage of this new constituency.

  • Retention:  Just as strong as recruiting is a vital key performance indicator of growth, attrition (of producing Advisors) can have devastating consequences for an organization.  Through thought leadership, the contemporary nature of our collaborative growth strategy, and via a transparent business model, our attrition rate is at a 5-year low.

  • Sales:  When one harnesses the power of the entire brokerage community to market a for sale asset, organized competition is generated, multiple offers are posited, the market speaks, and the highest price is achieved.  Our compensated cooperation strategy, coupled with our core covenants, define SVN while moving inventory faster and at a higher price.

  • New Business Development:  It’s tough to argue against the growth strategies of the likes of Google, Skype, and Innocentive in suggesting that their “Freemium” business models don’t create raving fans, loyal customers, and a myriad of cross-selling opportunities (each of these companies offer a free “attraction” product while simultaneously offering paid premium products).  As described above, the SVN story – rooted in harnessing the power of collaboration to affect a better outcome – has been kicked-up a notch, shared with clients/prospects, has enhanced our point of differentiation, increased our “batting average,” and reduced the cost of sales.  We are winning new listings, doing more business – all while putting the clients interests’ first.

Mass collaboration, while not ubiquitous in CRE brokerage, is now a staple of the new economy and it’s here to stay.  As the members of Generation X & Y grow to positions of increasing power and control, collaboration and Freemium business strategies will become the norm in CRE as well.  Until then, I’ll continue to invest in the creation of new products and to share some of those we previously created.

Kevin Maggiacomo is the President and CEO of Sperry Van Ness International Corp.

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

 

SVN State of the Company: Change or Die by Kevin Maggiacomo

Kevin Maggiacomo, President & CEO of Sperry Van Ness Internationa
Kevin Maggiacomo, President & Chief Executive Officer of Sperry Van Ness International Corporation

As President and CEO of Sperry Van Ness International Corporation, my role, aside from addressing the perennially evolving needs of the organization, is to spend a good percentage of my time on strategy and “second wave growth.” Creating a real estate services platform, scaling-up new offerings like property management and auction, but also on expanding upon the disruption that our compensated cooperation model has had on the industry is where I spent a considerable amount of my time. In this post I’ll share with you why we’ve funded and embraced such an “innovation lab” at SVN, and describe why it’s an important cause.

Inspired by the Motley Fool, whose two founders I recently spent time with at the Conscious Capitalism conference, let us consider the following notion: Becoming a leading company in an industry requires the right people, and I’m not talking about at the executive level, but at every level. An appetite for change has to be in a company’s DNA.  But being an industry leader also requires a tremendous amount of imagination… imagining a different world. A world almost like the one we live in now, but more efficient.  Becoming a laggard in an industry requires a lack of imagination. And just like any industry on the planet, there are forces that will disrupt commercial real estate brokerage and we are not immune.

Change happens to industries. Just ask a newspaper publisher, or anyone who invested in that industry in recent years. We still read newspapers – in fact we read them more today than in previous generations – but we don’t read them in quite the same way. And without a bridge loan from the then richest man on the planet, even the patriarch of the publishers – The New York Times – would have filed for bankruptcy protection. Were there warnings this would happen? You bet.

Back in 1993, a man named Gordy Thompson worked for The New York Times, and his job title was “Internet Services Manager.” Rest assured that in the C-Suite at The Times, no one knew what the role included, much less understood that it was arguably the most important position at the newspaper. As the story goes, Thompson tried – and failed to deliver the following message to The Times execs: “When a 14-year old kid can blow up your business in his spare time, not because he hates you but because he loves you, then you’ve got a problem.”

Thompson was in the habit of hanging out on Internet message boards, if you remember those from back in the day. There, Thompson noticed that fans of the Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry were re-posting Barry’s columns on the 2,000 person strong Usenet so that people who couldn’t read the Herald now could. In other words, the greatest competitive threat for newspapers was the popularity of their own content.  People wanted more of it where and when they wanted – on their terms.

This same trend has occurred in the financial industry when we began facilitating our own trades online – and the list goes on. Did people stop traveling? No, they stopped paying travel agents. And you better believe there was a Gordy Thompson every time, sounding the alarm, telling the corporate executives to use a little imagination. Saying “people want what they want, when they want it, where they want it and how they want it.  And if we don’t figure out a way to give it to them, they are going to get it somewhere else.”

Innovating to develop new methods of providing Commercial Real Estate (CRE) advisory services, working towards making the opaque and antiquated CRE industry more transparent and efficient are a few of the causes which drive the SVN innovation lab’s purpose – embracing the disruptive economic forces inherent in other industries is a big focus of our leadership team. When we talk about opening up parts of SVN – our Monday Morning Sales Calls to anyone who wants to listen or the previous version of our OnlinePublisherTM (www.crelaunch.com) – we’re focusing on increasing our productivity through collaboration with the entire industry, making it more efficient in the process.  This is the Sperry Van Ness® Difference. To learn more check out our SVN Difference Video.


Kevin Maggiacomo is the President and CEO of Sperry Van Ness International Corp.

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