5 for Friday with Diane Danielson, COO of SVN

SVN’s COO Diane Danielson, featured on this month’s Five for Friday, received the 2019 Leadership Award from CREW Boston this past Wednesday, April 24.  Diane has been COO at SVN since 2012, and leads the company’s and the industry’s efforts to be more inclusive and diverse.

Diane and her son at the 2018 World Cup in Russia

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

My best advice is to “systematize,” that is, create a system that is sustainable and consistently moves you to achieving your goals. It should include structures and routines that help you achieve the fundamentals of CRE (underwriting, building a database, making calls, etc.). A long term plan would include accessing training  and coaching opportunities, and also looking into CCIM and other opportunities for accreditation.


What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

The SVN Difference is grounded in the belief that collaboration creates value for clients, colleagues and communities. The SVN Difference thrives in an environment of transparency and abundance and it’s how our SVN Advisors win business and create happy and healthy client relationships.

What learning tools (book, blog, website, etc.) would you recommend to your colleagues to further their knowledge and enhance their careers?

This year, I’m recommending The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win by Jeff Haden. Basically it’s a primer for systematization, which is the secret sauce to becoming a high achiever.

Why did you join SVN?

I had left commercial real estate for a few years, and was hesitant to come back. But the SVN® brand – the platform, the people and the philosophy — aligned with my personal values. First, SVN leverages both technology and the franchise model to empower local leadership – and in CRE, being local matters as much as being globally connected SVN balances the two for even the smallest markets. Second, the people at SVN are predisposed to collaborate to benefit our clients — at our headquarters and in our local offices. This is surprisingly unique in the CRE industry. Finally, the most compelling factor was, and still remains, the SVN brand’s dedication to inclusion and diversity. SVN is a forward-thinking firm and walks the walk when it comes to advocating for inclusion as a competitive advantage.

(Editor’s note: Diane has written a white paper on the importance of diversity and inclusion that will be published shortly.)

List a fun fact to share about yourself – something that people may not know and that they may be surprised to find out.

While I may soon have to retire my cleats for good, I’ve been playing competitive soccer for most of the past 40+ years. As an early beneficiary of Title IX (passed in 1971) I can claim that I wore #9 on the soccer field before Mia Hamm was even born. Due to a bad soccer injury in my teens, I ended temporarily switching sports and played tennis in college at Colgate University, but returned to the soccer field in my 20s and been playing ever since. The highlight of my last year was taking my son and father to a World Cup game in St. Petersburg, Russia! And, I will be rooting for our US women’s team in the World Cup this summer! Go #USWNT!

SVN advocates for diversity and inclusion, and offers career opportunities to women and men of different backgrounds.