5 for Friday – Dan Stewart, CCIM, Managing Director of SVN | Stewart Commercial Group, LLC

This week, our 5 for Friday features Dan Stewart, CCIM, Managing Director of SVN | Stewart Commercial Group, LLC based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dan’s product specialties include auction services, CRE, hospitality, distressed assets, restaurant and retail, and single tenant investment, among many others.


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

It’s going to take a while to get over the hump. Follow the “ASK” principle to influence your personal levels of “Action,” “Skill,” and “Knowledge.” As a new advisor, your competitors will often be more skilled and knowledgeable than you, so you must be in constant action (calls, meetings, proposals, etc.) to outwork them.


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

At the end of the day, we are in the sales and marketing business. A keen focus on continually improving your sales skills is critical. SVN’s System for Growth is a game changer with excellent content. Early in my career, I pursued and obtained the CCIM designation and would recommend that program to anyone—regardless of career stage. For daily inspiration, I watch Darren Hardy’s “Darren’s Daily” and read SUCCESS Magazine.


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

I had a small boutique brokerage firm prior to affiliating with SVN, but I aspired to do larger and more sophisticated transactions. The SVN platform made that dream a reality for me and my office. I wanted the tools and brand to compete for any CRE assignment, and with SVN, I remained in complete control of my business.


4. What was your most memorable deal and why?

I was refereed by a senior lender at Wells Fargo to an owner of a Walgreens portfolio last year. The owner was a 97-year-old woman who ran circles around anyone half her age. She even bought herself a new Corvette to celebrate her 97th birthday. We fell in and out of contract three times but I never feared losing the listing. I had built a strong bond with the client, her children, attorney and CPA. I tell the advisors in my office to be part of the team, not a spectator. We finally closed in late 2016 and I helped the client invest in a CVS property.


5. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

Our tools and technological capabilities are top notch, and our brand is centered on quality. I appreciate the people and collaboration at SVN.


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



AUGUSTA, GA (December 21, 2017) – SVN | KD LANCLOS & ASSOCIATES, LLC, one of the nation’s premier investment sales brokerage firms, has completed the sale of a premier multi-family portfolio consisting of 446 units in Augusta, Ga. Lexerd Capital purchased the well-positioned portfolio for $34.85 million.

Damien Lanclos, CCIM, Managing Director of SVN | KD Lanclos & Associates, LLC represented the seller, ATC Development, in the sale of this portfolio, which is comprised of three apartment communities: Arborside Apartments, Parker Place Apartments and Alexander Place Apartments.

“We’re pleased to have successfully completed this transaction after a competitive sales cycle,” said Lanclos. “Through the support of SVN’s cutting-edge tools, we were able to expertly broker the deal in this high demand area of Georgia, delivering a return on investment for both parties.”

Arborside Apartments, located at 1062 Bertram Road, is comprised of 180 units with one- and two-level style homes. Parker Place Apartments, located at 1065 Bertram Road and 7300 Palomino Court, consists of 139 units. While Alexander Place, is located at 1075 Alexander Drive and features 127 units.

All three communities are situated in the highly desirable area of West Augusta near shopping and dining, with easy access to I-20 and minutes away from Augusta National, the home of The Masters Golf Tournament.

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About SVN | KD Lanclos & Associates, LLC
Based in Augusta, Georgia, SVN | KD Lanclos & Associates, LLC is an independently owned and operated SVN® office.  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 svn.com.


5 for Friday – Jamey Cox, Vice President of SVN | Percival Partners

This week, our 5 for Friday features Jamey Cox, Vice President of SVN | Percival Partners based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Cox specializes in commercial construction, real estate brokerage, and development; including multifamily/apartment, hospitality, land, self-storage, office and retail.


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

You need to have a plan, work that plan, stick to it and the plan will most likely work.


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

The SVN difference means instant credibility and the ability to complete in our market. We are different and people do notice.


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

The book Goals by Bryan Tracy.


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

The opportunity to work in a wonderful industry and achieve personal and financial goals while maintaining a quality of life that allows me to enjoy my young family and not only be defined by my career.


5. What was your most memorable deal and why?

The one that got away…..I like to use these to sharpen my skills and do some internal review.



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


5 for Friday – Perry Laufenberg, Managing Director, SVN | Desert Commercial Advisors

This week, our 5 for Friday features Perry Laufenberg, Managing Director of SVN | Desert Commercial Advisors, in Phoenix, Arizona. Laufenberg is accomplished in transaction management, marketing, working with brokers and landlords of apartments, shopping centers, and office buildings.


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

Hard work and determination will determine your future. Use the SVN database to consistently and methodically prospect for new clients with phone calls and directed marketing campaigns. Focus on building relationships by providing valuable information to the most active commercial real estate owners in your market.


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

The SVN Difference is fully embracing the technology, tools and relationships that exist within our company to generate more business and make lifelong friends along the way.


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

It goes without saying, but the CCIM coursework and training modules are some of the most comprehensive learning tools there are for commercial real estate practitioners.


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

SVN has always embraced technology, inclusion, and diversity, which sets us apart from most of the commercial real estate industry. The values and core covenants that the company was founded on continue to be an important part of why we are with SVN.


5. What was your most memorable deal and why?

The most memorable deals are always the first big deal one of my advisors closes. Handing out a check that could be someone’s yearly salary at another job, will never get old.


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


5 for Friday – Alex Dmyterko, Managing Director and President of SVN | BlackStream

This week, our 5 for Friday features Alex Dmyterko, President and Managing Director of SVN | BlackStream based in Greenville, South Carolina. Dmyterko is accomplished in leading and managing functions of commercial real estate including development, acquisitions, finance & investment, leasing, construction, joint venture structuring, partnerships, legal negotiations, property management and accounting.

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

It starts with showing up ready to play, every day. Absorb what our trainers teach and use the tools and processes provided by SVN. We have a proven and methodical system for success in CRE. Also, be consistent in your efforts and apply yourself every day toward your goals, you will eventually reach them.


2. What does the SVN Difference mean to you?

It means that we have a culture of collaboration, transparency and doing things right. We believe in the Core Covenants. We strive to do the right thing, not necessarily the popular thing and we, as a team, will keep this as our focus so that our clients and our advisors will be exceptionally served.


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

Risk, Ruin and Riches; Inside the World of Big Time Real Estate by Jim Powell provides an insider’s look and analysis into the deal making of commercial real estate giants, and inflection points in our industry’s history. If this book doesn’t bring out your passion for CRE, then you’re probably in the wrong industry. Trammell Crow, Master Builder: The Story of America’s Largest Real Estate Empire by Robert Sobel, is a biography of my former patriarch and mentor; one of the true titans of the industry and likely the greatest developer ever. It is one of my favorite books.


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

I have a unique relationship with SVN BlackStream. In 2014, I was working with SVN International Corp. and sold a franchise to Ford Elliott for four markets in North and South Carolina. Over time, I got to know Ford better and watched him grow his business. After adding a residential real estate franchise to his company and growing BlackStream’s development business, we decided that we could grow even faster as a team. Our partnership takes advantage of Ford’s vision, entrepreneurship, deal making and leadership skills, while adding my experience in developing properties, evolving people and growing companies. SVN’s resources and support provides us with an international company’s clout in our growing markets.


5. What was your most memorable deal and why?

I developed Coldwater Crossings in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as my first project. I built a 550,000-square foot power center on 75 acres. It took two years of rezoning, assembling parcels, meeting with neighborhood groups, working with my architect, civil engineers, GC, and preleasing space before we started construction. When we finally bought the property, I collected a commission on lease deals with Walmart, Cub Foods, General Cinema Corp, Walgreens, and 100,000 square feet of other leases. All the commissions were paid on the same day and it was a life-changing moment. When the stores opened and I saw how many jobs had been created and how many tax revenues we generated, I knew that I had found my life’s calling.


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



VICTORVILLE, CA (November 29, 2017) – SVN |MCRE, Inc., one of the nation’s premier commercial real estate brokerage firms, has completed the sale of a multi-family portfolio consisting of 320 units in Victorville, Calif. to Sagebrush Capital Holdings for a total of $27.4 million. Michael Miyagishima, CCIM, Managing Director of SVN | MCRE, Inc. brokered the sale of this portfolio, which is comprised of two apartment communities, The Colony and Golden Sands. Miyagishima represented the seller, Tomanek Associates.

“This transaction was highly favorable to both the seller and buyer, as the portfolio offers a fantastic value add opportunity in light of economic fundamentals,” said Miyagishima. “Through the support of SVN’s cutting-edge tools and marketing platforms, we were able to broker the deal with a high return on investment for the seller.”

The first property within the portfolio, The Colony is located at 14450 El Evado Road and sits on 8.96 acres. With 200 units, the 172,000 square-foot apartment community sold for $17.7 Million. Golden Sands is a 93,600 square feet apartment community located at 15930 Nisqually Road. Consisting of 120 units, the complex sold for $9.7 Million.

Victorville is a city in southern California located off Interstate 15. Just northeast of Los Angeles, the city of Victorville continues to serve as a popular location for businesses.

About SVN | MCRE, Inc.

SVN | MCRE, Inc. is an independently owned and operated SVN® office. 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 svn.com.

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Pacific Grove, Calif. (November 28, 207) – SVN | King Properties, one of the nation’s premier net lease brokerage firms, has completed the sale of the Villa Del Mar Apartments for $20.5 million. The 76,170 square-foo

t multifamily development sits on nearly two scenic acres in Pacific Grove, Calif.

Compass Acquisition Partners purchased the property, with Kevin King, Managing Director of SVN | King Properties facilitating the transaction.

“The Villa Del Mar apartment portfolio offers the buyer a compelling value-add opportunity in a quality location, despite the fact that this property presented high barriers to entry,” said Kevin King of SVN | King Properties. “Through SVN’s rich tools and market data, we were able to craft a compelling offer that created a beneficial opportunity for both the buyer and seller.”

Less than a mile from the ocean at 1141 Lighthouse Avenue, Villa Del Mar is a three-building, 78-unit apartment complex well-situated at the intersection of Asilomar Avenue and Lighthouse Avenue. This easily accessible location is also convenient to the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, the Point Pinos Lighthouse and the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens, all within a one-mile radius.

About SVN | King Properties:

SVN | King Properties is an independently owned and operated SVN® office. The SVN organization is comprised of over 1,600 Advisors and staff in more offices in the United States than any other commercial real estate firm, and is currently expanding into six other countries. Geographic coverage and amplified outreach to traditional, cross-market, and emerging buyers and tenants is the only way to achieve maximum value for our clients. This is why we proactively promote properties and share fees with the entire industry. This is our unique Shared Value Network® and 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 – 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.

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.

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.

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 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”]

Have Five Real Conversations a Day for CRE Success

Conversations Drive Commercial Real Estate Sales

Last night, I had to turn on my electric snow melting mats. Again. In March. So you’ll understand why I’m spending a lot of time this morning thinking about our Annual Conference in San Diego.

And what I’m thinking about is the challenge that our CEO, Kevin Maggiacomo, issued to everyone in the room: Have five real conversations a day, every day.

real conversations - lady on the phoneMany of you are reading this and thinking that this isn’t a challenge. After all, you talk to 10, 20, 30 people every day, right? As I write this, it isn’t even 7:30 am, I’ve already spoken to 3 people, and I’m not even in a direct sales position anymore!

Let’s look at what Kevin said one more time… “Have five REAL conversations a day, every day.” That one word – real – makes a big difference. A real conversation is one that you have with a person who is truly in a position to sign a listing, lease, or purchase agreement. Real landlords, real owners, real tenants or truly real buyers. To be clear, I define a real buyer as someone who already owns or leases commercial real estate.

And here’s another kicker… If you’re already doing a deal with someone and you have to talk to them anyways, they don’t count.

Now that we’ve narrowed down “real,” THOSE conversations are usually a bit more few and far between. So, if you aren’t talking to five of those people a day, starting to do that will revolutionize your business. And if you can talk to more than five (when I brokered, my goal was 10 and my average was 8!), you’ll do even better.

How to Have Five Real Conversations a Day

If you aren’t having five real conversations a day, you probably have two questions at this point:

  1. How do I find these real people?
  2. What do I talk about when I get them on the phone or in front of me?

First question… The real people are in your database. Anyone that you aren’t working with today is someone that you need to talk to today. And if you don’t have a database, there’s no time like now to get started (take a look at the first couple of lessons in the SVN System for Growth course on “Encyclopedic Market Knowledge” for help getting started). We can give you all kinds of strategies for how to strategically segment your database and build smart call lists.  But for now, here’s a simple three-step rule:

  1. Find someone in your database that you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  2. Call him or her.
  3. Repeat until you’ve spoken to five different people.

Second question… What do you talk about? Dr. Dotzour nailed it at the conference… Owners and landlords care about two things – will my building stay full and will my value go up. Anything that can impact values (or net operating incomes) or occupancy is fair game, and a great way to start a conversation. It’s that simple.

To learn more about how SVN can boost your brokerage skills and business, click here.

[bctt tweet=”Have five real conversations a day, every day. #CRE”]

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.”]

2016 Commercial Real Estate Market Outlook

As we progress through the start of a new year, I am pleased to share my thoughts on the robust 12 months past and to offer my outlook for the commercial real estate market in 2016. Before I do, I would be remiss if I did not thank the SVN Advisors, staff, and fellow brokers for their contributions to driving our market forward in spite of changing times. I know that I speak for all SVN Advisors and staff when I wish you a prosperous year ahead.

The Year Ahead in the Commercial Real Estate Market

Uncertainty Breeding Opportunity

After several years of increasing domestic economic expansion and an ever-recovering and ever-growing real estate market, 2016 opens with the return of global economic uncertainty as China’s economic growth moderates, energy prices decline significantly, and geopolitical threats such as ISIS, pose a consistent threat to Europe and the rest of the world. While it remains unclear how today’s macroeconomic conditions will impact commercial real estate markets, there are two scenarios. The first is that global market weakness will impact domestic financial markets, the second is that market impacts remain moderate and commercial real estate remains stable and continues to grow due to strengths in core fundamentals. We believe that the second scenario is more probable given the unique opportunities being posed by forces – like demographic shifts – that are proceeding independently of macroeconomic trends.

Manhattan - commercial real estate market
Manhattan, NY

As for the commercial real estate markets themselves, 2015 was an amazing year. Real Capital Analytics reported a total of $533 billion in sales representing a 23% gain over 2014, and the second highest level of investment volume over time behind the peak $573 billion in activity seen in 2007. Further, the Moody’s/RCA CPPI has given an initial estimate of 12% year over year price appreciation in 2015. These trends are more likely than not to persist throughout 2016 for several reasons. First, global pressures will have two effects:  One, keeping interest rates low (despite the best intentions of the Federal Reserve) and keeping foreign money flowing to the United States, a decent amount of which will flow to real estate. Second, fundamentals are strong – in fact, many markets in almost all property type segments experienced rising lease rates and falling occupancies for most of 2015 and are forecast to continue such growth. Third, new supply remains balanced with demand growth and thus oversupply seems unlikely. The lack of increasing new supply given the growth of rental rates amidst falling vacancies can largely be attributed to rising construction costs and relatively tight lending standards for new development.

What happens in the broader United States macro economy is far more difficult to predict. First, the decline in oil and energy prices is absolutely going to cause highly localized and specific harm to those sectors and in turn cause some level of harm to the real estate markets dependent on energy production, such as those in Texas and the Midwest. Historically, oil price declines acted like a tax break or stimulus package for consumers and businesses and the overall economy thus prospered; since the United States has significantly increased its production of oil and energy following the pre-recession oil price spikes, the effect is less certain today. High price markets like those found in the Northeast and California and parts of Florida are likely to benefit the most from energy price declines as it lowers transit and utilities costs and could boost employment via the stimulus effect.

Overall, we expect that the United States economy will grow more slowly in 2016 than 2015 while still remaining positive and thus avoiding recession. Therefore, we do not see any major risks to the commercial real estate markets as long as fundamentals remain relatively strong.

Investment Outlook

commercial real estate market - chicago
Chicago, IL

Commercial real estate investors who made acquisitions during the downturn are now reaping the benefits of taking such risks. Despite, or in fact, because of these significant gains, many investors and market participants are now openly opining on the possibility of a new downturn in the real estate asset cycle. We do not find such arguments to be very compelling for several reasons. First, many of the causal conditions present before the 2008 economic turmoil are not present in 2016 and are not likely to appear in the near-term horizon. The most meaningful indicator of a potential bubble or overpricing of commercial real estate is the spread between cap rates and underlying treasury rates. According to RCA, cap rates averaged 6.5% nationwide during 2015, while the 10-year treasury rate averaged in the low 2% range for most of 2015 and early 2016. This implies a spread of over 4% (or 400 basis points). Today’s spreads are significantly higher than those observed pre-crash where they averaged slightly below 200 basis points and even below 100 basis points for class A assets in top markets according to the commercial real estate economics researchers at the Lakemont Group. In summary, the market is not presenting the same risk/return profile observed before the 2007 peak of pricing. Further, debt availability is far more constrained post crisis with total leverage utilization down significantly (in fact, the percentage of all equity transactions in many markets is staggering) and therefore the risk of default is relatively low for most investors and deals. Thus, we believe pricing in commercial real estate markets does not represent a new bubble or other significant source of risk.

This conclusion is further strengthened by our belief that interest rates will not experience significant upward pressure in 2016. The energy sector declines and overall global pressures will likely start impacting GDP and employment statistics by the end of the first quarter of 2016.  The likely result will be the Federal Reserve slowing or even pausing further rate increases in 2016. Debt markets should remain open and active in 2016 as they did in 2015. If debt costs do not rise and fundamentals remain stable or growing (even if at slower rates than in 2015), it is not logical to expect price declines. In fact, we expect modest price appreciation for most markets.

Top Markets for Property Sales in 2015

(Ranked in terms of total dollar volume)

  1. Manhattan – $55.9B
  2. Los Angeles -$27.6B
  3. Chicago – $22.6B
  4. Dallas – $19.5B
  5. Atlanta – $16.9B
  6. Boston – $16.4B
  7. Seattle – $14.9B
  8. San Francisco – $14.3B
  9. San Jose – $12.5B
  10. Phoenix – $12.1B
Source: Real Capital Analytics

The list of top markets for commercial real estate sales in 2015 appears relatively similar to lists for the past 5 years with the new additions of Phoenix and San Jose. These markets attract institutional capital from private equity, REITs, and foreign buyers and have been the most competitive to find deals, especially with attractive yields. Overall, given the increasing level of global macroeconomic uncertainty, we expect these and related top tier markets to gather an increasing share of commercial real estate investment activity in 2016 as money moves to areas of perceived lowest risk.

Top Growth Markets for Property Sales in 2015

(Ranked in terms of YOY percentage increase in sales volume)

  1. DC/Virginia Burbs – 121%
  2. Baltimore – 71%
  3. Orange County – 70%
  4. Northern New Jersey – 69%
  5. Seattle – 68%
  6. Orlando – 68%
  7. Portland – 61%
  8. Central California – 60%
  9. Inland Empire – 58%
  10. Phoenix – 54%
Source: Real Capital Analytics

The above list of markets may present some of the best opportunities for growth and price appreciation given their relative strength. Capital is starting to rotate to these markets and further price increases may potentially follow. There will likely be expansion in cap rate spreads between primary and secondary markets in 2016, especially if foreign capital flows increase as predicted and those funds seek assets predominantly in only the largest markets. Thus, yield-seeking investors will likely find the best opportunities in the non-top tier markets (such as most of those on the list above).

Miami - commercial real estate market
Miami, FL

Beyond market, property sector is equally important in terms of forecasting investment performance. According to RCA, the apartment sector has been the top performer, up 38% from the peak (defined as Q4 ’07), followed by office, up 18% from the peak. Retail and industrial have lagged at -1% from peak and up 3% from peak respectively but performed well in recent years. We find it impractical to give overall guidance for property sectors on a nationwide basis and encourage investors to work with Advisors who are knowledgeable about each sector in their respective market as finding the best performer can be challenging. Industrial properties offer a prime example of such quandaries – industrial real estate in energy markets should face decreased space demand as that sector contracts in 2016. By contrast, industrial distribution facilities in areas of high population growth (like Florida) may over-perform as retailers shift distribution from stores to warehouses as online sales continue to dominate.

Trends to Watch

Perhaps the most discussed trend in commercial real estate in recent years has been the Millennials, the age cohort who are changing work and living arrangements across the nation. A relatively less covered demographic trend of greater size and perhaps importance is the aging population. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and analyses by the Lakemont Group, the overall population in the United States is forecast to grow by 11.55% in the next 15 years while the population above the age of 75 is forecast to grow 69.21%. In fact, those over 75 years old will represent almost 10% of the population by 2030 (those above 65 will be over 20% as well). While many real estate market participants correctly use these statistics to justify the need for more senior housing, there are actually many other real estate  opportunities to service this growing segment of the population. Market rate apartments with features and locations this demographic wants, can use, and can afford is one such example. Properties to house medical services and activity retail is another. We encourage investors to think long-term when making acquisition, disposition, and asset management decisions. This is one long-term trend that could shape demand for many property types for decades into the future.

Concluding Thoughts

2016 has started with higher levels of volatility in United States equity markets as a result of justifiably significant fears of global economic pressures causing falling demand domestically. While some investors are taking a fearful stance, we see a different outcome. It is probable that global uncertainty will serve to keep interest rates low and allow for growth of fundamentals in the commercial real estate markets and in the broader domestic economy. Furthermore, even in the event of a domestic economic slowdown, the global uncertainty could lead to lower interest rates and even greater inflows of foreign capital, supporting the domestic commercial real estate market (the current risk / reward proposition of U.S. investment is unbeatable).

Commercial Real Estate Market - Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

If such occurs, it is likely for 2016 to be another strong year for commercial real estate transaction volume, net operating income growth, and even price appreciation; however, expect all to grow at a slower rate in 2016 than in 2015. Investors and property owners should be aware that today’s commercial real estate economy has little in common with previous downturns. As such, we believe that the risk and return profile of commercial real estate is still attractive in 2016 and is likely to remain so for at least the near-term horizon.


Follow Kevin Maggiacomo on Twitter: @Maggiacomo.

[bctt tweet=”We believe that the risk and return profile of commercial real estate is still attractive in 2016. #CRE “]

CRE Brokerage Firms: Should You Stay Independent?

Independent vs. National Commercial Real Estate Firms

To be, or not to be, that is the question…” goes the famous opening line of an act from the Shakespeare play, Hamlet.

That very same question is what a lot of CRE Principals ask themselves every day. “To Be Independent or not to Be Independent… and Be with a National Firm.”

The decision is not an easy one, especially for an Independent who may feel as though his/her niche in the marketplace would be disruptive to current business if they were to align themselves with a national platform.

If you’re someone who wants to buy and sell for their own gain and possible syndication, well, a national platform may not be the choice for you. However, if you are an independent CRE brokerage or property management firm that wants to step up their game and compete with the national players, then looking at a national platform definitely behooves you to take a little time to gather information so you can make a knowledgeable decision.

5 Factors to Consider When It Comes to Independent vs. National Firms

Let’s first consider the information that would allow you and your firm to make that informed decision:

  1. Technology: I know, I know. It’s always changing and it’s one of the biggest expenses an independent firm incurs. If not in hardware and software, in people or outside services. A few questions to ask are: “Does this national platform have the technology I will need today and position me for future growth without a seismic shift in how I do business or in training? Is it cloud-based or on premise technology? Will the firm help train, accelerate my transition to its platform? Is what I currently have working?”
  2. Financial: As Bill Clinton once said, “It’s about the economy, stupid.” Well, in our business some would argue it’s “Show me the money!” A few things to consider: “Do I see how this move to a national firm would enhance my bottom line? Will it allow me to reduce marketing expenses or greatly enhance my marketing efforts? Is my market demanding or is it asking for more of a national presence to be competitive? How can it help me with existing and new relationships? Can it help me do more deals? Can it help me recruit and retain top talent? And last but not least, what are the commission splits and what are the fees?”
  3. Personal: What will ultimately suit my business, my people, my family and my clients? What do the next 3-5 years look like in my business?
  4. Intangibles: What are the Unknown Unknowns? I like to call them the “unk unks.” To get this perspective, it is very important to talk to the current principals of the national platform you are considering and get a mix of their experience. Do your due diligence and spend a little time with principals who have been affiliated from 1 year to 5 years with the national platform you are considering. This is imperative before making your final decision. This will allow you to see what the “real deal’ is without all the marketing hype. “Looking under the hood to make sure there is an engine there” is necessary before your final decision.
  5. Why not you, why not now? – Only you have that answer…

Brand Identity and SVN® Commercial Real Estate Advisors

Last week I was asked by a prospective SVN principal: “I am concerned my brand identity will be compromised and I will lose the local flair with a national platform. What should I do about my brand?” My response: “I don’t know about that, we can talk about it; however what I do know is what I hear from owners of independent firms who were asking the same questions before they joined forces with SVN…”

SVNHere’s how SVN can address the Independent vs. National Firm concern, from the words of various members of the SVN community:

“With a national platform, we now harness the power of one of the industry’s 6th most-recognized names with the expanded reach of an international network of over 1,300 Advisors in over 500 markets. The brand has definitely given my firm the opportunity to grow my business and client base. I now sit at the table to compete with the other nationals in my market.”

“We now have unlimited access to industry leading-edge commercial real estate tools and technology that helps maximize our clients’ returns and saves us time and money.”

“We now have expanded visibility and marketing to reach the widest possible investor audience and access to a broader array of asset classes and so much more as part of a global network. It is the SVN Advisors that make up the difference…this is a global network where each person is committed to putting their clients’ interests first.”

If you are looking to “step up your game” – now is the time to gain information to help you make a knowledgeable decision so you are ready for growth in 2016. The best of luck to you with your “to be or not to be” decision!

Read more about Karen Hurd here.

[bctt tweet=”If you’re looking to step up your game – now is the time to gain information to help you make a knowledgeable decision so you are ready for growth in 2016! #CRE”]

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.

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.

How to Effectively Market Properties

The Two Things You Must Do to Effectively Market Properties

2015 is well underway. You clients should be back in the swing of things, which means that you are doing more proposals and taking more exclusive listings. Great!

Now, it’s time to get those listings sold, and to turn them into paychecks. In order to get them closed, you need to market. Here’s the two things you have to do in order to effectively market your properties:

  1. Call every buyer you should know.
  2. Work the entire brokerage community to get them to do #1.

Let’s get down to the details because it’s important to completely do both steps if you want to increase your closing rate.

Call Every Buyer You Should Know

There’s an extra word in this heading – should – but it’s there for a good reason. Right now, most Brokers (and possibly a few SVN® Advisors), get a listing and immediately call their top buyers. Some even call a few more. What most brokers don’t do is to call every possible buyer that they can reasonably find.

I’m not talking about finding every possible buyer in the country – we’ll cover that in the next paragraph. I’m talking about calling the person two blocks down the street that no one else calls, but that buys a building once every 25 years. If you cover them, you’ll get access to qualified buyers that no one else will touch. And, really, isn’t that what your client is paying you to do?

Work the Entire Brokerage Community

In addition to doing your best to find buyers that no one else can find, it’s also your job to make sure that every Broker in the country finds the buyers that you can’t find. That way, your best pool competes with everyone else’s likely pools to find the best possible offer for your seller.

Syndication through our online marketing tools and through electronic mail blasts are also a part of the process, but they’re only a small part.

If you want to know what you can do to energize both the SVN community and the rest of the industry, take a look at the attached infographic. It’s a how-to of everything you need to do to get your deals sold. In fact, don’t just look at it. Print it out, tape it to your wall, and keep it handy to remind you how to get ALL of your listings sold.

To learn more about the Sperry Van Ness® marketing systems and tools, click here.

SVN Value Prop

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


Choosing a Commercial Real Estate Advisor: What to Look for Beyond Experience

When you start looking for a commercial real estate advisor, everyone will tell you to work with an extremely experienced person. Many of the names that you get as referrals will be some of your community’s leading brokers. They are extremely skilled and extremely busy.

The Truth About The “Best” Commercial Real Estate Advisors

While it may seem like commercial real estate advisors are everywhere, the fact is that when you get to the top echelon of advisors, there are very few of them and they are in a great deal of demand. Because of this, many of them are very selective with how they spend their time. Their time management skills are one of the reasons that they are so successful.

If you have a very large transaction, they will give it a great deal of attention and, in most cases, do an excellent job for you. However, if your transaction is small they will probably hand it off to a junior member of their team. When you gauge the size of what you are offering them, bear in mind that what you think is a large transaction is likely a small transaction for them.

Another Option

Work with an established firm like your local Sperry Van Ness® office, and if you can’t engage a senior commercial real estate broker, find a junior Choosing a Commercial Real Estate Advisoradvisor who may lack in years in the business, but does not lack in tools, resources and initiative. Note that in commercial real estate, the term “junior” doesn’t necessarily refer to the age of the broker or advisor, but more likely the years in the industry. Many of our own top SVN advisors already had successful careers in completely different industries. Why work with a less experienced advisor? First of all, most established firms are relatively selective about who they recruit, so the odds are that you’ll get someone pretty good. Second of all, that advisor should be desperate to do a good job so that they can build their resume. They will give your deal much more attention than a more experienced advisor will. (We note this also works when selecting attorneys!)

At this point, you’re probably asking “What if they’re incompetent?” Here’s the beautiful thing about young advisors at good firms: they aren’t left alone. When you work with them, they will typically have a senior advisor or an experienced manager watching everything you do. This gives you the benefit of working with a top-of-the-line senior advisor while also giving you a very high level of personal service.

Working hard is what I did for my clients when I was a young advisor, and providing expert oversight is what I did for my advisors’ clients when I was a senior advisor and broker/manager. Now you can take advantage of this trick!

What types of commercial real estate advisors do you like to work with? Please tell us below!

The Sperry Van Ness® team is committed to always putting the client first. Visit our advisor directory to find your nearest Sperry Van Ness Commercial Real Estate Advisor®.


Racing to the Finish Line with Your NNN Investment

It is Thoroughbred racing season, one of my favorite times of the year. It was a great Kentucky Derby and Preakness with the favorite, American Pharaoh, prevailing down the stretch for both races. There are some real similarities between horse racing and commercial real estate investing. In the next few paragraphs, I’ll talk about horse racing, and share my views on how it parallels NNN investing.

1. Distance of the Track – Length of Lease TermNNN Investment and Horse Racing

Commercial Real Estate Insight – The distances of the track for the three races is different: the Kentucky Derby is 1 ¼ miles, the Preakness is 1 3/16 miles and the Belmont is 1 ½ miles. This correlates well to a NNN investment lease term. If you have a longer term lease, then location is not as big of a concern. If you are buying, for example, a cell phone or mattress store that will typically have 10 year initial terms, then there needs to be a high barrier to entry and a strong corner location with great visibility and access.

Horse Racing Insight – Given that American Pharaoh had drawn the first door on the race track (one in which it is easy to get bottled up and stuck in the back) and the Preakness is the shortest of the three races (a sprint), I was not surprised to see that Bob Baffert instructed his jockey, Victor Espinoza, to take American Pharaoh right to the front from the start of the race. Otherwise he may have ended up in the back in a “bad location” and lost the race (not get his lease renewed).


2. The Jockey Really Matters – Carefully Time Your Investment

Horse Racing Insight – A Thoroughbred race horse weighs over 1,200 pounds. It is very important that the jockey has a strategy about where to position the horse on the race track and to regulate the speed of the horse. The jockey will only get one chance to “ask” (or kick) the horse up to full speed. I will never forget the 2004 Belmont Stakes where Smarty Jones was going for the Triple Crown. Smarty Jones was clearly the best horse, but the Belmont is the longest race at 1.5 miles – a full ¼ of a mile (one time around a standard high school track) longer than the Kentucky Derby, so it is crucial to manage distance in this race. Smarty Jones was in the front and pulling away, but his jockey may have “asked” him to sprint too soon, and Birdstone came out of nowhere. Smarty Jones never saw him, and Birdstone passed Smarty Jones at the end to take the Belmont.

Commercial Real Estate Insight – You have to manage your lease term for a NNN investment. If you NNN Investment Commercial Real Estateplan to sell, it is best to sell with ten years left or a minimum of five years. If you have less than five years remaining, you may need to hold until the renewal or be prepared to take a significant discount. It’s important to have a plan in place when you purchase a NNN investment as to how long you will hold and when to exit the investment.  A real estate investment professional can help you evaluate the best time to dispose of an investment in light of the market conditions.


3. Horses Have Personalities – Know Your NNN Investment Assets

Horse Racing Insight – If Smarty Jones had been eye-to-eye with Birdstone as the jockeys “asked” their horses to sprint, there is no way Smarty Jones would have lost. Horses know if they are winning or losing, and if Smarty Jones had been head-to-head with Birdstone, his heart would have pushed him for the win.

Commercial Real Estate Insight – Tenants have personalities, and there are some store managers and district managers who have livelihood riding on your real estate. With today’s technology, they know day in and day out whether they are winning or losing. Make sure you know how the store is doing and get to know the manager. They will share a wealth of information that will help with your long-term planning.


Click here to view my bio/listings and click here to view my other blog posts. 

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