This week, our 5 for Friday features Mark Alexander, CCIM, Managing Director of Sperry Van Ness (Mark Alexander) based out of Ft. Myers, Florida.
1. What is your geographic market and product specialty?
I specialize in NNN medical office sale/leaseback closings and have been the National Director of MOB sales for SVN for many years. I currently host the SVN National Medical Call where I teach fellow Advisors how to work with doctors and list their MOBs. I have closed 87 MOB sales in my career to date located in six different states. Due to working with such a specific product specialty, I do not have a ‘defined’ geographic market, but rather work nationally across the United States, though most deals are in my home state of Florida.
2. What’s your latest best practice tip that you can share?
Get involved, both in communication and collaboration! First, no one will hear from you, and subsequently think of you, if you do not reach out. If you are not comfortable with that, than I suggest you get comfortable. My two recent listings came about from me sending monthly post cards and a monthly e-newsletter called the “Alexander Medical Report” to my database of doctors who own medical office buildings. To collect additional content for my e-newsletter, beyond my own closings, I set-up a Google alert that sends me links each day to articles published with keywords “Medical Office”. Due to my research, I am able to share news of MOB closings from around the country, in addition to my own, each month. Second, get out there and collaborate with your fellow Advisors! The sales of my two recent listings (in Sebring and Bradenton totaling over $11 million combined) closed due to collaboration with SVN advisors who provided the buyers in each case. For additional information on those deals, see here and here.
3. What’s been the biggest change over on how you run your business in the past decade?
I joined Sperry Van Ness eleven years ago. When I first joined I had a 2000 SF office where I managed multiple Advisors (including the former Mayor of Ft. Myers) and personally did a good amount of office leasing and property management in addition to working on my MOB sale/leaseback specialty. I was spread too thin, in too many directions, all at once. At one of my first SVN national conferences I was attending a session on “How to grow your SVN business” and I happen to sit next to Mark Van Ness. I mentioned to him that I did a little bit of leasing, property management and sales. Van Ness said, “Property management can be a decent profit center if you have critical mass”. In other words, you need a lot of it to make money. I realized that my dabbling in property management and leasing was eating up my most important asset – my time. It had created an artificial income ceiling for me. Shortly after that national conference I started outsourcing my leasing and property management to focus on my specialty and passion…which is medical office sale/leaseback.
Before joining SVN, I had been so busy running my business as a small independent boutique firm, I had really not taken the time to look back and analyze my business and how I might improve it. Over the past ten years, thanks to things I learned from SVN, I slowly phased out my office and now work out of my home and focus solely on MOB sale/leasebacks. My model of business in not for everyone but it works for me. I am more happy now and making more money than I ever did in the past. Thanks to coaching from SVN at national conferences, I had finally realized that I had been a reluctant manager of sales people in my office and my true passion was just working on deals. SVN gave me the national network and support to compete on the national stage to provide the best possible service for my doctor clients.
4. What business book do you like to recommend to your colleagues?
It can never be just one book. Our business is constantly evolving with changes in the economy and technology so it is important to consistently read as much as you can to keep your finger on the pulse of our industry and your specialty. Earlier this year, I helped an SVN Advisor in Milwaukee list a $35M MOB solely because I had recently attended two national conferences (one in Scottsdale, AZ and one in Miami, FL) on the medical office market. During a conference call, when the Wisconsin MOB seller started telling me what he thought was the state of the MOB market, I was able to correct him and quote national speakers (who were CEO’s of National Health Care firms) from both conferences on topics that countered this seller’s pre-conceived opinions. The seller grew suddenly quiet, and shortly after we signed the listing. That deal is under contract now with a 1031 buyer and due to close near the end of June for $33.5 million. Interestingly, after we signed the contract, the seller admitted to us that every other competing broker who had pitched this listing before SVN had said it would never sell over $30 million.
5. What’s a fun fact that not everyone knows about you?
As a shameless sharer of news and family pictures on Facebook, there is probably little that people don’t know about me already. But I can say, the best part of my day is taking our dog buddy for a walk out our front door along the Miami Beach Marina each morning. I enjoy looking at boats while Buddy intently studies the bushes. The picture to the right shows the view from the 17th floor condo where I live and work. I moved here in April after spending the previous 33 years in Ft. Myers. My daughter Lauren starts college in the fall at FIU in Miami.
*All Sperry Van Ness offices are independently owned and operated.