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

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SVN Releases 2016 CRE Market Outlook Reports

New Updates on Trends in Top Markets

This week SVN released the 2016 Market Outlook Reports as a way to update the CRE industry on current trends. Teaming up with the Lakemont Group, Real Capital Analytics, and REIS, SVN put together reports detailing today’s economic conditions and how they impact commercial real estate. These reports also highlight top markets to watch across the U.S., citing cities such as Chicago and Atlanta that CRE professionals should keep an eye on. Broken up into four major asset classes – industrial, multifamily, office, and retail – these reports provide useful insights as we head into the second half of 2016.

Highlights from Each Report Include:

Industrial

Chicago Market Outlook Reports
Chicago, IL
  • Global pressures weigh on growth
  • Net absorption strong as vacancy falls
  • Fundamentals improve for all industrial sectors
  • Demand growth persists
  • Yield seeking investors discover industrial properties
  • Warehouse is the storefront of tomorrow

Multifamily

  • New supply meeting demand
  • Rent growth fuels supply expansion
  • Class ‘A’ leads in rent growth, ‘B/C’ in occupancy
  • Record households and jobs increase demand growth
  • Low cap rates engender price risk fears
  • Baby Boomers may form next rental wave
Atlanta Market Outlook Reports
Atlanta, GA

Office

  • Slow growth and steady gains
  • Record rents amidst still high vacancies
  • ‘B/C’ holds steady while ‘A’ gains
  • Domestic strength and global uncertainty
  • Wide spreads indicate low risk
  • Return of the private office is possible

Retail

  • Discovering a new normal
  • High vacancies restrict the need for new supply
  • Neighborhood centers make gains on power centers
  • Consumer segment continues to grow
  • Opportunities for mispriced assets exist
  • Housing reconstruction to spur retail demand

Stay Updated…

Over the next few weeks, the SVN Blog will be featuring posts that will focus on each of the top markets to watch for industrial, multifamily, office, and retail properties. SVN Advisors from selected top markets have provided their industry expertise regarding what to look out for in their specific market in the coming months. Don’t miss out on these important insights – subscribe to the SVN Blog on the right side of the blog homepage.

 

CRE Market Outlook

[bctt tweet=”SVN released the 2016 Market Reports as a way to update the #CRE industry on current trends. ” username=”svnic”]

Solomon Poretsky's CRE Road Trip Halftime Update

Catching up with Solomon on his CRE Road Trip

Memphis - CRE road trip
Memphis, TN

In case you missed my blog post last week, I’ll fill you in: Solomon Poretsky, SVNIC’s Executive Vice President of Organizational Development, has been on the road this July touring nine different states, visiting as many SVN offices as he can. Bringing his whole family along for the ride, Solomon has made some progress driving around the middle of the country, from Minneapolis to Memphis to Pittsburgh and more. So far, after visiting four SVN offices, Solomon has been enjoying his #CREroadtrip experience.

One of the interesting aspects of this trip for Solomon has been seeing how each office reflects both the “flavor” of the person who leads it as well as the feel of the region. For example, just the other day Solomon was sitting in an old historic downtown Pittsburgh building, versus a week earlier he was sitting in a suburban office building in Cincinnati. But it hasn’t been all about the differences for Solomon. “What’s equally amazing is the commonalities between the offices,” he says. The SVN work culture itself is pretty much the same across the board: from downtown Pittsburgh to suburban Cincinnati, Solomon has been noticing high levels of collegiality, Advisors who are extremely knowledgeable about the local markets, and a strong dedication to bring the power of our Shared Value Network to local communities.

CRE Coaching for Managing Directors and Advisors

Pittsburgh - CRE Road Trip
Pittsburgh, PA

During these CRE road trip office visits, Solomon has been making time to meet one-on-one with each Managing Director. Much of these meetings have involved working through strategic deployment planning, helping Managing Directors find ways to touch every part of the market. Through determining how many people to hire and which territories should be covered, Solomon and the Managing Directors are able to devise the best way to grow each brokerage business. Successful office growth calls for building a brand presence in the community, which is another topic Solomon covered on his visits with Managing Directors. In order to have a strong brand, Managing Directors must find ways to recruit new talent to the industry. Solomon emphasizes the importance of creating opportunities for those who would not otherwise have a chance to make it into the CRE industry, without compromising our high standards, of course.

CRE Road Trip
Meeting with Advisors in Cincinnati

Solomon has also been spending time meeting with individual Advisors at the offices he’s been visiting. Advisors are sharing their stories with Solomon, talking about the everyday challenges they face and how they can grow their business by serving clients more effectively. Other topics Solomon covered in these talks with Advisors include prospecting strategies, time management, personal branding, client service, and the vision of a successful business. “The most exciting thing that’s happened has been talking to young people at firms and helping them figure out ways to become full-fledged brokers,” Solomon says.

Solomon even spent some time on his CRE road trip talking to competitors and educating them on the benefits of being here at SVN. Solomon says: “Based on what I’ve heard, at least some of them will be joining us!”

Follow the chronicles of Solomon’s CRE road trip right here on the SVN Blog or on Twitter @SVNIC

[bctt tweet=”So far, after visiting four SVN offices, Solomon has been enjoying his #CREroadtrip experience.” username=”svnic”]

Solomon Poretsky's Summer CRE Road Trip

Hitting the Road in the Name of CRE

Inside the Ultimate Commercial Real Estate Road Trip

CRE road tripHere’s something you may not know about SVNIC’s Executive Vice President of Organizational Development: Solomon Poretsky loves road trips. He likes them so much that he decided to spend most of July touring nine different cities on what we’re calling a “CRE road trip” – and he’s bringing his whole family along for the ride. From Solomon’s hometown in Minnesota to Pittsburgh to Memphis and more, SVN’s CRE training expert will be driving through nine U.S. states with the intention of hitting as many SVN offices as he can.

Making the Most out of SVN Office Visits

So what will Solomon be doing on these office visits? The answer depends on the office itself. Overall, the goal of these visits is for Solomon to support the individual offices by spending face-to-face time with Managing Directors and Advisors. Just like Advisors are more effective when they are face-to-face with clients, as a CRE coach Solomon is more effective when face-to-face with Advisors. Seeing offices in person makes it easier for him to identify individual strengths. For example, an office might be very strong in one product type and not realize how to leverage this strength. Visiting in person can make it crystal-clear which opportunities Advisors are missing and where they need to direct their focus. Even seeing the physical property signs throughout the neighborhood is an indication of how the business is doing.

Solomon Poretsky's CRE Road TripAnother benefit of the face-to-face aspect of these visits is that Solomon is able to survey the physical setup of the workspace. Helping the Managing Directors make the best use of their office space is important, because smart setups can be conducive to creating more positive and collaborative workspaces. By fitting more Advisors in a limited office space, for example, Advisors can work more closely, making collaboration and cohesion easier. The point is to create a community, including Advisors in a way that makes them want to be there, which can inspire more productivity than if an Advisor worked in an isolated cubicle.

Though Solomon will be spending one-on-one time helping Managing Directors solve specific individual problems, he will also devote time to meeting with Advisors. Some of this face time with Advisors will cover sales skills, such as how to get the person you actually want to talk to on the phone. Additionally, with Solomon’s lead, Advisors will discuss challenges they are facing in the market, and then Solomon will collaboratively help them find solutions to those challenges. Some of the questions that may be addressed are: How do you deal with owners that are not in the area? How do you explain the impact of new developments? How do you learn what a client really needs, understanding the client so you can really help them? No matter the level of experience, all Advisors have questions. Luckily, Solomon has the answers.

Follow the chronicles of Solomon’s CRE road trip right here on the SVN Blog or on Twitter @SVNIC

[bctt tweet=”All Advisors have questions. Luckily, Solomon has the answers #CRE #CREroadtrip” username=”svnic”]

SVN Specialty Awards: Innovator of the Year – Al Stepan

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

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

SVN Innovator of the Year 2015 – Al Stepan

Al Stepan - SVN Innovator of the Year 2015

When it comes to treating an SVN franchise like a business, no one is more of an innovator than Al Stepan. He has led the organization in investing in bringing in outside specialists to support recruiting, which has allowed him to scale his teams. He was also a driving force behind the consolidation of our Denver and Fort Collins offices, positioning them to be a regional powerhouse. These are just a couple of the examples of thinking big and applying best business practices to the operation of an SVN franchise. And it’s an innovation that we can all learn from.

Al Stepan is a principal of SVN | Chicago Commercial and serves as a Managing Director along with Michael Thanasouras and Scott Maesel in Chicago, IL.


The SVN blog will be featuring one SVN Specialty Award winner every week for the next few weeks. Stay up to date with SVN and CRE industry news.

SVN Specialty Awards: Prospector of the Year – Jamie Renzenbrink

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

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

SVN Prospector of the Year 2015 – Jamie Renzenbrink

SVN Prospector of the Year - Jamie RenzenbrinkHow does one make it to the SVN Partners Circle? Some make it because they have years of contacts built up or they have a couple of deals that have been in the works for years that finally come through. But there is another way: specialization, focus, and an unparalleled work ethic of making the calls and getting it done. Jamie Renzenbrink, who specializes with Gene Levental on Affordable Housing, did the work and landed one of the biggest deals in SVN history. Her prospecting was an integral part of the overall success of our #1 firm this year, so she is our Prospector of the Year. Jamie Renzenbrink is a Senior Advisor at SVN | Affordable | Levental Realty in Cincinnati, OH.


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

SVN Specialty Awards: Humanitarian of the Year – Brent & Amy Miller

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

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

SVN Humanitarian of the Year 2015 – Brent & Amy Miller

If there was ever an office that makes community building a priority in our Shared Value Network it’s SVN | Miller. Led by Brent and Amy Miller, the group’s hard work to better their Salisbury, MD community is why we are giving them this year’s SVN Humanitarian of the Year Award. The Millers take doing well by doing good to heart and it is something that is reflected through every member of their team. We could say more, but I think that their SVN Difference video says it all. The SVN | Miller team picked up another honor at the conference, as this video won the “Best Documentary” category of our first annual SVN video awards. Check out the video below.

Brent and Amy Miller - SVN Humanitarian of the YearBrent Miller, CCIM, CPM, serves as Managing Director and Senior Advisor for SVN | Miller Commercial Real Estate with offices in Salisbury, Annapolis, Bethesda, Maryland; and Rehoboth/Lewes, Seaford, and Wilmington, Delaware. Miller specializes in the sale, leasing, and management of retail, office, and industrial property. With more than 27 years of commercial real estate experience, Miller has closed more than 750 transactions, resulting in a career brokerage volume in excess of $250 million.

Amy Miller, CPM, serves as Managing Director for SVN | Miller Commercial Real Estate & Property Management, Inc. in Salisbury, Maryland, where she acts as director of property management and chief financial officer. Miller has over 20 years of commercial real estate management experience.


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

SVN Specialty Awards: Trainer of the Year – Tomi Jo Lynch

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

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

SVN Trainer of the Year 2015 – Tomi Jo Lynch

Trainer of the Year 2015 Tomi Jo LynchTomi Jo Lynch grew her office the old-fashioned way. She went out and spoke to people with skills who needed help to grow their businesses. She brought them in and led them to SVN’s Broker Boot Camp (now known as SVN | Jumpstart), and she built an in-office schedule of training sessions and roleplays, taking advantage of the SVN System for Growth™. She executed and, because of that, she has built a much larger and more productive office. And it all started with training.

Tomi Jo is a Senior Advisor with SVN® | Gold Dust Commercial Associates, in Reno, NV, specializing in industrial properties with a focus on landlord representation. Her responsibilities are varied and include not only brokerage services but business development as well as overseeing and managing the brokerage team. Lynch serves on the NAIOP Board of Directors and assists the Programs committee with events and recruiting.


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

SVN Specialty Awards: Collaborator of the Year – Tony Yousif

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

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

SVN Collaborator of the Year 2015 – Tony Yousif

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

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


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

SVN Specialty Awards: Ambassador of the Year – Alex Ruggieri

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

Ambassador126If you read my recent blog post about the SVN Annual Conference highlights, you know that the SVN Specialty Awards recognize members of the SVN community who have distinguished themselves in 2015 by making significant impacts on the commercial real estate industry and beyond. The awards – which included Team Player of the Year, Ambassador of the Year, Collaborator of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Prospector of the Year, Innovator of the Year, and Firm of the Year – looked beyond production results and instead focused on culture. The winners of this year’s SVN Specialty Awards each embody traits that the SVN culture values immensely: practicing collaboration, cooperation and conscious capitalism while excelling in commercial real estate.

SVN Ambassador of the Year 2015 – Alex Ruggieri

Alex Ruggieri - ambassadorWhat can we say about Alex Ruggieri? Not only does he dress the part of an impeccable Ambassador – he is out there online and in person representing SVN on his radio show, at CCIM conferences and with clients around the country. Recently he’s been working with David Wilk on some leading-edge corporate service projects as well. He’s been a Partners Circle winner for four years in a row – from 2012 through this year. This is his second time winning the prestigious Ambassador of the Year award, as he also received this honor in 2013.

Alex Ruggieri serves as a Senior Advisor for SVN | Ramshaw Real Estate, Inc., specializing in the sale of investment properties and corporate relocations in Champaign- Urbana and Central Illinois. With more than 30 years of commercial real estate industry experience, he has built an array of valuable business, real estate, and banking community contacts that benefit his clients. He has secured a transaction career sales volume in excess of $500 million.


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

SVN Specialty Awards: Team Player – Steve Kawulok

Recognizing the SVN Difference with Specialty Awards

Team126If you read my recent blog post about the SVN Annual Conference highlights, you know that the SVN Specialty Awards recognize members of the SVN community who have distinguished themselves in 2015 by making significant impacts on the commercial real estate industry and beyond. The awards – which included Team Player of the Year, Ambassador of the Year, Collaborator of the Year, Trainer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Prospector of the Year, Innovator of the Year, and Firm of the Year – looked beyond production results and instead focused on culture. The winners of this year’s SVN Specialty Awards each embody traits that the SVN culture values immensely: practicing collaboration, cooperation and conscious capitalism while excelling in commercial real estate.

SVN Team Player of the Year 2015 – Steve Kawulok

Steve Kawulok - SVN Specialty AwardsSteve Kawulok, Managing Director of SVN | Denver Commercial has been with SVN since 2007 and under his direction, the Fort Collins office has been a top performing office for as long as we can remember. However, the fact that there were a number of nominations for Steve that came from around the country is a testament to his ability to be a true SVN Team Player. This year, Steve took it to another level when he was instrumental in building the SVN presence in Denver. To a quote one of the nominations that came in:

“His unique strong – yet soft-spoken – style made him the perfect candidate to blend the multiple Colorado offices and work together with the leaders from the Chicago SVN office to establish a regional presence in the Denver metro area. He is a real team player.”


The SVN blog will be featuring one SVN Specialty Award winner every week for the next few weeks. Stay up to date with SVN and CRE industry news.

SVN Annual Conference 2016: Highlights From San Diego

My Top 4 Moments from the SVN Annual Conference

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

1. Kevin Maggiacomo’s Opening Address

Kevin Maggiacomo
Kevin Maggiacomo, SVNIC CEO & President.

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

2. Advisor Headshot Session

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

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

3. Diane Danielson’s Business Trends Talk

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

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

4. Specialty Awards

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

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

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

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

 

The 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.”]

How to Dress for Success in 2016 with Solomon Poretsky

The Unspoken Dress Code in Commercial Real Estate

There’s something I need to get out of the way up front. This article was not sponsored by the Dry Cleaners Association of America. But they’re going to love it.

As I’ve toured offices, here are some of the things I’ve seen:

  • Athletic shoes
  • Men without socks
  • Wrinkled polo shirts
  • Ripped denims

I haven’t seen these things in smaller markets where standards of dress might be relaxed. I saw them in markets where people dress for business.

And every time I’ve seen it, I’ve asked myself a silent question: How would that Advisor do if a conservative 60-year old client wanted him or her to come over right now? And I know the answer… Most of the time, they wouldn’t get the business.

Clothes Make the Advisor

Millennials Dress for Success
Not all Millennials shun traditional business attire. Pictured: Julia Taibl and Michael Malinconico of SVNIC.

You might say that Generation Y is changing the rules and making informality the norm. I’ll see you, and I’ll raise you Frank and Oak’s banner ads with a fully-bearded – and fully suited – Gen Y model. Add in all of the new Internet custom clothiers – who are clearly targeting Millennial customers – and you can see that business wear is ageless.

With perfectly adequate business wear available at Target and Costco and multiple discounts available at Macy’s and other retailers, it’s hard to argue that dressing for success isn’t affordable, either.

While this might all still seem a bit stodgy and old-fashioned, let’s think about what dressing for business every day means. It means that you are always ready for whatever comes. If a jacket is too much, you can take it off before a meeting. Same with a tie, scarf or other accessory. Long sleeves can even be rolled up on a hot day. It’s always easy to dress down. But it’s a lot harder to dress up on the fly.

It’s Smart to Dress for Success

And, here’s the really interesting thing…. Dressing smartly makes you smarter. Research now shows that formal business attire improves critical thinking skills (as does wearing a “doctor’s” coat).

Personally, I know that I feel crisper and sharper when I have a tie on. I’m able to work longer days. And focus harder.

To that end, if you’ve embraced a week-long “casual Friday,” I encourage you to think about starting off 2016 with a new, more professional look. You’ll look better, feel better and, most importantly, broker better. And your clients will thank you for it.

Happy new year, and I can’t wait to see you in San Diego for the SVN Annual Conference! Be sure to register now if you haven’t already. You know what I’ll be wearing…

Getting Your Real Estate License Is Easier than You Think

Step 1: Get Your Real Estate License

So you think you have what it takes to be a CRE Brokerage Superstar. You’re tenacious, you’re a self-starter, you’re self-motivated, and you know how to make connections with the right people. That’s great! But first things first — you need to get your real estate salesperson license before you can start selling properties.

The first thing you need to do it look up your state’s real estate salesperson licensing requirements. Regulations vary state by state. Texas requires 180 hours of classroom training, but we have it pretty easy here in Massachusetts. The state requires only 40 hours of pre-licensing instruction through a state-approved real estate school before you are allowed to sit for the exam. This means that you can become a Massachusetts-certified real estate agent in as little as 4 days, depending on the program.

Every real estate school is different, so you need to do your research to find the right program for you. Many real estate schools offer 4-day “crash courses” as well as night and weekend classes for added flexibility. Certain programs can set you back as little as $250 — an affordable career investment for most.

Although a college degree is not necessary for pursuing a real estate license, the classes are considered college-level. The textbook-style coursework typically includes reading passages, workbook questions and problems, practice tests, quizzes, and the final exam. Course topics cover concepts such as property valuation, contracts, property conditions and disclosures, risk management, real estate laws, and financing.

Following the class final exam, you must take the official state licensing exam. In Massachusetts, test takers must pass the 4-hour exam with a scaled score of at least 70 out of 100. The general portion of the exam is made up of 80 multiple choice questions, about 10% of which involve mathematical computations. The exam’s two sections cover national and state-specific real estate concepts.

The process for getting your broker’s license is fairly similar to getting your salesperson’s license. You have to be affiliated with a broker for 3 years before completing the 40 hours of broker pre-license training in Massachusetts.

It doesn’t take much to get your real estate license. As long as you’re at least 18, you could become a licensed real estate salesperson in a matter of days.

If you’re ready to launch your commercial real estate career, visit our Careers page here.

[bctt tweet=”It doesn’t take much to get your real estate license. As long as you’re at least 18, you could become a licensed real estate salesperson in a matter of days.”]

International Students Share Their Thoughts on SVN and CRE

SVN & the International Entrepreneurship Center

Our industry has a problem. The average age of a commercial real estate agent is around 60 — which is an issue as Millennials like me are starting to outnumber other generations in the workforce. And with SVN growing internationally, we wanted to know how the brand and industry resonate outside of the U.S. — so we partnered with a group of Brazilian students through Boston College’s International Entrepreneurship Center to find some answers. On Wednesday, July 29th the students presented their ideas on how to make the SVN brand and CRE industry more appealing to Millennials, from an international perspective.

International Insights: 3 Ways to Reach Millennials

  1. It all starts with the website. As tech-obsessed Millennials, the first thing we do when we hear about a company is Google it. So no matter the size of your office, you’d better have a good website. To the Brazilian students, a “good” website is one that is light on text and heavy on visuals. The students also pointed out that they need to identify with the content on the site. Quotes, testimonials, and photos of young Advisors can help solve this issue.
  2. Let’s talk money. A commission-only job sounds risky, and it certainly can be. But the students were comfortable with the idea because starting a company or similar entrepreneurial endeavors are basically commission-only until you have funding.  Due to language barriers and their just learning the business, the Brazilian students were initially confused with the SVN concept of “compensated cooperation.” Once they understood the benefits of splitting commissions it seemed to fit right in with their view of open and transparent business practices in a sharing economy.
  3. Emphasize the benefits of a franchise. Franchises are big in Brazil and can translate well in international markets. To attract Millennials to work for a franchise business, it’s important to highlight the upsides like training, tools, and independence that the franchise model can offer. As the Brazilian students said in their presentation, with a franchise “you’re on your own but you’re not alone.” You’re in charge of your own destiny, but the franchise system has your back.

If you’re ready to take your CRE career to the next level with the SVN franchise system, visit our Careers page here.

[bctt tweet=”To attract Millennials to work for a franchise business, it’s important to highlight the upsides like training, tools, and independence that the franchise model can offer. “]

SVNIC CEO Testifies for Gender Diversity on Executive Boards

It’s no secret that the nation’s corporate landscape is lacking in gender diversity. Only 11.8% of executive officer positions in the 100 largest public companies in Massachusetts are held by women. With women occupying just under half of the nation’s workforce and earning over half of the nation’s bachelor’s degrees, this 11.8% is a problem — which is why Sperry Van Ness International Corporation President and CEO Kevin Maggiacomo testified at the Massachusetts State House this past Tuesday, July 21st in support of Bill S1007: Resolutions to encourage equitable and diverse gender representation on the boards of companies in the Commonwealth.

Kevin Gender DiversityAs one of several prominent Massachusetts CEOs testifying at this hearing, Maggiacomo used his own experience in the SVNIC leadership ranks to help illustrate his point that gender diversity should be a priority on all executive boards. Following his 2013 realization that SVNIC needed more diversity in its leadership, Maggiacomo restructured his executive team to include more women. This restructuring was an obvious success, changing the company for the better. “We now operate as a think tank for new ideas… we are engaging in healthy debate, and our profitability has increased by more than 100% and we now rank as one of the largest real estate services firms in the United States,” said Maggiacomo during his testimony.

In his SVNIC example, Maggiacomo proved that gender diversity in corporate leadership is more than just a nice thing to do. “There is irrefutable, verifiable evidence that women in greater proportions in companies improves decision-making and shareholder value,” said Maggiacomo. “It’s not just my opinion. Diversity and gender balance are the engines of innovation, and we’re doing everything in our power to ensure that this structure remains in place; and I encourage the passing of the resolution that encourages companies in the Commonwealth to do the same.”

The resolution, which passed favorably following the hearing, states that all Massachusetts companies will be expected to adopt policies and practices designed to increase the gender diversity in their boards of directors and senior management groups, as well as set goals by which to measure their progress.

Maggiacomo was no stranger to this issue prior to his testimony. As the leader of the 50/50 by 2020 campaign, he advocates for gender balance in corporate leadership. This campaign aims to establish a 50/50 mix of men and women within leadership roles by the year 2020.

Gender diversity and equality will not happen overnight. But we are one step closer thanks to Maggiacomo’s efforts and the favorable outcome of Bill S1007.

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UPDATE: S1007 has passed the Massachusetts senate and is headed to the house.

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To read more about Sperry Van Ness® and diversity, download our report here.

SVN Women Minorities

Property Management Success Story: SVN / First Guardian Group

The Road to Property Management Success

Property Management can be very profitable  — just ask Sperry Van Ness / First Guardian Group. The San Jose, California firm recently announced the successful close of escrow on University Fountains, a student housing complex that sold for $34 million. Receiving several offers, the property saw substantial demand and competition among buyers.

SVN/FGG undertook the property management over an 18-month period before beginning to market the Class “A” property. Under SVN/FGG’s management during the current school year, the property occupancy increased by 15% — crushing other years in comparison. SVN/FGG set aggressive weekly leasing goals which compared improvements in occupancy and income against all other competitive properties in the submarket. The leasing team was given incentives based on their progress in moving the performance of the property ahead of all other comparable assets. The hard work of SVN/FGG Advisors produced returns of over 100% of the original equity.

So how did they do it? Proactive asset management and collaborative marketing efforts can get the job done.

Proactive Asset Management

  • Established aggressive weekly leasing goals to continually improve occupancy
  • Strong incentives for moving property performance ahead of all comparable properties in the submarket
  • Annual competitive re-bidding of all significant ongoing services (landscaping, garbage, pool maintenance, etc.)
  • Monthly owner conference calls
  • Detailed monthly variance reports including cost ratio comparisons to similar properties

Collaborative Marketing Efforts

  • All Brokers received marketing materials from day one, which included SVN’s statement “50% of the commission 100% of the time
  • All Brokers requesting access to the property data vault were personally contacted and encouraged to provide a bid
  • All Brokers were treated with the same respect and courtesy regardless of affiliation
  • All questions and inquiries were answered 90% same-day
  • SVN/FGG participated in all property tours with Brokers

Following these guidelines which emphasize competitive and collaborative practices can lead to property management success. So take a cue from SVN/FGG and collaborate with your team members to achieve a profitable property management turnaround.

To read more on property management, click here.

SVN PM Value Prop

The 2015 Managing Director Conference: Top 3 Reasons to Register

2015 Managing Director Conference in Dallas, TX

The Sperry Van Ness® Managing Director Conference only happens once a year, so now is the time to register. At MDC 2015, Managing Directors will have the opportunity to experience the latest SVN tools and systems and learn from renowned commercial real estate speakers. By collaborating on projects and seminars, Managing Directors will make lasting business connections that are critical components of running a successful brokerage.

Top 3 Reasons to Attend the 2015 Managing Director Conference

1. Networking. Emails and phone calls can only go so far. In an industry built on interpersonal connections, face-to-face conversations can go a long way. Do you think a Managing Director would be more likely to collaborate on a deal with someone who reached out via email or someone she bonded with over coffee and bagels? With breakfast, lunch, and a surprise dinner experience included in registration, MDC 2015 offers countless opportunities to connect with your peers in the industry.

2. Experience. Like networking, relevant experience is gained through real-life situations. Everyone who attends this conference is experienced in his or her own way, since they are owners of brokerage businesses. This is a chance to compile all of this collective experience in one place and learn from it. Two days of training and networking is all it takes to gain valuable experience and connections.

3. Learning. With a full roster of engaging speakers coupled with multiple seminars and training sessions, participants can learn a lot from attending MDC 2015. By sharing best practices with other Managing Directors, participants are also able to learn from their counterparts in offices across the country. Need help managing those pesky Millennials? Not sure how to leverage SVN tools? Having trouble building your brand? MDC 2015 has you covered.

Register for the 2015 Managing Director Conference now by clicking here.

2015 Managing Director Conference

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

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Broker Boot Camp | Setting Goals for Success

Intern Insights: Setting Goals in Your Personal and Professional Life

If you’ve read my previous blog post, then you know that I learned a lot about the commercial real estate industry by attending the Sperry Van Ness® Broker Boot Camp in Chicago. However, the Broker Boot Camp was not strictly about the brokerage business. In fact, one of the most interesting parts of the training for me was when speaker John McDermott talked to us about setting goals. We’ve all heard it before — setting goals is a good thing. But not many of us actually do it. As author Brian Tracy states in his book Goals!, going through the process of writing out your goals on paper can make all the difference. By writing down your specific aspirations with measurable standards, you have already committed to something tangible.

Don’t know where to start? Not to worry! I’m going to share with you 3 out of my 10 goals that I wrote down during the Broker Boot Camp to give you some ideas.

The Intern’s Top 3 Goals for Success in Life

1. Work out at least 4 times a week. In my opinion (and John McDermott’s), health should always be your number one priority. Whether you’re a high-profile Advisor working on multi-million-dollar deals or a college student like me, finding time to take care of yourself can be difficult. But maintaining good health is crucial, because without your health you can’t perform at your best in all aspects of life. Let’s be real — I probably won’t work out 4 times a week every week. Other things always seem to get in the way, such as my best friend Netflix. But having written this goal down, I now feel accountable for meeting my own expectations. (Now I have to go on a run after publishing this.)

2. Call my dad at least twice a week. Family is also incredibly important — it’s a built-in support system that no one should neglect. But like exercise, family time is often forgotten, as we tend to prioritize working hard and making money over our personal lives. Let me be clear — working hard is awesome. That’s how you get places in life. But at the end of the day, your family is all you have. Using my example, my dad is literally the smartest person I know. I would be missing out on receiving advice, motivation, and support by continuing to work through the evening instead of calling my dad.

3. Graduate magna cum laude in 2017. Since I’m going to be a junior in college, my academics are a huge priority. In the brokerage business, a similar goal could be something like “earn my CCIM designation by 2017” or “make the National Top 10 Advisors list by 2017.” Since school is my “work” at this point in my life, I’m committed to performing at my maximum potential. Hey, I might not graduate magna cum laude. Although it’s not impossible, I know it’s super hard. But now that I have this goal written down in front of me, I have something tangible that I can strive for over the next two years.

I know — my top 3 goals don’t really relate to the commercial real estate business. But that’s sort of the point. No matter where you are professionally, it’s important to keep your personal goals in mind along with your professional ones. If you’re at work, then work. But if you’re off the clock, take time to focus on your health, your family, and whatever else is important to you personally. So grab a pen and paper and write down your top 10 life goals. You never know — all 10 of them might come true.

To find out more about the SVN Broker Boot Camp, click here.

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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

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