Five for Friday: The collaborator who puts 'multiple eyes' on listings

Neil Johnson of Sperry Van Ness/Landmark Commercial Real Estate in Geneva, Ill. talks about the benefits that come with the team approach – and the move from hitchhiker to advisor in this week’s Five for Friday.  

Neil Johnson, managing director/broker at Sperry Van Ness / Landmark Advisors
Neil Johnson, managing director/broker at Sperry Van Ness / Landmark Advisors

1. What is your geographic market and product specialty? 

The focus of my brokerage work for 15 years has been in Kane County, Ill. and the surrounding suburban areas about one hour west of downtown Chicago. As an office, our advisors handle retail, office, and industrial properties – plus vacant land. We do quite a bit of leasing, which has created relationships for some of our best investment sale opportunities.

2. What’s your latest best practice tip that you can share?

Collaboration on listings with the other advisors in my office has proven to be particularly productive. There are many benefits to the team approach, including better service to our clients.  We get the benefit of multiple eyes looking at each stage of the listing or transaction. It is also more fun to work as a team.

3. What’s been the biggest changeover on how you run your business in the past decade?

We are trying to be more selective on the quality and size of opportunities that we take on. Otherwise, it is too easy to race around chasing every small deal that turns up. We are working hard to increase our focus on investment sales, and larger lease deals, especially now that the market is picking up again.

4. What business book do you like to recommend to your colleagues?

I try to spend some time reading the Bible every day. Scripture can be helpful in addressing the challenges of  human relationships.

5. What’s a fun fact that not everyone knows about you? 

In my early 20s, I hitchhiked more than 20,000 miles, across the U.S. and Europe. To the casual observer, I’m sure I appeared to be a typecast hippie.

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